Metal Building Insulation Options and Costs

Metal Building Insulation Options

Insulation is one of the most important components in many structures you will build. As you probably know, insulation prevents heat transfer from inside the house to the outside. It keeps your structure warm, and allows you to spend time inside comfortably.

But when it comes time to choose the insulation system needed for your metal structure, you might be overwhelmed at all the choices. This article will help you sift through the options, and choose the right insulation product for your specific needs.

If you want guaranteed success in selecting the best insulation for your metal building, you need to understand two things:

For starters, you need to know why you need metal building insulation.

This includes the threat posed by condensation and moisture, and how you would go about using insulation to protect your building from harmful materials such as rust and mold.

But don’t worry If you haven’t got answers to these questions yet.

In this guide, you will find complete answers to frequently asked questions about metal building insulation.

By the time you have finished reading, don’t be surprised if you see that you’ve become an expert on the subject.

You’ll have a clear understanding of the purpose of building insulation for metal buildings, what risks they prevent, how you can ensure that you choose the right insulation option, and more.

In a rush and just need the very basics?

Here you go:

What are the best metal building insulation options and how much do they cost?

Spray foam $5.98 per can
Blown-in Insulation $13.80
Insulated panels From $4.30
Fibreglass Blanket From $34.19

Carry on reading for the full details…

What’s in this guide?

What is Insulation?

Insulation which is used in construction is traditionally a product that is used to create a barrier which sits between the interior of your home and the outside, and will usually vary in temperature.

Insulation is meant to keep the temperature on the inside of your home consistent, and keep the outside temperature from getting in.

For example, insulation means that in winter your home will remain warm, even though the exterior of your home is very cold.

This can help you to save significantly on things like your energy bills, on potential maintenance for your home, and it will ensure that your home remains comfortable regardless of the time of year. Depending on your climate, insulation might be necessary to ensure that you can spend any time inside your building comfortably.

There are many options as to insulation type. Insulation can sometimes come in the form of wool sandwich panels that are made from metal, or it might use eco-friendly fibers which are blown in between your outer walls and inner walls.

It can also vary in price as well as the cost of installation, which is why you should always compare your options before committing, particularly if you have a specific budget in mind.

Especially considering that specific insulation might be more effective in individual homes, or climates.

Is Metal Building Insulation Necessary?

In most cases, yes.

You need insulation for your building if you live in a region that experiences temperature fluctuations, as well as cold or hot weather. Building insulation is also an efficient way to save energy.

Even if you live in a stable climate, having building insulation reduces your current and future heating and cooling expenses.

Unless you live in a perfect climate where heating and cooling of your structure is not ever necessary, then insulation is necessary for the thermal performance of your structure. It is an investment that will save you money down the line.

Insulation tackles the two most significant problems facing your building: Temperature Control and Condensation Prevention.

The fact that metal is one of the best heat conductors is bad news for you. What this means is that your building won’t be able to properly retain heat (during winter) or regulate temperature (during summer).

This leaves you vulnerable to excessive heating costs or overheating which causes further damage.

Additionally, when moisture and condensation enter your building, they wreak havoc on the infrastructure by creating rust and mould.

In the next question, you’ll find more information about the adverse effects of condensation.

How Do Moisture and Condensation Pose a Threat to My Building?

Condensation occurs when there is a significant difference in temperature between the inside and outside of your building.

Following this, moisture collects around the unprotected areas – typically the roof and wall – and seeps further into your building.

Moisture stimulates the growth of rust and mould, which are detrimental to your building as they severely weaken the infrastructure, causing further damage in the long-run.

By using building insulation, you can stop this from happening to your building.

How it works is the insulating material acts as a barrier that prevents the cold air from diffusing into your building, as well as the warm air inside from leaking out.

Simply put, installing insulation is akin to implementing an all-in-one solution for a large number of specific problems caused by weather conditions.

Types of Metal Building Insulation?

Depending on your building’s size, design and insulation needs, you are most likely better-suited for certain types of insulation over others.

For example, if your building has a lot of oddly-shaped corners and spaces that are hard to get to, then a flexible Spray Foam insulation is a far better choice than other insulating materials that come as pre-cut boards.

It really helps to pay attention to the specific requirements of your building. Choosing the right insulation will not only ensure that you keep the temperature properly moderated, but it will end up as the much more economical choice.

