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Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / Closing off loft for winter heat?
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frankpaige
Member
# Posted: 18 Nov 2022 21:44
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Us old guys maybe sit and think too much? But?
The cabin is 12x16, with a loft upstairs covering 1/2 of the upstairs opening. I have a Northern Tools direct heater, 10,000 btu. It struggles in the winter. I go up at least once a month. 9500ft, Colorado I was wondering?
Since heat rises. If I could somehow tarp off, enclose that other 8x12 opening to the loft? Would I see more heat downstairs? I cannot conceive doing that with more rafters/drywall. But something temporary for the cold months.
Am I just looney tunes? Or would it be worth the experiment?
I do think outside the box. Maybe too much sometimes.

Irrigation Guy
Member
# Posted: 18 Nov 2022 22:10
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I have used a painters drop cloth to do this exact thing, with good results. I had even thought of having a custom canvas made up by the local awning company with snaps for easy installation and removal.

darz5150
Member
# Posted: 19 Nov 2022 00:01 - Edited by: darz5150
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I have a shop with a double loft. I blocked off one end that I keep wood and other non delicate things in with a tarp. I like IGs idea of snaps. The other end I framed out like an old barn. With a double door access about 50 inches when open , to be able to put wider things.
No matter what you decide works best for you, if you can put a fan up there to push down all that precious warm air, will probably help a lot. I don't have a pic of the tarped end. I simply stapled the top edge of the tarp to the rafters. Then put a screw to hook the eye of the tarp in the middle, but still can flip it open wide enough for a 4x8 sheet of plywood.
Double doors/loft
Double doors/loft


ICC
Member
# Posted: 19 Nov 2022 09:22
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Closing off will definitely help make the lower floor warmer. How to close it is the real question.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 19 Nov 2022 09:28
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Moving the warm air out of the 'cath' ceiling' may be cheaper and easier. At our cabin I run a fan toward the peak, it moves the air up and it flows down the sides into the use space. This mixes the air in the space to a noticeable amount.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 19 Nov 2022 12:07
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I have a LOFT which is closed off, it occupies 50% of my Cathedral Ceiling. The roof is as insulated there as the rest but it is only used for storage so no point in seeing it really. BUT it presented an unexpected GOTCHA !

Of course there is no direct heat getting to it (I use Radiant Floor Heating btw) so the rest of my place is always ice & cozy BUT there is a temp differential in my bedroom which is directly below it. The ceiling is cooler because there is no heat above it, just what is passed through the uninsulated wall to the loft & ceilings in the kitchen, bathroom & my bedroom. I did not insulate the ceilings above those areas as I felt that 8" of PolyISO in the roof was sufficient. The temp difference is only about 2 degrees Celsius, so 4.5 degrees difference in Farenheight between the main living area with Cathedral ceiling & bedroom. While I do not mind a slightly cooler sleeping area (I sleep better actually) it may be an issue for others.

Just something to ponder.

spencerin
Member
# Posted: 21 Nov 2022 21:54
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I've seen foam board insulation used for this. Tack horizontal furring strips along the 12' wall and 12' edge of the loft to support 8-by pieces of foam board insulation.....

DaveBell
Moderator
# Posted: 22 Nov 2022 00:44
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Darz, that's a nice man-cave. TV, Fridge, & Tools.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 22 Nov 2022 09:33
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Quoting: gcrank1
Moving the warm air out of the 'cath' ceiling' may be cheaper and easier. At our cabin I run a fan toward the peak, it moves the air up and it flows down the sides into the use space. This mixes the air in the space to a noticeable amount

I would try this first. Move the hot air out of the ceiling. The easiest way to do this is to move the cold air to the hot area.

Tim_Ohio
Member
# Posted: 22 Nov 2022 10:35
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If they make kits large enough, you could use the shrink plastic sold for adding a temporary storm window to normal windows. Back in college, the old house I stayed in was draft prone. We would apply the two sided tape to the area around the window, then stick the plastic film over it and use a hair dryer to make it shrink to fit.

The advantage is, the kit is not bulky and you can take it up in the car without using up much of your space for hard materials, not unlike the tarp idea.
It's light weight to. If all else fails, you can stay warmer with the hair dryer....not serious...just a joke.

They sell these kits in the hardware stores where you might find weather strip materials. I've seen some pretty large kits. Some are made for sliding glass doors.

