If you want to use your shed the whole year round, many benefits see order from insulating your garden shed against the elements, the weather and the temperature change to keep the heat in as much as possible. This article focuses on how you can do just that and the type of insulation advice and materials you need.
It is typically much easier to make a good job of shed insulation if you buy one that is suitable for the purpose. Metal sheds are hard to insulate, as are plastic ones. If you want to do a good job, the best course of action is to invest in a good-quality wooden shed or timber summerhouse. These have wooden framing that makes it easy to add insulating material and plywood or plasterboard internally.
With that in mind, let’s press ahead.
Do you spend a lot of time in your garden shed and want to make it more comfortable to work in?
Are you a hobbyist, craftsman or artist and store perishables such as paper, stock or materials in your shed and want to make sure they’re kept safe and dry?
Do you want to know how to avoid damp, moisture and mould in your shed?
If so, you’re probably looking for expert advice on how to insulate your shed.
We’ll cover all of the following in this article:
We have been insulating our sheds for over 25 years – that’s a lot of cosy sheds. Its’s safe to say that we know what it takes to do the job right.
There’s a fair bit of information out there on how to insulate a shed but not much reasoning as to what is the best way and why.
We want to make sure that you have all the information you need to make your garden shed a comfortable, safe and warm place to be.
Firs, you need to determine your framing size to figure out how much room you have to fit in your insulation.
Gillies and Mackay framing is 75mm allowing 50mm of insulation and a 25mm air gap.
The air gap is important because it allows the exterior wall to breathe and stops moisture from traveling through to the internal of the building – more on this later.
If your framing is less than 75mm you may need to use a thinner board of insulation to accommodate the air gap.
FOIL BACKED INSULATION
Using bubble wrap for insulation is dangerous if you plan on putting electrics in your Shed, which is often the case for why people might be thinking of lining and insulating their shed in the first place.
So polystyrene or bubble wrap are a major no no! They can combust with electrics and set the whole shed on fire. Not cool.
Fibreglass wool as insulation is ideal for bathroom areas and for soundproofing, but can be a real nightmare to handle and fit.
Realistically this leaves you with one good option: Foil backed compressed insulation is the best and easiest to work with, and we highly recommend this option for your shed.
Ecotherm foil backed compressed insulation has the best U-value for efficiency and is completely safe with electrics.
There are three main brands of foil back compressed insulation to look out for: Kingspan, Celotex, Ecotherm – they all do the job and are readily available from warehouses such as Wickes.
Here are a few foil backed insulation recommendations to help you with your search:
Step 1: Protect the wood with anti-fungal treatment
Your shed walls won’t be accessible once you’ve insulated so you need to consider extra preservation. You can either use the same wood protection you have used on the outside, or you can buy an anti-fungal/pesticide wash to treat the internal (some companies already do this, so check with your manufacturer).
Step 2: Create the cavities
CREATING THE CAVITIES
CREATING THE CAVITIES
Add a 25mm x 25mm strip of wood (preferably treated) down the side of each stud (frame).
This will create a cavity between the external wall and the insulation. Ideal for electrical wires and eradicates damp penetration.
Step 3: Cut the insulation sheets to size and slot them into place
CUT TO SIZE AND SLOT INTO PLACE
CUT TO SIZE AND SLOT INTO PLACE
Measure each wall section. If you’re fortunate your shed will be made to exact centres – e.g. 600mm.
Cut each section from your 2.4m x 1.2m sheet of foil backed insulation. You should get 2 sections from each sheet.
Slot the section into place (on top of the 25mm strip, creating a gap between wall and insulation as mentioned) and repeat on all 4 walls.
Complete the same process for the roof.
To keep sheds with windows insulated, you shoul'd use double glazed windows , it would keep the heat
Insulating your shed floor is very important, but to be honest, it won't be easy if your shed is already assembled. Normally the insulation sits between the floor joists.
However, investing in a decent underlay and laminate (should your frame size allow) will give you adequate insulation.
If you’ve not assembled your shed yet, follow the same process as the walls for the underside of the floor (add skirting once assembled to keep it neat).
Now that all your insulation is in place you can think about lining options.
MDF BEADED BOARD
You could opt for 16mm Redwood V’d Lining.
However this isn’t always as readily available to you and I’d suggest calming it down a bit as 16mm Redwood is a bit over the top.
May be opt for something like 9mm MDF Beaded Board available from accessible warehouses. It’s a profiled sheet that looks like cladding (see image above).
It’s also neat and easy to work with.
If you decide to insulate your shed yourself, it’s likely to be a weekend job depending on your DIY competency.
If you hire a manufacturer or supplier to do it for you it’ll be a half day or full day depending on the size of the job.
If you are going to to it yourself, using 50mm insulation, here’s some approximations based on £35 including VAT per sheet of foil backed insulation.
Small shed/summerhouse – 8’x 8′
To insulate the walls, floor and roof you will need approximately 10 sheets of 50mm foil backed insulation. Based on the prices above, this will cost approx. £350 including VAT.
Add 8 sheets of lining at approximately £40 = £320
Total price for 8′ x 8′ = £670 including VAT
Medium shed/summerhouse – 10′ x 10′
To insulate the walls, floor and roof you will need approximately 15 sheets of 50mm foil backed insulation. Based on the prices above, this will cost approx. £525 including VAT.
Add 12 sheets of lining at approximately £40 = £480
Total price for 10′ x 10′ = £1005
Large shed/summerhouse – 16′ x 12′
To insulate the walls, floor and roof you will need approximately 24 sheets of 50mm foil backed insulation. Based on the prices above, this will cost approx. £840 including VAT.
Add 19 sheets of lining at approximately £40 = £760
Total price for 16′ x 12′ = £1600
Note: You may find that the prices will be cheaper if you buy in bulk. These prices are not 100% accurate, but should give you a good indication of the prices to expect.
If you don’t want to insulate your shed yourself, you can expect to pay roughly double the costs for a manufacturer or supplier to do it for you.
History check out faster, we fully recommend insulating your shed/summerhouse. It’s completely worth it and allows you to have an amazing all year round garden building.
Insulating your shed is especially important if you are using it as a garden office or workshop, and it will help to protect everything on the inside from the cold, damp and moisture. Now that you have a beautiful insulated she, it will be ready to face the weather changes and the temperature changes. If you read the recent post about "how to paint a shed ?", sheds will no longer have secrets for you !