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Thread: Insulating & Drywalling a Garage

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    Moderator Scott will become famous soon enough Scott's Avatar

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    Insulating & Drywalling a Garage

    This weekend I began finishing my garage by insulating and beginning to drywall it. The steps I'm taking can really be used for any room. Please use my steps as a guide - building codes may be different where you live.

    Before I got started, I ran any wires through the walls that I'd possibly need in the future. My electrical was all done at this point, but I needed to run RG6 (tv) and speaker wire for my stereo. I did that by simply drilling some 3/8" holes through the center of the studs.

    I also had this phone line that was just chillin on the surface of the 2x4s, so that needed to get tucked behind. I didn't want to cut and splice the phone line (I don't know much about it), so I notched each 2x4 about 1/4" with a chisel. Then I put the line in the notch and put a metal stud plate over it. The plate keeps the line in place and protects it from screws you might drive in the wall. The plates should also be used on studs that have electrical wiring going through them. I didn't go crazy and put plates over the speaker wire (watch me put a screw in there next week ).

    Next I started putting in kraft faced fiberglass batt insulation. For homes in my area (and most of the US), you put the vaper barrier (kraft), on the side facing the heat (inside of home). This goes up pretty easily - you just cut to fit and staple the flaps onto the 2x4s. Make sure there aren't any nails or obstructions on the 2x4s before you start this because it'll cause problems stapling the batts and putting up the drywall.

    You cut the fiberglass slightly larger then the opening - like 1/2". You don't want any air gaps and you don't want to squish the insulation too much because it'll decrease it's insulating (R) rating. If you make the cuts on the insulation side (opposed to the kraft side) with a utility knife, you get cleaner cuts.

    When you come upon wires, split the insulation like this. That way you have insulation on either side of the wiring and it's not compressed on one side.

    And lastly, make sure you're wearing safety equipment when using this stuff. Definitely use a respirator because it can cause a lot of respiratory problems. It won't give you cancer, like asbestos, but you'll feel like crap and be coughing for days. Also wear goggles, especially if you're working overhead. I thought I was OK with just my glasses when I did my crawlspace, but the fibers are really small and really cover your eyes. I had to thoroughly wash my eyes out with water - then I started using the goggles, lol.

    Here's some pics from this weekend:



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    Moderator Scott will become famous soon enough Scott's Avatar

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Scott)

    Next you can start your sheetrock. I went with 5/8" because it's fire resistant and it'll hold up to me falling against it and stuff in the garage. The stuff is HEAVY though. I'm going to need some help getting it up for the 2nd row on the walls. My garage stinks because the walls are 9' high. So I'm going to do 2 rows of full sheets and then a 1' strip on the top.

    This is my 1st time putting up rock by myself, so I'm learning as I'm doing it here. It's not rocket science - you just need to triple check all your measurements before you cut. I'm using 1 5/8" course thread drywall screws to hold up the rock. Use a drywall screw bit because it'll put the screws in to the perfect depth. I prefer screws instead of nails because you end up with no hammer divots and the screws won't pull out like nails - which create nail "pops".

    Also, add some shims if they're needed. I added some 3/8" plywood strips above the door because that header wasn't flush with the rest of the 2x4s. That'll give me something to screw into.

    I keep F'ing up lining up the holes for my electrical boxes. Gonna need some big ass cover plates, lol. I also need to install some deeper mud plates on my elec boxes. I have 5/8" plates on there, but they're still pretty deep in there.

    That's all I've got done for now. Hopefully I get better at lining up boxes and whatnot .


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    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Lan is on a distinguished road Lan's Avatar

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Scott)

    Nice work Scott What did you spend on materials if you don't mind me asking? Will it help with your heating and cooling for the main part of the house?

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Lan)

    Quote, originally posted by Lan »
    Nice work Scott What did you spend on materials if you don't mind me asking? Will it help with your heating and cooling for the main part of the house?

    The ceiling and most of one wall was already done, so it really cut down on the amount I had to do.
    By the time I finished insulating, the heater was running about a third the time. I'm sure it'll get better once I get the rest of the rock up.
    I think it'll help a lot with the rest of the house. Usually the garage is the same temp as outside in a few hours. Last night I had the garage up to 55 degrees and 12 hrs later this morning it was still 45 degrees. Meanwhile it was about 25 outside. So that's a huge change. I'm also planning on blowing some more of the cellulose insulation between the garage ceiling and rooms above because half of it doesn't have anything. That should be a big help too.

    Materials were really cheap:
    -8 sheet of 5/8" sheetrock - $55
    -6 bags of R13 insulation - $60
    -5 lb box of screws - $20
    Plus some little extras like stud plates and tools, like a T square, which I didn't have. So it's not costing much at all. I spent more doing all the electrical work in the garage than this.


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    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Lan is on a distinguished road Lan's Avatar

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Scott)

    Wow that's not bad at all. My garage gets hot as hell in the summer and cold as hell in the winter. I should do this if I stay in my home that is

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Lan)

    Quote, originally posted by Lan »
    Wow that's not bad at all. My garage gets hot as hell in the summer and cold as hell in the winter. I should do this if I stay in my home that is

    Haha, you should do it. It's something that will definitely add value to your house IMO - a lot more then you put into it considering how cheap it is.


