It's all about the blinking...
In 2004 we built a large 10 by 7 meter shed in the back yard, and ever since, it has become more and more utilised as a workshop area for the Christmas Light project. In 2007 I spent a lot of time out there during the colder winter months, warmed only by clothing and a small gas heater. Because the 2008 light display is a lot more complex, and I will probably have to spend a lot more time out in the shed this year, I decided to make it a little more comfortable, and this page describes just some of the upgrades the shed has undergone.
This was my original work area, complete with PC screen, messy tools hanging on the wall, cables galore on the bench (and under it). The metal wall infront of the bench sapped any heat away in winter, or blazed in heat during summer as it faces north. Who said I needed a clean up?
In March 2008 I built a brick area for a wood heater to be installed. I had never layed bricks before, but the end result was better than I expected, and not only does the job, but looks pretty good as well. In the next few weeks the heater was lit a few times, but I soon realised that much of the heat from the heater was simply flowing out through the metal walls of the shed, or out through gaps at the top of the roof. 2 metal ceiling fans were added to help circulate the air in the shed, and on warm days they help keep the temperature down a bit, and they also push warm air around when the heater is lit as well.
I spent a few weeks pricing various ways of keeping the shed warm, from spray on insulation, to foam stuck to the walls, gyprock sheeting, pink bats, and even plastic sheeting akin to thick bubblewrap. In the end a combination of R2 wall bats and gyprock was chosen to line the walls. I already had some left over R4 ceiling bats, so it would not take much for them to be easily used in the wall cavity.
This shows the early lining process of the northern wall. Additional power outlets were placed in various locations throughout the shed while I was going as it was easier to add them now than later. While the lining was in progress, I also ran additional alarm cables through the walls, so that any wall damage will cause the house alarm to activate instantly. Always nice to have additional security as well. There are additional door and motion sensors, as well as permanently recording video cameras hooked into the inside recording unit.
I may consider making the shed alarm a stand alone unit if I get a chance, but for now it is running fine on the house alarm.
Here the joints have been sealed, and the northern end completed, except for painting. The personal access door was next to be upgraded, with a much heavier frame with a lot more support and bracing, as well as being insulated and lined inside as well. New hinges were required for the weight, and the frame went from being held in place at about 4 locations with a single pop rivet at each, to having 6 screws and about 30 rivets holding it in place - it's not going to move in a hurry!
I lost a lot of storage for smaller tools, but a couple of toolboxes below the bench helped a bit, but I still had a lot of larger tools that took up a lot of space under the workbench, so I started looking for additional storage for tools. In the end I found some metal units on eBay that were perfect for what I wanted. Soon after I painted the shed walls, I picked up the new cabinets and reorganised the shed storage once again.
Although they are not that clear in the photo, the 2 cabinets provide enough storage for many of the tools as well as parts for the christmas light building, so it really helps keep the workbench a BIT cleaner. OK I still have the coffee machine there, as well as the spare 19 inch LCD monitor, but the rest is real work, honest....
During winter I might get a few weeks and insulate and line the ceiling as well, but at the moment the main aim is to get the gear built and running so I can start sequencing by late July.
In 2012 I decided to finally do the ceiling of the shed as it was really starting to get a bit cool during winter. The upgrade included:
This is the southern end of the shed, with a spare hanging point in the center for the second firework item to be made later in the year. The far end shows the shelf for the sleigh. The floodlights are also hung from the shed roof, and yes the fans are a nice way to keep warm and cool.
The northern end with points for the deer and some of the minitrees. I still need to do something neater around the flue for the heater, and seal the wall to ceiling gap as well.
More minitree hanging points as well as the hanging for the bethlehem star. I am getting Tim Hansen from Hartley Valley Garage Doors in this week to service the doors and to discuss ways to seal between the shed and door to reduce the wind blown through the gap. The doors and controllers were put up by the shed building company some 7 years ago and have not been touched since, so are a bit noisy and in need of a service.
Hanging points for the santa, shooting star, and a double point for lifting the ledtriks to its point on top of the cabinets and fridge area. The large metal frame is the base for the jetski used back in 2008, and it will be making a comeback again this year!