Insulating a Garage Workshop: Part I
by Patrick Harper - Blood, Sweat, and Sawdust
The light at the end of the tunnel, finally! My hands are a little sore from securing around 400 staples. However, insulating a garage workshop was one of the easiest tasks I’ve completed so far. I suggest you try this yourself as opposed to hiring it out.
Before installing the batts, I sealed all the seams in the sheathing with spray foam. I also patched a few large holes with plywood. After struggling with the disposable cans, I opted for the professional gun. It allows you to control the bead of foam with precision. You’ll finish the job with cleaner hands. I also sealed the gaps between the door jamb and frame. Here, I used a low expanding foam specifically designed for windows and doors.
With the workshop air tight, it was time to install some insulation.
I cleaned off a large section of the floor for a work area and got to work. I’m not too keen on being itchy, so I used some long gloves while working with the fiberglass. I decided to use rolls on kraft-faced R13 installed of pre-cut batts. I measured my stud bays and cut the rolls using a utility knife. I found that compressing the roll over a 2×4 scrap made cutting in a single pass a breeze. I used an engineering square to make sure my cuts were square. I also used the story stick from when I ran electrical to score part way through the back of the insulation where I had horizontal cable runs. You want your wires to fit into the insulation as opposed to compressing it.
I waited until my batts were installed before I cut out for my electrical boxes. Then, I secured the batts to the studs using staples. The rolls have flanges that fold out to make sure a continuous vapor barrier along your wall. I overlapped the flanges and stapled. And I stapled, and stapled. My hands are still sore today. I should have invested in one of the hammer style staple guns.
I still have to decide on what to cover the walls with. I’ll probably go with 5/8 drywall. Then it’s on to conditioning the space. Stay tuned!
For the rest of the workshop build, check out the garage workshop build index.