Yay....more home reno fun.... | GTAMotorcycle.com

Yay....more home reno fun....

mimico_polak

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I'm getting sick and tired of this already...and it's been 8 months!

#1. So...our bedroom is above the garage with our floor being the ceiling in the garage. As such, our bedroom floor is f'ing cold and frustrating as hell. The house leaks like a sieve.

Had a spray foam insulation company come in today for a quote, and just got the quote....$2500! WTF! It's literally 400sqft (if that) of the ceiling. It currently has drywall, with a BATT insulation in b/w the floors. However, the insulation isn't touching the ceiling/floor as I can lift it about 6" with my finger. This means I MAY theoretically get an additional 6" in height in my garage. The guy's words were 'oh this is easy and super fast, super easy, no problem!'

Any recommendations for what to do to insulate the garage ceiling, in order to be able to walk on the floor properly? I'm considering ripping out the ceiling, installing proper BATT, or spray foam, and then drywall again. This is not a heated garage. The other 3 walls are insulated.

#2. House is from the 50s, so insulation is literally non-existent in the walls. Makes for a fun time as our furnace hasn't turned off in 3 days as it tries to keep up with the cold temps. New furnace being installed tomorrow as blower is on it's way out.

Recommendations for insulating the walls, without ripping down the walls? Not sure if it's possible. The guy that quoted me the spray foam said no. But after this ridiculous quote (my buddy paid $1800 for 3 outside walls!) I don't really believe him.

We are considering stucco. Approx cost of 20-30k (depending on the quote) and this would alleviate a lot of the issues, and not have to deal with the ripping down the walls bit. I considered doing it room by room in the summer and send the wife off to the cottage each time....BUT...she's not overly keen on that bit.

#3. Anyone recommend a camera to look into the ducting to see WTF is in there? Blower is blowing...but the air flow in each of the rooms is so low that it's almost non-existent. I thought maybe the previous owner cut into the main duct to tee off into the basement, but the basement runs seem to be end runs. it does seem there are a few lines teed off the main line from the furnace though.
 

MLadin

Well-known member
Put a For Sale sign on it and buy new or newer. I never buy a house older than five years. In the mean time, buy a few ceramic heaters at Home Depot and heat the garage..it's going to be a short winter.

Watch out for that spray foam insulation, if you react badly to it with breathing problems, you won't be able to live in your house period.

Watch the movie "Money Pit."

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oioioi

Well-known member
Część

Doing the stucco on the outside will help a lot with the insulation or currently lack there of.
There is not other way to insulate from the inside.
Your house being 50 years old, your outside walls are only 2 X 4 instead of the current 2 X 6. Also back than they weren't all that crazy on insulating houses properly.

No matter what you do, the room above the garage will always be colder.

Spray foaming the ceiling WILL help but will not completely solve it.
I would consider putting in a gas heater in the garage and running it at a low temp so it doesn't only heat your toys in the garage but also help with the room above.

I would call around for more quotes and see if you can get a better price on the spray foaming.
I do know that it is not cheap. There is also the "health/good for your" aspect of it. It has been said that there are studies that the spray foam chemicals are not good for us and can cause health issues.
Most companies do not tell you this but you SHOULD NOT stay in the residence for at least 24 hours of the spray foam being applied.

As for the duct work.
I have small inspection camera that you can borrow if you want to look into your ducts. Hooks up to your mobile device and you can view/save picture and videos.
I have fishing sticks/rod as well as this is the line of work I do. You are welcome to borrow.

Investigate with a FERRET - rechargeable wireless inspection camera

If you do stucco on the outside you need to do it all in one shot.
(I am pretty sure you mean room by room and wife at the cottage if you renovated from the inside)
 

crankcall

Well-known member
Site Supporter
If i was going to insulate a room over a garage again, I would pull down the cieling in the garage, fill the bays between the joists with rockwool, then nail up sheets of 1 1/2" rigid foam over the joists so there is no thermal bridge from the joists to the floor and then drywall over the foam board. Then on the top (bedroom floor) I'd install drycore panel flooring with the insulation on the backside. It will cost about the same as the spray foam guy, but its probably better and certainly better if you ever need to access that space. Cieling height will drop but you'll be warm.

You can insulate from the outside and not stucco, stucco is all the thing right now, I'd use James Hardy siding, its a cement siding, gets a fire rating and will last about forever. Stucco often looks aweful in 10-15 yrs.
You could also just panel the interior walls with 1" rigid foam and loose some floor space, but its cheap and cheerful.