Fiberglass Blanket (or Batt Insulation)

  • Most budget-friendly and commonly found.
  • Requires skillful installation to get the most out of it.
  • Typically comes as a roll (i.e. Blanket) and needs to be cut to the exact dimensions of your building.
  • Cost: $

Name of Product



Price per board

Fiberglass Insulation Continuous Roll 15 inches X 39.2 foot 99% of recyclable materials $34.19
Mineral Wool Insulation Batt 15 inches X 47 inches Mineral wool $41.12
Fiberglass Insulation Batt 15 inches X 93 inches 99% of recyclable materials $58.21
Fiberglass Insulation Batt 15 inches X 93 inches Fibreglass $149

Rigid Board

  • Insulated boards made from fiberglass or foam plastics, such as polystyrene,
  • Also needs to be cut to fit into your building exactly.
  • Usually requires another layer of protection from outside elements such as rain
  • More expensive than other options, but offers a higher R-value per inch
  • Cost: $$$

Name of Product



Price per board

Foam Board Insulation Sheathing 1/2 inches X 4 foot X 8 foot Polystyrene $14.90
Foam Board Insulation Sheathing One inch X 4 foot. X 8 foot Polystyrene $19.55
Foam Board Insulation Sheathing 1-1/2 inches X 4 foot X 8 foot Polystyrene $24.72
Insulation Sheathing 2 inches X 48 inches X 8 foot Polystyrene $34.94

Insulated Panels

  • Two metal panels that stabilize and protect the layer of insulating material in the middle.
  • Expensive insulation method, but are durable and easily installed/removed.
  • Can be used as ready-made walls and roofs for your building, or to supplement the existing ones.
  • Cost: $$$

Name of Product



Price per sheet

Insulated PU Sandwich Panel 100mm Polyurethane $5/$25
Insulated metal siding EPS sandwich panels/coolroom panels 200mm Polystyrene $5/$15
Insulated Metal Wall Panels 150mm EPS, Fiberglass, Rock wool $4.3/$8.5
Metal Wall Panel 40mm Polyurethane $10/25

Spray Foam

  • Flexible, inexpensive building insulation that is sprayed and expands to fit the target space.
  • Turns into a solid insulating plastic that covers even the most difficult-to-reach corners
  • Easy to do it yourself, but it is difficult to remove
  • Cost: $$

Name of Product



Price per can

Foam Insulating Foam 12 oz Polyurethane $5.98
Foam Sealant Quick Stop Straw 16 oz Polyurethane $5.25
Polyurethane 2-Component Spray Foam, Kit Kit covers 15 foot Polyurethane $39.95
Polyurethane 2-Component Spray Foam Kit Kit covers 200 foot Polyurethane $299

Loose Fill

  • Comprised of loose fibers and fibre pellets that are ‘blown’ into your building’s space, where they insulate and pack into tight corners and odd spaces
  • Generally, more expensive than other options, but provides a higher R-value per inch
  • Cost: $$

Name of Product



Price per bag

Blown-In Insulation 19lbs Recyclable fibres $13.80
Blown-In Insulation 30lbs Recyclable fibres $14.13
Blown-In Insulation 30lbs Recyclable newsprints $15.22

Reflective Foil

  • Reflective foil building insulation typically comprises of two layers of polyethene, one reflective and one not, which usually sandwiches a gap of laminated air
  • Depending on the size of the roll, prices could range from as little as $10 to as much as $250, so you should keep in mind how much you will need
  • Cost: $$

Name of Product


Price per roll

Double Reflective Insulation 24 inches X 10 foot $10.28
Double Reflective Insulation 16 inches X 25 foot $16.22
Attic Insulation Roll 25.5 inches X 250 foot $100.98
Insulation Air Roll 4 foot X 250 foot $246.96

Where can I find insulation?

Traditionally, you will be able to find insulation from most home improvement stores as well as online shops. Let’s take a look at a few you can choose from.

1. Insulation4Us


Type: Insulation merchant

Location: California

US Insulation is an insulation merchant that is based in California and offers you a comprehensive store for all of your insulation needs, such as fibreglass and bubblewrap for example.

They also offer you an idea of what kind of insulation will be best for different areas of your home or building, such as your attic or your garage.

  • Fiberglass
  • Wool
  • Spray foam
  • Radiant barrier
  • Vapor barrier
  • Batt
  • Bubblewrap
  • Polyurethane foam

2. USA Insulation

USA Insulation

Type: Insulation services

Location: Pennsylvania and multiple states

USA Insulation doesn’t just offer insulation products; they also provide an insulation service from their skilled technicians, who will be able to install your insulation in as little time as a single day.

On offer, USA Insulation will provide you with a range of solutions which are based on the use of their premium foam insulation, which is manufactured in-house.

  • Premium Foam
  • Blown-in insulation
  • Spray foam
  • Air Sealing
  • Full home insulation services

3. Home Depot

Home Depot

Type: Home improvement store

Location: Nationwide chain

Home Depot is a popular household name, providing their customers with a range of home improvement solutions such as wallpaper, flooring, fencing or home insulation.

