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Andy Joyce03/07/2020 15:47:22
266 forum posts
54 photos

Thinking of procuring a Summer house to use as a model workshop to be located in a south facing garden. Is there anything I need to ensure the design has to make it usable all year round. Assume I would need insulation on the walls, floor along with an extractor fan for the summer and a heater for the winter months.

Ron Gray03/07/2020 15:54:22
2235 forum posts
978 photos

Get the best insulation you can afford and don’t skimp on it, especially under the floor! The logic is if you can prevent / reduce heat transfer (gain or loss) then you will have an even temp throughout the year. Don’t forget the glass too, double glaze or, ideally triple glaze it does make a difference!

Denis Watkins03/07/2020 16:01:55
4544 forum posts
123 photos

Lot of tips here Andy


Modellers workshops

Geoff S03/07/2020 16:10:38
3701 forum posts
29 photos

Also one thing to consider is the reason artists (and, incidentally, the coil winder when I worked) much prefer north facing light. I like sunshine as much as anyone but the south-facing windows in my workshop can be a pain because the big contrasts in light level make seeing what you're doing difficult when particularly low sun gets in my eyes.

I only mention it becase you said your garden is south facing so it might be an issue.


John Tee03/07/2020 16:26:38
879 forum posts
73 photos

I had good insulation in the walls of my workshop, insulation on the floor and topped with chipboard loft sheeting and rubber workshop tiles on top of that. At the time couldn't see an easy way to insulate the roof and that is where I still lose a lot of heat in the winter and get too hot in the summer. My windows face South West and as Geoff says certain times the sun is too bright and hot I have to lower the blind. Not too sure of the best roof insulation as foam is apparrentlt a fire hazard.


Ron Gray03/07/2020 17:11:42
2235 forum posts
978 photos

For roof insulation use 'proper' building roof insulation foam, you may have to relish the roof slightly to allow for extra thickness of foam but it really is worth it. If you want to use the roll type insulation you can hold it in place with chicken wire. As an aside, my oak framed garden room has 300mm under floor insulation and 200mm roof insulation and can use it all year round.

I also agree with the guys when they talk about north facing windows, in design offices they used to be built with 'north light trusses' so that the roof windows faced north, this not only cut down on heat gain but also gave a more even light which was essential when working at the drawing board.

Andy Joyce03/07/2020 17:57:04
266 forum posts
54 photos

Well don't think I can change the direction of the garden, so stuck with south facing windows which I know will make the workshop hot during the summer.

Will look at insulating the floor and roof as a lot of suppliers don't offer that option.

Was thinking a diesel heater would be an option for the winter.

Robin Colbourne04/07/2020 09:58:58
605 forum posts
17 photos

I would have thought you want to maximise light in the Winter (free heating) and control it in the Summer.

You can get rotating summer houses built onto a turntable. I've only seen one, though. I was told, but don't know if its true, that these came about when lots of invalids were wheeled out to them at convalescent homes. The nurses would go around and turn the houses to face into the sun, or I guess into the shade if they got too hot. Apparently Boulton & Paul were a well known manufacturer of them. I'm sure that name sounds familiar! I wonder if they did one shaped like a Defiant turret?

Revolving Summerhouses

Ace04/07/2020 10:02:40
324 forum posts
23 photos
Posted by Ron Gray on 03/07/2020 17:11:42:

300mm under floor insulation

No wonder you are as warm as toast wink

On my south facing window I had a mesh roller blind to take the sting out of the light on bright days.

Pete H04/07/2020 10:58:05
72 forum posts
58 photos

I would recommend insulating the roof for the summer months.

I didn't insulate mine and the roof acts like a huge radiator heating the inside to unbearable temperatures once the sun warms it up.

Ron Gray04/07/2020 13:02:34
2235 forum posts
978 photos
Posted by Ace on 04/07/2020 10:02:40:
Posted by Ron Gray on 03/07/2020 17:11:42:

300mm under floor insulation

No wonder you are as warm as toast

it helps with the underfloor heating!

Piers Bowlan04/07/2020 14:43:20
2167 forum posts
53 photos

Cellotex or similar insulation is essential, even 50mm in the walls will make a huge difference to Summer and Winter temperatures. A thick layer of foam under the floor will make a big difference too. The windows must be draft free and double glazed if you are going to use it year round. A double glazed Velux window in the roof is great for letting the Summer heat out but installing that luxury may depend on how big your shed is (and budget).

+1 for a diesel heater.

SR 7104/07/2020 15:44:58
462 forum posts
140 photos

I have just built a new workshop/shed insulated with 100mm in all walls, the ceiling and under the floor, double glazed the windows, i have one of those diesel lorry cab heaters and in the winter i switch it on for 20 minutes and it keeps the heat in all day,

Doctor Chinnery04/07/2020 16:48:28
43 forum posts

Excellent advice concerning insulation, however our building activities give rise to all sorts of vapour and pongs, so I would suggest an effective extractor fan as having to leave a window open in the cold of Winter will sabotage all your investment in insulation. Also take advice from the professionals as to how you can prevent mice in particular getting in - apart from the obvious, never ever leave food in there - even crumbs! -  ( the same goes to a lesser extent for rats and grey squirrels ).

One further consideration is security, by definition your Summer House might well be in your garden, but it's away from the house, so especially vulnerable and will be filled with your tools, rc equipment, airframes etc etc which are attractive to two-legged vermin. Request a visit from your local Crime Prevention Officer. If one of those vile creatures cleared you out, even if you were fully insured, which I doubt - after replacing pretty well all that you've lost you would still be substantially out of pocket.

Edited By Mr Chinnery on 04/07/2020 16:51:08

perttime05/07/2020 06:25:21
164 forum posts
11 photos

Some sort of window blinds would help if you are getting too much sunlight.

The normal thing in dwellings, in my corner of the world, is a thing with plastic slats between the layers of glass. The slats can be rotated to different angles, or pulled up completely.

Andy Joyce06/07/2020 10:38:25
266 forum posts
54 photos

Thanks all for the various advice and suggestions. Have asked for the shed to have an insulated floor as think I can insulate the walls and roof myself.

Diesel heater seems to be a viable option but strangely could not find one on flea bay when I looked last week. Little concerned that one of these types may result in spillages leaving an odour, but aware I did seem a thread recommending these as a good option.

Jon Laughton06/07/2020 15:53:42
1223 forum posts
72 photos

Window blinds to hide the contents when you are not there (per Mr Chinnery's comments re security above) and to shield the sun when you are working in the shed...?

Andy4806/07/2020 19:58:54
1550 forum posts
1 photos

I've recently finished insulating my new garden shed. I strenghened the floor with a layer of flooring chipboard followed by a plastic click-lock laminate. I didn't bother with insulating the floor as most heat is lost through the walls and roof with only 10% lost through the floor. I reduced that further with the extra thickness of chipboard and the plastic flooring.The floor has never been cold. Walls and roof are both insulated and it has double glazed windows and door. The roof is hot roofed with a rubber roof membrane. All the joins in the wall and roof are sealed against draughts.

I just heat it with a oil filled radiator which has a built in timer. Never needed it on anything but the lowest setting, and it was quite cheap to buy.

Andy Joyce13/07/2020 17:42:09
266 forum posts
54 photos

Andy, what did you use to insulate the walls? Wondering if a damp proof membrane is required between the wood and the insulation.

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