How to Remodel a Garage: The Ultimate Guide
Is your garage currently only being used for storing things? Well, if it is, maybe you should consider putting it to better use. This article will explore the many possibilities a garage could give you, how to remodel it, and how to make sure you don’t break the bank doing it. We’ve divided it into different sections, each can be accessed through the links below, or you can simply scroll in order to read it in its entirety.
- 34 Quick Garage Remodel Facts
- Learn How To Remodel A Garage Before It’s Too Late
- How to remodel a small garage: The 5 P’s To Get You Started
- Garage Remodeling Costs Made Simple
- Small Garage Remodeling Costs Made Simple
- 32 Common sense ways to save money on your garage remodel
- 30 Must See Tips For How To Remodel A Garage on a Budget
- The truth about garage remodel ideas that increase home value.
- 56 Genius Garage Remodeling Tips
34 Quick Garage Remodel Facts
There are certain garage remodel facts that apply to almost every project. Rather than you spending your day digging them out of the corners of the internet, we have put them together for you. These quick facts will let you make some informed decisions. Even if these facts don’t help you make decisions, they will give you a better knowledge base as you begin.
- The average garage remodeling project will cost around $8,500.
- You will need a 10%-15% buffer on top of your project budget.
- Expect needing cleanup in the rest of the house, especially if you are opening up a wall for an open concept to the rest of the home.
- More than 82 million homes in the United States have a garage.
- Modern homes are more likely to have a 3 car garage, older homes a single car garage.
- In many cases, the garage averages almost 50% of the square footage of the entire home.
- A two car garage is often 20’ by 20’ yielding an impressive 400 square feet of space.
- A single car garage is often 10’ x 20’ yielding 200 square feet.
- Your garage remodeling project will add around 4,000 cubic feet of space to heat and cool.
- Keeping things organized with a remodeling tracking application can save you headaches. Having your inventory and timeline on hand wherever you go means being able to make decisions quickly.
- It is estimated that as many as 30% of people with a garage, never park a car in it. Instead, it is used for storage or workspace. This makes it ideal to convert to living space.
- Your garage floor is likely built with a slope to allow for drainage and to keep water out. Most projects will need to address this slope with a subfloor or leveling the concrete.
- The floor will need to be cleaned and any cracks repaired before you begin.
- Most floors will need a good pressure washing before any work is done on repairing and sealing them.
- The current windows are too small for living spaces. Replacing them will involve more work than you might think.
- The most important part of a contract is the “terms and conditions” which spell out the details of the work.
- The cost of a permit can be as much as $1,000 for an expensive remodel.
- Getting multiple bids ensures you pay the lowest price.
- You will require the services of a professional architect to create the drawings needed for your permit.
- Potential buyers might want a garage. Build it so that it can be easily returned to that purpose can help your resale.
- If you are not an experienced remodeler you will need to buy or rent a lot of tools to do it yourself.
- Most garages are filled with items that are usually things you can sell or get rid of.
- A good contractor can show you examples of previous work, as well as provide referrals from satisfied customers.
- The minimum size for a bedroom with a queen size bedroom is 10’ x 10’
- Often the water heater and air handler are located in the garage and will require being enclosed. Sound proofing this area is often necessary.
- A garage remodeling project may retain as much as 80 percent of the money that is put into the project.
- Your garage is probably the least insulated enclosed area of your home and will need to be fully insulated.
- A general contractor is often the wisest choice to use on any remodeling project. They are well worth the costs involved.
- Your local Realtor® is one of your best resources to help you make the best decisions regarding your project. Realtors ® can tell what will increase the value of your home the most.
- If you construct a new exterior wall where the garage door hangs you may be able to use the existing concrete floor. The new exterior wall will ensure you don’t get water into your space.
- Hiring a professional can give you access to all of their experience and ideas. If you have never completed a remodel, that is their whole job. They will know what and how to do things in the best way possible.
- Building permits will be required for most of the work included in your project.
- One of the largest costs can be labor. General labor begins around $15 an hour, with electricians and carpenters beginning 4 times that much at around $60 an hour.
- Include the cost of driveway changes in your budget. Nothing says “I’m a remodeled garage” more than a driveway that leads to a wall.
Still hungry for more information? We’re sure you’ll enjoy this article too.
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 do it right instead of just diving 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.
The first things to know are some simple facts . First the average one car garage will add around 264 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. 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. 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 the space. 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 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 it 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.
