Ashburn, VA

Pole barn or metal building spray foam insulation cost

$1.00 – $4.50 cost per square foot (of surface area)
$3,500 – $16,500 average total cost installed

Get free estimates from insulation contractors near you, or view our cost guide below.

March 15, 2022

Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 3 expert insulation contractors on HomeGuide.

Cost to spray foam insulate a pole barn or metal building

Pole barn insulation costs $1.00 to $4.50 per square foot or $3,500 to $16,500 on average, depending on the insulation type, R-value, building size, and whether insulating the walls, roof, or both. Metal building spray foam insulation costs $0.60 to $2.90 per board foot installed.

Cost to spray foam insulate a pole barn
Size Square feet of surface area* Average installed cost**
16x16 900 – 1,000 $900 – $4,500
20x20 1,200 – 1,400 $1,200 – $6,300
20x30 1,600 – 1,800 $1,600 – $8,100
24x24 1,600 – 1,700 $1,600 – $7,700
30x30 2,100 – 2,400 $2,100 – $10,800
30x40 2,600 – 3,000 $2,600 – $13,500
30x50 3,100 – 3,500 $3,100 – $15,800
30x60 3,700 – 4,000 $3,700 – $18,000
36x36 2,800 – 3,100 $2,800 – $14,000
36x50 3,600 – 3,900 $3,600 – $17,600
40x40 3,200 – 3,600 $3,200 – $16,200
40x50 3,900 – 4,200 $3,900 – $18,900
40x60 4,500 – 4,900 $4,500 – $22,100
40x80 5,700 – 6,200 $5,700 – $27,900
50x80 6,700 – 7,200 $6,700 – $32,400
50x100 8,200 – 8,800 $8,200 – $39,600
60x80 7,700 – 8,300 $7,700 – $37,400
60x90 8,600 – 9,200 $8,600 – $41,400
60x100 9,400 –10,000 $9,400 – $45,000

*Approximate insulated surface area (walls and roof deck) square feet
**Based on a pole barn with 10' to 12' walls and an insulated door.


Average cost to insulate a pole barn

The following table reflects the average cost to insulate a pole barn with spray foam.

Average cost to insulate a pole barn - chart
Average cost to insulate a pole barn - chart

Average cost to insulate a pole barn
National average cost $9,800
Minimum cost $750
Maximum cost $20,000
Average cost range $3,500 to $16,500

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

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Metal building insulation costs by type

Metal building insulation costs $0.50 to $4.50 per square foot installed on average, depending on the insulation type and project complexity. Other factors that impact the installation cost include the building size, areas insulated, climate zone, and whether it's new or existing construction.

Metal building insulation costs by type
Insulation type Cost per square foot installed Details
Spray foam $1.00 – $4.50 
  • Doubles as a vapor barrier
  • Adds structural rigidity
  • Requires professional installation
  • Difficult to remove if applied directly to the metal
Batts and rolls $0.80 – $2.60 
  • DIY-friendly
  • Less effective than other types
  • Needs eventual replacement
  • May absorb moisture
Foam board $1.20 – $3.70
  • Reduces thermal bridging when installed as continuous insulation.
  • Faced board doubles as a vapor barrier when sealed
  • Expensive
  • Joints must be taped or sealed
Blown-in $0.90 – $2.40
  • Fills gaps and hard-to-reach areas
  • May settle over time
  • May absorb moisture
Reflective $0.50 – $2.20
  • Includes a radiant barrier
  • Blocks 90% or more radiant heat
  • Does not promote mold or mildew
  • Thin, installs easily
  • Low R-value

Pole barn spray foam insulation installed
Pole barn spray foam insulation installed

  • Pair reflective insulation with blown-in or batt insulation to block all heat transfer forms effectively.
  • Include perimeter slab insulation when insulating during new construction.

Spray foam insulation

Spray foam insulation costs $0.60 to $2.90 per board foot on average with installation, depending on the foam type, project size, and site conditions. Closed-cell spray foam is best for exposed pole barn walls due to its durable and rigid structure. Consider lighter, open-cell foam for the barn door.

Type Cost per board foot installed* Details
Closed-cell $1.30 – $2.90 
  • 2 lbs. per cubic foot
  • Expands to 1"
  • Air, vapor, and moisture barrier at 2" thickness
  • Adds strength
  • R-value of 5 to 7 per inch
Open-cell $0.60 – $1.30
  • 0.5 lbs. per cubic foot
  • Expands to 3"
  • Air barrier at 3" thickness
  • Superior sound dampening
  • R-value of 3.5 to 3.7 per inch

*A board foot is 1 square foot with 1" thickness.

  • The recommended thickness for closed-cell foam is 4" to 5" on the roof deck and 2" to 3" on the walls.
  • Open-cell foam needs 6" to 10" on the roof deck and 3" thickness on the walls.
  • Spray foaming the walls and ceiling provides the most effective temperature regulation.
Spray foam sticks to surfaces like glue. Install housewrap between the metal and the foam to prevent future issues when moving or removing the metal panels.

Pole barn insulation blanket batts and rolls

Pole barn insulation batts and rolls cost $0.80 to $2.60 per square foot with installation, depending on the material and R-value. Blanket insulation is DIY friendly due to its standard sizing and simple installation between joists and framing. Use faced insulation or a vapor barrier when insulating a pole barn.

