How much will insulating only the roof in my shed help?

I have a pretty good sized shed (9x18) that I have set up as a wood shop. I’ve been spending lots of time out there but I live in New England and it’s getting cold. I have a space heater that helps but it’s time to keep some of that heat in. The shed is typical 2x4 construction, with plywood sheathing, and vinyl siding. The rafters are 2x8. I just insulated the roof last night (leaving space for proper ventilation) and am wondering how much of a difference that will make. I’d like to eventually do the walls too but I don’t have loads of extra cash so that’s probably out of the question for now at least. I’m ok to work in chilly temperatures just not extreme cold, and huge temp swings make for difficult woodworking too. I’m just wondering how much having done just the roof will help?

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Warm air rises so the first place to put insulation is the soffit. 

    In economic terms, insulating the roof gives you most bang for your buck.

    The return on doing the walls is less, but is worth doing - even bubble wrap would help as a temporary measure, sheet over with building paper or Correx. For a shop insulation also cuts down the noise which may help if you have neighbors nearby.

  • 2 months ago

    Actual numbers require far more information than you provided. I am confident that putting up at least foam panels on the walls will pay for itself in reduced heating in LESS than a year.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Without knowing just how tightly the shed is constructed, it's really impossible to give any kind of guess.

    But any insulation you add won't hurt, so there's that.   If your shed is open all the way to the underside of the roof, consider closing in an attic so there's that much less interior volume your heater has to try to heat.  It'll keep the warm air the heater generates from just rising away from you, too, keep it closer to the ground where you are.

     Just for the sake of experimentation, you could spend $20 or so on some painter's plastic and just close up the stud bays inside.  Just staple the plastic directly to the studs.  It isn't proper insulation but it would capture a dead air space in the bays and sharply reduce the amount of heat lost through the walls.

  • 2 months ago

    you tell us nothing about the exposure of the shed to wind and sun, thus we can't be sure.  I do know that this winter it will be easier to work out there than last and that you'll use significantly less energy per hour heating it.  -- grampa

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  • 2 months ago

    Adding some form of sheeting under the rafters to create a ceiling will do the most. Such as drywall or plywood as a ceiling.

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