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[Shop-talk] Advice on insulating a garage

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Subject: [Shop-talk] Advice on insulating a garage
From: Jim Stone <>
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2010 08:36:42 -0600
The current deep freeze has me again thinking about insulating my 3 car
garage.  Not doing this when it was first built was a big mistake, but that
isn't what is keeping me from doing it now.  I'm not sure how to tackle the
ceiling.  I have two
problems.  First, there is the fact that it is a multi-level ceiling.  It is
the largest possible garage our town would allow us to put on our lot and is
basically in two sections.  There is a fairly normal two-car section with 9
foot walls and a 'normal' roof line.  Then there is a one-car bay that is
fairly long to create a work area.  This section has a cathedral ceiling that
was designed to allow for a lift to be put in and turn it into a 4-car.  I
haven't gotten around to installing that lift yet, but still intend to.

cathedral bay over the one car section will be a royal PITA to insulate.  I
think the ceiling is 18 feet tall at the summit.  But, that is
easily solved.  The bigger problem is what to
do about the main area.  I didn't think to specify heavy duty joists and what
we got are the typical pre-made ones in use today that are not designed to
hold much weight.  Still, I have put a fair amount of stuff up there over the
years.  Nothing too heavy and much of it stuff like bumpers that spans
multiple joists.  I do have some boxes of parts stored near the walls on both
sides, and have strengthened the joists at these points with 2x4 supports to
the wall studs.  I am trying to figure out how to maintain access to this
stuff (I don't need it all the time, but can't live without it) while still
insulating the area. Flooring it and turning it into a walkable storage area
is probably (but not
definitely) out of the question.   I suppose I could insulate the roof here
too, but wouldn't that dramatically increase the heating load?  I am not
planning on warming it to a living temperature and was just thinking that a
couple off space heaters would make it comfortable enough in all but the
coldest weather.  I also have a very large room air conditioner left over from
before we installed central air in the house, and would love the prospect of
being able to cool it down a bit in the summer.

Does anyone here have any ideas?  Would flooring it be out of the question?  I
know that would add a lot of weight, but I also assme it would increase the
structural rigidity, so maybe it would be a wash?  As always, thanks.


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