Drywall/ Foam Insulation Removal- DIY or contractor?

by Kimberly
The previous owners of our house dry walled the ceiling in our garage with foam board insulation and drywall. The problem is that they dry walled around all of the garage door components so some of the main parts are no longer exposed. Unfortunately, our garage door broke and now we either ripe down the drywall or park outside. The estimate to remove the drywall and insulation is high and we wondered how hard it would be to do ourselves. Does anyone have any recommendations?
Garage Door unit that broke but can't be accessed due to dry wall from previous owner.
Gears that are drywalled in.
  8 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Nov 18, 2012
    Pick up a drywall hand saw These are some of the most wicked looking tools out there...I'm surprised some movie director has not used it as a murder weapon of choice for some horror movie. The beauty of this tool is it cut through drywall like butter...and foam board too. Being a hand tool you will not have to worry about going through wood and other items as power tools often do. you will want some safety glasses and a dust mask you should be able to cut around all of the mechanicals to have the door parts replaced / serviced. Once that part is fixed a good drywall person can make some repairs to look good and still allow access.
  • The removal of the drywall is easy. Simply use a hand tool as KMS said, or have at it with a hammer. Just be sure to use eye protection when doing this project. Once it is down, you need to assess the fire proofing of the garage to the house. I am glad that they used Sheetrock over the foam as you cannot leave foam exposed. Nor can you allow open framing to be exposed to an adjoining living space. If there is a room above, and based upon the photos there is, you will need to replace any damaged or open ceilings to prevent fumes or potential fire from reaching into the wood framing Personally I would attempt to pull down the newer Sheetrock and foam in an attempt to keep the original ceiling intact, Assuming there is another layer of rock above what is currently visible. By cutting the ceiling you risk cutting into the older ceiling making a bigger job out of this project. Once ceiling is down you need to address the reason for the additional foam and wallboard. This tells me that the rooms above are suffering from heat issues due to cold floors. Ideally a Dense Pack of cellulose insulation is warranted to get the floors warm again. This can be done as a DIY project, but ideally you should contract with a insulation contractor to get the job done for you. Lastly you need to consider enclosing the duct system with drywall as well. It can be closely fitted to assure that the new garage door hardware can be installed, but it will go a long way in increasing your room comfort above. Well worth the effort.
    • Florence Webber Florence Webber on Mar 15, 2015
      @Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com Also, be careful around the wires that you don't cut into them.
  • Leslie D Leslie D on Nov 18, 2012
    Ummmm....it's not plugged in...could be the problem...just sayin'.... (kidding!).
  • Anna Anna on Aug 01, 2014
    Demo of drywall is pretty easy with the correct tools.
  • Ryan E. Arguello Ryan E. Arguello on Aug 02, 2014
    Yes it is easy but messy take so do it carefully to avoid creating excessive debris and dust. Always try to remove drywall in large pieces. Important skills you require are Prying, pulling nails, removing screws, cutting with a reciprocating saw.
  • Christina Christina on Feb 04, 2015
    It would be fairly easy to take down part of the drywall, although very messy. Open it up just to the next rafter or about a few inches on each side of the rails. I would then patch up where all the parts are and have the new equipment attached to the new drywall by a professional. But have the pro look at the job before you do close it up to make sure it will still work with the door. You would need to leave holes for any outlets or wires. Also, be careful working where the wires would be. You don't want to cut into them--shut off all electricity when taking down drywall. Where goggles, a baseball cap/hair cover, and a dust mask. Gloves are a good idea also. Cover everything you don't want to have to clean dust off with plastic or tarps. The dust will go everywhere. I suggest a professional garage door installer because it is dangerous to install the openers if replacing the springs. New ones come with a safety devise that keeps the door from closing on someone. It will be helpful to know how to adjust the devise if it is the type I have. Hope that helps.
  • MarcioWilges MarcioWilges on Apr 02, 2015
    Drywall is actually pretty easy to rip off but you need a certain amount of expertise and the correct tools for proper removal. Else, you might end up doing more damage than good during the process. You could try getting help from friends and family but if you do not mind forking out a nominal fee to pay a professional, then you would get the issue solved within a short while.
  • Carol Carol on Jun 12, 2015
    I think I would just replace the opener with one the same size and I'd necessary. I would carefully remove only enough drywall to get to garage door opener and then repair the opening. If you are replacing the opener get more than one bid. I would also see if your present opener could be repaired first.