I'm in NY and building a 36' x 40' x 12' pole building.
Planning on putting heat into it. Will keep it at 40* when not in use and about 50* when I'm working in it.
Been researching insulating it and not finding a definitive way.
Seems to be 3 main options:
Sprayed in foam, would need to have a contractor apply.
On a tight budget but not in a rush to complete.
Will be doing all the finishing work myself[/QUOTE I’m a builder/remodeler in Wisconsin and I would strongly encourage you to insulate it as soon as possible because it will greatly increase the likelihood that you’ll use the building year round. The more invited the space, the more you’ll want to spend time in it.
I built a 42’x64’x12’ pole building for a shop. It has 2x6 posts (5-1/2”nominal) with fiberglass insulation in the walls and cellulose blown into the attic space with a 4 mill vapor barrier on the walls and ceiling. I used cellulose because I did it myself and I hate blowing fiberglass. Cellulose is also very dense and fills voids very well with minimal air pockets or gaps. I’m sure there are plenty of arguments against it though.
I used liner steel on the interior walls and surface mounted the electrical using metal pipe and boxes. I would strongly advise against running the electrical inside the walls because of the potential for mice to chew on it, especially in colder climates like ours. I used a product called “The Barrier” under the 5” slab because it was more cost effective (cheaper!) than ridgid foam and easier to install. It also has a vapor barrier attached so you accomplish two tasks with one product. However, I’m not convinced of the company’s claims regarding R value, and if I had it to do over I’d use 2” ridgid insulation, tape the joints and install a 4 mill vapor barrier over it.
Another area not to cheap out on is windows and doors. Some of the products used in pole buildings are garbage and leak like sieves. Use Energy Star rated products, rated for use in northern climates, you’ll be happy you did!
A couple other things I would do differently; I would consider spray foam for the wall, although it is expensive.
If your budget doesn’t allow that you might want to consider having a couple inches of the cavities foamed after the exterior steel is installed, and using fiberglass batts to fill the remaining space. The foam will provide an excellent air barrier as it will completely seal the cavities. A more cost effective approach to this (but not as effective) would be to install 2” of ridgid foam in the walls and fill the remaining space with fiberglass batts. Cut the foam to size on a table saw for a tight friction fit. The fiberglass will also act as a fire retardant for the foam.
My heating contractor talked me out of radiant floor heat because of the potential expense of keeping a 3000 sq ft slab heated, but I would definitely go that route if I had a do-over.
This is not insulation related but it’s a good idea to lay your shop out on paper and locate everything you plan on using in it, ie air compressor, electrical service, lighting lift locations etc. if you plan on installing a lift at some point down the road, add extra rebar in that area, or you could even pour dedicated 24”w x 12”d footings for the lift.
Sorry for being so long winded, just trying to help.
Just like building a car, there are lots of choices and opinions about building a shop!