Sunday, September 26, 2010

Garage Door Upgrade

At some point I picked up some 3/4 sheets of pink foam insulation for our basement renovation.  Tip:  Strap these down very well in your pickup truck, or they become airborne at exactly 17 mph on the way back from the home center.

Other than the obvious, there are a few uses for leftover insulation around the shop, such as using it on the floor as a sacrificial surface for breaking down plywood with a circular saw.  But what if you have more than you need and (like me) are too cheap to throw it away?  How about an upgrade to your garage door?

I took a few scraps and lined the inside of my roll up door with the insulation.  Cut carefully to size for a friction fit.  Believe it or not, the table saw works great to cut this stuff.  Another option is to simply score and snap like drywall.  I doubt I'm adding much in the way of either thermal insulation or soundproofing, but every little bit helps.  At least I didn't send the stuff to the landfill, and if I can keep even a little of the noise away from the neighbors then that's great too.

Now you may choose to stop there, but for some reason the big pepto pink garage door just wasn't my style.  This is where I turned to an old geek trick I've used many times before.  For about $12 per sheet you can get a product called tileboard at the home centers which is a pretty good replacement for whiteboard material.  This stuff is probably intended to cover walls in single-wide trailers or gas station bathrooms, but nothing is too good for my shop!  It's shiny, white and works fine with dry-erase markers.  The core is Masonite, about 1/8" thick.

Again, I simply cut some tileboard panels to fit and covered up all the frilly pink stuff just like putting a pair of tidy whiteys over a thong - or so I would guess, anyway.  My door panels had lips on the top and bottom so I was able to just bow out the insulation and whiteboard a little to pop them into place.

The door is now a great place to jot notes during a project, to work out dimensions, draw sketches, or make shopping lists for runs to the home center.  I also threw another piece of tileboard on the wall behind the door into the house to make use of the space for full-on geekery.

What do you think?  I'd love to hear it in the comments.  Is this a good idea for your shop, or are you still just creeped out about the whole "thong" analogy?


Eric said...

That is a great tip.
I'm moving down to Florida and the garage door gets really hot from the sun.
I bet this trick will help beat back some of that oven effect.
Thanks a bunch Aaron. I really like your blog.

Aaron said...

Eric, you are welcome! It's an old trick but still a goody. I know manufacturers have started to make garage doors that are really well insulated for extreme environments, but this was my (cheap) way to get some of that benefit.