View Full Version : Workshop heating

11-28-2015, 02:05 AM
Hi there> (long post sorry)
I have a LARGE garage (space for 4 cars) which I have sectioned off a 1/3 using plastic sheeting. this is my ‘workshop’ but its COLD.

It has single skinned, concrete sides and condensation proof steel roof with fibreglass skylights. It would be very difficult to insulate without completely boarding the whole thing out.

It has concrete flooring which I have placed foam mats and carpet around.
I already use a condenser dehumidifier to help reduce the damp.

How would you heat the space, enough to take the edge of it? (but relatively cost effective)

chuck in ny
11-28-2015, 04:02 AM
buildings like that are a refrigerator. they frequently have high ceilings. if it's going up to the rafters that's a lot of cubic feet to heat.
i've seen people heat stone and concrete buildings with a 23k kerosene, starting them up a few hours before work. the other thing that works quite well is a small wood stove. with that you have the normal wood stove issues, no lacquer spraying, possibility of a dust explosion ignition, you can't have negative pressure created by too large an exhaust fan or blower. you can't reduce the space being heated further because you won't have the square feet necessary. all you can do is maybe close off a ceiling and heat the rest.

11-28-2015, 04:47 AM
Definitely board it and insulate it. In the long run it'll be way cheaper than heating a space like that. Also, an uninsulated workshop is very bad for tools and machinery, not to mention being practically impossible to keep to the proper humidity levels.

11-28-2015, 04:57 AM
luckily it does not have tall ceilings, just a nice floor space. the roof is pitched at about 30deg and at the centre is about 9 feet tall

I am going to try to insulate the walls with ‘bubble wrap’ and block any holes around the edges!

Michael Smith
11-28-2015, 08:13 AM
I have found it effective just using an electric space heater where I'm doing my stationary work such as hand sanding, inlay, setup. When I'm moving around I can handle the cold.

11-28-2015, 05:38 PM
Can you spray foam the ceiling and exterior walls? I hold reasonable temps with a small IR heater in a space that big with a steel building and higher ceiling.

11-28-2015, 05:41 PM
I use a small 4.8KW heater I purchased from home depot here in the states for $89 http://www.homedepot.com/p/Dimplex-4800-Watt-Forced-Air-Electric-Portable-Construction-Heater-DCH4831L/203568956
It will heat my shop (16' x 8') easily and also heats my garage (20' x 22').

It's been a while since I have lived in the UK (moved to US in 1990) so I'm not sure if you can buy such a heater there.


Kayak Jim
11-29-2015, 03:21 AM
I agree with others who say insulation will definitely pay off. For heating you consider one or two of these, which heat the objects not the air (used in ice rink bleachers and bus shelters)



Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-29-2015, 07:21 AM
When I was on the mainland I worked in a detached 5 car garage with no insulation. I used a forced air kerosene heater to take the chill off in the mornings. The are very efficient and work quickly, although they are somewhat loud. After 15 minutes I could turn it off and start work.


11-29-2015, 11:55 AM
The pitch of the roof on my garage is fairly steep and the other day (at about 50 F outside), I climbed up in the rafters to look for a board and it was right hot up there. Probably 80 +. The area down where I work is usually cold, and the concrete floor seems to suck the warmth outta me. So, I took a floor fan, the squirrel cage type, and attached an 8' piece of flexible duct to the outlet and carried it up the ladder and I simply screwed the fan base to one rafter all the way up at the peak. I ran the duct down and punched a hole in the ceiling board and sliver taped that thing in place. Turned it on and it blew hot air down into the workspace. Awesome! I put an attic fan thermostat on it so anytime the air up top is above 70 F, the fan will come on. Purdy simple. So whenever the sun is heating up the roof, I'll be heating the workspace.

11-29-2015, 12:02 PM
Kev ..just man up..and tell the wife , that it's too cold and damp in that big garage to build ukes ( and this is the chosen direction of your life on this planet ..bla bla bla etc ) So to fill your ambition it is necessary for you to move all your equipment into the house for a few months until the winter is over and once again you can move back into the garage.?... If She don't like that! ask for a Divorce ..I would do that but the truth is " I couldn't do it cos I very much love my house and shed" ;)

11-29-2015, 11:34 PM
Better hope Mrs T doesn't see that when she's out from under the counter after fitting the carpet!

11-30-2015, 08:12 AM
So whenever the sun is heating up the roof, I'll be heating the workspace.

The sun? :rotfl: I live in WALES UK

Jokes aside, that sounds like a pretty good set up. I have already laid down flooring to try and insulate from below.
My plan is to Bubble Wrap the walls and possible the roof (inside!)

Timbuck, I started out building in the house... got sent out to the garage.

11-30-2015, 10:00 AM
I built myself a workshop earlier this year and used that silver bubble wrap stuff stapled to the walls (you could use carpet tape maybe). I got it from Wickes and I think it was 11 quid a roll


Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-30-2015, 10:44 AM
I face the same dilema.
Something like this stove would be good for wood scrapes.


12-01-2015, 07:51 AM
The sun? :rotfl: I live in WALES UK

Hahaha do you even remember what the sun looks like? It's a bit of a distant memory for me :rofl: Having lived in Wales, I think Lancashire is even worse!

12-01-2015, 08:37 AM
In my youth... I did everything in an old barn. I used a tank top propane heater to keep myself toasty. It worked surprisingly well, considering the size of the space.

chuck in ny
12-03-2015, 03:00 PM
FWIW the foil faced or even plain bubble wrap has some good performance. doesn't meet any codes i don't think but you do what you have to do.