New Garage Doors! And then this happened!

Our house just turned 40. We’ve been here for the past 33 years.

The garage doors are on their last leg. Suggested to DW that we get new ones. After research and getting 3 quotes, we settled on a local company. Custom order Clopay Gallery doors with R-12.9 insulation value and double insulated windows.

Garage is an “under” two car garage right below our kitchen. We’ve noticed that the kitchen floor is pretty cold during the winter, so we’re trying to do what we can to button up the garage beneath.

All good - the doors are on order and now I decide to take care of a “been on the list forever” task of weatherproofing the cement walls of the garage prior to the new doors. MISTAKE!!!

This turned into a “Let’s paint the entire garage interior floor to ceiling project!” - A totally unplanned project. ANYWAY - I’m about 10 days into it, and I’m getting there. But I discovered there in plain site that the center exterior wall between the garage doors (48"W x 78"H) is NOT insulated. Also there are two corner areas that are of the same construction (48"W x 38"H) and those areas are NOT insulated either.

So we’ve gone and ordered these new high insulation garage doors and the walls around them are not insulated. What do folks here think?

I do not feel like removing the drywall and plaster from what is already there to insulate. Should I call around to see if I can have someone pump in some foam insulation into those wall areas? There are MassSave contractors that might do this for small fee due to energy rebates… Should I even bother???



There are DIY Spray foam kits, here is Lowes, but I imagine others are nearby, or Amazon…

I’ve been wishing I had an IR camera attachment for my iPhone, so I could see what gaps, problems there are here, just can’t justify the $$$…


I am not surprised and what you found. Generally speaking garages are not insulated to the exterior - rather the living areas of a house are insulated.

One bit of data you did not provide which would be important for our house - orientation and location. We live in Georgia and our garage door faces west. So we get a huge amount of heat transfer from the sun beating on the garage doors.

Any insulation be better than none and the last bit installed makes the smallest incremental difference - so there will a significant improvements from even a slap dash effort.

Have you considered getting blown insulation? Here is a link.

This is commonly put into houses build without any insulation. They bore 2 or 3 inch holes and fill the space between studs. If you do the holes on the inside of the garage, the wall board repair will be easy.

Another more expensive option would be urethane foam insulation. This is the top of the line, but I have never seen this installed expect as a spray before wall board goes up. However the low expansion foam that is put around windows is a urethane.

If you happen to live in one of the few areas where construction has dropped off a lot, you might be able to get a person willing to rip out the wallboard, put in batts and install drywall. It would not be cheap, but it is always easier to pay somebody than doing a job you hate or just don’t want to do.

I just wanted to check something and stumbled across this link. It gives the differences and suggests options that I did not even think about.


I think insulating the ceiling (under the kitchen floor) should be a higher priority. Likewise, anywhere else that has living space on the other side.

I think stopping drafts around the door is challenging, but important. Possibly more important than insulating the garage from the out of doors.

Finally, is there any source of heat in the garage? Without a heat source the only warmth (other than a car just pulled in with a hot engine) is coming from the rest of the house. Which is why I suggest insulating between it and the rest of the house comes first.

In my old house the oil burner was there, so there was going to be a temperature difference between the garage and outdoors as long as the door was closed. Where I am now there is no heat source, except possibly my car when charging. There is one common wall between the garage and living space, which I believe is insulated. The space above the ceiling is open to the main house’s attic. The garage gets plenty cold, but only just hit freezing once in the last year. The attic, on the other hand, is much colder.


@wecoguy @RHinCT @GWPotter - Thanks for the suggestions and info. Our garage doors face North, so they are in the shade all day. The wall that separates the garage area of the basement from the real basement is fully insulated. I am not sure if the ceiling of the garage is insulated - I need to check that as well. I am considering blowing-in insulation. Not sure what that might cost, but I think I’ll go get some estimates.

Thanks again,


I found a huge variation in blown insulation between vendors. We had a lot of work done in our “attic” - HVAC reducting. This left ceiling joists exposed in some areas. Got quotes (plural) to top off in the range of $2K and finally found a firm in the next county that did a great job for $500.

