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knowbodies 08-24-09 06:23 PM

I don't think I've ever seen particle board that color unless it was wet. If it's still dry, I would just leave it in place. The plywood in the corners should keep the building relatively square. However, your electrical is just plain scary - those are the connections you can see, what about the connections you can't see?

Daox 08-24-09 06:26 PM

Well, another problem is that there are holes here and there in the particle board. Since I'm currently thinking about insulating the way Tim suggested, I'm worried about the cellulose insulation blowing through it and loosing it over time. I suppose I could patch the holes up. But, the other benefit of taking it down is getting tyvek warp on the outside along with a possible thin sheet of rigid foam.

TimJFowler 08-24-09 10:00 PM

Particle Board - ugh.

What's the exterior condition of the garage? If it's rough then I'd say go for it and pull the sheathing and particle board - though I'd be tempted to go with OSB instead of plywood for the cost. I think I would do one wall at a time just to make sure the structure stays as solid as possible. If the exterior is in good shape that makes this a tougher call.

Re: insulating the foundation. How deep are the footings? I wonder if a good backhoe operator could dig a narrow trench along the foundation and not leave too big a mess? It's probably worth talking to a foundation contractor to see if they have any ideas.

It looks like there are several options re: rigid foam insulation DOE - Foam Board Insulation The important question would be - what's the cost per R-value compared to the blow-in cellulose? Given that the Mooney Wall is supposed to have a true R-value of about 18 I would hope that the cost is comparable.

Regardless, the electrical is a loss. Better to start fresh than deal with that mess.

Good Luck!

TimJFowler 08-24-09 10:05 PM

What are you thinking of for the garage roof insulation?

Daox 08-25-09 09:01 AM

The exterior is in fine condition. It is just white vinyl siding. I don't think it'll be too horrible to take down and put back up. Although, I've never done it before. OSB does sounds like a better/cheaper way to go too.

I have no idea about the footings. I would have to ask the original builder or just dig down myself.

The rigid foam would cover the exterior just underneath the tyvek wrap. So, it would be layered from outside to inside: Siding, tyvek, rigid foam, OSB, 2x4 + 2x2 mooney wall, OSB. The foam would be in addition to the mooney wall, not replace part of it. I was just thinking polyiso foam with the reflective covering would be best. That should help heat gain in the summer.

For the ceiling I was thinking plywood/osb, then a vapor barrier, and then cellulose up there too. The garage has soffit vents but no ridgeline or other vent in it, so that has to be added too.

truckncycle 08-25-09 02:47 PM

Your garage is detached isn't it? Just want to make sure that there is no reason to use drywall on the inside of the garage.

Daox 08-25-09 02:56 PM

Yup, the garage is detached. No need for drywall. OSB will be more solid and allow mounting things to it much more easily. :) As you can see from the pics, I have some old kitchen cabinets that'll be going up eventually.

Higgy 08-26-09 12:41 PM

I was gonna ask you if I can have those kitchen cabinets...I need some shelving for my garage...but I guess you're hogging them for yourself. Pfff...selfish.


TimJFowler 08-28-09 12:56 PM


The more I think about your project (keeps me from working on my own 8*) ) the more I think there are two preferable options.

1) Quick and Dirty. Spend as little as possible, rewire the interior, insulate the walls and roof, use OSB for the interior walls, and don't touch the exterior.

I think if you try to remove the vinyl siding, add 1/2" or 1" rigid foam insulation and replace the siding you will have 1 or 2 problems. Either you'll not have quite enough siding given the slight increase in surface area, or some of the siding won't come off cleanly and either way you'll need to buy more siding which could be tough to match.

2) Dream Garage Makeover. I'm guessing your garage is also your workshop. If you plan to stay in this house for more than a few years why not plan a complete "eco-garage / workshop"? How about skylights or solatubes for lighting, solar heating, wire for future PV panels, super-insulated walls & roof, recycled and/or eco-friendly materials everywhere, etc...

Each plan has pros & cons. I just hate re-doing a project and sometimes it's worth going "all-out" on something rather than regretting not having done X or Y later.


Daox 08-28-09 01:14 PM

Yeah, that is really the question. If I insulate right now with cellulose, that particle board is not coming off. If it did have to come off I would have a heap of cellulose to clean up and have to find a new way to blow it back in. I don't want to have to deal with that. So, I'm leaning towards a sort of middle of the line garage, at least for now. I don't have the money to go all out with solar heat, solatubes, etc. Especially since my 2nd floor still doesn't have any insulation in the walls. However, I do need a place to work during the winter so I can work on things for the house. So, this will be a compromise for the time being.

There are always grandiose dreams of course. Heated floors would be my dream come true. :) Perhaps in a few years I can break up the floor, insulate below it and repour it with pex in it.

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