DIY Projects

Metal shed insulation project.

When purchasing this property, we were beyond excited about having this metal shed in place close to the house for extra storage. That’s the part of downsizing I haven’t quite grasped yet- yes, I can be happy in a smaller space, but there’s still plenty of stuff that needs to be stored, particularly when one travels between extreme arctic chill , otherwise known as Canada and subtropical humid environment of Georgia. Anyhow, the shed turned out to have rotten plywood as the only flooring material and its metal walls were caked with diesel fumes- let me guess, he’s used to keep a generator here. Frankly, it was a scary sight and the only reason we’d used it right off the bat in the existing condition was because the movers were coming in a few days and there’s no way that we were about to rent a truck and start renovating a shed in the state we’ve arrived in…though, in retrospect, this would’ve paid off by not having to deal with mold on my camping gear, mice getting into the cardboard boxes and warped pictures (despite being in frames) from extreme heat and moisture… oh, and did I mention mold?! Yuck. Well, the time came when we couldn’t put it off any longer, due to proceeding with the renovations in the main house. We needed something to take care of both the heat, the pests and the dirt in the cheapest way possible.

For a 9×13 shed, we’d opted for insulation boards-took 5, as for the roof, nothing would stick, but we tried the padded reflective material, though it turns out it does nothing on contact, and had we had more time, I would’ve rather found a thinner insulation board and extra strength adhesive and insulated the side exposed to the most sun that way. As for the walls where only a cover-up was needed and no insulation per se, yes I could’ve washed and painted the metal, but as they say in the south “ain’t nobody got time for that!”, so here’s a stroke of genius: since we’re also putting down laminate flooring, I had extra rolls of underlayment foam which is lightweight, has slight insolation properties, and best of all, with the right adhesive, will stick and stay where you need it to. You could make It look much nicer than I have, but…for me, it’s all about function, not form.
Now, the floor. Laying more plywood on already rotten and uneven floor seemed like a waste of rather expensive material. Instead, I turned to concrete. Now, this is where the phrase “the adventures of two self-reliant idiots” was born. Needless to say, none of us had any prior experience to either mixing or laying concrete, nor did we feel like finding any helpful information on the subject beforehand. What’s even more hilarious, was while I fully knew that I wanted to buy mortar mix, I ended up buying “concrete mix”-turns out, a totally different compound! Imagine my surprise when I open the bag to find gravel chunks mixed in with a tiny amount of actual cement. Feeling responsible for the mishap andseeking repentance for my sins, I’d proceeded to mix the 5 80-lb bags by hand (since the mixer attachment can’t handle anything this thick and heterogeneous), got myself tendonitis in the right hand and, 8 hours later, only 2/3 of the floor was done. The next day, I’d finally given in and googled what the heck is the stuff I actually meant to buy, drove 40 miles to Lowe’s to buy the last bags (here’s a tip: tell them you actually want the ripped bags- not only will they put them into a reinforced new bag, but its 50% off too, and since all bags rip by the time you take them out of your thunk/truckbed, this is a way better deal!). Oh, what a joy it was to mix this smooth paste to the consistency of sour cream, spread it easily, re-work it a few hours later, allowing to minimize the elevation differences. Still not perfect, but with our time and budget constraints, I am quite happy with the result!