help with garage to studio conversion ...


my free-standing garage is separated into three walled-in rooms, so to speak, and i want to convert the middle room, which is 14 x 14, into a studio for my girlfriend. The two inside walls (ie the walls b/ the two other rooms) are wood boards on the studio side and open 2x4s on the other side. if i use kraft-faced insulation, do i put the paper facing the studio side with the pink facing out into the two outer rooms? also, what might you recommend me covering the insulaton with in those two walls? i was thinking that something like pegboard might be the cheapest and easiest for me, since i have no skills whatsoever. next, there's an attic over the ceiling and i don't use the attic for anything. can i just lay insulation down on the ceiling board? finally, the room has a cement floor. what do you guys do about that in colder climates? I'm in rhode island. someone told me to put down sleepers, fill in with insulation, cover that with plywood, etc; but that seems a little much. so: how much cold will come in through the ground, do you think? thanks!
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So many questions. We may need some more information.
What kind of studio? Are you going to create heat - space heater, propane, candles, nothing, duct from the house? What kind of comfort level are trying to provide? Is this a temporary thing that you would like to be able to remove if and when? Do you own or rent? Are you trying to stop sound?
A few thoughts: Vapor barrier goes to the occupied side - if you use fiberglass insulation with paper face, place the paper side to the studio. You could cover up the insulation with visqueen, cardboard sheets, plywood, masonite, wafer board, drywall, rigid Styrofoam, metal panels. Your peg board idea sounds good if you need a place to hang up lots of tools, but is about the worst for stopping infiltrated air. You could cover the floor with a lot of things: roll out some indoor/outdoor carpeting, go with carpet and padding, put down rigid Styrofoam with laminated wood floor, rigid foam with a throw rug, rigid foam with plywood. Cardboard sheets right on the concrete are just not bad and you can always add a new layer to increase R value/cleanliness/etc. The attic needs the most insulation. You can use loose blow in type insulation, just dump it on. You can use fiberglass batts. The loose stuff 12" deep sounds about right, don't block any roof or soffit vents, be careful where you walk.
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great info, and thanks. my girlfriend is a landscape gardener and she's going to use the studio as a place to work on her designs when she's not doing it at the office. as to heat, i'm not sure yet. i'm thinking propane but am open to suggestions, if you've got any. it's not really temporary so i would like to do a pretty good job with it, given my limited skills. i own the garage, am not worrying about sound, and would like a pretty good level of comfort. can i really cover the walls with something like visqueen or cardboard? there is one interior wall that i'd like to cover with something better but the two that'll get the insulation from the unoccupied side, i don't care how they look as long as they're not too easily punctured. i am thinking of using fiberglas batts for the ceiling, just laying them right on top of the attic floor. as to vents -- along the back wall, where it meets the ceiling, it's all open there but for the studs or joists of whatever you call em. is that a soffit? anyway, the opens run from one side to the other. are you saying i shouldn't block em up? won't the wind come rushing in and the heat go rushing out? thanks again!
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flipper wrote:

Fiberglass bats laid between the rafters is good. Do not block the vents at the soffit. You can buy a plastic spacer to keep the vent area clear. The insulation will keep the heat where it belongs, not in the attic.
For the two walls which are open studs I would either nail masonite or CDX grade plywood after insulation if the spaces are used for garage type storage. You could use plasterboard for a better finish.
If the studs are 2 x 4 you might consider building out the wall to 6 or 8 " to get a higher R vaue in insulation.
The floor is going to depend on how much heat loss you get through it. I would consider laying 2 x 2 furring strips,2" solid foam insulation and a plywood floor to keep heat loss to a minimum.
You may be able to get away with a ventless propane heater, but if you have natural gas to the property I would invest in a vented furnace run from the house gas supply. More expensive to instal but cheaper to run.
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You should also post this inquiry on alt.home.repair
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----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: rec.woodworking Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2005 4:39 PM Subject: help with garage to studio conversion ...

You always install insulation with the paper facing the living area.

Pegboard isn't really cheap, but it is handy as hell. It's a good solution in my opinion. Just screw it up over the insulation and you'll be fine. If you are more comfortable putting something over the insulation before putting up the pegboard then just make sure it is a breathable fabric - no plastic.

Yes. You'd probably be a little better off using a paper faced insulation, but not by a large margin.

I live in Syracuse, NY so we get the cold too. You'll be fine with just the cement floor. If you want a pretty cheap way out and something that your girlfriend's feet will appreciate as well, then consider those rubber-like floor mats that interlock. They go down easily, give a nice cushion instead of standing right on the concrete - which can really get to the feet after a while.
While you're at it, make sure to seal the gaps around the garage door. You'll be letting more cold air in through those than any cold she will suffer from the concrete floor.
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Drywall. Just screw it up and paint it. No need to do the taping if you just want to cover the walls. That is all I did in my garage/shop.

Yes, but you can also use that space for some light storeage.

No cold will come through the ground. It will suck out the heat though. If you want comfort, insulate it. If you want to heat the earth through your garage, just leave it.
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