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Old 04-30-2014, 12:06 AM   #1
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


Hello-

I looked around a bit on this forum, but didn't really find an answer to my question. I apologize if this has been asked before, but I'm trying to come up with ideas to fix my garage. Here is where I'm at.

Detached garage in Southern California approximately 20' x 20', framed with 2x4s on the walls and 2x6s on the roof. There is no attic, just a shallow pitched roof. The walls have drywall, but no insulation to speak of. Exterior walls are all stucco with wire mesh. The garage door is an aluminum roll up style door that faces west. I recently had a new roof put on the house and detached garage, and had the roofing company add two passive vents to the garage. There are two small air intakes near the foundation on the north and south walls.

In an attempt to make the temperature a little more comfortable so that I can work in there, I applied some radiant barrier to the inside panels of the garage door. So far, it seems to be helping a little bit, but it is hard to tell. My next idea was to add an exhaust fan to one of the passive vents on the roof in an attempt exchange the air and try to cool the space down. I was also thinking about adding some sort of insulation to the roof, but I don't know which type to add.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. I can provide more detail and pictures, if necessary. Thanks.

I am attaching a picture which shows the application of the radiant barrier. I finished installing it today, but had to cut things short as the temperature was pushing 95 deg.
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable-garage-door.jpg  

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Last edited by propman07; 04-30-2014 at 12:25 AM. Reason: added location
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:17 AM   #2
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


If you want cooler going to have to insulate those walls and ceiling and sheetrock.
Really need a ridge vent so the whole roof gets vented and soffit vents.
Without a real ceiling with insulation over it, it's always going to be hot in there.
Would have been better of adding foam insulation to the door not a radiant barrier.
That whole door acts like a solar panel.

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Old 04-30-2014, 12:24 AM   #3
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
If you want cooler going to have to insulate those walls and ceiling and sheetrock.
Really need a ridge vent so the whole roof gets vented and soffit vents.
Without a real ceiling with insulation over it, it's always going to be hot in there.
Would have been better of adding foam insulation to the door not a radiant barrier.
That whole door acts like a solar panel.
joecaption- Thanks for the reply. So it sounds like I need to start looking into insulating the sheetrock on the walls. I was looking at blowing some insulation into the walls. Is that something that you think would work?

As far as a real ceiling, I'm not sure what you mean. Do you think that I should put up some insulation on the roof, then cover it with drywall?

I found a bunch of online kits for the garage door, which is why I decided to give it a try. I guess that I should have posted the question here first, before I did all of the work. What kind of foam are you talking about for the garage door? Is that something that I could install over the radiant barrier, or should I pull the radiant barrier off the door, and go with the foam?

One of the roofing companies that I got an estimate from suggested that I install the radiant barrier on the roof. Is that something that I should look at doing as well?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:59 AM   #4
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


A whole lot cheaper to just add rafters, insulate then sheetrock.
Got a picture of the roof and where a ceiling would be if there was one.
Not a fan of trying to blow insulation into a wall like that. You always end up with voids because your work blind, and it tends to settle leaving gaps.
Also never did see the point of a radiant barrier. Do you really want to be super heating the sheathing and roofing material. If it's shingles it would really shorten the life.
Really do not need some expensive kit to insulate the door. Some 1/2 blue foam and some construction adhesive made just for foam is all you need.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:49 AM   #5
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
A whole lot cheaper to just add rafters, insulate then sheetrock.
Got a picture of the roof and where a ceiling would be if there was one.
Not a fan of trying to blow insulation into a wall like that. You always end up with voids because your work blind, and it tends to settle leaving gaps.
Also never did see the point of a radiant barrier. Do you really want to be super heating the sheathing and roofing material. If it's shingles it would really shorten the life.
Really do not need some expensive kit to insulate the door. Some 1/2 blue foam and some construction adhesive made just for foam is all you need.
I'll take a picture later today, and post it so that you can see what the roof looks like. Due to the shallow pitch of the roof, there isn't going to be much of an "attic" if I put a ceiling in.

Sounds like I should have thought about adding insulation to the walls before I hung the sheetrock. Hindsight...20/20....

Didn't think that the radiant barrier would be heating the roof materials, but that makes sense. The heat would go through the roof and radiate into the cavity. The radiant barrier claims only to re-radiate 5% of the long wave radiation, but it sounds like that might still be too much.

