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Anyone do their own barn insulation?

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  • Anyone do their own barn insulation?

    The barn should hopefully be started here in a couple of weeks. Maybe... it's been a nightmare! We are thinking about insulation and have no clue about barn insulation. The barn my horses are at now is not insulated. I'm pretty clueless and DH is not the handiest shall we say... Does yours have regular fiberglass house-type insulation? I've seen some with the really thin shiny silver type insulation as well. No idea what that is. We're going to line the inside of the barn (in between the posts so it's right up against the metal) since the horses have access to the outside. So can the insulation go between that plywood and the tongue and groove or other wood that the barn is finished in on the inside? Or would it have to go behind that plywood? So confused... If we can't afford to do the entire thing right away, would you imagine that it would still be beneficial at least around the stalls? Tips? Hints? Instructions?

  • #2
    My husband insulated our barn with this insulation that came from Canada in big roles! It is very shiny on one side and white on the other, we put the shiny side out against the metal then tacked it up, and it really does keep our pole barn a lot warmer in the winter than most. It was easy to use and to put up. It looks like a big role of the bubble wrap we use to send things but sorry, I don't know what it is exactly called.

    I would hesitate to put any type of insulation that if the horse decides to chew or pick at or breath in such as the fiberglass insulation or what not. Good luck on getting the barn up and all, I know what a headache that can be. We hired friends to do the frame and they screwed it up so badly my husband had to go and redo much of it as it was not centered or even.

    Comment


    • #3
      If money is not very tight, ask about spray on foam.

      That is all they are using around here any more, is what we used in our well house and it works much better than anything you have to handle one piece or roll at the time.

      Ask around who does that foam insulation spray and talk to them.

      Every barn, metal garage, shop, warehouse around here has that for insulation any more and it is working very well.

      Comment


      • #4
        just one thing to keep in mind: Fire protection

        you can add a lot of piece of mind if you make sure it's not highly flamable.

        Anyhow, hit up a couple of stores, not just the 2 big box ones, they can tell you a lot about the materials.

        Insulating isn't rocket science, but depending on what you use a bit messy (or a lot) I had not had the pleasure to deal with new construction, but I have seen it used on TV, the blown in foam stuff rocks! Spray in, cut excess, done.
        Originally posted by BigMama1
        Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
        GNU Terry Prachett

        Comment


        • #5
          We built our barn and it was a freakin' nightmare - we built it just the two of us, including the concrete foundation, brick aisle, insulation, wiring.... .good GOD it was a Project From Hell.

          Anyway.....

          We used spray foam insulation and it has exceeded all our expectations. The exterior of the barn is Hardipanel, the interior is plywood (fully framed; my perch x kicks the wall and does not damage)

          We applied it ourselves - I can email you a photo if you want. We purchased the tanks from a supplier and brought them home. Easy peasy.

          We sprayed the walls with Talstar first - but you don't have to do that (it's a pesticide but I don't know how effective it is)

          It's been several years since we sprayed that barn. The barn stays cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter. I don't like the barn to be warm of course, but water does not freeze so I don't spend as much money on bucket heaters except on the very very coldest days of the year (we had single digits last winter) Temps have been almost 100 the past few days (heat index was like 105 I think)- and the barn was in the high 80's at the hottest part of the day.

          NO mice. None. No creepy crawlies scuttling out of cracks. No chewing sounds in the walls. No mold. Effective wind barrier and sound barrier as well.

          No freezing pipes in the tack/feed room (which is heated but only to 50 degrees and two of the pipes are in the walls)

          We're slllllooooowwwly renovating the house now and we'll be using spray foam in the walls - after we get all the mouse turds out. Bleh bleh bleh.


          Spray foam is more expensive - but there are ways to minimize its cost yet still give superior insulation. You can apply the foam only to one or two inches - then fill the cavity with a more conventional type of insulation. Or just apply one or two inches of foam - you do not necessarily need to fill the entire cavity - it all depends upon your insulation needs.

          Hope that helps.

          ETA: I'm pretty sure this is the company we purchased the foam from. http://www.fomofoam.com/ There is some information on that site which may or may not be helpful tp you. There is fire rated foam insulation if you're interested. However, the regular foam insulation is fire resistant.

