The Mad Housers

New Feature: I Am Not an Architect

Nick here. Every so often, we have some sort of design problem - er, sorry "challenge" - that gives us fits. This is usually because, hey, we're not actually architects (or engineers, or construction workers, or public health experts, etc). Therefore, I'm going to try to work with the wisdom of crowds here, which means I'm going to be very lazy and ask the Internet to see if maybe YOU can come up with a solution.  Hence, I Am Not An Architect.

So, for my inaugural I am Not An Architect post, I want to talk insulation. With our fullsize huts, we don't worry too much about insulation beyond taking care of the roof and floor, because the huts are actively heated with our stoves.  But our Low Rider structures, which measure only 4 feet high by 4' x 8', clearly cannot take a stove - we have yet to come up with any safe, practical way to heat such a small space. Therefore, we insulate every panel of a Low Rider - floor, ceiling, walls, all of it.

This works well enough for the wintertime, but for all the other season, it can make the Low Riders too darn stuffy. So we have to figure a way to stricke a balance: how do we keep our clients safe in the coldest nights but keep them reasonably comfortable during the warmer months?

Please keep in mind that the answer does not have to be construction-based! We're currently experimenting with getting rid of the wall insulation on the Low Riders and instead giving a good-quality sleeping bag with each one.  Any solution to the problem must be simple to implement - remember, we're not cuonstruction professionals, either - and preferably low-cost.

Send your suggestions to If we like it, we'll try it, and give you the credit.  Thanks!


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