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"sheetrock" for my barn/shop

Yet another question on walls and ceilings.
I'm basically asking what thickness of sheet rock to use on the ceilings........... considering span, weight of insulation used, etc. There are photos linked below.
I've got a new barn. 30' wide by 36' long, 14' walls in the lower level and a loft above for a wood/work shop. Cars will be below, wood and tools above. The loft is running down the middle of the upper level. It's 36' long and 15' wide down the middle. It's framed by the trusses which are spaced 24" OC.
The floor is done, it's covered in 3/4" tongue and groove plywood. The builders did that for me. I need to insulate and sheetrock the loft for a work area. I want to have some cubby-holes on the sides between the trusses for storage, shelves and closets but otherwise, cover the walls and ceiling.
I'm using 6" thick kraft backed insulation stapled to the trusses. That's a lot of weight on the top!
I've used pink foam board, 1.5" thick on the ends, then 1/2" sheetrock there, have not done the long sides or the ceiling yet.
I'm hoping for suggestions and expert advice!
Can I use 1/2" sheetrock on the 24" OC trusses? What if I use blocking, or put more 2x4's between?? Like perpendicular to the trusses??

Here's photos:

Re: "sheetrock" for my barn/shop

Yes, you can use 1/2" rock on the trusses. Usually it would not be recommended in a living area because you would probably see drywall "waves" going from truss to truss. (5/8" would not show this "wave" effect) But this is a workshop area so that would not bother my "eye". I would recommend screwing and gluing the sheetrock to the trusses. Get a self feeding screw gun and be generous with the screws.

I will also say that having a drywall lift will make getting the 12' long sheetrock panels to the ceiling extremely easy. I bought a cheapo model off the web for less than $200 and it was well worth it. You would probably be able to sell it when you are done. What an awesome project...two new tools are necessary! Great looking barn by the way- how about a pic from the outside.

Re: "sheetrock" for my barn/shop

I was thinking of putting some 2x4s, cut 22.5-23" long between the trusses to allow more to screw to - esp where the ends of a sheet will come.
Should I go with the length of the sheet running with the trusses, or across them? With the length, I'd have screws on each edge, down the center (assuming a 4' wide sheet) and then where-ever I put some cross-pieces.
I could run a full 4x8 sheet, then a 4x7', then on the next run, do the 4x7, then the 4x8 so the seams wouldn't all line up down the middle, or is that wrong?

More images may be seen at this web address:

Re: "sheetrock" for my barn/shop

Run the sheets with the long side going across the trusses so that you have butt joints at a truss. I would recommend 12' sheets (again with a lift!) so that you have fewer butt joints to finish. Stagger the butt joints as you mentioned by starting one row with a 12' sheet and the next row with a 6' sheet.

I don't think you will gain much by having the 2x4's between the trusses for the extra screws. It might help line up the trusses if the span between them wanders a little.

Awesome looking barn!!! I bet it will be fun filling it up!

Re: "sheetrock" for my barn/shop

I concur, 1/2" sheetrock is fine even on a 24" truss spacing. The insulation seems like a lot of weight when it's in a package, but once it's laid out it's an insignificant amount per square foot. Run the length of the sheetrock perpendicular to the trusses. Butt the ends on a truss. It's not necessary to put backing behind the edge joints where they span between trusses; pretty much NO builder in the world does this.

8' or 12' sheets -- that's your choice. But do rent, buy, or borrow a drywall lift. It will save you a lot of frustration and sore back. Plus, your job will look better because you and your buddies won't be chugging beer between each sheet that seems to get harder and harder put up... just kidding!

Re: "sheetrock" for my barn/shop

One reason I mention 4x8 as opposed to 4x12 is.....

It's got to go up these! That's roughly 7' up, then a landing/corner, then another 7'.
and enough to cover ceiling and walls of an area 15'x36' 7.5' tall. That's a lot of material to carry up those steps.

Re: "sheetrock" for my barn/shop

they make a half inch board called sag resistant. I would use it instead of regular half inch and the reason is that in this situation if the rock sags it will put more pressure on the fastners and the rock could pull through. it would happen faster in this situation because it is in a work shop where the temp and humidity will go up and down where as in a house it will be more of a constant. I don't know if they make a sag resistant in an 8 foot board but if they do that is what I would use for the simple reason of trying to get it up the stairs. 12 foot is generally used because it would translate to less butt joints. if you can't get the sag resistant in 8 foot then the way you can hang 1/2 inch on the ceiling would be on 16 inch centers. you take 1x4's and run them across the bottom of the trusses in the opposite direction every 16 inches. then you won't have the problem of the 1/2 inch regular sagging. on the walls you can use the regular 1/2 inch and it will be fine on the 24 inch centers.

Re: "sheetrock" for my barn/shop

If it were me, I would install steel siding just like you did down below. Goes up faster, no mudding, no painting, easier to clean, and fire resistant.

Re: "sheetrock" for my barn/shop

Thanks for all the great replies! And so quickly!!
However, gee, now I have to think about the other option -the steel. I'm still going for sheetrock on the walls. I want that place SEALED because of TERRIBLE bug problems this time of year. I can fill a shop vac in a couple weeks. They come in and hit the windows and stain them black, then die all over and it crunches when you walk. I mean NASTY! This is Iowa...... and it's cold outside and warm inside. So the goal is to keep critters and bugs out, and heat in. Also, for hanging things, shelves, cupboards and making some built-in storage between the trusses will be easier with sheetrock.
but Sheetrock walls and a steel ceiling might not be bad. So how about sheetrock walls and steel ceiling?
Otherwise, if I don't do that, I really like the idea of using 1x4's - they would support the insulation, too, while the sheetrock went up, would give a LOT of area to fasten to, less likely to "miss" with a screw, 3.5" wide over 1.5" wide.
You folks are GREAT.

Re: "sheetrock" for my barn/shop

Good thought on the steel panels, no mudding will save a lot of time. What size are they downstairs, 4 x 8? After seeing the stairwell I can see your preference for 8' rather than 12'. Although, how big is that window on the second floor and can it be taken out to allow for a 2nd floor delivery of material?

Even with using 8' lengths if you can go through the window it will be much easier than hauling them up the stairs. In our area, this is where the local lumberyards have it all over the big box. The big box doesn't have its own boom truck (third party) so getting 2nd floor delivery is real expensive and you need a minimum order which your second floor would not come close to meeting. The local guys have the boom truck and tack a $50 charge for 2nd floor delivery which I gladly paid rather than hauling all the sheets up the steps. They had one guy operate the boom and two guys unloading so I didn't even have to help stack it against the wall.

The only thing I could think of with the steel panels would be the thermal transfer and sweating, but with your insulation, that should not be an issue.

Re: "sheetrock" for my barn/shop

taking the window out wouldn't be a good option in this case, It looks to me like the window is about 32 to 36 inches tall which wouldn't be enough room. you would have to have around 4 and 1/2 feet to get the sheetrock in otherwise it would bust the edges of the rock up when booming in. as well as the window is usually installed first then the siding making removing the window a real pain.


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