How to remodel a small garage: The 5 P’s To Get You Started
Older homes have smaller garages. This is a simple architectural truth. In the past cars were smaller, and most families owned a single car. This means your older home has less garage to work with. Where a new home may have a garage that is up to 50% of the square footage of your home, an older home may have a one car garage that is no more than 200 square feet. Knowing how to remodel a small garage begins with knowing the 5 P’s.
If you are looking for additional space for your home your small garage can still have a big impact. 200 square feet is enough for a new guest room. Or that 200 feet could be that office you need to make your home perfect. Whatever the uses you can come up with a small garage can be a big help in adding elements to your home.
Your small garage comes with some unique issues, as well as opportunities. We put together the best of the best when it comes to information about both. Before you begin your planning make sure to read these incredible ways to remodel a smaller garage.
The 5 P’s For Remodeling a Small Garage
- Pick: Pick what your new room is going to focus on. Your small garage can either do one thing perfectly or a lot of things partially. Think of it like any small room in your home. Your small bedroom wouldn’t be able to be a bedroom, media room, work space, and storage area. Your small garage can’t do all of these things either. So pick one focus and ensure your plan addresses it. Some average room sizes to help you pick are:
- Bedrooms: The smallest bedroom in most code requirements is 7’x10’ (70 sq ft). This will fit a twin bed and a dresser. The size of a bedroom with a queen size bed is normally 10’x12’ (120 square feet).
- Bathrooms: A small bathroom is at least 6’x6’ (36 sq ft), this includes a shower, toilet, and sink.
- Pool Tables: Pool tables take more space than you may think. Most home owners forget the cue length when putting a pool table in, and end up with a pool table nobody can use properly.
- A 9’ table with people using standard size cues needs to be at least 14’x18’ (252 sq ft).
- A small 7’ table with standard cues requires 13’x16’ (208 sq ft).
- Media Rooms: An average sized media room is 12’x16’ (192 sq ft). This allows for a large screen display, couches, and viewing areas.
- Picture: Develop a good picture in your mind of what you want your new space to look like. Think of every detail that you can. What are the colors of the walls and the floors? Decide on the trim style, flooring materials, lighting requirements. Find pictures of things you like, and the look you are going for.
- Put it together: Put your ideas into a remodeling binder. Include all the pictures that you can find. Print out prices and places you have found the materials that you want.
- Purge: Look at your pictures, think of them in terms of a small space. Purge anything that doesn’t work in a small space. With minimal square feet to work with, you don’t need a spa bathroom. While a game room sounds great, the space needed for a pool table is probably not there. Take out anything from your plan that doesn’t fit in a smaller space.
- Plan: Put together a plan. Take the ideas you made, and the pictures you found, and turn them into a clear and direct plan. A well thought out, detailed, realistic plan will keep your small garage remodel on track. When working in a smaller space you need to be extra careful that you don’t let yourself play the “We could also…” game.
- Permits: You can’t begin until you have the appropriate permits. Your plans will need to be drawn up by an architect and submitted to the planning department. Don’t begin until all of your permits are approved.
Garage Remodeling Costs Made Simple
For those searching for more room when you decide to remodel two spaces come quickly to mind. These are your garage and your attic. Both have benefits and drawbacks as far as conversion to a bedroom or usable space goes. It is a bit more easily converted than your attic and can result in a beautiful living space. Before you begin work you should know the real garage remodeling costs involved. Converting your garage to a bedroom requires certain elements that are not necessary for a family room. When converting your garage to a bedroom you will need to have a window that serves as a secondary escape route, and a closet. There are additional requirements by code, but these are the main ones to consider.
Costs Made Simple
As you begin considering remodeling your garage into a living space there are many facts to consider. What follows is a list, that while not exhaustive, is very relevant information.
- If you have a two car garage, the approximate dimensions are likely 22’ x 22’. This is a comfortable 2 car garage size; yours may be different.
- For those with a single car garage you can expect a space of around 12’ x 22’. As most homes have a single car garage these dimensions are what the costs below are based on. For converting a 2 car garage double the total prices below.
- The costs involved can vary widely. Some remodels may cost as little as $2500, while others may cost as much as $30,000. Average remodels cost approximately $11,000.
- The variation in price will largely be based on choices in materials. For those wishing high end materials the price will tip towards the expensive end of the scale, those who will accept discount materials may get away with a remodel on the lower end.
- Each interior door averages between 250 and 400 depending on quality of the doors used.
