What is your shed used for? Is it a repository for the stuff that doesn't quite fit in your house (although stuff you don't want to throw away)? Or is it a place for quiet contemplation, somewhere you can relax away from the hustle and bustle of family life? If you're spending time in your shed for whatever reason, you'll need to ensure that you're comfortable. This involves more than installing a couch or armchair, and you need to take steps to keep the interior of the shed cool and comfortable. So what exactly can you do to make sure that your shed doesn't turn into an oven under the hot Aussie sun?
Bubble wrap is surprisingly effective when it comes to inexpensive DIY insulation. Sure, you can purchase a wide variety of insulation fillers from your local hardware shop, and yet why go to this expense? Cut a sheet of bubble wrap to fit each wall panel inside the shed, and then you just need to attach it to the panel in question. If you have a wooden shed, you can tack or staple the bubble wrap. If your shed is metal, glue is the best option. Repeat until the interior of the shed is insulated in bubble wrap. You can leave it as is, or fit plasterboard over the wrap for a more finished look.
How Does It Work? The bubble wrap (when held into position by glue, staples, or tacks) creates a pocket of air which prevents hot air from entering the shed.
If you encourage climbing plants to cover your shed, you are creating a "first line of defense" against the sun. It results in a shed that has a cool and inviting interior, and is also rather darn lovely to look at. You will need to install a trellis and/or chicken wire frame on the walls and roof of your shed, and then plant a quick-growing climber that will thrive in your local climate.
How Does It Work? The plants soak up the worst of the sun (and they love it). This prevents the bulk of the sun's heat from affecting the internal temperature of your shed too much. Plants also contribute to a slight decrease in temperature via evapotranspiration, which is when they release moisture into the air.
A lick of paint is about the easiest way to keep the heat out of your shed. Paint the exterior of the shed in a light colour, and you will manage to reflect a lot of the sun's heat. In 2011, the then-US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu actually made the professional recommendation for people to paint the roof of their home white. This would bounce the heat of the sun back into space. Mr Chu made this suggestion in an effort to combat global warming, but it's a trick you can borrow in order to keep your shed cool. A white shed is a cool shed.
How Does It Work? The neutrality of white allows it to reflect all wavelengths of light. Because the light is being reflected, the heat that often comes with light is also being reflected, and therefore is not absorbed. You would be surprised what difference some white paint will make to your shed's internal temperature.
Keeping your shed cool doesn't have to be difficult, but it's certainly worth the effort if you plan to spend any time inside.