          I have pretty high standards and was very very very fussy over what went in the barn. I drove my husband crazy. Nope - can't do this. Nope - won't have that. Too big. Too small. Too expensive. Too cheap. Oh, I was just a joy to be around. The spray foam got a big thumbs up from me - which is saying something.
          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
          -Rudyard Kipling

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          • #6
            My friend is building her indoor/barn right now. The barn part actually only has tie stalls, wash stall, tack room, kitchenette, bathroom, etc. but they are contractors and even though they have done everything themselves so far, they are hiring out the insulation (subcontractor they work with on houses) and going with spray in for all the reasons listed in the above posts. I'm super excited. It might be the first winter I can stand being at the barn.
            DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Spray foam is the way to go if you can afford it. Fiberglass is a definite NO. You can also get foil/bubble/poly in rolls that is easy to install (the bubble wrap type stuff). This place- http://www.insulation4less.com/foil-...white_poly.asp is probably one of the cheapest I've found, but I haven't done any business with them.

              Not insulating my barn when we built it is my biggest regret. You won't be sorry if you spend a couple/few thousand now and at least insulate the roof.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks for all the help! I WISH we could do the spray foam, I'm just not sure it's in the budget. It definitely isn't in the budget to have someone do it, but the diy foam kits I saw might be doable for at least part of the barn. You know how it goes with building a barn... unexpected $$$ popping up all over the place. After looking, at least some kind of insulation- like the rolls of silver kind will be more than possible. At least that will be better than nothing, right?

                Comment


                • #9
                  My only piece of advise is to do some research about the stimulus money available for energy saving construction. I believe that insulation only applies to existing structures and up to 30% of $4500 and for the next two years.... but! New buildings (and exisiting ones) can qualify for a rebate of 30% with no limit for all kinds of other things- solar power, solar heat, etc.

                  Links!
                  http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?...edits.tx_index
                  http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/index.cfm?state=us

                  Good Luck! New barn is so exciting!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In both the house and the barn, we considered doing it ourselves. In both cases, it was cheaper to pay an Insulation Co. to come in and do it all.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Do you really need to insulate the barn? Horses generate a whole lot of body heat and all the humidity and heat are recipet for mold and bacteria to grow in the insullation material. Plus, horses tolerate cold much better than we are but they are susceptible to stale air. To me, ventilation is more important than warmth.

                      In most climate, the only insulation needed is the tack room/lounge area, and right under the roof (the foam type not the fiberglass), not the entire barn, and certainly not for stalls...

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Yes, horses can tolerate the cold, but insulating also keeps it cooler in the summer as well. You can still have an insulated, well-ventilated barn! Insulation alone is not going to cause a barn to stay 40 degrees when it's below zero outside. Let's face it though... when you have to be in the barn for hours when it's zero degrees out, anything to take the edge off the chill is going to be nice. It also helps buckets not freeze as well which is beneficial to the horse (and uses less electricity). From my understanding, a lot of insulation actually acts as a vapor barrier not allowing moisture to come in contact with the wood, thus minimizing the mold you're talking about. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that one.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have the roll insulation in my walls...and have the rolls to do my rooof but haven't done that yet.
                          No rodents at all in my barn, no condensation, slightly cooler in summer (need to do the roof to make a summer difference) and warmer in winter due to holding in whatever heat the horses generate and no drafts from the wind. The windows, doors, eave vents, ridge vent and cupola add the ventilation. In summer we also use the roof vent fans.
                          Easy for us to do because our barn was a prefab, so the interior was studs. The rolls fit exactly between the studs, then we added plywood walls over the insulation. Considering the fact that hubby and I are DIY morons...it was pretty easy.
                          You jump in the saddle,
                          Hold onto the bridle!
                          Jump in the line!
                          ...Belefonte

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you don't seal your barn, you will lose a lot of benefit of insulation as in winters cold air will leak in and warm air will leak out, and vice versa in summers, thus greatly defeating the purpose of the insulation. And if you do seal your barn, all the humidity from horses, hay dust, bedding dust, are trapped in the barn causing another whole slewt of problems. Of course you can also spend a whole lot of money designing sophisticated ventilation system.

