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Friday, 20 November 2020


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We just built a new house that is very well insulated (8") with both foam and rigid insulation. It really works well. One thing to consider is airflow into and out of the shed in the closer months when the windows/doors are shut. Our architect and builder insisted we install and outside airflow system to make sure we had enough oxygen coming into the house. Apparently, this can be a problem in newer, very tightly constructed houses. Might be worth talking to your insulation guy about it.

Wouldn't you be better off with white for the ceiling so that it reflects light better to help "even out" your exhibition space lighting?

One, thankfulness is needed this year more than most, I'd wager. Second, as far as useful gadgets/gizmos, the Logitech MX3 Master mouse and MX Keys keyboard have been fantastic - a definite upgrade. My other surprise payoff was a VIVO VESA monitor arm - getting your displays up just a tad more and making them mobile makes for a tremendous difference in comfort when you're in front of them all day.

Give your shed lots of time to "off gas" after the application of the foam insulation. I am sure they have learned a lot since the infamous UFFI days. In any event give it lots of ventilation before you spend any appreciable amount of time in it. Just my 2 cents.

Spray Foam Insulation is a great product and its application is fun to watch as long as you don't get any on you. More fun for me was watching painters use airless spray to paint inside walls. Trim and all without masking.

Might be too late now for you but it might have been to record a time lapse of the build. When we had our kitchen cupboards refaced a few years ago, I asked if they wanted a time lapse of the tear-down and rebuild. They're still using clips of it on their web site.

Get yourself a nice turkey breast and roast it or do it in the slow cooker. Very tasty and far easier to deal with than a whole bird, and it still provides leftovers for days! Our 2 person family has been doing this for a while now.

Insulating has two main components, stopping thermal transfer and stopping air infiltration. Foam is an effective insulator, and because it is sprayed, it can fill every little space or crack i construction. This is very good at stopping the infiltration of air. So Foam is good at both of those things.
Because of that it is doubly important that attention was paid to exterior sealing and flashing to keep water from being trapped between the interior foam and the exterior siding House wraps like Tyvek are a rain shield but are breathable to let any trapped moisture out.
Related to these two is a vapor barrier.
In Winter, interior living spaces usually generate a fair amount of moisture from bathrooms & kitchens ,your building doesn't have that problem. In modern houses when they are sealed this 'Tight" they actually have to provide for a way for interior moisture to get out.

A 'Tight" (as in Air Tight') building that is also well insulated (for the local climate) is indeed easy to heat and cool.
Sounds Great

[A truly tight house needs an air exchange system, but the presumption is that a single room with a door to the outside in constant use will have enough natural air exchange. See this video:


And get a load of his ventilation system. Awesome. This house (in the video) provides all its own power AND enough electricity for the electric car. No energy costs, and net zero energy consumption. --Mike]

I wish I had thought of this sooner. It would have been nice to have a 220 v. remote switch in the house. In the winter, you could leave the heater on, and just before you want to play, turn on the heat. The opposite with the A/C. You could turn the cooling 20 minutes to pre-cool the interior. Sort of like some people do with their car. I wouldn't have taken much,just of run of 2 wires, but I suppose the breaker box in the shed is on the wall furthest from the house.

[They do have thermostats that have smartphone apps you can use to set the temperature remotely, no wires needed. I didn't opt for that because I have trouble getting wifi where the shed is located. --Mike]

No itch from fibreglass bits floating around. No time consuming cutting and tacking/nailing,taping insulation in place.
Cost is more a factor of time and a couple of hours and you are ready to go with this insulation. Paint or not, it is usable.

Doesn't get much better than that.

I would still go with the rubber click lock flooring in space so small. Will pay dividends on your back for a long time.

Mike, Regarding possibly installing a drop ceiling in the Shed, I'll pass on a couple of tips I was given before I installed one in my basement man-cave. These relate to aesthetics more than installation and are intended to soften the look of the ceiling so it doesn't resemble the waiting room at the DMV or visiting area at the county jail.

First, in place of the usual metal L-strips that support the ceiling tile along the wall, use wood ceiling molding such as what one would find in a living room. Paint them white either to match the tile or to match the color of the wall paint.

Second, use tiles that extend slightly below the suspension strips that hold the tile up. It gives a relief to the ceiling, thereby avoiding the flat, plain institutional look of tiles that are flush with the strips.

My room is 18 x 24 ft. and I was able to install the ceiling myself, so it's doable by the common man! I used 2 x 2 panels rather than the more common 2 x 4 ones and I think that this choice also moved the ceiling further away from the institutional look.

Anyway, put this suggestion away until you make a decision down the line.

Looks like you have made good choices so far and the project is moving nicely. Well done! Looking forward to more progress photos.


Mike, consider a heat pump system instead of electric baseboard. My understanding is the even in the lower temperatures you see, it's vastly more efficient (where I live, it's probably 400% efficient, vs 100% efficiency of baseboard).

[I considered it--it was what my friend Mike did, the guy who inspired my project, and it was my initial plan. But I ended up taking the advice of the contractor I worked with. He felt that if I had spray foam insulation, the heating needs would be low enough that a baseboard unit would be economical. So as of now the breaker panel (properly called a "distribution board") has been wired with a separate 220V circuit for the heating unit, and the wiring is in place and locked behind the spray foam. So there's no going back to the old plan now. --Mike]

Mike wrote I have trouble getting wifi where the shed is located . I’ve found powerline adapters work well for both Ethernet and wi-fi. There may be a problem with your pool room being in a separate building, no doubt it depends how it’s wired.

Re gizmos, on the off chance anyone is looking for a webcam, I’ll put a plug in for the Logitech C925e. It’s not top shelf / top price, nor bottom. I wanted something decent quality for audio (mike, there’s no speakers) & video, for work meetings from my home office. It works well with Zoom. A nice touch is the little privacy shutter that slides over the front of the lens. And in Australia, I could claim it as a tax deduction (came in under our cap so no need to depreciate over time).
I tossed up the idea of using a DSLR, but then there’s the etiquette problem of having to look the other party “in the eye”, i.e. at the camera. The webcam sits neatly on top of either a laptop screen or monitor, making it easy to flick between looking at the screen and at the camera. Looking to the side at a DSLR would have been too awkward. Another alternative that I didn’t explore - I believe there are apps that allow a smart phone to also be used as a webcam.
It’s my camera and lens purchase for 2020. Yet to try doing anything photographically with it. It’s a bit hard to lug the laptop around as combined viewfinder, rear LCD, power source & storage. But given the long-ish cord, the camera could be placed in hard-to-reach places.

Gift/purchase suggestion: Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe - one of the best kitchen appliances we've ever bought.

[Perfect! Thanks. --Mike]

Wifi - probably too late, but I would investigate running ethernet cable (if < 100 meters from your router) via buried conduit into the shed and add a wireless access point/extender (or second router) there.

So, with this very tight building are you going to use the round lithium hydroxide filters or adapt the square filters to remove the exhaled CO2.

Honestly, if the building is so air tight....how do you breathe?

[Well, it's got windows and a door. I don't anticipate living in there for days at a stretch.

Actually, the way I used my pool table when I had one (2012-14) was as a way to get up from the computer and move around. I'd work for an hour or two, go down to the basement, throw the balls out on the table and knock them in a time or two, then go back to work. I imagine I'll mostly use the new room the same way. Like a break, but with movement. The body needs movement to help blood circulation. It's not a great idea to sit for extended periods. --Mike]

Funny, when you said the insulators are here I immediately thought of a case of the porcelin things that held live power lines to crossbars of a power pole. "Now what is he going to do with them?"

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