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  1. #1
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Insulating a garage workshop

    I am building a garage workshop and I want to insulate the walls.
    I live in southern California, the garage is currently unheated but I may add a heater later and the outside walls are stucco. Which side should the vapor barrier be installed on?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Insulating a garage workshop

    I believe the barrier should go on the wall that the house and garage share.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Insulating a garage workshop

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcy Tate View Post
    I believe the barrier should go on the wall that the house and garage share.
    _______
    Networx.com
    We provide the latest information on how to fix, renovate, and decorate your house using the least amount of resources for the best value.

    What?!?!?! If this is the latest "information" that you can provide, then maybe you should be consulting a better website than the one you're here trying to promote.

    Vapor barriers are placed on the interior side of the wall on ALL perimeter walls (exterior walls ), not just those adjoining a garage.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Insulating a garage workshop

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcy Tate View Post
    I believe the barrier should go on the wall that the house and garage share.
    _______
    Networx.com
    We provide the latest information on how to fix, renovate, and decorate your house using the least amount of resources for the best value.
    Hmmm ---- I have to agree with Sprucey --- that information is wrong.

    JB3 ---- considering where you live and the space being insulated a vapour barrier isn't much of an issue and really isn't necessary --- in my opinion.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Insulating a garage workshop

    Generally if used a vapor barrier should go toward the warm side to prevent moisture from migrating into the insulation, then condensing when it reaches the dew point. I wouldn't particuarly bother with one in a garage, but it wouldn't hurt.
    Unless you're in the mountains, I wouldn't think So. Cal would need much in the way of heat in a garage.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Insulating a garage workshop

    Quote Originally Posted by ed21 View Post
    Generally if used a vapor barrier should go toward the warm side to prevent moisture from migrating into the insulation, then condensing when it reaches the dew point. I wouldn't particuarly bother with one in a garage, but it wouldn't hurt.
    Unless you're in the mountains, I wouldn't think So. Cal would need much in the way of heat in a garage.
    Some times it's warmer outside and sometimes it's warmer inside the garage, but I didn't know if it would matter much her in SO CAL. I mainly want to keep it cooler in the garage during the summer but it does get cold in there in winter sometimes.

    Is there any do-it-yourself spray in foam insulation?
    Thanks for all the replies.

  7. #7
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Insulating a garage workshop

    JB, there are no DIY spray foam applicators that I know of. For your purposes in SoCal I think that fiberglass batts will be sufficient. Keep in mind that garages are very difficult to keep warm or cool because they are inherently "leaky". That big metal roll-up door is a huge heat sink, drawing warmth out in the winter and heat in in the summer. Generally, garages are not sheetrocked or insulated in any manner, no ceiling, bare roof trusses, big gaps under exterior doors, etc. You've probably also got venting screens around the perimeter as well, all add up to heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Installing fiberglass in the walls and ceiling with a layer of 5/8" drywall will go a long way to slow the heat transfers, but you still have that big door to contend with. You can buy rigid foam insulation and cut it to fit inside the panels of the door which will help greatly. As for the perimeter vents, they are there so that carbon monoxide from a running engine, as well as other toxic vapors from a hot vehicle or stored fuels cannot build up. I would recommend leaving these vents open.

    With all that insulation and drywall, your garage will now hold heat that is produced inside the garage, say from an electric space heater (never use fuel powered heaters in an enclosed space ... ) fairly well. Without some sort of heat source, the garage will remain nearly as cold as whatever the exterior ambient temperature is at the time. In the summer you should fair quite well with keeping the radiant heat outside as long as the doors remain closed.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  8. #8
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Insulating a garage workshop

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    JB, there are no DIY spray foam applicators that I know of. For your purposes in SoCal I think that fiberglass batts will be sufficient. Keep in mind that garages are very difficult to keep warm or cool because they are inherently "leaky". That big metal roll-up door is a huge heat sink, drawing warmth out in the winter and heat in in the summer. Generally, garages are not sheetrocked or insulated in any manner, no ceiling, bare roof trusses, big gaps under exterior doors, etc. You've probably also got venting screens around the perimeter as well, all add up to heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Installing fiberglass in the walls and ceiling with a layer of 5/8" drywall will go a long way to slow the heat transfers, but you still have that big door to contend with. You can buy rigid foam insulation and cut it to fit inside the panels of the door which will help greatly. As for the perimeter vents, they are there so that carbon monoxide from a running engine, as well as other toxic vapors from a hot vehicle or stored fuels cannot build up. I would recommend leaving these vents open.

    With all that insulation and drywall, your garage will now hold heat that is produced inside the garage, say from an electric space heater (never use fuel powered heaters in an enclosed space ... ) fairly well. Without some sort of heat source, the garage will remain nearly as cold as whatever the exterior ambient temperature is at the time. In the summer you should fair quite well with keeping the radiant heat outside as long as the doors remain closed.
    Thanks A. Spruce.
    My metal door is insulated. I am also putting in 5/8" drywall. I also want to insulate the roof with either the rigid foam between the rafters or the reflective foil to the inside of the rafters leading to a ridge vent. Not sure which would be best.
    If I heat it will probably be an infrared heater.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Insulating a garage workshop

    I'd say to insulate the ceiling joists not the roof joists. I've never dealt with those radiant barriers so I cannot offer an opinion on them. For your local, I don't know that you'd see much gain for the effort or expense.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Insulating a garage workshop

    Quote Originally Posted by JB3 View Post
    How to build a garage workshop with a workbench, lots of storage like floor to ceiling cabinets with adjustable shelves and places for tools like a miter saw, drill press, saw, air compressor etc. Wiring for the tools and lighting and air distribution for the compressor.
    I saw this post in another thread. What you ask is really pretty easy and straight forward. For cabinetry, I prefer to build floor to ceiling cabinets with bypass closet doors on them. This allows maximum storage and you can still access the closet even when a car is parked in front of them because you don't have to swing a door to access the cabinet. Build them to fit the space allowed, I like to get at least 24" deep if possible. There are a number of "garage" cabinets available from big box and specialty suppliers for a more normal upper and lower cabinet configuration.

    For benches I like using recycled lower kitchen cabinets. They're plenty strong and provide good storage. Bench tops can be just about anything you want them to be. Two layers of plywood to at least 1" thick, thicker if you're going to mount any heavy duty item like a large vise to it is sufficient for most users. The one in my shop is 2x12 with 1/2" plywood over the top. Also, for benches I like them to be 3' deep so that you can put storage bins and have other necessities close at hand and yet still have plenty of work space.

    Electrical - you can not have too much! Let me rephrase that, when you figure out what you need, double it! When I put in my shop, I put three outlets along it's 14' length. I have since found that more would have been better and I would include one in the face of the cabinet/bench because I frequently am using a Dremel or other short corded item. In the middle of my shop I've got a large 4x8 table on casters that is wired as well. I do most of my work at this table. You may need to bring a sub panel into the garage depending on your needs, and branch wire the shop from there. If all you need is a couple lights and outlets, then slaving off the house panel may be possible. I'd consult with an electrician to determine what is necessary.

    I painted the floor which has held up nicely. I've got friends who've installed VCT tile in their shop/garages. If you go with VCT, be forewarned that "shop" grade and "interior" grade are two different things. Shop grade is made to withstand the extreme temperature of hot car tires, where as interior stuff isn't. You'll probably be fine with the normal stuff, but it's worth checking into if you're interested in it. BTW, look at the floor next time you go to the grocery store, that is VCT.

    All of my equipment is on casters so that it can be moved against the wall and the vehicle brought into the garage.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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