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Biskit
post 24 May 2010, 15:59
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Just looking for a bit of advice...

I'm looking to set up a work bench in my shed to work on modelling projects at home (my layout - still in the planning stages - will be located elsewhere). The shed is 8'x6' timber construction (of a good quality T&G board). I am an electrician by trade and will be running power for sockets and lighting in due course.

However I'm worried about insulation. It has been like an oven these last few days with the sun on it, and gets freezing cold in winter. What type of insulation do people treat sheds with to use as a workshop or layout room? I'm thinking it will need to be breathable to prevent moisture getting trapped and causing rot? I don't really want to go to the expense of fully panelling the whole inside, so had something like this in mind:

http://www.insulationexpress.co.uk/Natural...-Insulation.htm

Two packs of the 70mm stuff will do all walls and the roof, but seems quite a lot of money to spend! Am I missing a cheaper option? The roof structure is such that installing rigid pannels of any kind will be quite difficult.

Ben.
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FUNGUS
post 24 May 2010, 16:42
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Unless your'e a greenie, polystyrene based insulation panels canbe had cheaply from the big DIY sheds, and what you don't use to insulate the shed can be used as landscape formers on your model railway!


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Steve




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LTSR
post 24 May 2010, 18:10
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I have a wooden workshop in which reside my machine tools, lathe, milling machine, etc and lots of precision tools. All need protection from rapid changes in temperature and resultant changes in humidity otherwise condensation will form and that will promote rusting. Not good for accuracy!

My solution was to “bag” mineral wool insulation in heavy weight polythene sheet, (to limit water absorption), and fit it in every nook and cranny. I used the roll variety but batts would be easier to work with. The result was then covered in thin ply, (I got a deal I couldn’t refuse), but plasterboard would probably be easier to finish neatly.

This arrangement has worked successfully for 30 odd years and is so effective that, in all but the coldest of weather, I can turn my 500 watt heater off and maintain a comfortable working temperature with the combination of my own body heat, the lights and machinery.

In terms of cost the insulation is a one-off, the bills go on forever and get will bigger!

I would avoid polystyrene altogether, as it is a fire hazard and the cost saving/insulation value compared with the non-flammable materials now available is at best marginal so why take the risk?

Also it is worth noting that electrical wiring insulation in contact with polystyrene can react and fail, another reason to avoid using it!
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Alan D
post 24 May 2010, 19:49
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I agree with LTSR that polystyrene is and should never be an option for insulating a shed as the close proximity to the wood increases the fire risk and also I have found out on this forum that it affects PVC cable so electrics would have to be located well away from the polystyrene. I personally used rolls of loft insulation with the foil cover then a layer of plaster board with the seams filled with plaster. I ended up with such a good job my wife has sometimes commented that I should move in to the shed. I painted with some old cream and terracotta paint I had lying about and it looks as good as any room in the house.

With this arrangement I have found that it stays quite cool in the summer. The shed is actually an old wooden garage which I have split into two, the front being a diy workspace and the rear being the railway room. So as the front is not insulated I can tell you through first hand experience that the diy area is much hotter in the sun than the railway room. I also forgot to mention I also did the roof in this fashion but instead of plasterboard I used TGV. I don't know what the final cost was as I did it over a period of time but I feel it was well worth it. Especially after the cruel winter we had last year none of my track or boards buckled, I did however find the engines were a bit temperamental but nothing servicing couldn't fix. So I hope this helps it really is worth doing

cheers

Alan


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Alan
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34C
post 25 May 2010, 07:28
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One cautionary note about the hemp insulation product: the samples I handled at a trade show some years ago had a distinctive odour - of hemp - slightly sweet and sickly. Whatever its' insulation properties, I won't go near it until the makers can remove the odour; the reps on the stand could not tell me if the odour declined or was gone within any time after manufacture, nor whether there were plans or capability to reduce or eliminate the odour. My perception was that they were pretty much in denial about it smelling of anything at all, which did not convey to me any confidence that they might tackle this aspect of the product.

The odour wasn't my imagination I should add, while I found it a minor annoyance, the person I was attending the show with found it nauseating, to the extent that he did not want to stay on the show stand to ask questions! That alone took it off the potential materials list: while it didn't annoy me that much, since the insulation we needed was going into a public building, even if only a small proportion of the population found it unpleasant that really was not acceptable. While an interesting product, if thinking of using it I would suggest obtaining a sample for your own evaluation ahead of installation.
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Biskit
post 25 May 2010, 17:26
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Thanks for the responses. I found what looks like a better product on the same website:

http://www.insulationexpress.co.uk/Multi-P...exible-Slab.htm

which is far more reasonable in cost. With that the material should be around £50, and I'll obviously have a shop around for better prices. I'm keen to avoid polystyrene for the reasons people have mentioned (especially fire risk), and also loose fibrous materials due to concerns with installation and handling.

Forgot to mention... I will also be putting a carpet down to insulate the floor.

Thanks for the comments on the effect of doing this properly... I will definaltely be making a good permanent job of it as it clearly seems the thing to do.

Cheers,
Ben.
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Chinahand
post 26 May 2010, 00:07
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If you have a look around some builder's merchants you should be able to find 'Rockwool' slabs at a better price. I used it as cavity insulation when I built my house in the UK and it really is an excellent product. It's insulation properties are far better than either polystyrene or fibreglass.

The best way to install it is to have an air gap between it and the outside wall so it's best either fixed back to the inner lining or to spacer blocks on the outside wall.


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