                            I much prefer hanging some infrared heaters to provide warmth. But that is just me. If you like insulation, I'm certainly not in the business to dispursuade you.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                              Considering the fact that hubby and I are DIY morons...it was pretty easy.
                              Now that's what I need to hear.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                LOL...if *we* can put it up then you can put up your own insulation.

                                And this is coming from the two fools who not only followed the instructions but also had live help support on the phone when putting up their fencing and still managed to put it up backwards.
                                You jump in the saddle,
                                Hold onto the bridle!
                                Jump in the line!
                                ...Belefonte

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                                  If you don't seal your barn, you will lose a lot of benefit of insulation as in winters cold air will leak in and warm air will leak out, and vice versa in summers, thus greatly defeating the purpose of the insulation. And if you do seal your barn, all the humidity from horses, hay dust, bedding dust, are trapped in the barn causing another whole slewt of problems. Of course you can also spend a whole lot of money designing sophisticated ventilation system.

                                  I much prefer hanging some infrared heaters to provide warmth. But that is just me. If you like insulation, I'm certainly not in the business to dispursuade you.
                                  Insulation in a barn isn't to seal it up, it's more to buffer the radiant heat and cold and keep it mostly either in or out. In the summer I can feel the heat radiating down from my metal roof - insulation would mitigate that problem quite a bit. In winter there's a lot of condensation on that metal roof because there's nothing to stop it. If I could afford to foam my entire barn I'd do it- and still leave the doors wide open 95% of the time.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by shakeytails View Post
                                    Insulation in a barn isn't to seal it up, it's more to buffer the radiant heat and cold and keep it mostly either in or out. In the summer I can feel the heat radiating down from my metal roof - insulation would mitigate that problem quite a bit. In winter there's a lot of condensation on that metal roof because there's nothing to stop it. If I could afford to foam my entire barn I'd do it- and still leave the doors wide open 95% of the time.
                                    Huh???? I'm saying without sealing the barn up, you are losing a lot of benefits of insullation.... and since I will not seal the barn, I don't bother insulating the stalls. That does not mean I won't insulate the roof though. That foam board looking thing (can't remember what it's called) our builder put under the metal roof did make a tremendous difference in summers. I'm not saying insulation is not good, I'm saying it has its place. My tack room is heavily insulated, so is the roof, but again, the barn roof is pretty high and has cupola so no condensation problem at all. After doing all kind of researches, I decided not to insulate stalls and put up infared heater instead. But hey that's me.

                                    For those of you who have insulation at the stalls, maybe you should pry open the walls, and see the insulation material inside? Just a suggestion

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                                      For those of you who have insulation at the stalls, maybe you should pry open the walls, and see the insulation material inside? Just a suggestion

                                      And maybe you should consider the possibility that some people know a helluva lot more about construction than you do.

                                      [edit]

                                      There are many choices an owner can make that can improve energy efficiency, comfort, ventilation, or fire safety. Not all of them are going to meet with your approval - but that does not make their choices invalid or ignorant.
                                      Last edited by Moderator 1; Aug. 13, 2009, 09:37 PM.
                                      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                      -Rudyard Kipling

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                                        And maybe you should consider the possibility that some people know a helluva lot more about construction than you do.

                                        [edit]

                                        There are many choices an owner can make that can improve energy efficiency, comfort, ventilation, or fire safety. Not all of them are going to meet with your approval - but that does not make their choices invalid or ignorant.

                                        JSwan,

                                        [edit] And what is wrong with asking people to look between the walls to make sure nothing INDEED is growing there? If not, great. If is, it is important for them to know. Don't you want to know? Did you look?

                                        Or are you so afraid to look in there after spending tons of money on expensive insulation that you feel obligated to attack me here?

                                        Which part did you not understand when I said I did my research and decided against it. MY OWN Choice, my OWN DECISION. Just because my choice is different from yours, does not make my choice invalid. Which part did you not understand when I said it is everybody's own choice if they do decide to insulate stalls?

                                        And believe it or not, I don't give a damn about anyone needing my approval or meet my standard. That is their own choice. And they are mature enough to take my information, or leave it in trash. I don't give a damn. I'm simiply stating what I understand and try to pass that information on.

                                        [edit]
                                        Last edited by Moderator 1; Aug. 13, 2009, 09:38 PM.

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