A roll of insulation costs $20 to $90 and covers 40 to 75 square feet or more. Choose rolls over batts for larger spaces when possible because they provide more continuous coverage.

Insulating a pole barn with foam board

Insulating a pole barn with foam board costs $1.20 to $3.70 per square foot on average for labor and materials. Rigid foam board insulation is lightweight and provides a vapor barrier, superior sound dampening, and reduced thermal bridging when installed as continuous insulation over the wall girts.

Some building codes require additional flame-retardant facing when insulating with rigid foam board.

Blown-in insulation in a pole barn attic

Blown-in attic insulation costs $0.90 to $2.40 per square foot or $520 to $1,400 on average for a 24' x 24' pole barn. Blown-in insulation is ideal for post-frame attics to effectively fill in all the gaps, nooks, and crannies around the ceiling joists and bottom truss chords.

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Cost factors to insulate a metal building or pole barn

Factors that affect the cost to insulate a metal building or pole barn include:

  • Size – The treated surface square footage impacts the material and labor required.
  • Usage – A metal building used for a workspace in the winter requires more insulation than one used to store equipment. A pole barn housing horses requires roof insulation but may not need wall insulation because the animals generate heat.
  • Preparation – The pole barn interior must be free of obstructions. Reduce labor costs by removing equipment, furniture, and tools before installation day. Moving items to the center and covering them is acceptable if walls have a 3' or more clearance.
  • Insulation material – Fiberglass is the cheapest option. Closed-cell spray foam is the most expensive but the most effective.
  • Labor – Insulation contractors charge $40 to $80 per hour or $0.50 to $1.40 per square foot on average, depending on the insulation type, project size, and job complexity.
  • R-value – A higher desired R-value typically requires more insulation material.
  • Climate – Colder regions require more insulation than warmer climates.
  • Spray foam thickness – Open-cell spray foam is cheaper but requires more inches to achieve the same R-value.
  • Building codes – A detached pole barn for personal use does not typically require energy building code compliance. Residential attached garages and commercial buildings must adhere to building codes. Work with a licensed contractor to comply with all building, energy, and fire code requirements.
  • Housewrap – Installing housewrap separates the metal from the insulation and stops condensation and wind drafts.
  • Vapor barrier – Closed-cell spray foam acts as an air and vapor barrier. Other insulation types may require an additional vapor barrier.
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Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to insulate a pole barn?

Insulating a pole barn takes 1 to 2 days or more, depending on building size, crew size, and insulation type. Insulating with spray foam typically takes less time than other methods because the spray foam air seals and insulates simultaneously.

What is the best way to insulate a pole barn?

Closed-cell spray foam insulation is the best and most effective way to insulate a pole barn. Spray foam provides an air seal, moisture barrier, structural strength, and the highest R-value per inch. It's the most expensive upfront but lasts the longest.

  • Batt and roll insulation is the cheapest and easiest to DIY. Still, it needs additional materials for sealing and a vapor barrier. Fiberglass breaks down over time and requires eventual replacement.
  • Foam board insulation has a mid-range DIY price point, insulates better, and lasts longer than fiberglass. Foam board is more damage-prone than closed-cell spray foam and may require repair over time.
  • Insulating a pole barn housing animals typically requires less insulation than one used for daily work, recreation, or vehicle and equipment storage.

What is the cheapest way to insulate a pole barn?

The cheapest way to insulate a pole barn is with fiberglass batts. Using fiberglass batt and roll insulation requires additional steps to seal the structure and add a vapor barrier. Still, the total cost per square foot is cheaper than other insulation types.

Fiberglass insulation is the cheapest upfront cost but requires replacement over time. Spray foam or a rigid foam and spray foam combination are better long-term solutions.

How to insulate a pole barn

Follow these steps to insulate a pole barn.

  1. Choose the insulation type and determine the thickness needed, depending on the pole barn's intended usage.
  2. Remove all equipment, furniture, or other items stored in the structure. Alternatively, move everything to the center, at least 3' from the walls.
  3. Install a vapor barrier if applicable. Consult a professional if necessary to confirm the best barrier location for your climate zone.
  4. Install insulation batts or rigid foam board on clean and dry walls.
  5. Seal all joints and gaps with spray foam.
  6. Install blown-in or batt insulation in the pole barn attic or rigid foam on the roof deck to insulate the space completely.
Consider the "flash and batt" method to reduce costs. This method uses a thin spray foam layer to create an air and moisture barrier, followed by a batt insulation layer to increase the R-value and thermal resistance. Hire a certified technician for spray foam applications beyond gap and joint sealing.
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Finding and hiring an insulation contractor

Before hiring an insulation company or contractor:

  • Get at least three quotes to compare.
  • Ask for a detailed quote including areas to be sprayed, estimated R-value, insulation depth or thickness, and spray foam brand and type (if applicable).
  • Look for certified spray foam technicians if insulating with spray foam.
  • Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
  • Select insured and bonded companies that have been in business for more than five years.
  • Ask for references.
  • Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
  • Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
  • Never pay in full before the project starts. Use a payment plan instead for work completed.

Questions to ask

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • What experience do you have with pole barn insulation?
  • What type of insulation would be most effective for my pole barn?
  • Do I need a vapor barrier?
  • Do you offer financing options?
  • How long will the project take?
  • How long should the insulation last?
  • Is there a warranty, and if so, what does it include?
  • What is and is not included in the price?
  • What additional costs should I expect?
  • Are there rebates available, and do you apply for them?

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