I may look into the blue foam idea. I don't know if the Boss would be okay with the inside of the garage door being blue, so hopefully, I will be able to find some blue foam that is backed with white/silver instead of the blue.

It was unusually hot yesterday, but I did notice that it took longer for the garage to cool off. I am assuming that the foil backed barrier that I added to the door trapped the heat in the garage, instead of letting it radiate out through the door. Pretty much the opposite effect of what I was shooting for.

Thanks again for the info.
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:38 PM   #6
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


Here are some cell pics of the roof. In the first one, you can see the opening for the passive vent that the roofing company installed. It is very close to the ridge of the roof.

The second pic shows the top of the garage door where the roof starts to pitch up to the ridge.

I've looked at other homes in my area, and on most of the detached garages, the roof pitches up to the ridge from either the font/back walls, or the two side walls. On my garage, the roof pitches up from all four walls to the ridge.
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable-roof-001.jpg   How to keep a detached garage comfortable-roof-002.jpg  

Last edited by propman07; 04-30-2014 at 05:41 PM. Reason: added detail about roof slope
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:31 PM   #7
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


A vent that low does little to remove any moisture or heat.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:53 PM   #8
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


Seems like you are going to have to add something to create an attic space and insulate the garage from the attic, otherwise it's going to be a sauna.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:55 PM   #9
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


Taylorjm Thanks. Any recommendations? False suspended ceiling? Drywall?
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:05 PM   #10
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


It's hard to say from the pics. I think you are going to have to drywall, or wood sheeting of some type, or pretty much anything that will allow you to put some insulation in the attic side to keep the heat up high.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:38 PM   #11
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


Wow....flashback.....

Your garage is what I 'used' to have.

I'm not far from you so I know exactly what your dealing with. You have half the battle done...walls have drywall.

Click on the link in my signature regarding the garage....I would not be surprised if the same builder built both our garages....

Those 1x6's that are like an X in your ceiling....take them out. They were put in to keep the walls square while the built the garage.

You are going to need a lot more ceiling joists. What you have now is really nothing more than what they call rafter ties. Basically, the 2x4's you have going across are keeping the walls from pushing out.

If your garage is like mine was, it's more like 18.5' wide. According to my LA County building PDF, your span would require 2x6's 12OC...or 2x8's 16"OC. Me? get a bunch of 2x6's 20' long...cut to length and nail them in 12" OC. As you work your way down, you can sister up to the existing 2x4's. Don't take those out..they are nailed in to your top plate pretty good and provide good rafter tie support.

Once you have the ceiling joists in...hang 5/8" drywall. You don't need to insulate....not in LB.

Next....you need airflow....you need to make some soffett vents on the outside so air can enter the now enclosed attic and go out the roof vent you have or will add.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:52 PM   #12
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


I had built a lot of garages and never finished the inside of one. I built a couple of 24x24's with hip roofs like yours, 4/12 roofs. I went ahead and insulated the walls with r-11 or 13, I don't remember which, and sheetrocked the walls. I built them with 2x8 ceiling joists 2' on center and I sheetrocked the ceiling as well, no insulation. I figured I could always blow it in later. One of them I insulated a bit with some r-11 which I gutted out of a basement elsewhere.

For about $400 in sheetrock and insulation, it makes a helluva difference in summer and winter.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:02 AM   #13
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


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A vent that low does little to remove any moisture or heat.
The vents are actually pretty close to the ridge...probably within two feet or so. I'll see if I can find a pic of the outside of the roof for reference.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:04 AM   #14
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If your garage is like mine was, it's more like 18.5' wide. According to my LA County building PDF, your span would require 2x6's 12OC...or 2x8's 16"OC. Me? get a bunch of 2x6's 20' long...cut to length and nail them in 12" OC. As you work your way down, you can sister up to the existing 2x4's. Don't take those out..they are nailed in to your top plate pretty good and provide good rafter tie support.
ddawg16- Thanks for the reply. If I add the 2x6 like you are suggesting, how do I attach them to the top plate near the wall? I think that the top of the 2x6 would hit the underside of the roof near the wall edge.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:11 AM   #15
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How to keep a detached garage comfortable


Look at your existing 2x4's....you will see they cut the end at an angle...

You most likely have a 4:12 pitch (if like mine was). So you cut the end at that angle and push it up in there to sit on the top plate.

Normally this is done with no roof so you can get proper nailing....well....your roof is in the way...but you still want to put blocking between joists....and if you have an air nailer....you should be able to get some nails into the block at an angle.

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