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Old 07-05-2010, 03:27 PM   #1
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Insulating the Shop


I have a pole building that I am about to insulate. It is 30' x 40' with metal siding and metal roof.

I have framed in the walls and almost completed adding framing for an attic. All framing is 2x4 at 24" centers. I will use 5/8" drywall. The ceiling height will be about 14'. I have a ridge vent and soffit vents, so I think ventilation should be ok in the attic. Oh, and the roof does have a few inches of insulation that is typical of metal roof pole buildings.

I will have a wood stove in there to keep it warm while I'm working in there occasionally.

My question is what type of insulation should I use for the walls and what type for the ceiling? Also, do I need a vapor barrier? Is blown in insulation really an option for DIY? Is the cellulose fiber better than the batts?

The walls are framed with 2x4's but there is 6.5" or 7" of space from the face of the framing to the metal wall. So, I could go with 6" insulation in the walls, but I wonder if it would be worth it to go 6" thick vs. 3.5" thick in the walls?

I do have a large roll of Tyvek that the contractor left after building my house. Would there be any place to take advantage of that? I was thinking maybe I could get unfaced batts and install over the Tyvek?

I'm thinking of using the 9.5" thick batts for the ceiling and seeing if I can staple them up between the framing and then place the drywall over them. That way I won't have to be crawling around up in the attic space on the 24" on center studs.........or use the Tyvek that I already have and staple it to the 2X4's as I install the batts of insulation.

Thanks in advance for any tips, tricks, or advice.

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Old 07-05-2010, 06:17 PM   #2
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Insulating the Shop


Ok. So I've been doing some more research, and it looks like cellulose fiber is much better for insulation than fiberglass. Also, it appears to be a cheaper solution if Home Depot will rent the blower for free with the purchase of a minimum amount of their blow-in insulation (I have to see what their minimum purchase req't is). So, right now I'm leaning in the direction of buying the insulation from Home Depot and renting the blower from them.

I'm thinking of going with a depth that will get R30 in the ceiling (9.5" thick at installation time).

And I'm now thinking about using the blown-in insulation in the walls too. The only problem I can see with that, is that is seems like over time the insulation will settle toward the bottom, and I'll end up with no insulation near the top of the walls........

The wall insulation installation would be fairly quick and easy. I would just leave about about a 1' strip at the top of the wall open without drywall and blow the insulation in from there.....Then I guess I would just have to use fiberglass batts at the top 1 foot of the wall.

Any comments? Am I heading down the right track?

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Old 07-05-2010, 07:42 PM   #3
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Insulating the Shop


Almost anything will work. The trick is finding something that works well and lasts long without breaking the bank. Usually, can have any two of these three.

It's hard for me to picture the details of what you're describing, so I'll keep my comments general:

-- Metal building will need something to keep the shell separated from the air space. If warm interior air hits that cold metal shell, you'll get moisture and the rust and mold that go with it. Since you have space between the back of the framing and the metal wall, I'd stick some thick XPS foam board sheathing in there, gluing or screwing it to the back of the framing. With sealed seams, this will give you an nice thermal break that's airtight (and if you go 2", will be a vapor barrier, too). Then, you can stick batts in the cavity that is formed by the wood studs and the foam board across the back of the studs.

-- As for a vapor barrier, you'll want to keep the warm interior air from hitting the cold shell. XPS foam board has low vapor perm, and at 2" is considered an actual barrier, not just a retarder. Since you won't get super hot humid days in your location, not super bitter cold days, I don't think you want any kind of vapor barrier at all if you use the foam board method I outlined here.

Hope this helps somewhat.

JH
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:30 PM   #4
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Insulating the Shop


Thanks for the reply JH.

I hadn't even thought about foam sheathing. I see now that the cellulose idea will not work for the walls. I have the framing going horizontal so, it would not work to fill up the void space with cellulose. Also, that is a good point you have about not wanting the insulation up against the metal siding.

The sheathing may be hard to get in there now that I have the framing in at 24" centers.

One thing I have a problem with is the heat in the summers. The metal siding gets hit in the afternoon by the sun and it radiates like an oven in there. I think just a little insulation will fix that problem. We don't get much heat very often here, but this week is supposed to be in the 80's and it will get warm in the shop.

I'll attach some pics to try to explain what is going on there.
Attached Thumbnails
Insulating the Shop-shop-002.jpg   Insulating the Shop-shop-007.jpg   Insulating the Shop-shop-006.jpg  
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:36 PM   #5
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Insulating the Shop


The metal building consists of "posts" which are actually 3 2"x6" boards placed together; the posts are 8' on centers. Then 2"X6" boards are spaced at about 30" up the outside of the posts; then the metal siding is screwed into the 2x6's that wrap around the building.

So, there will be a distance of 5.5" plus 1.5" from the metal siding to the back of the drywall. Except where there is bracing at parts of the walls.
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