How To Insulate a Shed For Use All Year Round – Even in Winter!
8th October 2019
If you want to use your shed all year round, you will need to fully insulate it in order to have a warm and comfortable workspace. An ordinary garden shed will be made purely from timber and a felt roof which means you will not have any protection from the cold, damp or drafts but insulating it yourself isn’t as daunting as you may think. Here are our top tips on how to insulate a shed.
Cheap Insulation Options
To start with, insulation does not need to cost the earth. If you are on a tight budget there are ways to get around insulating your shed. By simply tacking materials such as polythene or bubble wrap to the inside of the shed walls, you will immediately notice a difference in the room. No, this isn’t going to be the best insulation out there and yes it may need a bit of maintenance over time, but for a quick, effective job, this will prevent drafts and keep some of that warm air trapped inside the shed. If you wanted to preserve the material for a bit longer, simply place a sheet of MDF over the top of the shed panel and nail into place. This is a great option if you are doing more manual jobs inside your shed as you will keep warm by moving around anyway.
Middle Ground Insulation Options
Your middle ground pricing options are mineral wool or glass-fibre wool which is commonly used in lofts to prevent the loss of hot air out through the home and drafts coming in from the roof. Layer the wool over the wood panels ensuring that you cover every open area. Then just as above, cover the wool with MDF panels and nail into place. If being eco-friendly is important to you, you can choose to use sheep wool as an alternative to the man-made materials. This will work just as well and the wool is also moisture-wicking which will also benefit your shed.
Fully Insulate Your Shed
The more costly option but of course, the most effective one is to fully insulate your shed and to do this you will first need to identify all areas that will need some work. This includes gaps in the panels, the quality of the windows and door, the quality of the wood, leaks in the roof, damp from the floor. All of these will need attention but it is doable.
For the walls, the most effective way of insulating them is by first applying a breathable membrane. Please note that prior to applying this, it is important that you check if any panels of your shed need replacing, if any holes need a patch-up job or if there is any damage anywhere. You don’t want to pay out to insulate your shed only for this to become ineffective due to gaps and leaks. The breathable membrane can be readily bought from most DIY stores and it is a job you can definitely do yourself as it is sold in a roll which can be cut to size and be easily tacked on to the exposed shed panels before then being covered with a good quality insulation slab. The slab can be placed on by the average budding DIYer and is a one-person job so shouldn’t be at all tricky. Once all of the areas are covered you will need to trap this in by covering it with a plywood as above. Seal any gaps with a silicone sealant.
The roof can be insulated from the inside in the exact same way as the walls but you will also want to check the quality of the materials on the outside too. Any leaks must first be repaired and if the felting is worn or damaged you probably want to consider replacing all of this prior to beginning any work. A fun way to tackle any water issues would be to add plants to your roof. Not only will these thrive in this position, they will absorb extra moisture, prevent water from running down the side of your shed which can lead to damp and will also be very eco-friendly.
Insulating a shed floor will naturally reduce the internal height of the shed so you must take this into consideration before starting. If you have a very small shed it may not be worth your while. If you can happily say that you will still be able to move around the shed efficiently then it is certainly worth doing though as a lot of heat escapes through the floor as most sheds sit directly on grass or a concrete base. To insulate a shed floor you can lay a thin layer of insulation board over the top of the existing flooring and top it off with plywood to stabilise the floor surface and to protect it. Again, making sure that you seal any gaps with a good sealant.
The windows that are already on your shed will most probably be single-paned. These can become very drafty in the winter months so you could either think about replacing these or covering the panes with a plastic sheet to prevent the cold air from seeping in.
A shed door can be insulated just as your walls have been above or you could also consider swapping it for a front door for a house. This will already be insulated, it will most probably be fireproof and any windows will be double-glazed.
Spending that little bit more money and extra time on insulating your shed will give you a more satisfying outcome and a building which you can use all year round.