How to Insulate a Tuff Shed?

I had a Tuff Shed installed a couple months ago, & am slowly turning it into the “She Shed” of my dreams.  While the exterior is coming along nicely (I’ve painted it & added some antique mirrors & a cute sign over the French doors): the inside still needs a lot of work!  If you’re turning your Tuff Shed into an actual, usable guest room or potting shed, one of the first things you’ll need to do is to insulate it ~ particularly if you live in a place with temperature extremes.  I spent an entire weekend insulating the shed (BY MYSELF!!), & in this article, I’ll explain in simple, easy terms “How to Insulate a Tuff Shed.”

How to Insulate a Tuff Shed, Girl Who Travels the World

While the inside of my “She Shed” is still under construction: the exterior is coming along!

I found both antique mirrors as well as the “Fresh Cut Flowers” sign on Amazon, & LOVE them….

How to Install Insulation in a Tuff Shed, Girl Who Travels the World

On reason I love the mirrors on the shed exterior is because they reflect my garden in them….

How to Insulate a Shed: Step-by-Step

  • Step One: The first thing you need to do when beginning your insulation process is to measure the distance between studs (the wood pieces) on your walls, vs. on your ceilings. Usually, these are two different numbers, thus: you’ll need two different sizes of insulation. The distance between the pieces of wood on my walls was 15″ (a few pieces were spaced 14″ apart); while my ceiling beams were all spaced 24″ apart. Now I know that I needed to order two different sizes of insulation.

How to Insulate a She Shed, Girl Who Travels the World

In my Tuff Shed, the distance between the wall studs were 15″ ~ very different than the distance between the ceiling beams, which was closer to 24″. What this means? You need TWO different sizes of insulation.

How to Insulate a She Shed, Girl Who Travels the World

The distance between the ceiling beams is much wider ~ so you need a wider insulation roll.

  • Step Two: Order your insulation. If you’ve got a big truck or pick-up, you may want to grab it yourself. I had mine delivered from Home Depot for a nominal $8.99 delivery fee, & it was totally WORTH IT!! The insulation material is itchy, & if you don’t want its tiny particles circulating in your car: get it delivered. How much will you need? All I know is, both Home Depot & Lowe’s calculators were WRONG: I needed WAY more insulation than they calculated, due to how much I used in the ceiling. You can find my exact calculations below.

For my 12″ x 12″ shed, I ended up using 5 rolls of white R-13 Fiberglass Roll Insulation (15-inch Width x 32-inch Length), for a total of about 200 sqft. Then for the ceilings, I used an entirely different insulation: it was Owen Cornings Pink, R-19 Faced Fiberglass Insulation (23″ x 93″) ~ & I ended up needing TWO of these; 180″ length total.

The ceiling took a LOT of insulation to get it fully packed.

  • Step Three: Start installing the walls! All I used was a serrated kitchen knife to cut off pieces of insulation (it feels like cotton candy & is very easy to cut through), a pair of work gloves (the foam gets very itchy), safety goggles, a step stool, ladder, plastic sheets (for the ceiling), a heavy-duty stapler, & lots of staples. Start with the walls first, which are pretty easy; I cut off a long piece first, stuffed it in ~ then measured the remaining length of wall, cutting off a piece of insulation that was slightly LONGER than the measurement. It’s better to have more ~ not less.
  • Step Four: Install the Ceilings. This part is a little more challenging, so take your time here. Grab a step stool or ladder, & use the wood ceiling beams to staple on a piece of plastic to each beam ~ leaving room on the top & bottom sides of plastic (you want to be able to reach in & adjust the insulation). Once the plastic is up, measure its length, then cut off a piece of insulation that is slightly longer than your measurement. Slide the piece of insulation right onto the plastic, & if you need to make adjustments at either end, do so.

See my photos below for how I insulated all the way up to my roof’s pitch.

  • Step Five: Add insulation to any spots that look bare or thin. After you’ve completed the ceiling, take a step back & scan all the walls & ceilings: are there any bare or thin spots? Add more insulation here.

And that’s pretty much it!

Photos of My Shed Insulation Process

How to Insulate a Tuff Shed, Girl Who Travels the World

Installing insulation in the walls of the shed is quite easy: particularly if you get the correct size insulation (in my case, 15-16″). The ceiling is just a little bit trickier…

How to Insulate a She Shed, Girl Who Travels the World

How do you start to insulate the ceiling of your shed? Cut a piece of plastic slightly WIDER than the width of two beams ~ then use a heavy-duty staple gun to staple the plastic to the beams. Leave an opening on either side of the TOP & BOTTOM so that you can slide the insulation right over the plastic! (Zoom into this photo, & notice how I left a slight opening at the bottom of each insulation piece: this is VERY important, because I needed to adjust ALL of these pieces, & you can’t do that if you can’t reach them.)

How to Insulate a She Shed, Girl Who Travels the World

For your second row of insulation on the ceiling, staple another piece of plastic along the pitch of the roof ~ leaving a slight space between the first piece of plastic. Then slide another piece of insulation over the plastic (measure pieces before cutting them so they aren’t too short or too long).

How to Insulate a She Shed, Girl Who Travels the World

I used THREE pieces of insulation for each ceiling section. On the final (highest) section, make sure to leave an opening between the second & third pieces of plastic so that you have room to slide the insulation in towards the top of the roofline.

Don’t skimp on ceiling insulation!!! My friends who are in the building industry say that installing plenty of insulation in the roof is extremely important in terms of keeping your shed cool in the summer, & warm in the winter….

How to Install Insulation in a Tuff Shed, Girl Who Travels the World

Preview of coming attractions: my friend Mike & I just installed drywall OVER all that insulation this past weekend ~ I’ll dive into that process in another post…

How to Insulate a She Shed