Here there is a minimum charge that tends to be $500 or $600. The way I found this outfit was keeping track of construction in the neighborhood. I figured contractors knew which subs were good and lower cost.

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I agree that the ceiling is the best bet to insulate. The unheated garage is always going to be substantially lower temperature (in winter) than the house is heated to. Likewise, my garage (in South Florida) is always going to be substantially higher temperature and humidity than the rest of the house.

Somewhere I’ve seen a house that built TWO layers of walls (drywall-studs with insulation-drywall-studs with insulation-drywall) in certain areas for extreme insulation. At the time, I thought it was kind of excessive as that (“better insulating”) can be accomplished in a much easier fashion by using better insulation and/or using thicker studs with thicker insulation.

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Hi @38Packard,

I used Clopay GD2LP’s for the two garage doors and the one on the shop but we have the rest built to “support” the insulated doors.

The walls for the house, garage and shop are all 8 inch ICF from footing to the top plate. All ceilings have 12 to 16 inches of blown glass.

Here is a photo 12/30/2021, a few months before the door install:

And after install in July 2022:

They face about SW so they get a lot of sun. Last winter, the lowest temp for our garage was 47 near the mud room door(unheated with fully insulated, 2x8 framing). The shop got down to 38 that same night (below zero for 2 nights) because the door gaskets were not installed. Finally got the correct gaskets installed. (Supply chain issues and screw-ups!)

In your case, I would be tempted to get a pro-foam job. It eliminates air infiltration for the house walls/floor. If it is a “bare foot” floor, the difference will be noticeable.

Blown-in is fine for ceilings where it is “dropped” in. Trying to fill cavities in a wall or in a ceiling below a floor just does not always work well. You often end up with voids. Foam, if properly done, will not leave any voids.

Does that help you?

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Sure does! I’ll do some research on getting foam insulation. Not in the budget right now, but probably next year.


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Blown cellulose is excellent in walls. Over a period of years - 3 to 10, there will be some settling. So a bit at the top between studs will not be insulated. The process is not complex, but generally this is not a DIY project for two reasons. Equipment and skill using the equipment. I have never heard of blown cellulose for areas below a floor.

Going OT a bit here, but I have to ask…

Gene, when do you think you will be living in the new house? Or is that already where you are? Just curious, as I started following the photos around the time of the foundations. Thanks!

Hi @RHinCT,

Our first night here was Oct 14th. I can’t describe how happy/relieved/excited we were to get out of the city and back in the country again.

Dark skies at night again. In the winter with the leaves off, we have one yard light through the trees about 1/4 mile to the south. Our neighbor to the west is blocked by the hill. To the north, there are faint lights in the I-road which is a narrow gap, about one finger width. Salina is far enough east that we only see a little glow if there are low clouds over it. Starlight and moonlight is it!

The constant, 24 hour/day traffic noise, sirens, people talking and smoking outside, horns, car alarms, barking dogs, etc is not missed in the least.

Still waiting on sod to be laid and we still have some cabinet installation for my office. My current “office” is the mechanical room! I am working from a workstation I built in 1980, using 2 sheets of 1" plywood, for my first computer, a CoCo. I have disassembled/reassembled it 7 times when moving now.

The cabinet problem that developed for my office is:

  • One of the uppers had a blonde interior and needed to be replaced. Oops.
  • The shoe was not sent. Oops.
  • Two 24 inch desk drawers came in at 22 inches so the knee panel for the desk was too wide. Oops.

Here is what the 2 cabinets looked like. Kind of stands out:

I can’t believe all the noise back here in the mechanical area. The HVAC runs a lot for humidification, re-circulation, air exchange through the Energy Recovery Ventilation System and to heat/cool. It is all efficient but noisy sitting here beside it! Out in the rest of the house, it isn’t noticeable.

But so glad to be here.

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That sounds wonderful. Congratulations!

