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Community and Q&A

Pole barn/shop insulation

DannySides | Posted in General Questions on

I’m building a pole barn/ shop in northwest Georgia. Need advice on wraps and insulation/vapor barrier. Currently framed up with 2×4 on 2 ft centers with girts on 2 ft centers. Trusses on 3 ft centers with girts on 2 ft centers and metal screwed to 2×4 girts. Will put sawmill board and batten outside and inside and ceiling. Will use part time with wood heater, maybe in the future, an AC unit. Spray foam expensive! Don’t want it to drip. What are my options?
Can supply more info if needed.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Brian Pontolilo | | #1

    Hey Danny,

    Is there anything type of underlayment beneath the roofing? And will there be any type or water-resistive barrier, like Tyvek, behind the siding?

  2. DannySides | | #2

    Hey Brian there is no underlayment beneath the metal roof. I kinda got ahead of myself on building it. I plan on tyvek wrap on all sides and gables. I was thinking of foil backed rigid foam between the trusses under the girts that the metal is screwed to, if this will get me by and batt the walls and gables. I'm thinking unvented attic would be best but looking for advice. Thanks for your help.

    1. GBA Editor
      Brian Pontolilo | | #5


      The article that Martin links to below will be very helpful. If the barn is already sided, I think your best option for the walls is a cut-and-cobble approach with rigid foam and as much air sealing as you can do with canned spray foam. If the barn has an attic, you can air seal the ceiling and insulate the attic floor.

  3. DannySides | | #3

    I like the sounds of prodex to put between the trusses on the girts as a vapor barrier and then add some insulation but I'm getting lots of mixed reviews on it.

  4. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    I strongly urge you to read this article: "Insulating a Pole Barn."

  5. DannySides | | #6

    So I read the article and several of the q and a along with it. I think I got what I need just looking for confirmation. I plan to tyvek wrap the outside walls and gables then put on wood siding then batt insulation in walls only then wood on interior. I also plan to put wood on ceiling and blow in cellulose insulation in ceiling.
    I plan to vent the attic. Would this be my best and most cost effective approach for part time use in northwest Georgia? Should I add an air barrier to the ceiling, if so, what? Thanks for your expert advice!

    1. GBA Editor
      Martin Holladay | | #7

      Any building that you plan to heat or cool needs an air barrier. You wrote, "I also plan to put wood on ceiling and blow in cellulose insulation in ceiling." That approach does not include an air barrier.

      For a ceiling air barrier, I suggest taped drywall. For a wall air barrier, I suggest taped OSB or taped plywood wall sheathing.

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