They have a wide range of products on offer, which will include everything from fiberglass insulation, to radiant barriers or mineral wool insulation, meaning that you will be able to find an answer to any of the needs of your house.

  • Fiberglass
  • Blown-in insulation
  • Spray foam
  • Foam board
  • Housewrap
  • Radiant barrier
  • Denim
  • Installation equipment

What is the best type of insulation?

Choosing the right building insulation for you and your building typically depends on many different factors, which might include the following:

  • Your budget
  • How much you need
  • Whether you need noise reduction
  • Where in the building it will be
  • How powerful the insulation needs to be
  • If you can DIY your insulation or need professionals

Some types of insulation such as loose filling building insulation might require a specific kind of machine which can blow your insulation into every crack and nook in your building, which means it could potentially require a professional.

Insulated panels, on the other hand, could, in theory, be easily installed and removed, which might make them more suitable for beginners.

Spray foam might be the most budget-friendly from first glance, however, to cover a large space you might need to spend hundreds of dollars on the full kit, whereas panels might end up costing you less per square foot covered.

And of course, this also depends on the type of insulation that you actually need to be effective. In areas with more extreme temperatures, you will require more extensive insulation in order to properly monitor temperature. You need to consider which type of insulation you need to actually be effective. If you save money on an insulation that doesn’t even work, then your savings are not justified.

This is why you should always compare insulation and all of your metal building needs before making any decisions.

How is Insulation Measured?

Insulation is measured through R-values. They estimate the effectiveness of the insulation material to resisting heat flow, air leakage and thereby, condensation.

Higher R-values correspond with higher resistance and are better insulation for your building.

R-values depend on two factors: Thickness of the Material and it’s Heat Conductivity.

Therefore, it is technically possible for insulation with a low R-value per inch, such as Fiberglass Blanket, to raise its R-value by merely adding more layers which increase the materials’ thickness.

Although this may seem like an attractive alternative to purchasing expensive building insulation with a higher R-value per inch, you should consider whether it is a cost-effective solution or not.

If you add too many layers, the overall costs may end up being higher, and the installation/removal processes could get even more complicated.

What are the Characteristics of Good Insulation?

Regardless of what type of insulation you choose, there are specific criteria that need to be met to absolutely guarantee the quality and effectiveness of the padding for your building.

If the following standards are met, you are well on your way to making the right insulation choice:

  • Resistant to external conditions including vapor, rain, pests and varying weather conditions
  • Low permeability (ideally a perm-rating of less than 0.1), which protects your building from condensation
  • A radiant barrier that enhances your insulation’s ability to transfer heat and moisture
  • A sufficiently high R-value and proper installation to prevent loss of R-value over time
  • Easy installation and removal process
  • Verification through accredited organizations and reviews
  • However, keep in mind that these are just general standards. You will still need to consider your own circumstances in order to make the proper choice. You need to consider the specific structure or steel building that you are insulating, as well as factors such as climate and weather.

What Else Should I Know Before I Purchase Insulation?

Undoubtedly, insulation is a worthwhile investment to protect your building, prevent it from losing value and reducing your current energy expenses.

Choosing an insulation package is something you want to get right the first time so that it won’t end up costing you more down the line.

Therefore, it is vital that you pick the right provider by understanding the quality and scope of their work, and whether it is the best fit for your building’s insulation needs.

You can go about this by looking over reviews, picture and other information about their current services and previous work.

However, if you want to eliminate the possibility of making the wrong choice, you should consult experts at Green Building Elements for further guidance to help you with your decision.

Through our industry experience, we provide you with in-depth knowledge, essential tips and peace of mind before your final decision.

How Should I Choose?

For our final piece of advice, we’re going to let you know how you should go about choosing the proper insulation for your building. You may have already noticed this as a running theme throughout this article. The key is that you need to focus on your specific needs and circumstances first.

Before you start to evaluate prices and options, you need to know what type of insulation you need to be effective. This means considering your local climate, and the individual features of the structure you are insulating. Your first consideration should be what type of insulation is needed to effectively insulate your structure.

Once you have settled on an effective type of metal building insulation product, you can begin to compare individual choices and costs within that area. You can begin shopping around and comparing contractors. So the key is to settle on proper insulation first, so that any decision you make will properly solve your problem.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, there are many options when it comes to building insulation. And, some easy ways to tell whether investing in insulation might be the best choice for you.

In this article, we gave you a guide to not only choosing the best type of insulation, but to choosing the proper type of insulation to fit your needs. So we are confident that by using this guide, you will be able to make the right choice to properly insulate your metal structure.

Not found what you’re looking for?

Get in touch with us today for friendly, personal advice to make the right decision for you.