I envy your view of the stars. Not just the stars, the Milky Way! :sunglasses:


Those cans of Great Stuff and the like are pretty expensive since one can only provides about a cubic foot and takes a long time to spray in for a large space. But I did use 5 or 6 cans to spray into a roof area I thought needed it.

I have one of those FLIR cameras. That is how I identified the cold spot in the ceiling of a cold room.
The camera is great…so sensitive that you can see foot prints on the carpet minutes after someone walked barefoot on the floor.
But the camera software is very touchy and they put in a “fix” that has it phone home when you start it and it nows says my phone is too old to run the software. After some investigation I found putting the phone in airplane mode fixes it and it works fine.
But then a couple of weeks ago I got a new phone and it breaks the camera because I now have USB-C connector and the old phone had micro-USB. So now I will have to use the old phone in airplane mode anytime I want an IR image. Perfectly OK for the rare use at home.

(When I got the FLIR is was $399…but I won it for free at the FLIR booth at a trade show.)



It’s still around $200 at Amazon, I have it saved for later, but it might be a long time…

I’ve an iPhone 11 Pro Max, so am a few versions back, but I do check on it once in a while… Might be able to rent a full sized IR camera locally, but like a lot of stuff, it hasn’t happened…

I’m just curious about the house, we’ve insulated overhead, under the floor, and the walls have fiberglass bats from 1967, so it would be interesting to see if there are voids missed, etc… Back BR has always felt colder, new larger ducting seems to help, but I’d like to see for myself…

I do have a spare Nikon D90, maybe it could be converted, I think the IP filter has to come out, maybe cheaper than a Flir!

Some Home Depots rent thermal cameras. I just happened to check recently!


Of the 5 area Home Depot’s, all say they rent one, $56 for 4 hours, but none actually have any available… Nobody else has one, so, that’s tighter than I expected…

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Home Depot is sometimes ridiculous. I experienced the same thing a few years ago when I was considering renting a tool for a day. The two big Home Depots nearby didn’t have any “in stock”, so I asked them to check the other 6 or 7 stores within driving distance … and they couldn’t find any “in stock” at any of those stores. I was tempted to ask them to look within a 100 mile radius, but by that point I was disgusted with their lack of service, so I just gave up.

And I was just at Lowes less than an hour ago. I needed some very simple stuff. Some 1 5/8" exterior screws, a 1x10x8 and a 1x3x8, preferably treated. I found the screws instantly. Then I went to aisle 21, bay 1 to get the 1x3, nothing resembling a 1x3 there. I wait and wait and wait for someone to come assist me. Guy comes and says “Oh we moved the furring strips (including 1x3) to a different aisle a few months ago, but they haven’t updated the system”. Found the 1x3s, most of them were horrible, but after sifting through 30 of them I found one that will be passable. And they’re barely treated, look very close to raw wood. Then I try to find the 1x10, website says 18 units in stock. Couldn’t find any in the correct location. Found a nasty one in a different location, but can’t use it, just in way too bad shape.

I have one spot that uses 1x10 fascia that needs repair, and another spot that uses 1x6 fascia.

Any advice on repairing fascia board? And preferred caulk to use? Tips & tricks?

1x6 treated on left, 1x3 “treated” on right.

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Try looking at what they offer in composite lumber. The house I’m in now I used Hardie Lap with composite corners. 20 years later they still look good. The paint does too, except it’s fading.

On caulking I have used Solar Seal caulking. I knew a contractor who swore by it. My personal experience with it has been only about 8 years. So far so good.

I tried!!! Couldn’t find anything even remotely the correct size and/or a reasonable price. For example for the 1x6, the composite all comes as a insert kind of thing. Or as a deck board with grooves. Or as “PVC trim board”, but 2 to 3 times the price of wood!

I would prefer a composite. I have a decorative piece of trim all across the front of the house, and that was composite. But that was “new work”, not repair work. For repair, I need the small areas I am replacing to to match the existing stuff. I think painting these weird composite pieces would look different.