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Can you use a She Shed for a sleep out?


Firstly, we better cover the council requirements of using a shed for a sleep out.

The Department of Building and Housing states, it is allowable to have a detached building without the need for a building consent but "all building work must comply with the New Zealand Building Code".

As long as the building, "does not exceed one storey, does not exceed 10 square metres in floor area, and does not contain sanitary facilities or facilities for the storage of potable water, but may contain sleeping accommodation if the detached building is used in connection with a dwelling". (Building Act 2004: Schedule 4)

The only rule is you need a working smoke alarm and a hinged exit door in case of fire.

Most of us will want to use our sleep out all year and this will require some form of insulation.

We have come up with a few ideas below but if you talk to your local building supplier they will be able to give you many more options.

One of the most important places to have insulation is under your floor, here are some products you could use. Available from The Insulation Warehouse – insulationwarehouse.co.nz,  Or Bunnings - www.bunnings.co.nz.

Cocoon Polyester:

A high grade insulation that comes in a 1200 wide roll. You can get pre-cut widths to fit between floor joists. Meets NZ standards and is a high grade product.



 A quality underfloor insulation that fits between floor joists. Comes in three widths- 450mm, 500mm and 600mm. You roll it out between floor joists and staple in place.


A Polystyrene insulation with a concertinaed edge, that sits hard against the floor boards. It is economic and is great with floor boards.Each sheet is 60mm thick, 1200mm long and is available in a wide range of widths: 360mm, 410mm, 440mm, 470mm and 560mm.

Expol Underfloor Insulation R1.8

Expol Black is graphite infused EPS supplied in the same sizes as the standard white under floor Insulation. Expol Black is a premium product which achieves superior R values. It has high insulating properties and is rigid and lightweight.


If you have already built your sleep out, or are converting an existing shed, you could opt for carpet and these days many carpet underlays have good insulation properties.

Underlay available from Harrisons carpets – underlay with a purpose.


Walls and Ceilings

Space is at a premium with walls, so we want to use insulation products that will take up as little room as possible. Here is a list of products we have come up with so far.


Natural wool products - Blanket Wool Insulation:

This insulation comes in a blanket form and has Thermal ratings of R2.6, R3.2 and R3.6. It can be used on walls and ceilings. The material is safe and healthy and non-toxic.

It would be very easy to place this behind Gibb Plasterboard that is screwed straight to your wooden shed walls, or a nice Tongue and groove.

Natural wool products also do an underfloor blanket.


Thermabar 344 FR Foil a Fire Retardant light diffuser Foil Insulation

Consisting of a layer of highly burnished aluminium foil that is bonded with a Fire Retardant adhesive to a white woven polymeric mesh. This will provide a white aesthetic finish that will increase light. It is fire Retardant and is unaffected by moisture. Will improve thermal performance. Available from Bunnings. 

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