Garden rooms for all year round: how to install them?
Not surprisingly, the idea to build garden rooms usually arises when the weather warms up and people start thinking about a cozy place for a quiet summer vacation. However, with a little more investment in construction, wooden garden rooms can be easily adapted for winter recreation – could be used much more often than just on warm summer days. How to create such an all-seasonal rest area?
Choosing the right wood – half the job
One of the most common reasons for choosing a mobile home for housing is not only the naturalness of the wood but also its good properties, which have a significant impact on the thermal insulation of the house. Therefore, garden rooms for sale made of high-quality wood already ensure a great microclimate – give comfortably cool indoor temperature in summer and warm temperature in winter.
It can be said that the wood most often used in the construction of summer houses suitable for living in our country is coniferous wood: pine, spruce, cedar or cedar pine, larch. It is obvious that the frequent choice of these wood species is mostly related to the abundance of the trees themselves in our country, but their specific characteristics cannot be ignored either. For example, spruce wood has a much higher resistance to temperature differences than pine wood, which is why spruce is often chosen for the production of building structures. However, pine wood breathes much more, resulting in better air and moisture permeability, and its specific density provides better mechanical properties that garden rooms will have as well.
As for the essential aspect of this topic – thermal insulation, wooden houses made of spruce will have at least 10% better thermal insulation than pine trees. The same cottage made of larch will be even 25-30% colder. The truth is, if you do not save heavily on building materials, it is worth noting that the red Canadian and Siberian cedar wood far surpasses the other wood species in its insulating properties. Thanks to its unique structure, cedar not only retains heat well but also cleans the indoor air and the microbes in it. This wood also has a very low coefficient of compression, so it practically does not give in to longitudinal and transverse rotation or shrinkage. Thus, due to the extremely low density and high air content in the wood structure, cedar has the lowest heat loss compared to other types of wood.
When choosing what kind of wood your garden house will be made of, it is also worth knowing that, if possible, it is important to consider the location of the trees and the time of year they were cut down. This is important because, depending on the forest in which they grow – mixed, dense, or perhaps in the woods on a hill, in a swamp, or in the lowland – the density usually differs. Where the trees grew is also important for the strength and durability of the building. It should also be noted that the winter felling tree will be much drier, so drying the already assembled structure is likely to avoid major deformations, large cracks, and fungal or rodent damage will become less likely.
How to ensure quality insulation of the cottage?
For the garden rooms to be properly insulated, it is necessary to get acquainted with several important aspects before starting the insulation work, which will help to ensure the highest quality of it.
First of all, it is important to know that it is recommended to carry out all insulation works of the summer house from the outside, as this reduces the temperature load on the walls – the wall temperature remains stable all year round. It is also important to mention that the insulation of the wooden garden rooms from the inside is not very practical. When insulating the walls of a house that has already been built, it is very often necessary to dismantle the floor. To guarantee that the summer house will retain the unique look that natural logs give, insulation work can also be carried out from the inside. However, in this case, it is recommended to use only ecological materials, as this is the only way to maintain a healthy microclimate.
The second important thing that is important to understand when choosing materials for the insulation of your log cabin is the importance of thermal conductivity. The lower the coefficient, the fewer insulation materials will be needed and the conductivity will eventually respond to heating costs. It is also important to take into account that the material used for insulation is vapor permeable – it does not “breathe”, it is not blown away by the wind, the material does not accumulate moisture, and is resistant to the growth of microorganisms itself.
The third thing is that before starting any insulation work, it is important to consider the fact that garden rooms for sale will be moving for at least a few years after construction. Thus, without proper calculation of this process, the materials used for insulation and insulation may be damaged and the work may need to be re-done.
Fourth – if your insulated log cabin is not new, the first step before taking any insulation work should always be a thorough inspection of its construction. It means – to figure out whether the cottage has no structural damage. Not only the walls and floors of the building but also the roof should be inspected qualitatively in this case. It is worth noting that windows and doors account for as much as 25% and sometimes even 30% of heat loss, so when investing in the insulation of the walls of a wooden house, do not pay for the tightness of windows and doors and ceilings. It is not uncommon for garden houses to be insulated regardless of the places through which a large amount of heat escapes from the house, which does not allow for maximum insulation. However, even large investments in wall insulation or efficient heating systems will be worthless if you do not ensure the complete tightness of the garden rooms for sale.
What insulation materials to choose?