The floors of your new space are a unique issue. Your garage is built with drainage in mind. Code requirements mandate that the concrete slab has a slope built into it to ensure water drains away from the home. The installation of the subfloor will correct the slope issue of your floor. Using a subfloor allows your new space to be converted back into a garage should the next home owner wish to do so.
- Installing a subfloor for a single car garage would cost approximately $3,000. This calculation is determined at $12/sq ft for 264 sq/ft.
- If you paint your concrete floor this should cost between $2 and $4 per square foot. Or a total between $528 and $1,056.
- In addition to the cost of a subfloor you will need to put some flooring into place.
- Wooden flooring typically costs between $7 and$12 per square foot or $1848 to $3168 total cost.
- Carpet is typically $30-$40 per square yard or $900 to $1200 total cost.
Your garage walls are likely unfinished, and uninsulated. Exterior walls have specific requirements according to building codes regarding insulation and impermeable sheathing.
- Insulation costs between $.9 to $1.6 a square foot, double this if blown in varieties are used.
- If you plan on putting interior walls inside your new space be prepared, each wall adds almost $2000 to the cost. This is for the construction, drywall, and painting of the new wall.
- Overall, Installing drywall costs approximately $1.50 per square foot. As you look at the overall materials involved remember that each 8’ x 4’ panel costs between $40 and $60. A typical 12×20 garage room will cost approximately $1,200 to drywall.
- Once you have drywall in place you have basically two options regarding wall coverings.
- If you decide to paint the new room expect this to cost approximately $1200.
- Wallpaper on the other hand is a more expensive option and could run approximately $4000.
- To finish off the wall with style baseboards and moldings will cost between $5 and $8 per linear foot. The average garage has a linear size of 60’. This means your total cost may be between $288 and $480.
- The exterior window of your garage is likely to be smaller than what code requires. For this window and each other window added the cost is between $450 and $700. Anticipate needing at least 1 exterior window to comply with building codes.
Generally, electricians run around $70 per hour of work. The amount of hours you will require is different for each project. The older the home the more hours that will likely be required to both put new wiring into place, and tie it into your existing panels.
- A standard outlet should cost around $100 for each outlet that you install. Expect to need 6 outlets for your new room. Two outlets for each long wall, and one on each short wall (5 if you leave the garage door).
- Each ceiling light is approximately $100 to $150 per light. For a ceiling fan with a light add the cost of the ceiling fan to this total.
- If you need to place a new circuit into the existing panel, the new circuit will cost around $185.
Small Garage Remodeling Costs Made Simple
Your garage is an often untouched part of your home. The uncomfortable truth is that far too often it is not used for our vehicles. A study put the percentage of homes that actually use their garages for parking at an astonishing 15%. This means the overwhelming number of garages are merely storage rooms. This is especially true when you have a smaller one. The costs involved in remodeling your garage can seem overwhelming. Our guide makes it easier to wrap your head around.
This is good news from a remodeling standpoint. Unused space is prime real estate that you can use to your benefit. Even small garages can be turned into something that benefits your home. This can be anything from a simple cleanup job to a complete conversion into living space. No matter your intent, knowing the cost is vital to your success.
When considering a small garage remodel, you can pay as little as $2,500 to as much as $30,000. On average, the cost will be around $11,000, if you consider the national average. These costs are not set in stone, though. Your choices on materials will largely determine the overall cost. Your budget will take less of a hit on a smaller garage, which is another bonus, and there are many ways to save. A breakdown of the costs follows.
Costs Made Simple
Minimal Remodeling- When considering a minimal project, the emphasis is on fixing what is broken in your garage. The most significant cost involved is usually in fixing and dressing your concrete slab. Other minimalist remodeling ideas are:
Fixing the slab: $500
Repairing the concrete slab is often the first step in any remodeling project. Leaving a cracked, oil stained, or otherwise damaged slab causes more problems later on.
If you are only fixing your garage up and not looking to convert it you can apply a coat of polyurethane sealant, concrete paint, or another finish.
Partial Remodeling- The next step up from your minimal remodeling project is to turn your garage into a space that looks better. This is not going to turn it into livable space, but it will make it visually more appealing by covering the bare studs with drywall and installing a window.
If you are considering remodeling your small garage into any sort of living space you will need to install windows. If you are going to convert your room into a bedroom this window will need to be up to code and may cost more.
Covering your bare walls with drywall is a good way to give it a little more style. Painting your new walls will cost you around $20-$35 dollars an hour if you choose not to do the work yourself, which you should.