Start with all the easy stuff, weatherstrip the attic hatch, weatherstrip the doors, seal up all outlets and switches on exterior walls, pull off window casings and fill the cavities.

Heating costs and maybe more important in the future , cooling, costs will never go down in our lifetime. The money you spend now will bring dividends.
 

Robbo

Well-known member
Check if any work you are planning on doing is covered by a government rebate program.


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Hack

Well-known member
I recently completed a similar job... Master bedroom partially over a garage...
Except... I went at it opposite to what I read here.
I was installing hardwood floors so...
I just took up the bedrooms sub floor and insulated from above. No mess no fuss no need to tear down out the garage ceiling.
 

Joe Bass

*probably eating right now*
Site Supporter
I did closed cell spray foam about ten years ago.
Rip down and dispose of old drywall and open cell foam
Spray
Re drywall
Cost me almost double what you paid.
Room is 2 degrees warmer and no need for the ceramic heater.
Garage walls are insulated
We were out of the house for 48 hrs

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miggs

Well-known member
Site Supporter
My home was built in '52 and none of the exterior walls are insulated.

It's brick, tar paper, framing then double layer drywall.

Back when they built these houses heating oil was cheap.

You can stucco the outside, or you can reframe the inside walls to add insulation.

Also check that your floor vents are actually attached to the hvac ducts.

When I did my renos and was tearing down walls I noticed that NONE of the vents were physically connected to the service ducts and there was about a 2" gap so most of the hot/cold air was just being pushed into the cavity between the joists and walls.

I had all of my hvac ducts rebuilt and the home stays much warmer now.
 

Robbo

Well-known member
I'm getting sick and tired of this already...and it's been 8 months!

#1. So...our bedroom is above the garage with our floor being the ceiling in the garage. As such, our bedroom floor is f'ing cold and frustrating as hell. The house leaks like a sieve.

Had a spray foam insulation company come in today for a quote, and just got the quote....$2500! WTF! It's literally 400sqft (if that) of the ceiling. It currently has drywall, with a BATT insulation in b/w the floors. However, the insulation isn't touching the ceiling/floor as I can lift it about 6" with my finger. This means I MAY theoretically get an additional 6" in height in my garage. The guy's words were 'oh this is easy and super fast, super easy, no problem!'

Any recommendations for what to do to insulate the garage ceiling, in order to be able to walk on the floor properly? I'm considering ripping out the ceiling, installing proper BATT, or spray foam, and then drywall again. This is not a heated garage. The other 3 walls are insulated.

#2. House is from the 50s, so insulation is literally non-existent in the walls. Makes for a fun time as our furnace hasn't turned off in 3 days as it tries to keep up with the cold temps. New furnace being installed tomorrow as blower is on it's way out.

Recommendations for insulating the walls, without ripping down the walls? Not sure if it's possible. The guy that quoted me the spray foam said no. But after this ridiculous quote (my buddy paid $1800 for 3 outside walls!) I don't really believe him.

We are considering stucco. Approx cost of 20-30k (depending on the quote) and this would alleviate a lot of the issues, and not have to deal with the ripping down the walls bit. I considered doing it room by room in the summer and send the wife off to the cottage each time....BUT...she's not overly keen on that bit.

#3. Anyone recommend a camera to look into the ducting to see WTF is in there? Blower is blowing...but the air flow in each of the rooms is so low that it's almost non-existent. I thought maybe the previous owner cut into the main duct to tee off into the basement, but the basement runs seem to be end runs. it does seem there are a few lines teed off the main line from the furnace though.
If you can push the existing insulation up 6”, and it’s a 50 yr old house, the existing insulation is doing sfa.

I would replace with modern batt. That can be a diy project so cost is material and your labour is free.


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jc100

Well-known member
I recently completed a similar job... Master bedroom partially over a garage...
Except... I went at it opposite to what I read here.
I was installing hardwood floors so...
I just took up the bedrooms sub floor and insulated from above. No mess no fuss no need to tear down out the garage ceiling.
I have the same issue and this is what I would do too. I'd also put in a heated floor too. Had one done in the bathroom recently which was also a cold room, and it's the only source of heat in there and it's great.
 

Evoex

The God
Site Supporter
I'm getting sick and tired of this already...and it's been 8 months!

#1. So...our bedroom is above the garage with our floor being the ceiling in the garage. As such, our bedroom floor is f'ing cold and frustrating as hell. The house leaks like a sieve.

