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Insulating a Pole Barn

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Forum topic by dakremer posted 11-24-2018 04:42 AM 1375 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dakremer

2742 posts in 3512 days


11-24-2018 04:42 AM

Alright you smart people, let’s talk insulating a pole barn. Quick background – We bought a house that has an existing double wide, double deep pole barn (24’x32’). It is not insulated at all. I would like to insulate it. It’s only wood and steel. No ridge vent, and no soffit vents. Trusses and Poles are 8’ apart. Girts are like 20” apart – clearly no plans on insulating it when they built it.

I want to start by insulating the roof. Here is a generic sketch up model of a pole barn – only showing the top chord of the truss and the girts. Remember there is no soffit vents or ridge vents….

I have not talked to a structural engineer yet, which clearly I’d need to do before adding weight to the roof system. That being said, this is my plan (as long as I can).....

I want to attach some 2×6 or 1×6 to the bottom of the girts, between the top chord of the trusses…..

Then add R-19 insulation between those 2×6 (or 1×6)....

My thinking is that this would give me a “dead” air space between the insulation and the roof steel (between the girts). The air would stay cold in between the girts – This could potentially protect me from condensation on the steel.

I would also probably add some clear plastic on the warm side of the insulation to also stop moisture reaching the steel.

What are your thoughts? Is there a reason you would NOT do it this way? (as long as engineer says its okay)

Before you say it…..no, I don’t want to get it spray foamed. It’s too expensive for me, and I don’t want to spray it directly on to the steel (in case it needs to be replaced).

I live in Iowa. R-19 is not recommended for ceilings (usually recommend R30+). However, my shop will not be continuously heated throughout the winter. Probably only once a week or so (maybe less). I just want some insulation in the ceiling so I CAN add some temporary heat so I can work out there.

I’m also trying to go with the cheapest option, because this isn’t our forever home, and I don’t want to put a ton of money into this pole barn.

Let me know what you think….. Thanks…...

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!


22 replies so far

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3512 days


#1 posted 11-24-2018 03:23 PM

bump

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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GR8HUNTER

6225 posts in 1133 days


#2 posted 11-24-2018 03:38 PM

maybe you could just tack up blue board run it opposite and still use your plastic wrap :<))

just a suggestion I am no expert at all LOL

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3512 days


#3 posted 11-24-2018 04:04 PM



maybe you could just tack up blue board run it opposite and still use your plastic wrap :<))

just a suggestion I am no expert at all LOL

- GR8HUNTER

I’ve thought about that – and that’s definitely an option. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for some used foam board. New stuff is pretty expensive – I’d have to compare the cost of the wood/fiberglass insulation VS foam board….

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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GR8HUNTER

6225 posts in 1133 days


#4 posted 11-24-2018 04:14 PM


maybe you could just tack up blue board run it opposite and still use your plastic wrap :<))

just a suggestion I am no expert at all LOL

- GR8HUNTER

I ve thought about that – and that s definitely an option. I ve been keeping my eyes open for some used foam board. New stuff is pretty expensive – I d have to compare the cost of the wood/fiberglass insulation VS foam board….

- dakremer


yes I am in same boat as you with my shed dont want to spend 500.00 on insulation just for next guy who might rip it out LOL :<(((

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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tomsteve

958 posts in 1639 days


#5 posted 11-25-2018 10:49 PM

you mentioned,” only showing the top chord of the truss and the girts.” im assuming these trusses have a bottom cord. if so would there be a reason you wouldnt do the work there?
ive built a LOT of homes. working in and crawling around in trusses gets old real quick and thats 2’ OC.

it seems that even if there was an R438 in the ceiling, without the walls getting some form of insulation over the R-21 the steel siding provides it wont warm up too much.

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3512 days


#6 posted 11-26-2018 07:55 PM


you mentioned,” only showing the top chord of the truss and the girts.” im assuming these trusses have a bottom cord. if so would there be a reason you wouldnt do the work there?
ive built a LOT of homes. working in and crawling around in trusses gets old real quick and thats 2 OC.

it seems that even if there was an R438 in the ceiling, without the walls getting some form of insulation over the R-21 the steel siding provides it wont warm up too much.

- tomsteve

It’s a pole barn with trusses. The SketchUp model is just showing the top chord of the truss (to simplify it). The trusses are 8’ apart, so no big deal to work in between them. I dont want to put a ceiling in the polebarn for a few reasons – one, it’ll be more expensive, and two, I dont want to lose the overhead space. Most heat is lost throw the ceiling (not the walls). So the plan is to insulate the ceiling first, and add insulation to the walls later….