Garage Conversions- A true garage conversion means turning it into living space. This means bringing doors and windows up to code, installing interior walls and dealing with the garage door. Our guide to how to remodel your garage gives all the details you will need to succeed.
If you are looking to add a sink in your garage it is not an inexpensive choice. The base cost of $600 is for a sink located adjacent to existing plumbing. The cost to put in a sink rises higher if the concrete slab has to be channeled to put in new drain lines.
Electricity ($4 per square foot): An electrician will cost between $65-$85 per hour. The average cost to expect is around $200 per outlet that you wish to add. This does not include bringing any existing wiring up to code. It also does not include the cost that an entire new breaker box may add ($600).
Heating & AC ($1000-$5000): Adding central heat and air into your garage can either be simple or difficult. If you have a robust heating and air conditioning system in place it is as simple as expanding your existing ducting. If the additional square footage is more than your system can handle you will need to add in a new unit. Luckily, a small garage usually is able to be fit into your existing system.
Interior Design: What you decide on your interior design will change your costs dramatically. Adding in custom design elements like crown molding ($5/liner foot), or recessed lighting ($200/light) can make even a small garage remodel become costly.
Expanding Your Garage ($15-30 per square foot): If you choose to expand it into something much more involved your costs can be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Learning how much it costs to remodel your small garage will let you make some smart choices. Knowing the true costs involved means you can get a good budget put together. Your small garage doesn’t have to remain a cluttered mess. With a little time, some effort, and of course some investment, you can turn your small garage into a cozy hideout.
32 Common sense ways to save money on your garage remodel
Your garage remodeling project is almost always an expensive endeavor. Take the time to find ways to save money on your garage remodel. Every remodel is a unique project. The costs can be something that easily overwhelm your idea. Your garage remodeling project can benefit from some basic ways to save money. There are cost savings that can be found in almost every aspect of your project.
The following 32 ideas will help you to keep your costs down. Remember that low cost doesn’t always mean cheap. By using these thought provoking ways, you can have both.
Ways to save
- Make a plan: The number one way of saving money is to have a good plan in place before you start. Your plan must be complete. This means planning for material and labor. Your plan needs to address every aspect of your remodeling project. Plunging into a project before you know what you are trying to accomplish leads to cost overruns and delays.
- Buy at Auction: A good place to look for materials is at auctions. Local building auctions are where contractors try to sell off their excess materials from previous jobs.
- Determine needs vs wants: There is always a difference between what you WANT in your garage, and what you NEED. While you may want a high end entertainment complex, do you need it? Before you begin your project sit down and make a list of needs, and wants. By creating a prioritized list you keep yourself from overspending. Once you have your needs addressed, throw in a few wants.
- Never move the plumbing: In a garage remodel it’s often tempting to put in a bathroom. If you can locate this bathroom without moving or having to install plumbing, you can save money. Moving plumbing, or locating plumbing away from existing pipes is an expensive proposition. An easy way to save money is to just avoid it.
- Don’t touch the slab: Closely related to not moving the plumbing is to not touch the concrete slab. Any work on the concrete slab can cost thousands of dollars in repair and fixes.
- Build in the off season: All contractors have seasons where they are busier, and seasons when it is harder to find work. Contractors can sometimes offer a savings of around 5% if you get your work done in their off season. For most contractors this is the period right after the beginning of the year.
- Select Imitations: There are a lot of look-alike products on the market. These offer the look of luxury without the luxury price tag. Modern materials do a great job of being almost indistinguishable from the real materials they replace.
- Do work yourself: Each hour you do work yourself and each project you complete on your own is money you have saved. Even a general laborer costs over 10 dollars per hour.
- Don’t use canister lights: The difference between the cost of a recessed light and normal light can be as much as $100 per light. Limit your use of recessed lighting to save thousands.
- Ask for sources: Another place that you can find some savings is to ask your contractor where he gets his supplies. Your contractor knows the local area stores way more than you probably ever will.
- Demo it yourself: Along with doing work yourself you can also do the demolition yourself. This is usually well within the abilities of almost all home owners. So save some money by picking up a sledge hammer and taking out what needs to go.
- Get a tax break: Donations can get you money back at a later time. Try to keep your materials in good order so that they can be donated. This also applies to your remnants. Round everything up and donate it all to charity at the end of the project, or along the way.
- Window Issues: Windows can be expensive propositions. In a garage remodel you can save money by adding windows in where you build your new wall. By working the new window into the new wall you save money on cutting through your existing walls to make them large enough to comply with codes.
