Math IS Real Life April 2015 Edition: Insulation Estimation & Calculation

It’s the first Wednesday of April which means it’s time for our monthly linky – Math IS Real Life!! If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!

If you are linking up, please include the below picture AND a link back to all four of our blogs – feel free to use the 2nd image and the links listed below!



 A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by

 4mulaFunThe Teacher StudioTeaching to Inspire in 5th, AND MissMathDork,


A few months ago I wrote about the garage organization that took place to prepare for the new computer room.  I’m happy to report the computer room is well on its way and so far we are really impressed with the progress!  Since we are building the room in the garage, we’ve started to look for a few ways to regulate the temperature better.  We need to make sure the computer room isn’t too hot or too cold.  One “easy” was to put insulation on the back of our garage door.


One day after work, my husband stopped in at Lowe’s to pick up the reflective insulation.  He wanted me to measure the garage door so that he didn’t over or under-buy.


After working through the size of the panels on the door and the width/length of the roll, we were able to see we needed ‘exactly’ one roll.  This made me a bit nervous, though… so we purchased two with the intent of doubling up on insulation if an entire extra roll was left over.  Who knows… there could be overlap necessary, or weird cuts needed… (I ended up ripping part of the foil, so the 2nd roll was necessary!)


Once the roll was home, the project began!  It was a bit too cold in the garage, so I found a nice spot in the living room and started to measure and cut.


Soon I had a large pile of panel and was ready to head to the garage (after I bundled up!)


Once in the garage, I realized that our doors didn’t have a way to slide the panel behind the bars as we had expected.  After a quick phone call to my handy mother-in-law, I headed to Lowe’s to pick up some insulating tape (much like duct tape, but more foily and with a back on it).  Once at Lowe’s I saw that one roll of tape was only 30 feet long.  Mental math time!


I was able to estimate a little over 11 feet of tape was needed per panel.  I rounded up to 12 feet to allow for rips, tears, folded tape and overlap.  12 feet per panel would mean I could get 2.5 insulation panels taped up.  2.5 x 8 = 20, which is the number of panels I needed to cover.  I grabbed 9 just in case because I have never worked with this type of tape (which turned out to be pretty finicky!)


It took a bit to get in a rhythm, but we got there!  2 hours later, 220+ feet of tape, and many paper cuts later… the doors were covered in their first layer!  I still want to put on a second layer (I have the panels cut out!) but I need to go back to Lowe’s and pick up 9 more rolls insulating tape.


Overall, we’re super happy with how relatively easy the project was AND that the garage seems to be a few degrees warmer just from adding in one layer of foil!


  Don’t forget to check out the other MIRL posts below!  Check back over the next few days – more will be added!!

Categories: #mirl, computation and estimation, geometry and measurement, hands-on math, and math is real life.

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