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4 Cheapest Ways To Insulate a Shed Roof

4 Cheapest Ways To Insulate a Shed Roof

When it comes to insulating your shed roof you have some great options that won’t only help save you money but will be great for your shed and the environment as well.

Here are the 4 cheapest ways to insulate a shed roof:

  1. Use bubble wrap.
  2. Use cellulose.
  3. Use straw.
  4. Use sprayed foam.

Choosing the best insulation material for your home improvement project is one of the best things you can do for your structure and your wallet. Let’s look at these four materials that are the best bang for your buck when it comes to creating a building envelope of insulation for your shed. We’ll also go over the benefits of using each material and a rough cost of how much each solution will cost you.

1. Use Bubble Wrap

If you want to insulate your shed roof, one thing you may want to consider is bubble wrap. Yes, you read that correctly; I said bubble wrap!

I’m not talking about the plastic bubble wrap that comes in your packages that your kids will take and get enjoyment from for hours, though this material may remind you of that.

I’m talking about double reflective foil insulation bubble wrap. This insulation solution conveniently comes in a roll, and you can easily find it at your local hardware store. You can even buy this material from online retailers such as this Double Bubble Reflective Foil Insulation (link to Amazon).

One of the best things about this insulation method is how easy it is to install. There’s no fiber in the insulation, so you don’t need any special safety equipment like a mask or goggles to install the material. You only need a staple gun, and you’re good to go.

This durable material won’t disintegrate and inhibits condensation so that it won’t promote mold or mildew. Additionally, it doesn’t leave any room for nesting critters which is excellent in shed insulation.

These rolls come in all sizes from multiple retailers to fit any roof dimensions you may have. To give you an idea of prices, a 100 ft x 48 in (30.48 m x 121.92 cm) roll can cost around $150 per roll (link to Home Depot).  

2. Use Cellulose

Cellulose is one of the most eco-friendly and cost-effective insulations that you can buy. It’s a popular alternative to fiberglass and is made almost entirely (80%) of recycled newspapers. This means that not only is the material non-toxic, but it’s green, efficient, and provides great thermal protection.

I know you may be thinking, “But newspapers are flammable; why do I want to insulate my home with that?” Though cellulose is composed of recycled papers, the material undergoes a chemical treatment to provide it with permanent fire resistance.

Not only is cellulose safe for your home, but all building codes approve it, and professionals consider it to be more fire-safe than fiberglass.

You can install cellulose in new or existing structures, making it an easy addition to any shed. Install the material using a hose-like device that sprays the insulation into all nooks and crannies that you want to fill.

You can buy a 25-pound (11.34-kg) bag of cellulose insulation for less than $20 at your local Home Depot. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to rent a machine if your retailer doesn’t offer free rentals. You may also want to buy protective gear (i.e., masks and goggles) because this insulation method is a bit messy (source).

3. Use Straw

One insulation material that you may not have considered is straw. Believe it or not, straw has been used as a home insulation material for centuries and has been historically used in structures worldwide. In fact, not only has it been used for insulation, but people have also even used it for construction instead of wood structures (source).

Straw is a material that’s inexpensive, renewable, and long-lasting. If you’re looking for a cheap and eco-friendly solution, straw may be the answer!

People often confuse straw with hay, so I’d like to point out a significant difference. Hay is essentially mown grass which means that it can attract insects and small animals. That’s not what you want in insulation material.

Straw, however, is waste material from crops which means that straw is abundant, cheap, and a material that animals don’t want to eat.

Some benefits of straw insulation include:

  • Wind resistance
  • Earthquake resistance
  • Energy efficiency
  • Soundproof

Small bales of straw can cost as little as $5 per bale. Additionally, since straw is a common by‑product of farmers that often gets burned, you may be able to find the material even cheaper by contacting your local farmers (source).

Note: Due to potential fire and pest concerns, I’d be wary of using this option. Still, it’s a longstanding insulation solution that has been used in other countries for years that we don’t think of often in North America.

4. Use Sprayed Foam

One of the most common insulation solutions is sprayed foam or foamed-in-place insulation. Most sprayed foam materials consist of polyurethane and can be sprayed, injected, foamed, or even poured into the desired location.

This material makes for great roof insulation because it can fill all the holes and cracks in your structure, reducing airflow in your space.

There are two different types of spray foam: open-cell and closed-cell. The main difference between the two is that closed-cell foam is denser than open-cell foam, enhancing its ability to fill the space around it. Open-cell foam is lighter, less dense, and has a sponge-like texture once installed.

Though foam insulation may cost more than some traditional materials, such as batt insulation, I included it on this list because spray foam comes out cheaper in the long run than some other materials.

See Foam Insulation: Pros, Cons, And Is It Worth It For You

Because of the excellent air resistance that sprayed foam provides, you can cut back on other weathering costs for your shed, which will ultimately save you money in construction costs and upkeep.

The cost of foam sprayed installation varies by type. The open-cell spray typically costs ~$0.50 per board foot, while the closed-cell spray costs ~$1.25 per board foot (source).

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