- Use what you have: Look for savings by using what you already have around the house. This can include furniture as well as leftovers from other projects. Sometimes there is paint, or flooring that can be used in your garage remodel.
- Buy unfinished articles: If you have some do it yourself skills buy your furniture and other materials unfinished. Do the final finishing yourself. Staining and painting can all be done on unfinished materials as you put them in.
- Search yard sales: A little thought of place to look for materials and furniture is from yard sales. When people complete their projects there are usually left overs. Professionals have auctions, regular people sell their items at a yard sale.
- Pay in cash: Paying up front in cash can result in discounts from some contractors. When you have a firm bid from a contractor ask them if there is a discount for paying up front in cash.
- Find sales: Do the legwork to find your materials and furniture on sale. This works great if you are taking the time to plan your remodel. Wait until a holiday and then purchase your materials.
- Join the club: Getting a discount card from big box retailers is often well worth the hassle. Also there are often discounts when opening up a new account at a store.
- Buy clearance items: If you can be a bit open to different styles or brands think about clearance items. Be flexible and buy materials when they come up on clearance.
- Pay a professional designer: It might seem strange to advise you to spend money on a designer. However, they can save you money by keeping your project reasonable. They are able to tell you what to choose and what to avoid. A professional designer can also guide you to the most economical choices.
- Do your own prep work: Just as most home owners can do demo work, a lot of prep work is within the reach of most homewoners. Gathering the right materials and having them ready for your contractor can keep you below your budget.
- Buy remnants: Remnants are often the way to go. These small amounts can be useful for a garage remodel as less square feet may be involved. The legwork involved often pays off with deep discounts.
- Waste not want not: Don’t underestimate the things your family and friends may have left over from their projects. Paint and flooring is often left over from projects. Keep an open mind and these may be able to address some of what you need for your own project.
- Buy gently used: Everyone wants things they buy to be perfect, which is an understandable goal. Buying gently used, or returned, materials can save you a significant amount. Try out the clearance aisle, and look in the back of the store for refurbished items.
- Avoid bells and whistles: Save money by avoiding the extras. Where crown molding and solid wood doors are great ideas, they are expenses you can avoid. Keep your project basic and save. It can be beautiful, while still being cost effective.
- Have a garage sale: Add some padding to your budget by selling off the things you need to get rid of. You likely won’t get thousands of dollars from what is in your garage. Every dollar could be one that is needed to add a bit of “oomph”.
- Get a trailer: If you have a truck, or an SUV, consider buying a trailer. Putting a couple of hundred dollars into a trailer can save you thousands in transportation costs. Having a trailer allows you to both pick up materials, and take away debris. These tasks can costs thousands through a large project.
- Contractors can save money: If you are not the most capable home owner when it comes to remodeling get a contractor. Trying to do things that you are beyond your skills can be more expensive when you have to pay to repair the inevitable mistakes. A good contractor does things right the first time and in the right way.
- Get multiple quotes: Don’t just take the first contractor that comes your way. Get multiple bids, usually at least 3, for your project. This ensures that you get the best price on the work you need done.
- Conscript family and friends: Family and friends are a very useful resource. Using them for simple projects like painting, cleaning, demolition or preparation is cost friendly.
- Ask your local Realtor®: When you begin making your plan, consult a local real estate agent. These professionals are able to take a look at your plans and tell you how it compares to other houses. This will help you focus on the things that are most cost effective.
30 Must See Tips For How To Remodel A Garage on a Budget
Not every home owner has a few hundred thousand dollars to put towards renovations. Some of us need to save and therefore need to know how to remodel a garage on a budget. The need to make every dollar count means you need to make smart choices. Smart choices require having the best information. We’ve put together the best tips from across the internet for you.
One of the main ways to succeed on a budget is to be organized and have a good plan. Having a good plan means knowing exactly what you want out of it. This requires you to decide everything from paint colors to trim style before the first nail is driven. Having a well thought out plan means knowing where you are getting materials from, and when they will be delivered. This plan is the bedrock that your budget friendly remodel will rest on.
How to remodel on a budget
- Take the time to do the demolition on your own. In a garage remodel there is almost no demolition needed, making it ideal for most home owners.
- Spending the time to do clean up each day saves money on labor costs. With general labor costing over $10 per person, every hour you save is money towards other things.
- Transport supplies yourself. If you own a truck this is a perfect way to save money. If you don’t own a truck you can rent a trailer, or buy one.
- Do the work to find bargains and sales. Your contractor is not going to spend hours combing websites for deals. Try to locate the best possible prices for what you want in your new space.
