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56 Genius Garage Remodeling Tips

Garage Remodeling Tips
Your garage remodeling project isn’t necessarily the easiest endeavor. Too often a homeowner will just forge ahead with a great idea and hope it turns our alright. Needless to say, this is not often the case, most remodels do not go easily. Even if you think of a good plan, it probably is missing something. Trust us, unless you are a professional contractor, you haven’t thought of everything. Our  genius remodeling tips will make you look like you have done this a thousand times.

As you plan a garage remodel the following tips can be indispensable. Don’t start your remodel without giving this list a look. Our list can save money, time, and money, and hassle. Go over these tips and apply all the ones you can to your own remodel. Remember that this is a starting point and that you should try to use these to help your own brainstorming for more ideas specific to your own situation.

  1. Don’t begin any remodeling project without a clear plan to see you through from start to finish.
  2. If you add more bedrooms in your garage remember how many bathrooms your home has. The standard rule is to have one bathroom for every two bedrooms in your home.
  3. As you find issues make sure to take the time to fix issues permanently, don’t just temporary fix them.
  4. Be careful about doing anything to structural components in your garage, especially if you are doing it all yourself.
  5. Remove oil stains from concrete to avoid a lingering “garage smell”.
  6. Have a plan for parking your car, if you don’t have a long driveway ensure there is room to park somewhere else.
  7. Have the right tool for the job, trying to just get something done with whatever you have on hand can result in costly accidents.
  8. Examine the walls to see if you need additional blocking to hang your drywall. Garage walls are often constructed to be open and so don’t have the required supports to hang drywall.
  9. Make sure you have enough lighting, both natural and artificial, throughout the new garage spaces.
  10. Don’t forget you will have to put what is in your garage somewhere, this might involve getting rid of things, or renting storage.
  11. Plan the interior flow of your new living space. Make sure doors don’t open into each other, and that there is enough walking space in high traffic areas.
  12. Keep leeway in your plans for the things you don’t expect. Have a financial buffer of around 15% of your budget. Also keep your timeline open enough for delays and changes.
  13. Plan for storage of your remodeling materials. You can’t leave piles of wood flooring outside in the rain
  14. Add in “green” elements to both save money, and reduce long-term costs.
  15. Use indoor paints indoor, and outdoor paints outdoor. Avoid glossy finishes except for accents.
  16. Avoid the tendency to make hallways as narrow as legally possible in order to have larger room sizes. This will make your new living space seem cramped.
  17. Buy energy efficient windows to save money over time. An energy efficient window can save over $100 a year for a standard double-paned window. This savings can be as much as $400 over a standard single-paned window.
  18. Consider safety as you do your remodel. Cutting corners on safety might save a few dollars here and there, but an injury will erase any savings in a second.
  19. Be honest about what you can do on your own, it always costs more to fix a mistake than to pay someone to do it the right way the first time.
  20. Don’t build your home out of the local market with a garage remodel. Putting too much into your remodel can make your home so expensive it doesn’t fit in your neighborhood. It should be no more than 3% of the value of your home ideally.
  21. Think ahead for future needs in your planning. Adding in features for elderly parents who may end up in the home saves time and money later. It can also be a selling point down the road.
  22. Don’t forget to include storage as you plan out the new living spaces.
  23. Design the space for maximum use in order to appeal to the widest audience possible. Avoid the urge to specialize rooms to address one specific purpose.
  24. Keep things simple, overcomplicated remodels are much more prone to delays and mistakes. Also, complicated remodeling plans often go over budget.
  25. Don’t put low hanging arches, or blind corners in your plan if you don’t have too. While it may seem a small thing to duck below a soffit, over the years it becomes a large issue.
  26. Research your plan and your options before you do any work. Know how much things cost and how difficult it will be to accomplish a task.
  27. You will likely need to upgrade your electrical system due to more outlets being required in the new space. This may involve a whole new breaker box to handle the increased load.
  28. Keep style consistent in the new garage space. Match the colors and style of the rest of the home, both interior and exterior. Having a radically different look in one part of your home than another part can lower your home’s value.
  29. To make it look natural often requires taking out the part of the driveway connecting to the garage and adding some green space.
  30. Avoid “trends” as it will only add short term value to your home.
  31. Buy inexpensive but not cheap materials. Finding a deal is great, buying bad quality materials is not and will show in the long run.
  32. Measure twice, act once. The difference of a half an inch can be a costly mistake. This goes for everything involved in your remodel.
  33. Always do the prep work even if it is drawn out and seems unnecessary. Having prep work done saves you time and helps you avoid mistakes.
  34. Rent a drywall lift. A drywall lift saves you a lot of effort by holding panels for you. The small cost involved is more than worth it in the time it saves.
  35. Reroute wires through empty spaces in the walls. Often in a garage wires are run across the front of a stud wall. These wires need to be moved in order to hand drywall.
  36. Always have a contingency plan. Things will go wrong, delays will happen. Spend some time before you begin to think of what may happen. Then make plans to address what might happen.
  37. If you hire contractors or even general labor don’t be distracting. Everyone wants to be personable. When they are talking to you though, they aren’t working.
  38. Try LED lights instead of recessed lighting. Avoiding canister lights saves time and money.
  39. Don’t forget the details. These small touches are what make your remodel look like a finished project.
  40. Don’t add to the plan. There is often a tendency to think of more things that could be done. Not only will this increase your budget but it can throw off a carefully thought out timeline.
  41. Make sure to determine if your garage remodel will involve other parts of your home. If you are putting in new doors, or opening up walls consider the costs involved.
  42. Remember the long term impact of your remodel. Avoid a garage remodel that is only meant to fix a short term issue. A temporary guest or relative may not need a  whole new set of rooms.
  43. The floor will need to be raised to the level of the house, or at least above the drainage grade.
  44. To make it look like a room, you will have to install windows, make the garage door into a wall, and possibly add a dormer.
  45. Small garage remodels often benefit from having a “theme” as they are essentially a one room remodel.
  46. The return on your money can be as much as 70% if you sell the home within 5 years of your completing the project.
  47. Each new interior wall costs around $1500. Open floor plans can save you money, and are fairly modern.
  48. Use a remodeling checklist to keep yourself on track.
  49. Your new space will need insulation. This is a good time to put a little extra money in up front for the best possible insulation.
  50. Some Realtors suggest doing your remodel in a way that it can be easily returned to a garage space. This lets the next homeowner have a garage if that’s what they want.
  51. Use flooring that is not permanent in order to allow the next owner to change it.
  52. Keep your garage one big room to let the next homeowner undo your work
  53. Check with a realtor to make sure a garage remodel will help your house value.
  54. Make sure to get permits for all the work you plan to do.
  55. Contact a professional to get the most from your remodel.
  56. Remember that turning your garage into living space means you have to comply with different code requirements