Heat? (OT)

This post is by Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer

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It's been quite a day and a half! No sooner had I written about Lulu's health than she had an apparent crisis—she was staggering and falling and seemed unable to control her body. She could hardly locate her food to eat. And although she's normally a tough old broad who brushes off life's vagaries, she was looking at me with imploring eyes as if she didn't know what was happening to her and needed reassurance. I thought she had suffered a stroke or a seizure, and of course due of her age I was immediately concerned that her death might


rushing up to greet her. I've never been through end-of-life with a dog before, as primary owner and decision-maker. I've been trying to prepare (not least by trying to forgive myself in advance for making an imperfect decision, which I probably will do. I can do no better than the best I can).


It turns out not to have been so dire. It was something called "canine idiopathic vestibular syndrome," a transitory episode that often passes and often doesn't return. She "healed herself" overnight and after some time (and the usual wad of cash) at the vet's today she is back to her normal, aged, crotchety, slow-moving self, but a bit more attached than usual—she's resting at my feet under my desk right now (note her paw resting on my shoe).

I had to smack my forehead when I saw I got several informed comments about my plan to heat my pool shed, from people far more knowledgeable than I am. How could it not occur to me to ask TOP readers for advice about something I know so little about? The brain trust (TOP's audience) is collectively savvy about anything.

So, heating a one-room shack: If anyone has any more thoughts about the most efficient, effective, and elegant way to heat and cool an approximately 3,000 cubic feet (86 cubic meter), 320 square feet (30 square meter) insulated shed building, I'd love to hear. I did get some good suggestions already.

Start with a strong foundation
As far as the foundation goes, here's the story: as I understand it, the base of the shed is five 4×6-inch "skids," or girders, made of larch, which resists rotting. Notches are cut into the top of this and 2x6s are laid in perpendicularly as floor joists. Plywood is nailed on top of the joists and Bob's your uncle. People sometimes use such sheds as garages, so they handle the weight of cars.

The joists are usually 16 inches on center, but I'm having them laid 12" on center in the middle eight feet of the floor to better support the pool table. Plus, I'm having top quality 3/4ths-inch plywood substituted for the rougher sort of 5/8ths-inch the builder usually uses.

If you have expertise or knowledge to lend about the heating problem I'm all ears, and thanks.

(Thanks to Steve Rosenblum)

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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:

Chip McDaniel: "You will know when it is time for Lulu. She will tell you with her eyes. Your vet will confirm. Don't hang on too tight and make her linger past when it's time. It's the heartbreaking downside of pets, but they give us so much during their lives that we owe it to them to do right by them at the end."

Joe Holmes: "All I can tell you is that investing a considerable sum in a split ductless system was the best money we've spent on our house in years. Almost silent, almost maintenance free (clean the filters every few weeks). We've used it almost exclusively for cooling in the summer, but I wish we'd had it a couple years earlier when our heating system died on Christmas night."

Brian Small: "If you want a ultra-reliable, self contained, heating system then direct-vent kerosene units work very well."

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