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I'm in the process of a few projects in the garage, including raising the ceiling and insulating with spray foam. This has left me with a fair amount of leftover fiberglass batts.

There is a room above 70% of the garage (minus the front), and 2 walls are attached to the house (2x6 framing with vapour barrier, fiberglass batts and drywall). The remaining exterior wall is 2x4 framing with vinyl siding. The garage door is also insulated.

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I am considering drywalling this wall since I like the look and I'm already re-drywalling the entire ceiling anyway. I'm located in southeastern Ontario, temperature typically anywhere from -30C to +30C (-22 to 86F). The garage is not a conditioned space.

Is there any downside to putting in insulation and drywall? Anything wrong with just drywall?

Has anyone that's done this actually seen a benefit (eg more stable temperature)? Keep in mind there's zero material cost here, so even a marginal benefit is ok (if anything this saves me time having to take it somewhere or throw it out).

I've read I should not use vapour barrier since it would prohibit drying and actually likely cause moisture/mold problems -- anyone disagree?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I would not waste the insulation on an outside wall unless your garage door was getting insulation. Drywalling has benefits though... First you need to use fire resistant (5/8) in most places in the US for garages, a fully drywalled and painted garage will be deemed nicer by those wanting to give you money for your house, white flat walls reflect light the best, noise reduction... all I could think of.

Small tip if you do this... Run some crosses at like 5 and 7 feet along the wall. That way you have places to nail things without measuring for a stud.

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+eleventy for cross bracing for nailing. Awesome idea! – Chris Cudmore May 17 '13 at 14:09
My wife talked to me about renovation stuff a while back. First she said that you must think about women since the make 60-70% of the final buying decisions on housing - she is right. And then make things easier for women to do things. This question is perfect because almost all women want their garage to be drywalled "because it looks better". Our last house I drywalled one wall and took a sharpie with a straight edge over the white primer (didn't fully paint) to mark all of the studs and crosses. – DMoore May 17 '13 at 16:29

I would insulate it and drywall it.

You are already losing some heat from the house walls and the second floor into the garage. If you insulate it, your garage will be warmer - at least, after the door has been closed for a while - and you will lose less heat. It won't be super-warm, but it will help.

You do not need 5/8" drywall for the garage walls. In the US, you need it between the garage and living space, but not on the exterior walls.

I also recommend thinking about adding some outlets before you close the walls up - so much easier than doing it later.

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+1 for the outlets. And for the other suggestions to mark the stud locations for later hanging of shelves. – Bryce Jan 4 at 9:50

One good reason for insulating and drywalling, we have a south facing wall on the garage.

Under full sun, heat gain in summer was pretty atrocious. The outside wall basically baked the air next to it and set it in convection till the whole volume was hot.

We finished that wall off with insulation and wallboard and it vastly reduced the amount of heat in the garage.

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