Moved into our row home in November and the previous owners finished
the basement but left the metal garage door in place, so it gets cold
down there during the winter (not sure how they put up with that).
Also, the original entrance door (no storm door) has light coming
through and is a mess, so that's getting walled up as well.
So I want to wall up the garage and put a 32" door in and wall up the
smaller door entrance as well.
So I have a few questions:
1. Bricking it up is more expensive because of the labor and possibly
because of the materials as well (or both), correct?
2. Which is the better insulator - brick or vinyl siding with
insulation on the inside?
3. If brick is more expensive, and the better insulator, is it worth
Brick is a terrible insulator, R-value of about 0.80.* And vinyl is even
worse (R-value 0.60). Concentrate on the filler between the outside and
inside walls. For example, fiberglass has an R-value of about 4 per inch.
* Adobe - sort of a brick - can act as a humongous heat sink if a couple of
Thanks all, but I have no idea what those R #'s mean. Clue me in ?
What does the R stand for? And what does the number represent?
What would R20 insulation be?
OK, so might as well go Vinyl and then put money towards the
So vinyl on the outside, then behind it would be 2x6 or whatever
frame, and then in the frame goes the insulation right? And then
drywall over the frame on the inside right? Sound right?
R stand for resistance(of heat loss) I believe. Some vinyl has some
insulating backing. From exterior towards interior, exterior vinyl
siding > sheathing(3/8" OSB panel > 2x6 framing > vapour barrier >
drywall. Easiest to work with is fiberglass batts to fill wall cavities
between studs. You may need to run some wires for electric duples
Frame up a 2x6 wall in the opening. Take the time to seal and caulk all
gaps where the top, side and bottom plates meet the existing structure. Use
an insulation board product on the exterior studs, tape and seal all gaps
and cover with vinyl siding.
Fill the stud wall with R-19 fiberglass with a vapor barrier and then cover
with sheetrock. Caulk along the base where the drywall meets the existing
floor. All things considered you should get to about R-25 on that currently
cold hole in your wall. The caulk and sealing are very important parts of
This may very well become the "warmest" section of the entire basement wall.
Using a 2x6 stud wall means you will need to extend the jambs on the new 32"
door but IMO it is worth the extra effort.
Please come visit www.househomerepair.com
No idea how big the basement room is, and how much headroom, but if
there is some way to leave the overhead door in place and block it off
with an insulated faux wall and drop ceiling on the inside, the place
may be easier to sell when time comes. (Essentially convert the garage
opening into a Real Wide but shallow storage closet.) As to the worn-out
service door- unless it simply too narrow to use, I'd just replace the
door and frame with a quality pre-hung exterior door. Next owner may
want a garage, and a faux wall is quick to remove. If ceiling is too low
to leave OH door operable, you could add some straps where the curved
part of rail starts, and remove the uphill rail sections and stash them
in the dead space by the door.
If this is a row house, is there a HOA or CCRs on the deed, that limit
the changes that can be made to exterior appearance? Be a shame to
remove and wall up that garage, and then have some neighbor bitch
because a house with no garage lowers their property values. IOW, there
may be a reason previous owner left garage door in place.
Appreciated, but there are plenty of rowhomes in our community that
have walled up there garages. So it's all up to code and all that.
Plus I will be putting a nice sized shed in our yard for storage. So
no need for the garage at all.
The rows in our area are always selling as its a nice start up
community for families. Lots of finished basements, decks, central
air, etc added to these 60 yr old homes.
Sounds like it's time to head to the library and do a little research.
Your local library will have lot's of books on home improvement. Neither
vinyl siding or brick is intended to function as an insulator. I'd recommend
vinyl siding since I suspect masonry will be beyond your skills. Be sure
your work meets local building codes. You'll probably want to run a couple
of electrical outlets on this new wall. So you need to learn about framing,
insulating, siding, drywall, electrical, and hanging an exterior door. Don't
forget the vapor barrier. This will keep you busy for a while. Don't let
your helpers at the beer until you are done for the day. And don't be
intimidated if this is your first DIY house project. This is very doable
DIY? Hm.. I dunno 'bout that! :-O I'm not much of a handyman as far
as.. well.. the only things I've ever done were replace outlets and
paint. I'm not confident in tackling something like this on my own
since I don't have any "buddies". So I'm paying a contractor to do it.
I don't want to F anything up and would rather pay someone that's
licensed, insured and referred.
But I appreciate the nudge in the direction. Just don't think this
should be my first DIY project.
Brick won't insulate any better. A good reason to use brick is to
match what is already there. All depends on how ugly you want it.
Either way you will have to build a 2x wall behind it. One more
thing: consider a larger door, much easier to get furniture in and out
with a few more inches.
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