When you’re trying to build a quality structure without spending a fortune, there’s no better option than prefabricated Steel Buildings. It’s true, metal buildings are nothing new in the construction industry, but their easy customization alone makes them worth reevaluation. What’s more, the protection they offer is incomparable. With a natural resistance to fire, they’re much safer than traditional wood structures.

But perhaps one of the most desirable traits of metal buildings is their ability to resist extreme heat and cold through insulation. Insulation is an essential part of metal buildings, so we thought it’d be helpful to walk you through its finer points.

Why Insulate?

Having proper insulation in your metal building is key to maintaining structural integrity and can add years to its lifespan. Of course, you must be sure you’re installing the right insulation. Here are only some of the ways the correct insulation can benefit your building:

  • Adds value to your building
  • Managed interior climate control
  • Reduces heat loss and heat gain
  • Increased sound absorption
  • Decreased condensation
  • Improved air barrier with various facings

4 Commonly Used Types of Insulation

There are four types of insulation you’ll likely find in metal buildings. They are:

Fiberglass Sheet

Fiberglass sheet is the most cost-effective and most straightforward to install types of insulation. To install, no professional builders are needed, so long as you have detailed instructions, and it’s easily found at most hardware stores.

For areas with extreme summers and winters, it’s not recommended. Fiberglass is better for mild climates.

Fiberglass sheet is available in two forms: batts and blankets. Batts are cuts of fiberglass sheet, whereas blankets are rolls.

Loose Filling

Loose filling insulation is composed of small particles like fiberglass, rock, or cellulose. It’s ideal for filling any cracks or gaps that have developed and can’t be covered easily with rolls or panels.

The loose filling is good for a quick fix; however, it will collect moisture over time and begin to sag. This means mold will eventually form.

Spray Foam

Spray foam is perfect for metal buildings that have a lot of obstacles or odd structures. Spray foam is made of polymer substances that, after sprayed on a building’s surface, expand.

This insulation is handy to fill in most gaps or holes. It comes in both open and closed-cell types.

Buildings with strong structural integrity, like a new metal structure, you’ll want the open-cell type. It’s cheaper, and your building should be strong enough. However, if you’re concerned about your building’s structural soundness, the closed-cell type will aid in strengthening the construction.

Rigid Board Insulation

Rigid boards are commonly found in buildings with flat roofs. They are made of polyurethane fiberglass – more costly than traditional fiberglass or spray foam, but also much more effective.

Rigid boards are also easier to install while offering superior protection from heat and cold. It should be noted, though, that they require professional installation.

Determining R-Value and Roof Pitch

Ultimately, the decisions you made regarding the kind of insulation used are up to you, and it’ll depend on a lot of factors such as climate, your budget, your building’s structural integrity, and heat sources. But one factor you may not have considered plays an important role: The R-value and roof pitch value of your building.

R-value is the number that describes the heat flow resistance of your installation. A high R-value means your building has a high resistance to heat.

To calculate your R-value, simply multiply the temperature difference between a warmer surface and a cold surface, then divide by heat loss.

Once you determine your R-value, you have to also know the pitch of the roof on your building to know how much of the right insulation you need. A roof pitch is the incline of your roof over the length in inches. For example, a 1:12 roof pitch means that your roof will rise 1 inch vertically every 12 inches horizontally.

Multiply the result with the length and height of your building, and that will give the total size of insulation necessary.

Insulation by Price

Insulation is uniquely priced depending on your location and what type you select. Despite these fluctuations, insulation does follow certain standards in pricing.

Here’s what you’ll likely see:

The Cheapest: Fiberglass Sheet

As we mentioned, fiberglass sheet is the cheapest, with prices ranging from .12 to .60 cents per square foot. The price goes up with the thickness of the sheet.

Ideal for a home project, it’s possible to install by yourself and is reasonably affordable. Installing a fiberglass sheet in a two-car garage, for instance, would likely cost anywhere between $150 and $600.

The Mid-range: Spray Foam and Loose Fill

Spray foam needs to be installed with professional help, but it’s not as expensive as rigid boards. It’s also, unfortunately, not as effective. A standard spray foam job in that same Steel Garages would cost between $1,200 and $1500.

The Most Expensive: Rigid Board

Costliest, but also the best for your money. That, however, comes with a caveat, as not all buildings even require rigid boards. It’s the perfect insulation for large buildings, pre-cut to meet your requirements.

Panel cost varies, depending on thickness, material and size, but you can expect considerably more than the other three options. A standard 1-inch thick polyisocyanurate panel with a 4×8 inch size would cost between $22 and $25.

None of these price ranges include the cost of installation, which will increase depending on whether or not professionals need to be called in. But those professionals are necessary and can save you from structural problems down the line.


 Author Bio: Maria Martinez
Maria writes for topics like Home Improvement, Kitchen decor, Garden, or travel-related topics additionally; she has a passion for the metal building industry for more than ten years, Maria has become an experienced building specialist in this industry.

her goal is to help people with his vast knowledge to assist them with his best suggestions about different metal buildings such as Metal Carports, garages, barns, Custom Steel Utility Buildings, and commercial structures.