Saturday, June 25, 2016

Solar Shed: Part 7: Plywooding the Walls

With the interior foamboard up and sealed, it's time to install the plywood!

I get here:

From here:

In only two days of work!

If you have no idea at all what on earth this is, check out the overview of my project!  It's a solar powered office, made from a Tuff-Shed.

How and why?  Read on, of course!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Solar Shed: Part 6: Foamboard Insulation

After finally getting the rock wool insulation up in my Solar Shed (the walls were easy, the ceiling was quite hard), the next step is to install 2" thick foamboard to cover the insulation, and seal all the joints.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click the "Solar Shed" link above to see the overview of this project.  I'm building myself an off grid office out of a Tuff-Shed for a variety of reasons, and I'm in the process of insulating it.

Why am I installing a layer of 2" foamboard over the rock wool?  There are several reasons.
  • A layer of 2" foamboard adds something around R10 worth of insulation to the walls and ceiling - bringing me to about R23 for the walls and R35 for the ceiling.  Since this is a solar powered office, insulation matters more than it would if I were grid tied.
  • Having a layer of solid insulation between the studs and the interior plywood will break (at least mostly) the thermal bridges that might otherwise exist to help transmit heat through my walls.
  • By sealing the gaps between the foamboard panels, I should have a pretty much airtight enclosure, even if the outside walls leak a bit.  This should help with reducing heat loss to airflow - I can control airflow more intentionally instead of having "whatever happens" with regards to air.  On windy days, I expect this will make a big difference - and I definitely have windy days to deal with.
In theory, all this will work.  Since I don't have any in-wall electrical runs (I'll use surface mount conduit), I can really make my shed nice and tight without that much work.

In the end, the interior looks something like this (at least until the plywood goes up).  And, yes, I'll explain all the chalk.

Read on to see how I get there!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Solar Shed: Part 5: Roof Insulation

If you're new here and wondering what this is all about, I'm documenting my build of a solar powered off grid office built from a Tuff-Shed - in many detailed steps.  Last week, I insulated the walls.  This week, I insulate the ceiling!

After a very successful 4 hours filling the walls with rock wool batts (and another few hours filling the window and door gaps with foam), I figured the ceiling would be quick and easy too!  I couldn't have been more wrong.

Here's what I'm starting with overhead.  It's a shingled roof, built on 2x6 rafters, 24" on center.  The sides are broken into smaller compartments, and there's a radiant barrier on the inside (the silver layer).  My plan is to stuff it full of insulation, just like I did the walls!

Would you like to know how not to insulate this, and, perhaps, some advice on how to go about insulating it?  Read on, and learn from my mistakes.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Solar Shed: Part 4: Wall Insulation and Window Foam

I've got a shed on my foundation with bare studs.  It's time to get insulating!

If you just showed up and have no idea why I've got a shed with studs I'm about to (over) insulate, you might want to take a quick glance at what I'm doing (building an off grid office).  If you wanted to be really caught up, you could check out building the foundation and the delivery as well, but those aren't as important.

Read on!