Polystyrene vs. Polyurethane: Which Garage Door Insulation is Right for You?

Polystyrene vs. Polyurethane: Which Garage Door Insulation is Right for You?

Polystyrene vs. Polyurethane Garage Door Insulation

So, you’re thinking about insulating your garage door. This is a relatively simple project that can reap great benefits, but with the wide variety of approaches you can take to insulate your garage, how do you choose the one that is right for you?

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First, you need to know the materials. The two most common materials used for garage door insulation are polystyrene and polyurethane. Let’s examine the advantages of each:

Polystyrene – Popular because of it’s value and simplicity of installation, polystyrene is the less expensive option of the two. In addition to being waterproof, polystyrene is manufactured into large sheets or panels that can be easily modified to fit any garage door. Available in varying thicknesses with insulation values ranging from R2 to R10, polystyrene is a great value if thickness and R values are not a limiting factor in your decision.

Polyurethane – The denser choice of the two, polyurethane is the best insulator, but comes with a heftier price tag. Polyurethane boasts R values ranging from R10 to R17.5. In addition to efficiently insulating your garage, polyurethane also adds support and rigidity to your garage, making it more resistant to damage. It will also decrease the noise emitted from your door and soften the associated shaking and vibrations that come with opening and closing the door.

Now that you know the difference between the two materials, it’s time to decide which one is right for you. To figure this out, you must answer the following 3 questions:

  1. What is my goal? – Is your goal to lower your energy bill? Is your goal to get more use out your garage in the winter months? Depending on what you are trying to achieve with your insulation project, one material may better serve you than the other. If you are wanting to turn your garage into an extra living space or workshop, you may want to consider polyurethane. But if you just want to cut down some of your energy costs, the cheaper polystyrene may be of better value.
  2. How will the insulation effect my garage? – Yes, insulation will keep your garage warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, but insulation will also decrease the space of your garage. If you want to maximize the space as a workshop, then you may opt for a thinner insulation.
  3. What is my budget? – As with any home improvement project, budget is always an important factor. Although insulating your garage is a relatively simple project, it is nevertheless an investment. Thus, it is important to factor in what kind of value your project has beyond the money you are putting into it. Will it increase or decrease the value of your home? What effect will it have on your energy costs?

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After taking into consideration these questions, you should have a clearer picture of the approach you should take with your garage insulation project. If you’re still unsure of which approach is right for you or if you have any other questions, contact the experts at RCS Garage Doors.

Alternative Garage Uses

Alternative Garage Uses

Let’s be honest, not many of us have the luxury of having an unused or second garage. And those of us that are lucky enough to have this “problem” usually end up using it as a storage space where boxes of old knick-knacks and aged schoolwork go to collect dust, waiting for the day you stumble upon them, causing you to spend hours upon hours in nostalgia-land. But the potential of an unused or second garage is more than this. If done correctly, your extra space could be transformed into the room you’ve always wanted but never had. Here are few ideas to consider before moving your college futon and weigh set you’ve never used into your unused or extra garage.

Wine Cellar

Wine tastes best when stored properly. Wine cellars aid in this by regulating humidity, temperature, and light so after years of storage, a glass tastes the way it was intended. Your extra space can easily be turned into wine cellar through the addition of insulation and a humidifier. Or, for those with a little more ambition, you can turn it into a wine cellar/ tasting room by adding wood accents and a serving area to entertain family and friends all year-round.

Man Cave

Garage Man CaveWhile not the most original concept, you can still turn your unused garage into the ultimate in testosterone-fueled expression. Entertain your buddies without having to worry about annoying your wife with raucous behavior that typically accompanies a combination of beer and sports. Add a pool, air-hockey, or ping-pong table (or all 3) to turn into the game room you wish you had as a kid. Tired of the local grocery store not having your favorite microbrew? Turn your garage into your own brewery and try out brewing all the types of beer you enjoy. Build your own sports bar with a few kegs and a couple televisions. The options are endless… unless your wife says no…

Home Theater

If you already have a use for your finished basement, or live in an area where you can’t have a basement, you may want to think about transforming your garage into a home theatre. With taller ceilings than most basements, your garage has a little more flexibility in accommodating large televisions and projectors. Insert surround sound, a comfy sectional or reclining theatre chairs and you have yourself a home theatre. Kick it up a notch by adding a popcorn maker and some sound insulation and you’ll never have to pay $12 for a movie ticket again. 

Garage Recording StudioRecording Studio

Who says garage bands are a thing of the past? Your unused or extra garage space has the potential to be your very own jam space. With recording and editing equipment becoming increasingly more accessible and affordable, you can build the ultimate space for music creation and expression. But maybe consider adding some sound proofing panels, before jamming too hard. Your neighbors will thank you.

Art Studio

Have an artist in the family? Are you an artist yourself? Turn your garage into a home art studio. Create a space dedicated to a craft you’ve been honing for years, or a space to try out new mediums to find the ultimate in unique artistic expression. Or turn your garage itself into a work of art. Your garage could be your ultimate blank canvas.

Your options are virtually endless. To list them all would be a monumental task. Your only limits are your budget, ambition and imagination. If you’ve always dreamed of utilizing your unused garage for something other than storage, make your dream a reality and go out and do it.