How to Insulate a Garden Shed

Garden sheds are not just for storage of your garden tools and equipment. With a little extra work, you can convert your shed into a warm and cosy place in which to relax at the end of the day. It doesn’t have to cost too much either. You can insulate it yourself using wood or rigid foam insulation boards.

shed insulation

It is a good idea to do so in the autumn and winter, before you start using it. You can insulate your shed in stages. You can insulate the roof first, then build a simple subfloor. The subfloor is useful because it will stop you tracking dirt throughout your house on your boots.

How to Insulate a Garden Shed Step by Step

insulation material

Insulating a garden shed is a quick and simple job.

Step 1 – Measure the Shed Floor Area

Measure the floor area of your garden shed with a tape measure. The exact size doesn’t matter as you can always cut any excess insulation to fit but you’ll need to know the minimum required to cover the base as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 2 – Fit Shed Batting Boards

Lay the shed base with its un-notched side facing up, i.e. not at 90° to the floor joists.

Roll out the cut batting insulation (which should be in uniform lengths) beside the shed, fixing one end of each length to a piece of batten or block of wood which can be temporarily weighted down with bricks or sandbags.

Make sure the batting boards are parallel to each other, leaving a gap between them for any pipes in the shed base. Fix them securely in place using battens at both ends and half way downhill between battens.

Step 3 – Fill Gaps Between Boards

shed floor insulating

Using battens, fix either side of the shed base at every gap between boards.

Step 4 – Completely Cover Shed Floor Area with Batting Boards

Lay batts on top of the board gaps and battens to completely cover the floor area. Use unstapled batts for around pipes or other penetrations which you don’t want to be covered with insulation.

Fix batts securely in place using battens at either side of the shed base and half way downhill between battens.

Step 5 – Fix Batts Inside Gaps at Top of Shed Wall

Lay the batts against the inside walls of your shed, fitting them into gaps around windows or other penetrations. Trim the batts lengthways as necessary to fit them into gaps around windows and joints etc.

Step 6 – Fix Batts at Top of Shed Wall

shed roof

Fix the insulation securely in place either side of door openings or other penetrations, using battens at both sides and half way downhill between battens.

Apply a layer of vapour diffusion retarder textured paint to the shed walls, covering all surfaces of the insulation. This will seal it against moisture and help prevent condensation forming against air infiltration areas such as joints in your shed’s frame or around windows.

Step 7 – Finish with a Coat of Paint

Complete the job by fixing battens along the top edge of the shed walls, trimming existing roofing felt to fit the top of the wall and securing in place with nails or sealant.

Apply a second vapour diffusion retarder paint coat over both insulation and battens.

Step 8 – Make Sure Your Shed Has Good Ventilation

It’s also important to ensure your garden shed has adequate ventilation during the summer. This will prevent excessive humidity forming inside the shed, which can cause condensation on metal parts, rot in timbers and damage insulation.

You’ll achieve better ventilation if your shed has larger windows facing south with opening vents in the roof (preferably behind eaves) but you could supplement this with a small sash window along one wall.

You could also fit a ventilator fan to provide extra ventilation during high summer temperatures – these are relatively inexpensive and simple to install, particularly if your garden shed has power available near enough to the location of your preferred installation spot.

Why do you insulate your shed?

wooden shed

Insulating garden sheds will help keep the resultant exterior temperature constant. You create space and versatility with additional insulation. Naturally you don’t have to do this if you just plan to hang garden tools in the shed.

But since most people turn their garden sheds into safe havens and retreats from the main property it makes sense to insulate yours if you’re going to use it quite frequently. From the gardens of man caves insulation can definitely keep these kinds of homes more enjoyable in the outdoors. Insulating these spaces in the gardens is better.

Advantages of Insulating Your Garden Shed

Here are some of the advantages of insulating your garden shed

  • Insulating your garden shed will help you save money on energy bills.
  • If the temperature in the shed is lower, heat doesn’t have to be turned up as much in the house.
  • Insulating sheds helps keep them cooler in the summer time, increasing the longevity of items kept within.
  • Your garden shed can be used to store more items during winter months.
  • Insulating a shed makes it more comfortable to work in and increases productivity by making your tools last longer.
  • You can increase or decrease temperature in a building without affecting the core temperature of the home.
  • In the summer months, an insulated garden shed keeps items cool and protected from weather conditions outside.
  • Insulating a shed helps save space in your home because you can store more items in your shed during winter.
  • Garden sheds that are well insulated stay warmer longer and keep much of their heat inside rather than it escaping into the surrounding ground.
  • Insulating your shed decreases humidity within it because there is less condensation due to a reduced temperature.
  • You can better protect any foodstuffs or other items being stored in the shed. They are not as likely to spoil because of reduced moisture content, which means you’ll have to re-stock less often.

You can also check out our post here on How to Organise a Garden Shed and our How to Rid of Rats in the Garden Shed.


insulate your shed

Insulating your garden shed enables you to maintain the interior temperature at a desired level by either adding or removing insulation. Insulating sheds can increase comfort, health and safety for people who work in the storage on a regular basis, as well as provide many other benefits.

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