How to insulate an outdoor shed

Whether you are storing plants or creating a private study space, keeping a shed warm can create more storage and space opportunities for you and your home. While heating a shed may be necessary depending on your purposes, using heating will amount to nothing if the shed is not insulated properly.

Choose an insulating material. There are a number of solutions for insulating a shed, but one of the easiest to install and most effective choices is fibreglass. Choose easy-to-install fibreglass batts for the shed walls and ceilings.

Check your local council's building control regulations for shed insulation requirements. Different councils may require a vapour barrier for insulation on buildings like sheds. Use paper-faced batts, which combine the insulation batts with the vapour barrier in a single unit.

Measure the wall and ceiling cavities. Batts come in different grades for different stud and joist sizes. Measure the area you will need overall for the walls and ceiling. Choose the right batt type for your wall studs. Most walls will require R-11 or R-19 batts and most ceilings will need R-25 or R30 batts. Choose batts that are 2.5 cm (1 inch) less in width than the cavities.

Cut the batts for length. Batts should not be folded or forced into a space, and will need to be cut if they don't fit. Place the batt on to a board of plywood for a sturdy but expendable cutting surface that won't damage the utility knife. Put on the goggles, gloves and breathing mask and cut the batts down to length with the utility knife.

Install the batts into the walls and ceiling. If you chose the right lengths and make the cuts appropriately, the batts should fit nicely in between the wall studs and ceiling joists. Press the batt into the space until the edges are flush with the studs or joist with the paper side facing toward the shed interior.


Staple the batts to the wooden studs and joists for additional sealing and sturdiness.


Cutting fibreglass insulation will release irritating fibres into the air. Always protect your eyes, mouth and hands when cutting fibreglass insulation.

Things You'll Need

  • Insulation batts
  • Tape measure
  • Plywood
  • Utility knife
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Breathing mask
  • Staple gun
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About the Author

Thomas Anderson is a musician and writer in the Marquette, MI area. He holds a bachelor's degree in music education and has written for various local publications and websites as a music journalist for over six years.