Insulating shop space


Old 01-09-04, 12:14 AM
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Insulating shop space


I have a relatively large shop/barn, approx. 44'x44'. Of that, about 20'x30' comprises the main 'shop' area for storage and occasional vehicle use and other projects. The ceiling is about 12' high, and the last 2' on the long sides are that translucent corrugated material used for barn/shop 'sky lights'. No (as in zero) insulation above the OSB attached to the trusses to form the ceiling. Some insulation in the side walls (no idea what R value), and none on the ends. The main entry end has two huge double doors, 12' high by 5' wide each, uninsulated. I created a man-door inside one of the big doors to prevent having to hassle w/ them all the time for routine traffic. The only source of heat is a wood stove in the corner, but the ceiling immediately above it is open (probably a good thing, as they only used single-wall chimney pipe), so any warm air goes pretty much straight up thru that hole, into the roof, and out thru the poorly fitted siding. Takes a while to get any decent temperature increase inside the shop w/ the stove.

I need to know what I can do to, or more specifically, where to start. This is in north central Washington state, where it gets reasonably cold in the winter (routinely below freezing, occasionally below zero for a few days at a time). At the same time, it gets beastly hot in the summer in the direct sunlight (metal roofing).

a) Is the corrugated skylight stuff totally worthless insulation-wise? I'm starting to seriously consider yanking it, replacing it w/ T1-11 on the outside, and then insulate and cover w/ OSB on the interior.

b) What do you recommend for insulating the overhead roof area? I'm looking at fixing the siding so that it actually matches the roof pitch, putting a vent, and changing the chimney pipe to double or triple wall so that I can safely insulate the overhead area. Then just roll out the max R insulation I can find?

c) When it comes time to rebuild those massive doors, any suggestions on insulation? Stick stiff foam insulation in btwn the structural portions inside (the doors are built as a kind of torsion box: 1/4" plywood skin over 2x4 frame)?


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Old 01-09-04, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
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It seems that you would get the most bang for your buck by replacing the chimney on the stove, then making a proper ceiling, and adding the appropriate amount of insulation above the ceiling. Add some ventilation in the attic.

Next most productive would be to insulate the walls. Weather stripping around the doors with insulation on the doors. The foam panels glued to the doors may help. Although it may be better to remove the doors, if you don't need them and put walls in their place.

Hope this helps.
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