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3512 days


#7 posted 11-26-2018 10:14 PM

*through the ceiling

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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canadianchips

2626 posts in 3417 days


#8 posted 11-26-2018 11:51 PM

dakremer your pole shed has metal roof and walls ?
You are going to be dealing with condensation when you heat the inside, this will drip.
My suggestion is leaving an air gap between the tin and the insulation.
WET fiberglass batts have NO insulating value !
One option of doing this is make wafer insulation panels (much like they use in log homes with exposed rafters ! )
or
Rigid styrofoam comes in 4ft sheets.
My shop in Canada I had 8ft spaced rafters on a POLE SHED.. i I used 2ft x 8ft 2” rigid styrofoam. (The same panels they use here on the putside wall of houses or concrete basements) .I used 2 layers of 2” rigid . 1 layer horizontal between 8ft space. ,2nd layer the long way to cover seams.
On the walls I suggest an insulation that has foil on one side. It attaches like a bag,and its waterproof.
Unfortunately the insulation cost more than building the walls. I limped through part of the winter with nothing (In Canada its COLD in winter, spent half the time trying to heat the building so it was warm enough to play !)
BEST of luck in your building, !
Perry

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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chrisstef

17935 posts in 3427 days


#9 posted 11-27-2018 01:26 AM

Use z channel instead of 2x’s and you can do 4’x8’ sheets of insulation. Way less weight and a lot less work.

(I cant speak to fire code or load calcs or any of that smart people stuff)

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3512 days


#10 posted 11-27-2018 05:07 PM



dakremer your pole shed has metal roof and walls ?
You are going to be dealing with condensation when you heat the inside, this will drip.
My suggestion is leaving an air gap between the tin and the insulation.
WET fiberglass batts have NO insulating value !
One option of doing this is make wafer insulation panels (much like they use in log homes with exposed rafters ! )
or
Rigid styrofoam comes in 4ft sheets.
My shop in Canada I had 8ft spaced rafters on a POLE SHED.. i I used 2ft x 8ft 2” rigid styrofoam. (The same panels they use here on the putside wall of houses or concrete basements) .I used 2 layers of 2” rigid . 1 layer horizontal between 8ft space. ,2nd layer the long way to cover seams.
On the walls I suggest an insulation that has foil on one side. It attaches like a bag,and its waterproof.
Unfortunately the insulation cost more than building the walls. I limped through part of the winter with nothing (In Canada its COLD in winter, spent half the time trying to heat the building so it was warm enough to play !)
BEST of luck in your building, !
Perry

- canadianchips

So if you see the drawings up above, there will be an air gap. the girts are actually on edge (not flat like I have shown). So there’ll be a 3.5” cold air gap between the steel and the insulation – I’m hoping that will be enough to stop condensation. We arent going to be at this house for a long time, so I’m trying to spend as little money as possible to insulation (while still doing it correctly, or course). 4×8 Foam sheets will be too expensive for what I want to spend, unless I can find some good used ones around. Iowa gets really cold in the winter too. I’m not planning on continuously heating it. Just heat it a few times a week (maybe). The heat source will mostly likely be a wood stove. Hoping to just get enough insulation in the roof to hold in some heat.

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3512 days


#11 posted 11-27-2018 05:09 PM



Use z channel instead of 2x’s and you can do 4’x8’ sheets of insulation. Way less weight and a lot less work.

(I cant speak to fire code or load calcs or any of that smart people stuff)

- chrisstef

Using foam sheets would be ideal! Its just too expensive – I dont want to put much money into this project, which is why I was figuring out how to use fiberglass. If this was a “forever shop” – I’d be spray foaming it…

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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firefighterontheside

20377 posts in 2277 days


#12 posted 11-27-2018 05:19 PM

If I were you, I think I would just insulate the walls and staple some plastic or house wrap to the bottom cord of the trusses and be done with it. Minimal cost and with not having to heat the truss space it should warm up fine with a wood stove.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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dakremer

2742 posts in 3512 days


#13 posted 11-27-2018 08:55 PM



If I were you, I think I would just insulate the walls and staple some plastic or house wrap to the bottom cord of the trusses and be done with it. Minimal cost and with not having to heat the truss space it should warm up fine with a wood stove.

- firefighterontheside

I think that would cause condensation issues on the steel

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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tomsteve

958 posts in 1639 days


#14 posted 11-27-2018 11:36 PM

I think that would cause condensation issues on the steel

- dakremer

you wouldnt have an airgap like you say you would on the ceiling?

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tomsteve

958 posts in 1639 days


#15 posted 11-27-2018 11:37 PM

.

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