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Insulating shed

1726 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Gary in WA
We moved into a new house in July that has a 12x13 stick frame & stucco shed in the back yard that we want to make into a "man cave" / beer brewing shed. I measured the temperatures over the summer months and noticed that it is almost always 10* hotter inside than outside (130 at the peak inside) so i'm trying to figure out the best way to insulate this space.

I already have plans on putting in a window AC unit to manage temperatures when they are more reasonable - if I can get inside temps in the mid/upper 80s i'd be happy. The walls appear to be mostly insulated, so i'm thinking the ceiling needs the most attention.

Would the best thing to do is take down the half-arsed foil insulation that was put up and do drywall with insulation on it plus finish insulating the walls? or should I get foam board for the underside of the roof and leave it open? both? There is only the one gable vent in the roof, so i'm concerned that circulation will be an issue. It's hard to get a pic but I got one that should show everything i'm talking about, if more is needed I can certainly take them.


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I'm not sure what they were trying to do with the foil, it doesn't look like they knew either.
The foil can be used in conjunction with traditional insulation at the ceiling with ventilation above so don't throw it away. But, you will need more ventilation than just one gable vent. For this small space, a couple of tall gable vents or soffit vents. There are other options but I would need a picture of the outside.

Here are some more pics of the outside, it's a tar shingle roof. Adding a front gable vent might be difficult with the trim above the door.


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Ack!! You do build things differently out there.

The other option would be to go with a hot roof with zero ventilation. One example would be spray foam (or rigid cut to fit) on the bottom of the roof with no insulation in the ceiling. You could add drywall to the ceiling but should share the conditioned air below with the attic. But they are less frequently used way up here in the north country so I'm poorly qualified to advise.

One concern I would have would be the sealed roof would require some drying to the inside, which a closed cell foam would not allow.

But, this isn't a house and given the small size I'm not too concerned about what you choose to do. As long as you don't generate an excessive amount of moisture inside even a small ac unit should handle it.

Note, insulation is what protects you from the heat in the attic. The ventilation (changing the air) is needed to remove excess moisture, which I doubt you will have.

Let's see if any of the others here can add more advice (please).

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What that small and low pitch a space (as well as lack of encumbrances) it is probably just as easy to pull the roof, install some foam, put down some purlins/battens, and re-roof. Create a little vent space and the roof can convectively circulate behind the shingles and keep the roof cooler.
Thanks for the advice, this is on a long list of projects so there's definitely time to digest it all and come up with a plan. I've also seen a lot of whirlybirds on neighborhood sheds, would one on the roof near the peak at the front help?
Just curious but are you going to build out vents for your beer brewing equipment? I am wanting to build the same thing - a shed to let me move my beer brewing equipment into. Probably considering vent hoods in my setup.
Just curious but are you going to build out vents for your beer brewing equipment? I am wanting to build the same thing - a shed to let me move my beer brewing equipment into. Probably considering vent hoods in my setup.
My plan was to do the actual brewing outside, I had a natural gas nipple and hose bibb put in on the outside when we had our pool build and use the inside of the shed for storing equipment and my converted fridge for fermentation so I don't think I need additional vents for that. May eventually class it up more with a bar for my keezer that's currently in the garage, but that's further down the line after I get the inside walls/ceiling complete and the ambient under reasonable control.
IMO, add some 2" XPS board to the truss bottoms, then drywall. Vented or not, as is, the temperature will be within about 8*F of each way. Changing the shingle color to white (if not already) will lower temp by 23% vs, venting of 3%. ADA the drywall after air sealing the foam;

PS finish installing the RB for more savings.
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