Had a spray foam insulation company come in today for a quote, and just got the quote....$2500! WTF! It's literally 400sqft (if that) of the ceiling. It currently has drywall, with a BATT insulation in b/w the floors. However, the insulation isn't touching the ceiling/floor as I can lift it about 6" with my finger. This means I MAY theoretically get an additional 6" in height in my garage. The guy's words were 'oh this is easy and super fast, super easy, no problem!'

Any recommendations for what to do to insulate the garage ceiling, in order to be able to walk on the floor properly? I'm considering ripping out the ceiling, installing proper BATT, or spray foam, and then drywall again. This is not a heated garage. The other 3 walls are insulated.

#2. House is from the 50s, so insulation is literally non-existent in the walls. Makes for a fun time as our furnace hasn't turned off in 3 days as it tries to keep up with the cold temps. New furnace being installed tomorrow as blower is on it's way out.

Recommendations for insulating the walls, without ripping down the walls? Not sure if it's possible. The guy that quoted me the spray foam said no. But after this ridiculous quote (my buddy paid $1800 for 3 outside walls!) I don't really believe him.

We are considering stucco. Approx cost of 20-30k (depending on the quote) and this would alleviate a lot of the issues, and not have to deal with the ripping down the walls bit. I considered doing it room by room in the summer and send the wife off to the cottage each time....BUT...she's not overly keen on that bit.

#3. Anyone recommend a camera to look into the ducting to see WTF is in there? Blower is blowing...but the air flow in each of the rooms is so low that it's almost non-existent. I thought maybe the previous owner cut into the main duct to tee off into the basement, but the basement runs seem to be end runs. it does seem there are a few lines teed off the main line from the furnace though.
My parents did stucco over 10 years ago (brick house, little insulation). Savings in summer/winter appeared immediately, it also stands out on the block now. It's held up very, very well.

If you decide to pursue this, try to locate the seasonal workers from Europe. They do it for cash and they work like dogs; across the street waiting for you to get up at 7am and working till 8pm with flood lights.
 

sburns

Well-known member
I dunno if re insulating the garage ceiling is going to change the conditions much. You are insulating the cold side. But if you do I would look into replacing the batt and adding foam boards like @crankcall call mentioned. Besides that it almost sounds like you need a vapour barrier, on your floor in the bedroom, with possibly some insulation and better subfloor, maybe raised to allow the cool air to evaporate. Treat the bedroom floor kinda like a basement floor.

Or some thick area rugs ;)
 

Trials

Well-known member
On the subject of forced air ductwork, don't over-look the layout, location and volume of your cold air returns. Air returns are every bit as important as your heat ducts.

Something I found when renovating an old home was that it's generally better to add to the existing structure then to start ripping out the existing materials, which tends to turn into a never ending job. Even if you build a brand new home today the entire outside of the building will be covered with 2 inch thick styrofoam with a thin layer of silver mylar, then an airspace is needed before you apply your exterior siding. Insulating from the outside does not reduce your interior space which is generally a good thing unless the home is massive in dimension.
Spray foam is great because it is forms a vapour barrier that would otherwise have to be added and mice don't nest and foul in it which is a real bonus. Part of the expense comes from the requirement of applying spray foam in multiple layers, they can not apply one thick layer of foam or the house will burn down.

Heat the floors and not the air wherever possible. Heat rises, warm floors are nice to walk on and when the air is cool you can wear multiple layers of clothing to deal with that.

Drywall for the interior of a garage space that is not heated, not so good. :/ Condensation destroys drywall, plywood is a far better alternative, plywood is structural and far more impervious to water damage then gypsum and paper.

Almost all old homes contain asbestos and potentially aluminum wiring, the asbestos is often best left where it is and sealed up behind your new walls, the aluminum wiring needs to be obsoleted but there is no need to remove it if it is no longer in use. Check your fuse panel connections and inside as many junction boxes as possible for the presence of aluminum wire.

Stucco covers a multitude of sins and provides a good wind break, does almost nothing for keeping the heat inside the house, it is outside of the walls ventilation air space.

Renovating an old home costs millions, the century home I sold in Toronto was eventually renovated by the city at a cost in excess of 3 million$ Better them then me is the way I look at that one.
 

mimico_polak

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Wow, nice to wake up to so many responses, thanks guys. Always appreciate.

I'll try to respond to each point:

@miggs & @oioioi The plan is to get a camera and look into the ducting before I start tearing out drywall. The air flow is very low. I'm also considering detaching 1-2 ducts that go into the basement, as it's warm as hell down there, and I would detach right at the furnace, not at the end point as that would just build up pressure and still take volume/flow. @oioioi Thanks for the offer but need a camera that's longer. Dad has a 3ft camera, I'm looking at something closer to 10-20ft so I can actually go through most of the duct.

