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Breezeway construction questions

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-04-19          141372


We are planning to build a breezeway between the house and a shed this summer. I've got a few questions that some of you may be able to help with. The breezewzy will span about 20 ft. between the garage on the house and the shed. the garage is on common concreet frost footings with stem wall and the shed is also on a concrete frost footing and stem wall about 24 in. above grade, it is a frame building. So far the plan is to trench a frost footing with a 24 inch stem wakk above grade then common frame construction. So now the questions. 1) We don't plan to heat it, so should we used 2X4 studs with roll insulation or 2X6 studs with roll insulation? 2) Since we don't plan to heat it how good of window units should I use. 3) Will common sheetrock taped and textured hold up without heat or will it crack in the joints, or would another product like a finished masonite type panel be better? Thanks in advance. Frank.

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Breezeway construction questions

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2007-04-19          141374


Since it won't be heated it seems to me that 2x4 would be adequate. You will certainly need some good ventilation to keep moisture at bay. If properly ventilated normal sheetrock will probably be OK but with wide temperature fluctuations there may be more cracking than you'd see inside a temperature controlled structure so I'd probably opt for masonite style panels. Warning, I'm no expert on this stuff but do have an uninsulated garage that has sheetrock walls and have been dealing with moisture issues. ....

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Breezeway construction questions

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-04-19          141376


First off, if you don't plan to heat it, why spend all that money on insulation and good windows?

You are not only wasting money, you're actually creating more problems.


The biggest enemy of an unheated building in a northern climate is NOT the freeze / thaw cycles per se, it is the moisture and related problem's caused by the temperature imbalance and the lack of a heat source to burn that moisture off. During the day solar energy captured by the building causes the temperature inside to rise, during the night it colls back down, this causes moisture to build up, without a means of removing it, it permeates into the drywall, insulation, everything! It is that moisture that is your enemy, it will cause the seams and fasteners in the sheetrock to pop, mould to start and grow, as well as a myriad of other problems.

Everything I have read and seen concerning an unheated structure was the same, don't seal it up, and don't put in insulation or other things that will draw in or hold moisture.

IMHO, if you're not going to heat it, use basic windows, lots of vents, both eaves and gable if there will be any, and keep away from insulation, sheetrock and carpet (unless it is indoor / outdoor or low pile nylon that won't support mould).

Best of luck. ....

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Breezeway construction questions

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2007-04-19          141378


On the other hand, if it's reasonably well insulated it's a small space and you could probably heat it with a simple space heater. Just tossing out ideas here. You don't have to heat it to 70 to eliminate moisture problems. ....

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Breezeway construction questions

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-04-19          141379


Ken, unless you get fancy, a "space heater" means electric heat, without some form of combustion you won't burn off any moisture.

It will however reduce or eliminate the temperature swings.

I have a 12' x 50' sunroom between my house and garage, it runs along the house, so the 50' side is against the house, it has 20' of the opposite side up against the garage (which is not heated, but shelters it) and an area of 12' x 12' of it is below my ensuite. With the exception of the glass, which is all good thermopane units, there is 6" of insulation on all outside walls.

Even with a heat exchanger from the house system, the 2 electric unit heaters run almost non-stop in cold weather to keep it at 50 F. in there unless the sun is out.

Best of luck. ....

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Breezeway construction questions

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2007-04-20          141387


Thanks guys, now I'm really glad I asked the question. Guess I have a short memory. In 1975 we built an addition onto the farmhouse where we lived that had an attached garage. At that time I was Mr. Ambition, the garage had 2X4 studa, roll insulation in the walls and ceiling then sheetrock, taped, mudded and samded, but not textured We sold that property this past February, as we were showing it to the buyers I remember standing in the garage and seeing little bumps in the sheetrock in some places around every nail with the nailhead perhaps 1/32nd. below the center of the little bumps and in places a few rust specks on probably the nailhead it's self. It had probably been repainted 3 or 4 times simce built. The garage and the unheated portion of shed it will commecting are now unheated. Our house is big enough without adding living space. I did fall on the ice January 29th of this year breaking my pelvis, And I really don't want to do that again, so the main issue is getting to and from safely without the fear of the ice. Thanks again for the advice, looks like it will be 2X4, studa, open ceiling, and windows that will open easily for ventilation. Frank. ....

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Breezeway construction questions

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2007-04-20          141389


Frank, just remember that good ventilatis the key.

If you are going to leave the ceiling open, make sure however does the roof for you (you stay off ladders for now!!) installs the continous venting peak strips, and lots of ventilation under the eaves. A few vents at ground level, provided they're 'critter-proof' wouldn't hurt any either.

If you plan on putting up some form of wall treatment like panneling or something, be sure to leave some vent areas at both ground level and at the top plate. Trapped air in a wall like that will make it smell musty if nothing else.

Also, when you put it together be sure to include a door to the outside directly from the breezeway if it's to be built in an area that is used lots, two doors (one in each side) if it will cut off a route used very much. Going all the way around stops being fun real fast.

Best of luck. ....

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Breezeway construction questions

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2007-04-20          141396


Hardwood, a breeze way like that here probably would be screened or glassed in. Now the other option is to build it large enough for plants in the winter and heat it. As to it not taking much heat, it would be 40 feet of outside walls so to me, it seems it would use a good bit of heat for the total square footage. Here our power company would tell you the heat needed for that. Murf is correct on the doors. kt ....

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Breezeway construction questions

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2007-04-20          141397


I like Murf's idea abuot doors on oposite walls in line with each other, that would also keep the LP man happy, he would'nt have to drag his hose all the way around the end of the house, just pull it thru the doors to fill the tank. Far sa a green house or room for plants, the wife has our sunroom full of plants year round I think Bigfoot could get lost in there, she doesn't want more plants to care for. I have pretty much finished up my exams at Mayo except for a follow up in May. I have a bad right ankle that is going to take quite a while to get back into shape, so I will be for the most part wheelchair bound for a year or so. There is a difference in elevation 17 inches between the garage floor and the floor of the shed, the garage being the high end. The breezeway would be mostly taken up by a ramp, so an elevator is going to be installed to save space and make it easier fror the wife to push me around. Frank. ....

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Breezeway construction questions

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2007-04-20          141399


I was thinking you'd only have to heat it enough to keep the temperature above dewpoint to avoid condensation. But at that temp I suppose you could still have moisture problems. Those who live in colder areas would know best. ....

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