Are Barndominiums Good in Cold Weather? – Insulation Talk

Everyone needs a home. Whether in the rural area or the ever-busy urban setups, a home is one thing you can’t do without.

The challenge, however, is that having a home of yours is not as simple as it seems. Without enough finance, your dream of building a house might be far from coming to reality.

So, what do you do? You have to settle for the most affordable option – the barndominiums.

Proven to be one of the most cost-effective housing alternatives available in America today, this metal structure will help you achieve your long-term housing dreams in just two weeks, except in some cases.

No doubt, you want to learn more about this project. The good news is; you are in the right place.

This comprehensive guide will help you with every info related to this concept. Therefore, sit back and enjoy.

Advantages of a Barndominium in Cold Weather

A barndominiums presents an excellent solution to your “where to live while I build” situation.

It is a metal shed that’s been converted into a living space. It is inexpensive, quick to erect and are also nice interim options you can later renovate to a garage or shop, if you want.

Are Barndominiums Good in Cold Weather

It may appear like living in a metal building would be a challenge, especially in cold weather.

However, with a slight adjustment and planning (and insulation), this structure can be dream home. It is more than adequate for cold climates.

It offers intensified thermal conductivity, which helps your home receive and absorb more heat from the sun.

With the use of adequate insulation, you can reduce the heat. Spray foam can deliver excellent coverage and increased insulating values.

There are many reasons to use a barndominium in cold weather. It is likely to deliver more energy-efficient housing compared to traditional homes.

Below are some of the benefits of using it in cold weather.

Intensified Thermal Conductivity

Steel delivers intense heat conductivity compared to wood. Instead of containing heat, the steel frame transfers the warmth inside the home.

Using the right design can help absorb more sunlight and transfer the heat through the structure.

Minor Shifting and Settling between Seasons

Wooden frame homes keep more water, allowing them to expand in warm weather and shrink in cold weather.

The expansion and contraction of wood continually cause the frame to shift and settle. Steel structures are also less likely to shift or settle compared to wooden frame homes.

Increased Snow Loads

Increased Snow Loads

The weight of snow boosts the risk of roof problems in a standard home. You are more likely to experience roof damage, leaks, and other issues when living in a region that receives lots of snowfall. These problems are less of a risk with a barndominium.

This metal structure presents other general benefits outlined below;

  • The metal siding and roofing are easy to build.
  • It is always fire-resistant (made of metal)
  • The materials are simple to work with
  • The construction time is quick
  • They are easily adaptable- expand them as needed.
  • The cost is low.

How Are Barndominiums Insulated?

When designing it, you have a lot of options to consider. One of which is insulation. Insulating your barndominium is important as it helps stop air transfer and maintains a stable temperature.

This gives you more control over the temperature inside your home. Insulation also has a few other advantages. These include:

How Are Barndominiums Insulated

  • Powerful sound control (from both outside and other rooms within the home)
  • Massive energy efficiency
  • Less condensation and, as a result, less corrosion and mould.

As with a traditional wood home, you have a lot of insulation materials and methods to choose from.

Some of the most common types of insulation for this housing alternative include the following:

Spray Foam Insulation

This is typically made out of some sort of polymer, often polyurethane. Gaps, cracks and open areas of your barndominium are sprayed with what appears to be a liquid.

The material that’s sprayed will rapidly expand to fill in the gaps. Below are two types of spray foam insulation.

Spray Foam Insulation


Closed-cell is one of the most popular insulation. There are no open spaces in the rigid foam once it fully expands.

This closed structure prevents water retention, avoids rusting due to leak resistance, resulting in mould and keeps moisture out.


The open cell type is flexible and soft because it’s not fully encapsulated, unlike closed-cell.

This means it is great for sound insulation both inside and outside the structure. If you live near an airfield, train tracks, or a busy highway, this will be a good choice.

But, it may not be the best choice for temperature.

Batt Insulation

Also referred to as blanket insulation, this is usually made of fiberglass or rock wool and is unrolled into the gaps of your barndomium frame.

Not only is it affordable, but you can also install it yourself to cut costs, and it comes in different sizes.

Batt Insulation

Foam Board Insulation

This insulation is also referred to as rigid board insulation. It is made of a material like a fiberglass or polyurethane.

The best feature of this style of insulation is that it provides twice as much heat transfer resistance by thickness compared to other insulation types.

The boards are cut to fit the wall gaps and are easy to install when constructing your barndominium. It performs particularly well on high ceilings, attics and roofs.

Few Tips for Building a Barndominiums in Cold Weather

It’s easy to understand the appeal of building this metal structure instead of a traditional home. Use the following tips to ensure that it is prepared for cold weather

Few Tips for Building a Barndominiums in Cold Weather

Choose a Sunny Area for Your Barndominium

The interior part of the structure can be heated efficiently if you position it in an area with lots of sunlight.

High heat conductivity allows it to absorb more energy from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Barndominium Insulation: Be Wise At Choosing

The use of metal siding and roofing can help heat it quickly. You also need insulation to keep the warm air inside. In the case of a wooden-frame type, you should consider using extra insulation.

Fill the wall gaps with high-quality insulation. This helps to protect the wood posts from moisture.

You may even use multiple insulation options such as spray foam insulation, Batt insulation and Foam Board insulation.

Choose the Right Insulation for Your Barndominium

Open Floor Plan for More Heating

When a rectangular building is divided into hallways and multiple rooms, it is more difficult to heat and cool efficiently.

It is easier to maintain room temperature in a large and open space. Interestingly, this metal structure allows you to use open floor plans.

An open floor plan is a building design where one or more living areas are combined to create a larger space.

For example, the kitchen, dining area, living room and entrance may blend together. The open design allows air to travel freely without obstacles.

Fewer obstacles increase the efficiency of your heating system.

Install Ceiling Fans to Direct Warm Air Back to the Floor

When using a barndominium building design with tall ceilings, install ceiling fans to direct the warm air back to the floor.

The fans should be set to spin clockwise at a low speed, enabling it to pull cool air upward. The updraft then pushes the warm air down along the walls.

Final Thoughts

The conclusion is that barndominiums are more than suitable for cold climates. The primary goal of insulating it is to maintain temperature control.

In most cases, spray foam insulation is one of the best choices for keeping the indoor temperature in your barndominium under control.

James HallBarndominiums Advisor

I'm James, your barndominiums advisor. Several years ago, I had no idea what barndominiums were. Although I'd spent over 10 years in the construction industry, the first time I heard about barndominiums was when I saw my neighbor building a new-style home. That was the first barndominium I've ever seen, and I found it so fascinating that I wanted to learn more about them.

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