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Garden shed - keeping it cool

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
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    Default Garden shed - keeping it cool

    I have found a few threads regarding sheds and insulation but they are either too technical or dont address my problem exactly.

    Ok, I put up a 9mx3m garden shed last week. It's a 'tin' shed made of some sort of aluminium (rather than colorbond) and is 2.1m high. I will be spending much time inside the shed. I live in Brisbane meaning it gets HOT and I need to think of some way of keeping the shed cool inside.

    I have seen whirly-birds.
    I have heard people mention insulation - sarking, sisalation, etc. Pink roof space rolls?

    The shed has two small windows in one of the 9m sides, a double door and a single door in the other 9m side, and a double door in one of the gable ends.

    Is there anything I can do on the outside to block the sun?

    On the inside, do I need to line the walls and roof with some sort of insulation, or just the roof? Any gap between, or straight against the shed walls/roof?

    Any help would be much appreciated...
    Steve.

  2. #2
    2 kids, no time Wildman's Avatar
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    The best thing to do outside is to put your shed under a very large tree.
    If this is not an option, plant some trees that will be very large and dense for future cooling and in the meantime, I would line the shed (the whole shed, roof and walls) with foilboard. www.foilboard.com.au You need approx 15-25mm airspace between the exterior wall and the foilboard, I just glue it to 19mm battens with liquid nails. It comes in 10,15 and 25mm, 15mm isnt much more expensive than 10mm and it is more rigid and does a better job. 25mm is usually a special order. It is easy to work with and very effective. I assume they have QLD distributors, I usually buy it from the factory in Melbourne. Bunnings stock 10mm down here and can probably get 15mm for you. Ideally you would also want to be able to open roof vents at night to get it as cool as possible. Note that foilboard is only aluminium foil on polystyrene so it is not very durable so I would suggest lining inside to protect it, at least on the walls. Put 16mm ply over it and at least be able to hang tools and shelves on it (with suitable framing of course). Ideally you would also maintain the 20mm air gap between the foilboard and the ply as well for best results. Overall you will end up with walls approx 70mm thick if you do this, but they will be properly insulated rather than just tin which is a rather poor insulator (understatement of the year!).

    Another good product are the reflective window tints. They can cut out lots of heat from the sun and have the added benefit of better security by making it harder for people to look in as well as making the glass stronger and harder to knock out of the frame. We got some windows done for around $75/square metre.

    If you want to go cheap and nasty regardless of the look, put some 90x35mm on edge on the roof peak and eaves and down the sides of the shed and stretch shadecloth over the whole thing with a 90mm gap to the shed. It will stop a lot of heat before it gets to the shed itself but is not really a permanent solution.

    For the best results, do all of the above and put an air conditioner in for good measure.

    Cheers
    Ben
    My glue tastes funny.

  3. #3
    Pretend my avatar moves! bitingmidge's Avatar
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    What wildman says re shade.

    Look at Aircell as an insulating option before lining the inside, do the walls and roof.

    Keep the windows open, there's no substitute for cross ventilation.

    Don't use shade cloth (it will help but not the best solution), if you are thinking about it, use battens and a second roof layer, with big overhangs.

    Be warned though, in a small shed enclosed and fully insulated, the temperature inside will rise quite rapidly just from machinery and body heat, if you don't have sufficient ventilation,

    Simple really!

    Cheers,

    P

  4. #4
    Senior Member DavidG's Avatar
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    Cover roof with hessian and add a couple of misting sprinklers.
    For the best results I use -

  5. #5
    Doing OK, You? aiwoz's Avatar
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    A cheap natural alternative is to fix posts all around the outside and spin a spiders web of wire between the posts and grow creepers over the wires. Passion fruit does well and will enjoy left over home brews , bouganvillias work well on the neighbours side as a deterrent to 2 legged visitors:mad: .

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Pretend my avatar moves! bitingmidge's Avatar
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    Ahh yes, I'd forgotten the time honoured favourite: The Choko vine.

    Works a treat, but You'll need to give it something to cling to on the way up.

    Cheers,
    P

  7. #7
    Senior Member Rossluck's Avatar
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    Steve, I live in SE QLD as well, and my shed is lined with plasterboard and has a small air conditioner. I would suggest that whatever measures you take to insulate the shed, in QLD an air condinioner will be essential to suck the humidity out of the air. Humidity doesn't take much notice of insulation. I bought my AC for $110 at a Cash Converters. It's just a small window model that struggles all day, but makes the shed bearable.

    Glen

  8. #8
    Dances with splinters Skew ChiDAMN!!'s Avatar
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    There's always the brown-thumbed answer to the choko vine: a fly-sheet.

    I've found that even heavy shade-cloth will do the job, provided enough air-gap is left, at least 6". 'Tis not practical on my current shed, which is just too damned too big, but it worked well on the old double-car garage.

    I put it up as a temp. measure after a hot-spell a few years ago while I save my pennies for insulation. Saved enough pennies to extend the shed instead. Odd, how priorities change as the weather cools down!
    I may be weird, but I'm saving up to become eccentric.

  9. #9
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    G'day, I'm not a wood worker. I play with cars (when you cut something wrong you can weld a bit back on) About your insulation question...I've just bought a paint called "Lizard Skin" it's a water based ceramic heat insulation that goes on about 1.5mm thick and has been proven to prevent fires starting from radiated heat . It came from america but I recently noticed that a similar stuff can be bought here in Australia. available at hardware/paint stores.
    Pick the sunny sides and paint them and the roof, on the outside and you'll be laughing. I don't know how expensive it is here but it was cheap to import when I did last year. It works wonderfully. Good luck, Smithy

  10. #10
    Old Goat
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    As an extension to Skew's idea, set up some tarps, silver side up, on a wire grid like aiwoz says for better support. Slope to the North to drain rainwater (if you ever get any), and to direct toward sun. And/or slope toward the long dimension. (Which way is north for your shed?) Almost all of the other ideas (except for waiting for trees to grow) will help. Benefits are cumulative.

    (Note: North > South for upover folks.)

    Joe
    Of course truth is stranger than fiction.
    Fiction has to make sense. - Mark Twain

  11. #11
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    I would go with the paint it a light colour and insulation idea and save up for an airconditioner .....even a portable would do

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