I have garage that I'd like to finish the walls. The walls are 2x4 studs
with black tar paper behind hardie plank siding.
I'm not worried about insulation but would like a finished look on the
Is there anything I need to do before applying the sheetrock? vapor
barrier? Is insulation required?
This will be in Houston where the humidity is high (70 - 100%) most of the
IMHO sheetrock, aside from low cost and fire resistance, is a lousy wall
covering in a garage. In a damp climate, it takes on a musty odor, gets
mushy, is easily damaged, etc. And unless there is power in the garage to
run a heater or a/c, what purpose will insulation serve? In nice weather,
just open the doors and maybe a gable vent to cool it off. I suspect there
is more than just tar paper and Hardiplank- unless there are angle braces or
plywood in corners, garage would rack before the roof went on. I'd almost
bet what OP thinks is tar paper is really the back side of Celotex or
similar. If I wanted a finished-looking interior, I'd check around the
big-box stores and find a sale on that prefinished sheet stuff they make
sheds out of (some sort of high compression OSB with a plastic weather
layer), and panel out the inside with that. I would NOT do the ceiling
unless there was a good way to vent the attic space- otherwise that dead
space will superheat in summer, wearing out the shingles quicker, and making
the garage too hot to work in before midnight.
Well, sound deadening comes to mind. If you're the sort who likes to work in
your garage late at night, having a way to tame the noise would be nice.
Also, it keeps the temperature fluctuations within a narrower range.
I have a garage that was finished 15 years ago with 1/2" sheetrock on the
walls. This fall/winter I did the third paint job inside since it was
originally built. I did have a few places that I repaired from damage, some
water damage along one wall too.
I would go that way again. In your case I would spring for the insulation.
It does not cost much, and it is the time to do it! At least insulate the
walls, the ceiling can be easily blown in later. You also should consider
what, if any attic venting there is. If there is none, do it now, it will be
I recommend adding plenty of ridge vents for the roof, and lots of
electrical outlets before you sheetrock. I'd do wall insulation for
now just in case you later decide you need it. And why not stick in a
wall mounted refrigeration unit before you sheetrock?
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