The New Shop – Phase One Complete

A little bit of the project can be fluid at times – I am still researching, still making decisions. One thing that I hadn’t settled on was if I was going to insulate the floor of the shop. I certainly wanted to do it, but I was having second thoughts based on the cost. It was going to be nearly $200 to use rigid foam sheets, cut to fill the floor joist bays. I had decided that it was an expense that I couldn’t afford right now, even though I knew I would have regrets down the line.

While researching, I came across an incredible deal – bags of faced insulation for apparently 75% off. I had to buy four bags of it at minimum, but still that meant I would have way more than I needed for around $50. That was a deal too good to pass up. Particularly when the rigid was R-10, and this was R-19. I’m not exactly sure what kind of return on investment it will bring, or how much warmer or cooler it will make the shop, but I thought adding $50 was worth it. It did take a whole day to buy, because no one could find a forklift operator.

I did have to buy a new stapler to install it, and I bought a hammer style which greatly sped installation. This was my first time working with insulation, and it wasn’t too bad. I did have some try and fall down due to too few staples, but I was able to fix that later on. I think the reason why this insulation was so cheap is that out of the six batts in every bag, two were perforated along the length for narrow applications. Unfortunately, it makes them pretty worthless for full-width (16″OC) bays. So I ended up using almost a full three of my four bags, including having to replace a couple of short ones. No big deal, less to have to find a use for.

So late Tuesday, after I bought the four bags of insulation and my new stapler, I began getting to work. I was able to have my BIL help me get the five sheets of 3/4″ PT ply home to serve as the floor deck. Approaching 8pm is not the time to install insulation and the floor, but I tried my best. I got all the insulation in, plus one sheet of ply. I had to arrange the rest to protect the insulation overnight.

Today, I finished the job. I had to fix a few places where the staples tore through the paper, and replace a couple short batts entirely. I did notice some condensation, hopefully it was because it wasn’t fully installed. I cut two of the remaining sheets in half, and went on to install the floor in an offset pattern. I have three seam lines running from front to back, but none running from left to right across the whole shop. It was a bit more work, but I think it will be worth it. I used construction adhesive to help eliminate squeaking later, I don’t know if it will work but it was cheap insurance. When I was done I covered the whole platform in tarp to help prevent delamination.

I got to use the nailer for the first time, and man is it a time-saver. My air hose reaches fully from the old shop, so it’s trivial to get it set up and running. I’m really thankful I have this and didn’t have to spend another $100 or more getting my own. I mean, I’ll probably get one some day, but it’s one of those tools you don’t need very often.

So, I call this Phase One complete. I am taking a break on this for a few weeks at this point. It’s really the last opportunity I have like this until I get some sort of roof and walls up. It allows me to recover financially a bit, and I have a prior engagement coming up in August that I would not be at another stopping point by. Best to pause here, even though I really want to keep going and making progress. The floor looks great, and most importantly is super rock solid. I had a dance party on it when I got done. It will make for a fantastic foundation for the new and improved shop.

The next few weeks are going to be fairly filled anyway. I have new windows for the house being installed this week, and I have to do a little prep. I also have to do more yard work, both related and unrelated to the new shop. I have more home projects to prep the house for sale (eventually), plus at least one project related to, but not directly involving, the new shop. I also have to figure out what I’m going to do with all this fiberglass. I do have some more articles planned, including looking ahead to the next steps in the new shop project, a catalog of home upgrades that are done and yet to be, plus some other musings. Stay tuned here, on IG, and Twitter to stay up to date.

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