Trying to work in a shop or garage in the winter months of northern regions can be difficult.  A heater is almost a must.  To keep the heater from running constantly and racking up energy bills, insulation is the way to go.  I insulated the walls of my shop a few years ago when I put up the drywall but I never got around to doing the garage door.  When it got cold outside I noticedit quickly.  When I would stand near the garage door I could really feel the cold temperatures creeping in.  I’ve had some 2″ foam insulation laying around for a while now and it was about time I put it to good use.  I finally decided to insulate my garage door.

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When I took these temperature readings it was approximately 9°F outside.


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This project was going to serve dual purposes.  Mostly to insulate my garage door, but to also eliminate the clutter catcher the rigid foam had created over the last few months.


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I started by getting some measurements of the door where the foamboard was going to be placed.
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I originally started marking cut lines with a speed square and straight edge.


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I remembered I had a drywall tee-square laying around from when I did the drywall in the shop.  This proved to be a great time saver.


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For some of the longer cuts I resorted to using a circular saw.  It is a more messy approach but it made quick work of some of the bigger cuts.


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My “test panel” took a bit of test fitting, but once I had it to right size, it made a great template for the other like sized pieces.


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The foam insulation I already had on hand measured 2″ thick.  My garage door was only 1 3/4″ deep.  This meant I had to router in a small rabbet 1/4″ deep to keep the garage door panels from bulging.  If you are going to purchase materials for the project, just go ahead and get 1 1/2″ if your garage door is the same depth.  The 2″ foam is what I had, so I made it work.


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The idea was to tilt the foam pieces into place getting the top set into the door first.  Then I could rotate the foam into the door and slide it down a 1/4″ or so, locking it in place.


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Here you can see me placing in one of the panels.


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My garage door had some cross bracing which I had to work around.  The top brace I left in place and cut the foam by hand to slide underneath.  The lower brace I had temporarily removed to put the insulation in place.  Then I could just reinstall the lower brace.


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Some pieces worked better to put the bottom in first.  However you mange to get it all in place and secured is not all that important.


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To move the panel once in place (only to even out the gaps) I had used a suction cup.  This is not required, it just made the installation move a bit more quickly.


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With only half of the garage door insulated, I could already feel the difference.  Surface temperatures were over 25° different between the insulated and non-insulated sections.


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Finish the remaining panels and get ready to be more comfortable with both the temperatures and the energy bill.  A complete install video is listed below as well.

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4 Responses

  1. Dennis Vertrees

    Hi Nick – I did the same thing to my garage door and it worked great made a big difference in the shop temp on cold days. A neat way to finish it is to cover the face of the foam with aluminum coil stock from a siding supply company or lumber yard. I applied it to the foam with carpet tape to hold it until the panels were in place. I have also rivited or screwed it to the flanges on the door panels over the foam. Like your site you do good work, I am also a little particular about things like the color of the foam.

    • Nick

      Thank you – the aluminum is not a bad idea, I will have to keep that in mind as well – I’m glad you are liking the builds – thanks for checking it out!


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