@crankcall That's a good idea for the garage thanks. I'll be looking into that next time around. As for the outdoor siding instead of stucco, never heard that siding provides any insulation until your note. Will look into it.

@Trials Cold air return in the living room was fully disconnected. This will be done today along with the new furnace, some ducting, and an increase from 4"-6" (and connection) of the cold air return.

@Evoex Way ahead of you. Had some illegals come by and quote pricing on the stucco. Have seen their work in person, and will be looking for additional quotes. Lowest price is 17k, and highest is 25k at this point in time (with trim, and the 'rock' base surround).

@Robbo I did. Unfortunately since the existing furnace with the ****** blower is 96% efficient, it doesn't qualify as it has to be below 95% efficient and then upgraded to above that. Enbridge changed their rules. Before, I installed furnace and BAM cheque for $250 came in. Now, you need an energy audit, and to perform 3 upgrades within 120 days. Unfortunately garage insulation is not one of those things. Hot water tank, windows, wall insulation, basement insulation, attic insulation and the like are included. I may do the attic insulation atop the existing one next time I'm home. Only takes a few hours, and less than $1000 in material (free blower if you order 10 bags).

@Hack Good idea. Unfortunately we already laid the floor down in the summer...and well now we see the requirement in the winter.

Once we do the bathrooms, heated floors 100%.

Thanks again everyone for the tips, will be looking for more help and appreciate everyone's input.
 

Lyndsay

Well-known member
Site Supporter
As @Trials said the spray foam is good because it also provides the vapour barrier. If you want, you could put piping in (1/2" pex clipped to the floorboards), then spray over that and in the future could run hot glycol through those pipes to provide a heated floor. It wouldn't be "instant-on" but when left on keeps the room nice and warm. There's a special pex to use for in-floor heating which is oxygen resistant and alleviates some of the need for a vent on the system. I put it in my basement floor when I built, but haven't had to connect it to a heat source as the house is so tight and warm I don't need to provide any extra heat to the basement. The house is ICF block basement with upper walls all sprayfoamed.
 

nobbie48

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Our house was built in 1960 with next to no insulation. Brick and block exterior walls strapped on the inside, reflective tar paper and then gypsum board and plaster. Master bedroom over the garage. The old style furnace was 160,000 BTUH.

When we redecorated a room we ripped the plaster and strapping off the exterior wall and put up 2X4s, fiberglass, vapour barrier and drywall. All rooms except the living room have been done. We added to the attic insulation with fiberglass batts. The garage ceiling came down, the joists stuffed with more batts and drywall installed. It might have to be 5/8 fire rated but workmanship can be crap as long as there are no holes.

Our high efficiency furnace is 70,000 BTUH and doesn't work very hard.

Floor warming could be nice but I have reservations. It used to be for under tile only but now I see it under wood. Carpet isn't a good idea and I don't like it in bedrooms.

I insulated the garage door and walls for use as an occasional shop but that minimizes the temperature the bedroom floors see and thus a benefit.

Keep in mind that when walls are cold your body radiates heat to them and you feel cold even if the room air isn't that bad. With warmer walls you will notice the difference.

BTW the gutting of the inside walls isn't that time consuming or expensive. I did it myself a room at a time but I have a very tolerant wife.
 

Scuba Steve

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Insulating the garage will help a lot our garage is insulated with spray foam walls and ceilings and doesn't get below 10 c it also means the 3 bedrooms and bathrooms over the garage don't have cold floors at all.

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Trials

Well-known member
...@Trials Cold air return in the living room was fully disconnected. This will be done today along with the new furnace, some ducting, and an increase from 4"-6" (and connection) of the cold air return. ...
That sounds like a major source of your problem right there! Keep in mind that round ductwork has far fewer square inches then square, and cold air returns can use a beam space that does not need to be encased in sheet metal on all sides. Cold air returns actually need to be larger in volume then the hot air ducts, because your furnace can push air more efficiently then it can draw air, the filter is also on the cold air side so you want as little restriction there as possible.
 

mimico_polak

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Insulating the garage will help a lot our garage is insulated with spray foam walls and ceilings and doesn't get below 10 c it also means the 3 bedrooms and bathrooms over the garage don't have cold floors at all.

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Thanks for the note. Our garage is insulated on 3 walls...the ceiling has some type of insulation, but when I stuck my finger in there I could lift the insulation a good 6-7" above the ceiling.
 

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