Interior Walls of my workshop


Hi,
I just moved into a new house that has a huge attached garage. The rear area of the garage (apprx 700 ft^2) already has piping in the floor to heat that area. The previous owner never got around to finishing this workshop area, and this is now my #1 priority.
I have already added outlets every 10 feet or so, including 220 circuits for air compressor and welder. (i do some metalworking as well...) I just insulated the walls with R13 with the vapor barrier backing, and now I am wondering what to put on next. sheetrock, or osb???
The wall between the house and this back area of the garage is already insulated and drywalled, and I am wondering if i need to continue drywall all the way around for fire protection (since it is an attached garage, if it burns down, the whole house could go up???)
Another point is that i am planning on using a small woodburner in there to heat the area, plus heat up the glycol that i will be pumping into the floor.) I wouldn't be so concerned about fire safety except for this point.
I would prefer to do OSB for cost and ease of hanging anything anywhere, and I have read the several other posts about this topic, but there hasn't been much discussion about osb vs. drywall from a fire safety point of view.
Also, is there any code requirements about what to use in an attached garage?
Any help would be appreciated.
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between the garage and the main house. What you do on the outside walls, not adjacent to the house, is of no code consequence. As for safety, yes, OSB will burn more readily than drywall. Not really a worry IMO. Just make sure you observe minimum clearances to combustibles for your stove and that you have a safe area to do your welding. I like the idea of sheathing the walls in wood. It make it very easy to hang stuff. Just drive a 16d nail and hang up a coiled extension cord. No worries. paint it and things will really brighten up too. Ply is more expensive than OSB but if cost is not a factor would be my choice.
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I would consider T1- 11 instead of OSB. T1-11 is plywood with a rough sawn face veneer and would look much nicer. As far as fire safety is concerned, I think (without any scientific facts) that drywall would be less prone to burn than wood. You may want to drywall around the area where your putting the wood burner, (or stone, brick, etc) and do the rest of the walls in wood. --dave

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Not to mention that it doesn't have all that exposed glue to stink for months/years. If I get within smelling distance of OSB, something in the glue makes my allergies kick in, intensely.
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Heartily agree with this. It's what I chose and it has been great. OSB is functionally as good, but unless you paint it it will look shabby IMO. On the other hand, if you want to paint it white for better lighting, then why not OSB? For me, a woodshop should have wooden walls.
No drywall, except where code requires. -- ******** Bill Pounds http://www.billpounds.com
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michigan_t wrote:

You would be better off by far to drywall the ceiling. Once a fire gets into the attic of a structure, It becomes almost a lost cause. 5/8" drywall finished, tape and mud. Don't leave any screws exposed or any cracks through to the attic space. You'd be surprised how much heat a screw can transfer into a piece of wood. Likewise, you would be surprised how just a little drywall compound can shield heat from a screw.

Do you think you should talk to your insurance agent? If your shop catches fire and burns your house down, the woodburner will probably still be standing there in the middle of all of that ash. That will be a terrible time for you to discover that you may have violated the terms of your policy. They're _LOOKING_ for a way _out_ of paying claims. Maybe an outdoor boiler would be better, you already have the plumbing in the floor.
Tom in KY, It looks obvious to me. And by the way, I'm sooooooo jealous that you found a shop space wih the plumbing already in the floor. You have such a real neener-neener there!
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I do metal working as well.
And in several shops that I have seen and worked on, we were fanatics about fire safety. We put up cement blocks as a firewall/barrier. It did not cost that much and everybody from the fire inspectors to the insurance guys were very impressed.
Not the whole place mind you. But where the house joins the garage. Also, I would seriously consider walling off with cement blocks any welding area from the woodworking area. I have had sparks fly into woodchips. The combustion was quick and took my entire fire extiguisher to put it out.
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While OSB is cheaper...it is ugly beyond compare. I would use 3/8" plywood called "rough tex" or "rough sawn". It will take paint quite well and the looks will be waaay past OSB.
T-111 would be another decent choice.
I have never seen a OSB wall that didn't look like OSB no matter how great the paint job.
michigan_t wrote:

