Learn How To Remodel A Garage Before It’s Too Late
Don’t make the mistake of beginning your garage remodel before you know the basics. Learn how to remodel a garage before you just dive in. There are many reasons that home owners want to remodel their garage. It is often more difficult to put an addition onto a home than it is to use your garage. Perhaps your parents need a place to enjoy their golden years. Or your kids may be staying home longer than expected. No matter the reason, if you are reading this you must want to know how to remodel your garage.
The first things to know are some simple facts about remodeling your garage. First the average one car garage will add around 600 square feet to your home. On average your remodel is going to cost you between $20,000 and $50,000. If you go the bedroom route and want to include an ensuite expect to add $15,000 to $25,000.
How To Remodel a Garage (In 20 Easy Steps)
- Make a wish list: Your first step is to take the time to decide exactly what your goals are. Are you turning your garage into a bedroom, a guest sweet, or an entertainment room? These questions must be addressed to make a plan. Write down everything that you want to have in your garage remodel. Include fabric swatches, paint colors, flooring, anything you want.
- Consult a professional: With a wishlist in hand talk to a professional. A general contractor can tell you if it is possible, and what it will cost to realize your garage vision. Don’t stop there though, consult at least two more to get three bids on your project.
- Create a plan: These will have to include finished drawings. If you are going on your own you will need to find an architect to turn your wishes into a plan. Draw out as much as possible before consulting an architect. Include new walls, outlets, everything you can think of. Then he will turn this into a plan you can work from.
- Cash In: Once you know what you want, and how you want it, you need to pay for it. Examine the plans and total up everything you will need. Don’t forget the simple things like nails, and rags. Once you have a total, add 20% of that amount to the budget for the things you don’t know.
- File Permits: Plans in hand, money in hand, it is time to go see your local building officials. Permits are an important part of any remodeling. As soon as you have a complete plan take it to the building department. Arrange for any necessary permits, schedule any required inspections before leaving.
- Clean Up Your Act: You are now prepared to begin your preparation. Your first task is to empty your garage. This task will be as difficult as you have made it. If your garage has been a dumping ground, blame yourself for the mountains you must move. Everything must go though.
- Get On The Level: Your garage was built lower than the rest of your home. Usually barely above grade. The floor will need to be raised above the level of the ground outside to prevent water coming into the new living space. This usually is accomplished by constructing a subfloor.
- Find A Way In: Consider how people will get into your new space. If you are making a living area does the current door force people to walk through the laundry room? Is the flow awkward? If so cut a new door through a wall, or remove a wall completely. Tying your garage into an open concept floorplan is often the best plan.
- Door Number 1: The biggest drawback to a garage remodel is the existing garage door. This area is often difficult to work with. Visually it is difficult to mask this area. The best way to do so is by building the wall and adding a dormer. This takes a space and turns it from garage into a part of the home itself.
- See the Light: Turning your garage into a living space will require different windows. Additionally, it may require more windows than are currently in place. The existing windows will need to be replaced with egress windows. Egress windows are those at the right height, and the right size to allow escape.
- Frame it: With your windows in place, it is time for the meat and potatoes of your remodel. At this stage you frame the walls, put in your doors, and turn your empty open space into whatever your initial vision was.
- Get Comfortable: Your new space will need to be heated and cooled to be livable. At this stage you put into place the necessary ducting to do this. If you are adding this new space to your existing system tie into the available ducting. For new installations put in the necessary ducting and equipment.
- Zap: The necessary wiring must be put into place while the walls are still open. This is almost always done by a professional electrician. The only thing to remember is to ensure this is done while the walls are open.
- Wrap It Up: Once all of your ducting and wiring is completed you can insulate the exterior walls. The walls will need to be insulated to the proper value according to code.
- Build the Wall: Now you get to make the garage look like a room. Getting drywall up is one of the most rewarding stages visually. It is at this point that your garage begins looking like a new space. Remember that this is also a very dusty stage, be sure to keep your new areas well separated from the old.
- Paint the Town: Your choice of wall covering is now the order of the day. The walls you have completed must either be painted, or papered depending on your decision. Doing this before you install the floor gives you a bit of leeway on spilling anything.
- Get Floor’d: The walls now ready to go, you can put your floor into place. Normally at this stage you can also take down any plastic walls you had put up to keep dust out of the rest of your home.
- The Big Finish: You are in the home stretch now. Put the trim on walls and doorways and give your space a more finished look. Fixtures go up on walls, and outlet covers are put into place.
- Give it the Once Over, Twice: This is important both for those who contract out the work, and those who do it themselves. Take the time to look over everything that was done. Find any issues that need to be addressed, and make sure they are while everything is still at hand. If you used contractors make sure that they do a walkthrough with you.
- Have A Record: Make sure any inspections are completed, and that you keep all documentation. Work that comes with warranties, make sure to put the warranty along with all the other documentation. This is a good time to invest in a fire and water proof safe for these types of important documents.