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Insulating workshop

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  • Insulating workshop

    I'm planning on converting the garage of my new house into a workshop (I'm currently in a basement). The garage is 25' x 11', not huge, but sufficient until I can afford to build a separate building. I am going to be heating the shop with a 50,000BTU natural gas radiant heater that will hang from the ceiling at the back of my shop.

    I need to insulate the shop to minimize heat loss. Here's what I had in mind. The ceiling and right wall are already insulated (basement level garage with room above). I need to insulate the floor, back and other side wall as well as the door.
    I'm looking for opinions/suggestions on what I am planning on doing.

    For the floor, I was planning on laying down 2" R8 styrofoam covered by vapour barrier and 5/8" Tounge and groove ply. The floor is concrete so I figured it would be really cold unless I insulated it.

    The walls, are concrete covered by plaster board. For those, I figured I'd put 2x4's on their flat with 16" centers and put 1.5" foam between them and cover to whole thing with vapour barrier and either chip board or cheap plywood.

    As for the door, its aluminum, uninsulated. I thought I'd use styrofoam again and then cover it with some thin material to protect it. I will probably need to use something like monofoam as well to getinto the cracks. The other option I have is to put a new insulated door on but I figured that would be kinda costly.

  • #2
    You are going to have to deal with the ceiling if your garange does not have a room over it that completely covers the roof of the garage. If the garage has a separate roof then you should put a vapour barrier on the inside and insulate the ceiling. This means you will need a vent in the roof also.
    Having fun yet???


    • #3
      My living room completely covers the garage so I should be ok without any additional work to the ceiling.


      • #4
        Jeff----just a couple of thoughts----in your heater plans, I'd really check with your local building department as to prpper venting/isolation of that heater, since you're garage is attached to living spaces in your house.

        As to your garage door----the ridgid foam works pretty well, if you can find a way to attach it---I have a wood door and Liquid Nails worked fine. As to seams and edges, just do the best you can with rubber gasket material for this use.

        I would re-think the floor, though. To handle the weight of tools, your sleeper spacing would have to be pretty close---and besdes, that would really raise up the floor height. Maybe just lay down some sub-floor panels and use rubber matting in front of your machines/workbench----those rubber interlocking squares they sell really keep my feet warm and comfy. Good luck.


        • #5
          daveferg, I am having the heater professionally installed. I beleive it vents directly outside so I don't think that will be an issue.

          I think some sort of adhesive should hold the foam onto the aluminum door. Maybe PL Premium construction adhesive. That stuff seems to hold pretty well.

          You really think the weight will be an issue for the floor? I mean the weight will be dispursed at any given machine and the plywood should help a lot with the compression. I agree with what you are saying about raising the floor, but the trouble is, the floor next to the house is raised up 1 7/8" from the rest. It is flat for about 12" and then slops down at 45 degrees or so. Because there is a faucet in the garage, I would think this was there to ensure water didn't seep into the basement? I'm planning on putting machines up against the wall so it would be nice if the floor was a uniform hieght. I just won't put any foam where that raised concrete part is.


          • #6
            What I'd do is read up on what the weight ratings are on the plywood you're planning on using---obviously, you don't want any preceptable deflection. Using construction adhesive between 2x's and plywood will keep things tight.

            As to the door---yea, just look for an adhesive that lists the two materials you'll be using. It worked pretty good on my door---now the cold air just comes in through the gaps, but not the rest of the door.


            • #7
              I wouldn't bother with the floor. I think the benefit vs. the cost and hassle would probably be small.

              Sounds like your dining room will provide good ceiling insulation (or your garage will heat the dining room). So walls are the primary issue.

              For my garage door, I was able to cut the rigid styrofoam with foil cover so that it could be jammed into the joints in the aluminum door panels, and it worked well. (on the end sections, where I had to slide the flat foam in, I cut the foam, slid one section in, then put the other piece in where it could be bowed to fill the gap. Doesn't solve the leakage under the door. Duct tape rejoined the two parts. It is great keeping the heat out in the Texas summers. Oh, it also works in the winter


              • #8
                Thanks for the comments guys. I'll give the floor another thought. It does get pretty cold around here in the winter which is when I end up doing most of my woodworking. It gets down to -20 degrees celcius or colder sometimes here so that makes for some really cold concrete in the garage. I figured a freezing cold large slab of concrete would suck up a lot of my heat. Perhaps I don't need such a thickly insulated floor as suggested. It would be nice to have the floor the same height all the way accross though which was another motivation for building it up 2". When I priced the flooring materials, it was going to cost around $600 Canadian to install it. I'll have to do some pricing with some of the other materials suggested before I make my decision.


                • #9
                  I assume your concrete floor is poured on gravel which is in contact with the ground. So, the concrete will take on the temperature of the ground, with some additional warming due to the room temperature. The concrete will be colder near the edges where the ground temp is in contact with the side of your concrete.

                  You might check with your utility company or someone to estimate the ground temperature under your concrete, but ground temps probably don't drop much below 50 degrees F, if that, even where you are. So, some approx 3'x4'x1" $10 rubber mats from might take care of much of the problem.