Design & DIY

How to winterize your shed or boathouse

When it comes to storing your summer gear, be it boats, bikes, lawnmowers, or lawnchairs, it’s always nice to know your gear will be well protected. And nothing beats a good shed or boathouse for making sure that happens. Even better, if your shed or boathouse is properly winterized, it can even double as a man-cave or a workshop. Here are some ways to guarantee your stuff doesn’t get wrecked by mother-nature this winter.

Weather stripping

The first step to protecting your belongings is sealing it off from the outdoors. And ensuring your weather stripping is intact will do exactly that. These are the strips of plastic or rubber that seal the doors on your shed. They can become brittle and crack over time, so if you find this is happening at your place, replace that weather stripping.

Insulate walls

Insulating the inside of your walls will decrease major temperature fluctuations and ensure your valuables don’t suffer from those extremely cold days. Installing fiberglass batt insulation on all interior walls is a great start. You can also use polystyrene rigid insulation, which is a little bit easier to install and work with. Be sure to speak with your local hardware store employees for any guidance on proper installation.

If your shed is drywalled, then you can get an insulation blower at most hardware stores. You can often rent a blower wherever you buy blow-in insulation. And it’s actually pretty easy to install. You’ll just need to drill a hole between each stud and blow in the insulation. Again, any knowledgeable hardware store employee will be able to help you with precise needs of your structure.

Insulate doors

If you have a big garage-style door on your shed, then it’s a definite cause of heat loss. There are a bunch of ways to insulate garage doors, including, just like the walls, foam board and fiberglass batt insulation. With all the moving parts of a garage door, it’s a bit trickier to insulate, but it’s by no means impossible. To make the process easy you can find pre-packaged garage insulation kits that home improvement stores stock.

If your door is old and you can see light coming in through the cracks, you may want to consider replacing the door altogether. And if that’s your solution, you’ll want to make sure you install a pre-insulated replacement door.

Heat it

Sure, weather stripping and insulation will prevent your shed or boathouse from experiencing massive temperature fluctuations, but in the middle of February your space still won’t be warm. You won’t really want to hang out in there without all your winter gear on. And if that’s your intention then you’ll need to invest in some kind of heat source. The wood stove is the ultimate romantic option, but they’re pricey and will require a professional installation, and your insurance company will need to be involved. If those factors aren’t a deterrent, a wood stoves is one of the most popular heat sources.

An easier, cheaper option is a heater. A contractor’s propane heater will do in a pinch and sell for as little as $155. Or a unit heater is a great option. You’ll need to decide between gas or electric versions. Gas models require exhaust venting, making them a little more difficult to install. And the electric versions are a little less economical. Both versions of unit heaters start at about $500.