I recently built a new garage/shop. Being in northern Illinois, it
occasionally gets cold here in the winter, so I'm going to insulate it.
There is a second floor with an area that if I built a 3 foot knee wall
would be about 15'x19'. Currently, it's just storage space, but I could
potentially see putting a desk up there in the future. I've told my wife
that when my little girls get to be teenagers, I'm putting a fridge, TV, and
computer out there to hideout from the craziness. So, this space isn't
going to be heated right now, but could be in the future. I'm trying to
decide whether to just insulate between the floor joists or to skip that and
insulate the rafters. If it makes any difference, the floor joists are
2x12. I'm insulating the walls, of course.
Also consider that the dollar amount of insulation is going to go up.
Right now, we're seeing some pretty large price changes due to the price
of fuel (or so they say.) If it continues it's upward hike, you'll have
to be a millionaire to insulate later.
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
If you don't insulate between the floor joists, you'll be heating the
second floor every time you heat the first floor, whether you use the
second floor or not. Since heat rises, you'll have a hard time ever
getting the first floor warm. Insulate between the joists now. If
you decide to use the second floor, you can between the rafters then.
"In theory, theory and practice are the same; but in practice, they
I was thinking along the same lines. However, do I need to take the vapor
barrier into consideration? If I insulate the joists with faced insulation,
the vapor barrier would be installed facing the 1st floor. If I
subsequently insulate the 2nd floor, do I need to worry about the
preexisting vapor barrier?
I assume you'll be putting a finish (sheet rock) on the ceiling, and not
putting a finish on the rafters just yet. So, don't put a vapor barrier
on the bottom of the joists. Even if you don't insulate the rafters now,
-do- put a vapor barrier there. You can always remove it later to put in
And sheet plastic, with tape over the joints, is way more effective than
paper or foil faced insulation.
Are two story houses insulated between floors so you don't have to heat the
entire house? If it were me I'd insulate the rafters and close (door etc.)
the not yet used space off. Insulating the joists now and the rafters later
signifigantly raises the total cost for virtually no gain. Rod
Personally, I'd do both now. It'll cost less now than in the future, be
less work overall, plus will be a decent storage place relatively immune
from the summer heat. If it were me, I know danged well I'd use it for
storage until I needed my own "padded room" for later on <g>. Do the
padding of the walls/ceiling later though; you have no idea how much you'll
need right now :-)
I'll bet you'll want a dest et al up there sooner than you think. Just
being realistic; remember we expand to fill all available space.
Being a Northern Illinois (Woodstock)guy myself, I'd opt to insulate
both if you can afford it now.
My garage shop is one level ~ 16'x24'. A 3500 watt ceiling mounted fan
type heater with built in thermostat keeps it at 45-48 degrees
throughout the winter for relatively little cost and no smell (used to
use a kerosene salamander type heater (with all the attendant risks,
Considering your potential usage, more (insulation) is better. Better
to do it now than later. It's always a PITA ripping up ANY floor or
ceiling to add insulation. Think of the sound/dust infiltration to your
hideaway if nothing else. Hell, I'd even think about laying down a
thick sheet of polyethylene film atop the floor joists on the second
floor before placing the decking down on the second level.
All that insulation will lower your cooling costs as well. Yeah! After
SWMBO saw how nice and convenient the heater was, she asked where I
was going to put the A/C. Gave her "that" look figuring she was busting
my stones. She wasn't. That same summer the Sawzall came out as did a
small section of the wall into which was inserted a 10,000 BTU A/C. I
can hide out there with my stereo and television (ran antenna and phone
lines underground along with the electric and water when I built the
And I go to Crystal Lake all the time for, wood roasted Chicken (the
place next to TJ Maxx and Pablo's)and Chili's.
My shop, I should have said, is MAINTAINED at 45-48 degrees with that
electric ceiling heater. When I crank it up, I can hold the shop in the
midp's or better though I've never tried to get it over 80 degrees.
If I recall correctly, I skimped on the insulation and that is with R-11
in the walls and ceiling.
Yep. Pretty sure it's 3500 watt, would have to check to make sure.
Running on a dedicated 30 amp circuit. I put up with a damn Redi-Heater
for years to maintain a decent temp when I had projects going and would
supplement that with a KeroSun heater when I was out there working.
This unit, believe it's a Dayton Electric, has them all beat. Compact,
clean, cheap compared to kerosene, and out of the way. That's all I
have out there for heat and it's great.
Where in Northern Illinois? I'm in Crystal Lake, about 60 Miles from Chicago
and 45 from Rockford.
Anyway, I have a stand alone shop, it is small, about 18 X 24 with a second
floor. I have insulated the first floor and have the loft to go, then I need
to do a vapor barrier and some form of finish. I do know that I won't use
drywall, cost is too high and the durability is too low. Lowes has some
stuff that is like Fiber Board in 1/8" that is pre finish in white and goes
for about 6 bucks a sheet. I really want the white for light.
I have a propane heater in the shop, in our Illinois winters with only half
the building insulated, full blast will barely get the temp to 50 degrees. I
think after it is all done, I should be able to keep it at about 60 fairly
cheap. I too have not yet found a use for my loft, I was thinking of putting
my Drawing board and a desk up there in a little dormer window area that I
have and some basic furniture. I also thought about moving my lathe up there
to avoid getting the wet shavings on my table saw and other tools.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.