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Thanks everyone....
It sounds like T1-11 is the way to go. I have never heard of the stuff, although i probably have seen it before. Can I get it at Home Depot, and about how much is a sheet?
Drywalling the ceiling is another problem I haven't tackled yet. The framing spacing is 24" and I figured that drywall would end up warping and sagging after a few years. Also, I would have 12' ceilings and it is going to be a pain to put anything up that high. (i've seen other posts about renting one of those drywall lifters...)
The original owner / builder of the house has the floor plumbed with the pipes going into my basement. It looks as if he was going to put a gas water heater down there to heat the floor water with. That is great and all, but I would rather have free heat in the form of wood than pay huge gas bills.
Also, I already have the wood burner built (my father and I built one for his smaller woodshop, only to find that it was too big and way too hot in there, so he built another smaller one, and i was planning on taking the bigger one.
the insurance thing kinda worries me too. I tried calling my insurance people, but they didn't seem to understand what I was talking about at all ("you want a fireplace in your garage???"). I guess that is what happens when you use one of the huge insurance companies.
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ted snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

I used OSB on all of the walls in my shop and have been quite pleased with it. I was prepared for some smell after installation but never really smelled much of anything (mine came from one of the borgs).
The natural "woodchip" look really wasn't a problem and looked kind of good in a workshop, IMO. But I did paint it to brighten the shop up. Just be aware that you must prime it and be prepared for it to suck up the first coat. Also, due to the texture, spraying the paint would be preferable if possible to get into the nooks and crannies, but not necessary.
It is very solid stuff that is easy to hang anything on anywhere. It is more solid than the T-111 I'm familiar with.
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michigan_t wrote:

24" centers is a building standard. 5/8" drywall will not sag noticeably unless you have a serious humidity problem. No whining about 12' ceilings. Your gloating makes me sick :-)

I have done repairs for a major carrier in this area off and on for years. I like having a local office agent. Did the big company even send you a copy of the policy? I rarely do repairs after fire damage. Fire damage falls under a whole different set of rules.
Good luck with it.
12' ceilings too high to be comfy while installing drywall?, (can I steal a line from 1369?) BWA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAA,
Tom in KY, with low ceilings in the shop < 8', BWA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAA.
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There is special ceiling drywall available in all standard sizes. Cost a little more, weighs a little more and is a lot tougher. Will not sag because that is what it is made for.
Get a panel lift, but check first many will not go to 12 feet. A rental scafold , a couple of friends and some liquid rewards after the job is done and it will be done before you know it.
Good luck and nice space.
RB Jones

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I used OSB on mine mainly due to: - ease of removal should it ever be necessary, - hard to poke a hole in it when I get clumsy, - easy to hang small tools and shelves on when necessary, - easy to paint (primer then bright white).
I've not regretted using OSB in the least! Grandpa John
michigan_t wrote:

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I seem to be the odd man here, but my shop walls are sheet rocked, taped and textured. I have a friend that has his shop finished of with OSB. I like mine better! As far as hanging up stuff, plenty of studs to screw to, so I can't see any benefit there. Plus OSB does not hold screws that well anyway. I would go with sheet rock again, no question. Greg
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Sheetrock and white or very light colored paint to make it bright. Some white pegboard over that in spots too.

Change your plans. Solid fuel heaters are not allowed in attached garages.
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wrote:

About 3 years ago I insulated and sheathed the inside of my shop with OSB, using 2 layers of3" Styrofoam underneath for insulation with a vapor barrier of 6 mil underneath that. My rationale for the OSB vs dry wall was durability and moisture resistance. I finished the seams of the OSB using drywall mesh and joint compound. in the styro foam seams I used spray foam to seal/bond them together. The end result was a very weather tight inside that appeared to be drywall, but wouldn't "dent" or "puncture" if you accidentally rammed it with something. The shop had metal siding (pole barn) 24'x36' 12' ft eaves with two 10'x10' roll up doors and a regular size door entry with a insulated storm door. The roll ups were also insulated, replacing the original sliding single door which was impossible to get a good weather seal on during the winter. The ceiling was prepared in a similar way except no drywall compound was used. Before beginning the insulation job I removed all of the existing light and power wiring and would reinstall surface mount conduit after the installation of the insulation. I finished the floor with Pittsburgh Paints Epoxy paint to finish the interior upgrade. I was switching from T12x48" dual fluorescent fixtures to T12 x 96" dual fixtures and was in the process of laying out the best points to hang the fixtures for the best use of the light and was awakened the following morning by dampened THUD! sounds not unlike what a pile driver produces, including the feel of the thud through the ground and I was inside my home on the second floor.
The mystery sounds turned out to be my oxy/gas, and propane tanks exploding inside my shop. The single power plug I had remaining had been plugged into a drillmaster 14.4v drill battery charger the night before and had evidently caught fire, catching the OSB, Styrofoam and everything else on fire. When I discovered it the walls were still standing however the fiberglass skylights in the roof had burned through (all six of them) and were "boiling" out dense black smoke. I knew then that it was too late and everything was toast at that point. Luckily my shop was a detached building and was 10' from the house at the closest point, it did however severely blister the house paint in that area. I had welders, plasma cutters, router duplicators, three 5 hp air compressors I had just built on 60 gallon tanks that had never even been powered up yet, couple of shopsmiths, table saw, and bunches of hand tools and lots of handscrews and bar clamps, last but not least, there was about 25000 board feet of 4-5" thick black walnut slabs I had "stickered" and had been air drying for 1 1/2 plus years in a loft that covered half of the shop. I am about ten miles from the closest fire station up on a fairly steep hill (ever see how SLOW a fire truck full of water goes up a hill?!!)
The firefighters basically just caved in the metal shell when they got there and soaked down the burnt debris inside left on the floor slab. There was charred debris about 2 feet deep over the entire interior.
SO, having said all that, what do you think I might recommend for interior sheathing? Is it OSB or Drywall? Needless to say I will NEVER use OSB in an application like that again, unless the structure has automatic fire sprinklers installed and there is a standby power source in case utility power is lost for some reason. ( I am convinced that the catalyst that started the drill charger burning was a large power surge in the first place!) Interestingly enough the guy from the power company was first on the scene I found out later, and NOT the meter reader guy whom I would have recognized. I assumed he was the fire Marshall who drove up in his own rig to get there first, he didn't identify himself until the lead fireman asked him "who are YOU?" he replied: "I work for the power company.." Otherwise I might still think he was with the fire company in some sort of capacity.
Yes, my house now has as will my new shop heavy duty surge suppression installed in the distribution breaker box, along with a dual power fire/smoke detection system that is all networked together, and I am seriously considering overhead sprinklers for the shop at least. If I go with a conventional metal sided pole barn the inside will use fiberglass insulation and sheathing will be "green" drywall for moisture resistance with Tyveck or similar house wrap as moisture barrier next to the metal siding of the outside walls. I am seriously considering a new wall system invented by Dow Chemical that uses a 4-6" foam core with wire mesh on both inside and outside walls that is then sprayed with a high strength liquid concrete, similar to gunite. Another possibility is to use standard concrete "Tilt-up" walls that are cast in forms onsite.
One small ray of shining light in the whole mess was that the stickered walnut in the shop loft was so thick that about 1/4 of it will be salvaged. when the loft collapsed the walnut planks got buried by everything else and given the thickness of the slabs only burnt about 50% of the wood in the middle of the stack.
The short answer to your question is: My vote is for the drywall. Good luck, best regards and happy new year, Joe.
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Paradise lost!!!! What a nightmare. Sorry for your loss. Wayne K. Who is going to go through his shop today and remove /secure any fire hazards.

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How about Hardie Board siding? They come in 4x8 sheets in several patterns and colors. Color-matched nails are available as well. It would be as easy to install as the OSB, but a whole lot better looking. Probably twice as expensive, though. And I would think their fire resistance would be much higher than either OSB or sheetrock. They also make 4x8 sheets of soffit that you could use in the ceiling.
Just something else to think about,
Charlie
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As noted in another message, fire code sheetrock is only required on the wall between the garage and house, and on the ceiling if a common roof with open space between section over garage and house (i.e. no firebreak)
I did my shop in Plywood. Not the most beautiful material, butr gives a warm feeling and as noted makes mounting stuff very easy.
One big suggestion, run the ply horrizontally with a section in the middle that is removable. Put all your wiring in this area. That way if you need to get to wiring to add or change an outlet , or do other electrical upgrades everything is accessible!!
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