Before considering the insulation work, it is worth noting that the insulation of the cottage will certainly not be a cheap and quick job, and the choice of materials will matter for the quality of the insulation. Probably the most popular choice when it comes to materials for insulating a wooden house at the moment is polyester foam. When insulating wooden houses in this way, special polyester panels are attached directly to the wood. However, although due to its simplicity, this method is particularly popular – it is not the choice that will ensure the highest quality of insulation (due to the lack of tightness of the polyester material). Due to its exceptional quality and elasticity, which is important for thermal insulation, polyurethane is especially often used for garden rooms insulation. Insulation with mineral stone wool could be another method of extraction that allows a better result than polyester foam. However, it is important to keep in mind that if you choose stone wool, you will need an additional polyethylene film to help absorb water vapor that is harmful to the wall.
Whatever insulation method or material you choose, it is important to pay attention to the heat transfer coefficients U and the thermal resistance R. The heat transfer criterion will allow an assessment of the thermal insulation or the amount of heat that can penetrate through the bulkhead of the insulating material. The lower the U value, the less heat will penetrate. Looking at the coefficient of thermal resistance, the higher the resistance, the warmer the partition will be.
Insulated garden rooms: why is it important to insulate not the walls only?
When it comes to the topic of insulation, the first association is usually the walls of the house. However, this is not the only part of the house that should be taken care of to maintain a comfortable climate inside the building.
First of all, cold floors can be named as one of the main causes of cold in cottages. It is important to emphasize that these problems are usually hard to solve by carpets placed on them. Therefore, when installing the floor of a wooden house, it should be ensured, that no “cold bridges” are formed in the insulation process. For example, if you decide to use polyurethane for the insulation, its layer must rest on the walls by at least 10-15 cm. Wooden garden rooms with polyurethane-insulated floors have excellent insulation properties – this material is homogeneous, so it does not require additional sealing, and it adheres well to the insulating layer. It also allows achieving much higher thermal insulation than other insulation materials.
If you prefer to have a comfortable temperature in your summer house all year round, it is no less important to take care of high-quality roof insulation. The roof is the part of the building that protects the premises from external influences such as heat, cold, or rain. However, an unattended or leaky roof usually causes one of the biggest heat losses – as the building’s warm air rises, up to 30%, and sometimes more heat is wasted through the roof. Probably the most commonly used insulation material for roof insulation is mineral wool, which not only retains heat in a wooden house but also significantly reduces heat energy consumption. It is also important to mention that choosing environmentally friendly and sustainable insulation houses will have a double environmental benefit, as they use less energy and will not use materials to insulate them. So, finding a reliable way to stop the leakage of warm air through the roof and its structures is especially important. High-quality roof insulation will not allow you to release coziness and comfort together with the heat from the building.
Which heating system to choose?
There is no one best way to suit all types of homes, so the answer to the question of how garden rooms for sale should be heated is not as simple as it may seem at first glance. The choice of heating system can be determined by many factors, so garden houses can be heated in various ways: fireplace, electric heater, air conditioner, professional heating system.
When considering how to heat your wooden house, it is recommended to consider things like type of construction of the house, insulation, how much you are in a wooden house outside the summer. For example, if you do not plan to use the holiday home all year round, it is not worth investing in a complete space and water heating system, in which case you will need to maintain a temperature of about 6-8° C throughout the winter to prevent water from freezing in the radiators. If you intend to use the house periodically, it is worth choosing a heating system that does not require large investments but ensures minimal heating needs. For example, an electric heater or air conditioner heats a room fairly quickly and efficiently – 70-80 W / m² appliances should be enough to heat an insulated house in moderate winter conditions. Find out more about electric heater hire here.
To ensure the highest level of electric heating efficiency, you can use thermostats in the heaters that allow you to control the temperature automatically. Depending on the temperature recorded by the sensors, the heating will switch on or off automatically. This saves costs and makes the system more efficient. Another, probably the most common heating option is a fireplace, which ensures efficient heating of the building and can only be used as needed. If you provide an additional heat distribution system in all rooms – you will heat the whole house quite quickly and inexpensively. The biggest disadvantage is that when the fireplace is finished, the premises cool down quite quickly, so if you choose this heating option, the highest level of insulation of the building is necessary.
Finally, those looking for the most efficient way to heat a garden home, in the long run, should give good consideration to a professional heating system. It will not only allow the desired housing temperature to be maintained at any time of the day but will also ensure that the entire house is heated evenly, including the water system, thus avoiding the problem of freezing in the winter.