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What’s the Best type of Insulation For a Barndominium?

Fiberglass or Spray Foam: Which Insulation is Best for Barndominiums?

Insulation is a vital consideration when building a barndominium living space. The right insulation controls indoor temperatures, moisture, sound transmission and improves energy efficiency. The two most common types of insulation used in barn homes are fiberglass and spray polyurethane foam. Both have pros and cons to weigh.

man installing insulation
Man installing thermal insulation layer under the wall using mineral wool with fiberglass cold

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation consists of tiny glass fibers woven into batts or rolls. Pink or yellow in color, the batts are sized to fit standard wall stud and ceiling or floor joist spacing. The batts are flexible to install in tight cavities.

– Cost effective option
– R-value of R-15 to R-21 for walls, R-30+ for attics
– Allows moisture vapor to pass through

– Can sag over time, creating gaps and less insulation value
– Loose fibers may cause skin or respiratory irritation during handling
– Not air tight for maximum energy efficiency

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation starts out as a liquid then expands to fill every nook and cranny before hardening. It creates a seamless barrier insulating and air sealing in one step. Both open cell and closed cell formulas are available. Open cell has an R-value of R-3.5 to R-3.6 per inch. The denser closed cell foam offers an R-value between R-6 and R-6.7 per inch.

– Expands to fill and seal odd-shaped cavities
– No seams or gaps
– Offers structural stability
– Blocks moisture and improves indoor air quality
– High insulation value per inch

– More expensive upfront
– Off-gassing during installation requires safety precautions
– Should not be left exposed due to fire safety concerns
– Needs an ignition barrier

The custom design experts at can help you design the perfect floor plan for any barndominium design you choose. Their design services allow you to sketch out specialized rooms and features to meet your pets’ needs. You choose locations for integrated amenities like pet stations, gates, mudrooms, deck space, and smart home tech. Buildmax translates your vision into comprehensive floor plans optimized for any need.


In summary, fiberglass insulation is more budget friendly but less effective than spray foam, especially when it comes to air sealing. The installation process is simpler and safer for DIYers compared to spray foam. However, SPF outperforms fiberglass by preventing energy losses via air leakage better. SPF insulates and air seals in one product. Plus, inch per inch, SPF has a higher R-value leading to better thermal performance. Consult local building codes to ensure your insulation choice meets requirements too. Weigh your options carefully to make the right insulation decision for your new barndominium build!

Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott is a freelance writer and researcher that has written hundreds of articles for online companies in the area of construction, design, finance and automotive. He's a Southern boy that enjoys creek fishing, hunting and camping. He's rarely seen without his trusted beagle hound "Scooter"
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