Tim_Ohio

frankpaige
Member
# Posted: 25 Nov 2022 20:07
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Update!
Irrigation Guy
""Posted: 18 Nov 2022 22:10
I have used a painters drop cloth to do this exact thing.""
The weather was forecasted to be great up here. And! No wind! So I came up for the weekend.
I did find some painter's drop cloths with plastic on the back. 9x12, (2). I cut some cardboard (2x4) and used those on top of the plastic to staple through. Thought the plastic would just tear. Stapled one side on both walls and looped over my drop down attic ladder. Not tight by any means. But gave it a 1st time test.
Quite a difference! Yeah! Currently 68 degrees in here. Was 49 during the day, forecast to be about 30 tonight. I do need to see what the temp is in the loft. But much more comfortable this trip. Less than 3 weeks and the days will be starting increase those daylight hours.
Thanks everyone for your input. Greatly Appreciated.
Now. I need to start Christmas shopping. 🤣

Irrigation Guy
Member
# Posted: 26 Nov 2022 12:37
Reply 


Quoting: frankpaige
Update!
Irrigation Guy
""Posted: 18 Nov 2022 22:10
I have used a painters drop cloth to do this exact thing.""
The weather was forecasted to be great up here. And! No wind! So I came up for the weekend.
I did find some painter's drop cloths with plastic on the back. 9x12, (2). I cut some cardboard (2x4) and used those on top of the plastic to staple through. Thought the plastic would just tear. Stapled one side on both walls and looped over my drop down attic ladder. Not tight by any means. But gave it a 1st time test.
Quite a difference! Yeah! Currently 68 degrees in here. Was 49 during the day, forecast to be about 30 tonight. I do need to see what the temp is in the loft. But much more comfortable this trip. Less than 3 weeks and the days will be starting increase those daylight hours.
Thanks everyone for your input. Greatly Appreciated.
Now. I need to start Christmas shopping


Happy to hear that it is working for you

travellerw
Member
# Posted: 26 Nov 2022 17:22
Reply 


Glad it has worked out for you!.

My plan was to use "Curtain Backing". Essentially heavy white fabric, very similar to drop cloth (which is probably cheaper).

However, we installed a BIG fan instead. At 1/2 setting the fan will keep the lower level and the loft within 1C of each other. We run the fan on a 200Wh power pack.
IMG_1540.JPEG
IMG_1540.JPEG


Brettny
Member
# Posted: 27 Nov 2022 06:54
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Sleeping in a loft with with a wood stove down below is pure hell.

travellerw
Member
# Posted: 27 Nov 2022 11:32
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Quoting: Brettny
Sleeping in a loft with with a wood stove down below is pure hell.


We slept in our loft last night with the wood stove going. It was lovely. Like I said, the fan was key to making that happen. With the fan turned off, its pretty much an oven up there.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 27 Nov 2022 13:25
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Do you have stairs or a ladder at the other end of your loft? Ate both ends open to below in some fashion?

travellerw
Member
# Posted: 27 Nov 2022 22:52 - Edited by: travellerw
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Its stairs up the center of the loft. Essentially we are a 16X28 cabin with a 16ft loft. When the fan is on, you can actually feel the air rushing up the staircase (at 1/2 setting).

When the fan is on high its a freakin whirlwind in there. It will push air even in the 2 back rooms (bedroom and bathroom).

Here is a layout of the upstairs.
upstairs.jpg
upstairs.jpg


travellerw
Member
# Posted: 27 Nov 2022 22:57
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This is the mainfloor in case anyone is interested. The fan is powerful enough to push air all the way to the back. Its an industrial fan, no bells or whistles (or lights). Just pure air moving power.
Untitled.jpg
Untitled.jpg


Brettny
Member
# Posted: 29 Nov 2022 07:35
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That's why a your loft fan works so well. You have another area that can flow air. If you only have a single opening your fighting a loosing battle

jsahara24
Member
# Posted: 29 Nov 2022 09:05
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I am able to get my loft to within 3*F with a large ceiling fan. Its a typical loft setup with stairs on the open end. I do have grid power so that makes it easier to run the fan around the clock when I'm there.

travellerw
Member
# Posted: 29 Nov 2022 11:20
Reply 


Quoting: Brettny
That's why a your loft fan works so well. You have another area that can flow air. If you only have a single opening your fighting a loosing battle


The solution in that situation is to move the ceiling fan away from the opening and towards the back of the loft. A powerful enough fan will create enough air movement to push the hot air down and pull the cool air up.

Of course you need to have the headroom for that!

jsahara24
Member
# Posted: 29 Nov 2022 11:56
Reply 


Good point, to clarify I have a large fan 84" in the cathedral ceiling and a 54" in the loft itself....it regulates to a 3* temp difference between the downstairs and the loft....

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