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    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Lan is on a distinguished road Lan's Avatar

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Scott)

    Quote, originally posted by Scott »

    Haha, you should do it. It's something that will definitely add value to your house IMO - a lot more then you put into it considering how cheap it is.

    Yeah that's cheap as hell. I may just walk away from my house though. We'll see on the 4th /thread jack


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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Lan)

    Couple things to add Scott.

    First off I see you used some Expansion Foam around the holes the wire passes through. Do not use the water base stuff because bugs and rodents eat right through it and use it for nests. Secondly always wear gloves because once this stuff dries on your skin it will not some off unless you take your skin with it.


    Secondly I recommend using this tool that uses standard short phillips bits if you don't have a sheetrock specific drill motor. This will make sure you don't go to far with the screws.

    Thirdly, preferably all butt joints on a flat wall should be factory to factory edges joined together. Those edges have a slight taper to them (thinner at the edge) and allow the tape/mud work to be much easier.

    I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party. -Ron White
    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. -Thomas Jefferson

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    Moderator Scott will become famous soon enough Scott's Avatar

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (FRANK)

    on all your points Mat.
    I mentioned the drywall bit, and that's what I used, but forgot a pic. Those bits make it real easy.

    The expansion foam was already there. I'm not sure what it's made out of exactly. It doesn't seem like water-based stuff. Good point on animals eating it though.

    Also good point about the butt joints - I forgot to mention that. I'm doing that, except on the top 1' pieces. I'm not too worried about it though because it really is just a garage and I'll be having shelving up there.


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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Scott)

    Quote, originally posted by Scott »
    on all your points Mat.
    I mentioned the drywall bit, and that's what I used, but forgot a pic. Those bits make it real easy.

    The expansion foam was already there. I'm not sure what it's made out of exactly. It doesn't seem like water-based stuff. Good point on animals eating it though.

    Also good point about the butt joints - I forgot to mention that. I'm doing that, except on the top 1' pieces. I'm not too worried about it though because it really is just a garage and I'll be having shelving up there.

    for a garage you don't need to worry about the joints and a great place to practice

    PS- Your lucky the ceiling is done

    For cieling work these are a MUST HAVE that you can rent out.

    I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party. -Ron White
    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. -Thomas Jefferson

  11. #11

    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (FRANK)

    I'll be sheetrocking my garage this summer. I insulated the walls last year, and I have to do the rafters yet. I won't be able to sheetrock the ceiling due to how the tracks for the garage doors run.

    These 2 tools, I found most useful for sheetrock...

    1. Drywall gun (Was 2 for $100 at HD)

    2. Rotozip ($60 or so, and made right here in WI )


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    Moderator Scott will become famous soon enough Scott's Avatar

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Beaver)

    How's a drywall screw gun different than a regular drill? What's the tip do?

    I've heard those Rotozip's can be really useful. I just can't justify buying one for this little job. Next time though .


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    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Lan is on a distinguished road Lan's Avatar

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Scott)

    The tip sinks the screw into the drywall without damaging the drywall making it easier to conceal when you mud.

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Lan)

    those drill motors always run and when you apply pressure at the bit it locks the bit and turns at the speed of the motor. No squeezing of the trigger needed.

    I like the better guns do this and self load screws, now those are sheetrock guns IMO! You can blow through 10' sheets of rock in a matter of 2 minutes.

    I used this one, you blow through a box of screws like a whore on crack.

    I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party. -Ron White
    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. -Thomas Jefferson

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    Moderator Scott will become famous soon enough Scott's Avatar

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (FRANK)

    Good explanation Mat. I can see how they really speed up the process.

    Which kind of tape have you guys used - the paper tape or the self sticking mesh? I've always used the mesh for patch work. Is the paper tape a bitch because you have to mud it first, then apply it? I don't have access to one of those guns that dispenses the tape already mudded.


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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Scott)

    just use the regular paper tape.

    In Beavers thread we talked about mudding the joints

    I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party. -Ron White
    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. -Thomas Jefferson

  17. #17

    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (FRANK)

    I had really good luck with the mesh tape, and I used inside and outside corner bead with tape attached.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ...rohit ...rohit's Avatar

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Scott)

    nice work scott! I wanted to do the same, but I have a ton of shovels and tools that hang on the wall now and its only a one car garage. Looks real good so far

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    Moderator Scott will become famous soon enough Scott's Avatar

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (...rohit)

    Quote, originally posted by ...rohit »
    nice work scott! I wanted to do the same, but I have a ton of shovels and tools that hang on the wall now and its only a one car garage. Looks real good so far

    Mine's only a 1 car too (10'x20') and there's still a lot of crap in there. It's just all piled on the other side.
    The garage seems small as hell now. Once I get it all painted white it should help a bit.

    Got almost all the rock up this weekend. Just a couple strips I'll get to tomorrow.


  20. #20
    Senior Member ...rohit ...rohit's Avatar

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    Re: Insulating & Drywalling an Unfinished room (Scott)

    awesome work 2 of the three walls in my garage and the ceiling have sheet rock, i would just need to do one wall, curious, what are you going to do at the bottom of the walls, where the brick is? I have the samething. Anything to the floor?

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