In case you were wondering...

In case you were wondering...

This blog exists to encourage all those who have ever wanted--and needed!--a tiny getaway close to home. A workshop, playhouse, garden shed, sanctuary, mini-greenhouse, studio, home office; whatever it is you need, it IS doable, with some sacrifice, imagination, and compromise.

It helps if you're handy, too.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Heating the shed...

So far, it's still relatively nice fall weather--some mornings have been almost down to freezing, but not yet.  (Might have been frost one morning...)

But winter's coming and Missouri can get very cold when "there's jes' two bob-wahr fences between here and the North Pole and one a-THEM's down," as I heard an old farmer say once!  I know, -12 degrees F. isn't as cold as it's been in some places, but it's not really conducive to sketching...

We didn't install a "real" heating system in the shed...certainly no furnace, no natural gas, and no electric baseboard heat or similar--in other words, nothing that comes on with a thermostat when the temperature drops below a certain level, so water WILL freeze at night or when I'm not there.  I won't be storing paints, waterbrushes, or drinking water...

This is the current solution to those cold mornings: 

It's a small ceramic heater with 1500 BTUs** (Note!  J reminds me that's 1500 watts, not BTUs...), about standard for most electric heaters.  (Yes, the floor's still going to be cold till we solve the insulation problem...)

This is a BIG help for now, however.  J. found a timer that comes on an hour or so before I'm likely to be out there, and makes it nice enough to work...about 60+-ish, on chilly mornings. (I used to need 72 degrees, but I've weaned myself pretty well, with wool or polar fleece and localized heat.)  For now, we have it set to turn back off at 9 am, with an override button on the side so I can manually keep the heat up if I'm out there...

And here's the other solution...polar fleece knee sock/slippers I got a few years ago at a thrift store--they were brand NEW, and have been great.  J's old heating pad now has a slipcover of a quilted pillowcase, also a thrift store find, and my toes are toasty!

We had originally thought we'd install a small woodstove, and may yet, one day (I really do love wood heat)--but with the necessary clearance from combustibles, it would need nearly 1/4 of the floor space.  Hm.  That's a LOT.

Plus the fact that I've got arthritis and J. has a bad back, since a fall 4 years ago.  Very much wood cutting, carrying, and splitting is NOT an option.

So.  Here's something else I'm considering, a home made solar heater.

(Wouldn't you know, plans for one from the 70s fell victim to my Discardia mania a few weeks ago!  Yes, I want less stuff, yes I want a simpler life, and yes, they WERE sort of beat up, but I wish I'd thought a bit first...)

Anyway, a home made one could vent right into the AC hole during the winter, and come down and be stored away in summer...I purposely left that big south-facing wall blank so I'd have privacy and plenty of wall space for the books and desk.  Plenty of room for a solar panel, too!

Another possibility is a wall mounted convection heater...saw this link on the Tiny House's the direct link. 

Hmmmmmm---wall mounted...more floor vents or additional holes efficient...

But for now the tiny heater and the timer are getting the job done...with a nice low-tech heating pad.


  1. Hi!

    Have you thought of a small pellet stove? You can put them close to the wall and they give nice heat.


  2. I've seen them in my research but most of them are pretty expensive...siiigh.

  3. The wall heater looks awesome! I'd be afraid if you built the solar panel the vandals would wreck it--unless you could place it on the roof--but then what about hail? It didn't sound too sturdy to me.

    I didn't know there were so many options. I am learning from your blog and links. ;)

  4. I agree with Rita, the vandals would wreck your solar heater. I like the wall version as it saves floor space and doesn't take up much wall space either.

    The heating pad and booties ought to help but at 60ish I'd be hanging on to my tea mug so hard I wouldn't get any drawing done, lol.

  5. LOTS of options, Rita! Not sure vandals would have a clue what it was...and yep, I'll admit my mug of hot coffee felt pretty good n my hands this morning!

  6. Actually the heater is 1500 Watts which equals 5000 BTU.

  7. Whoops, thanks babe! And oddly the other little ceramic heater with the SAME watts heats better. Go figure...

  8. have you checked out marine stoves? Check this out:

    it only needs 1" of clearance on each side, and the chimney is a 4", so it's easier to install.

    Great site, your cabin looks stellar.

  9. Hi, Shane! Yep, I'd seen them somewhere, they're VERY cool, but wow, they're expensive. And thanks much, I'm really pleased with it!



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