- Make the most detailed plan you possibly can. A detailed plan saves money by reducing mistakes and making sure there are as few delays as possible.
- Embrace open concept living. Construct as few walls as possible. A new wall, depending on materials, can cost almost $1000 per 10-foot section.
- Locate plumbing close to existing lines to bring costs down. Running new plumbing to a place on the opposite wall can be costly and time-consuming. If you plan on putting in a new bathroom, or even a bar with a sink, locate it near existing plumbing.
- Avoid moving your existing fuse box. Moving an entire fuse box can be an expensive proposition.
- Assemble pre-made furniture and cabinetry yourself. Putting together furniture and cabinetry is well within most homeowner’s capabilities. Also take advantage of offers from the company for installation and assembly services.
- Do your own painting. The average cost to paint a 9’x10’ room is around $500.
- Avoid skylights. Using a light tube can save you around $1000. Light tubes don’t require expensive changes to the support structures of your garage roof.
- Consider used items. Local resellers and stores like Habitat for Humanity ReStores can provide some materials for a lower price.
- Get some money from your clutter. Have a garage sale and sell off as much as you can. Whatever is left donate to the salvation army and get some money off of your next year’s taxes.
- Consider the lifetime costs of materials. A cheaper material initially may require more frequent replacement and end up costing more.
- Don’t cut corners to save costs. While it may seem cheaper to take the easy road, fixing problems later is always more expensive.
- Don’t underestimate the cold concrete floors ability to make a space uncomfortable in a cold climate. A subfloor may seem more expensive, but the cost is well worth the return.
- Avoid canister lights. Recessed lighting can be twice as expensive as pendant lights.
- Compare contractor costs. Get multiple bids for any work you have planned. Always get references and look at examples of the contractor’s work. Finding someone to fix a badly finished project can ruin a budget.
- Offer to pay up front in cash if possible. Often you can get a lower price, especially from local retailers.
- Use your family and friends as laborers. Every person you can get to help on a project saves you the cost of hiring labor.
- Always get permits. Skipping a permit might save some money on your initial budget, but it can cost you later.
- If you live in a warm climate your existing concrete floor may be great for flooring. Staining or painting your existing concrete slab can be accomplished for as low as $1.50 a square-foot.
- While it may not save you money in the long run, using only enough insulation to comply with building codes can shave a bit off of your costs.
- Avoiding an independent wall inside the existing exterior wall saves a bit on the overall costs.
- If your existing air conditioner and heater can handle the additional load it always cheaper to tie into your existing ducting than to buy a whole new system.
- If you are considering a new bedroom, take into account the number of bathrooms in the home. The usual ration is one bathroom to two bedrooms. This means if you have a three bedroom and two bath home, adding another bedroom is fine. If you have a two bedroom and one bath home, adding another bathroom means you really would need to add a bathroom as well.
- Use luxury vinyl tile or other look-alike materials. You can purchase alternatives to hardwood flooring and stone floors for a fraction of the price. Consider engineered hardwood, and vinyl flooring for savings as well.
- Avoid customized elements. Customization costs more than off the shelf products.
- Look for items on clearance, this often happens around holidays. Be open and flexible enough to take advantage of these pop-up saving opportunities.
- You can save a bit of money by widening your studs from the standard of 16 inches apart to 24 inches apart. While this may seem to not make much of a difference it can save you 10 dollars for every 10 linear feet. In just your exterior walls that can be a savings of almost $60 dollars.
The truth about garage remodel ideas that increase home value
The truth abut garage remodel ideas that increase home value is that there are many to choose from. There are some ideas that increase home value, as well as overall home remodeling ideas that do the same. The trick is finding the ones that will work for your home. Not every idea will work for every home. Always take into account how everything in your home fits together, and use the ideas that work best for your specific situation.
It is often one of the single largest parts of your home as far as a single room goes. Square foot wise it may be as much as a third of the total area of your home. Although they are not usually included in the square footage that a home is described as having. No matter if it is included or not this space can be turned into a valuable asset.
Do The Repairs
One of the best ways to have a garage space that increases your home value is to make sure it is in good repair. When a potential buyer does their very first walk through your garage can help make or break the sale. If it hasn’t been touched in 20 years the time to spruce it up is before the first buyer comes to look. When thinking about a garage that is in good repair think about things such as;
- Anything Broken: Look around and see if anything is broken. Look at your light switches, outlet plates, drywall, you are looking for anything that is not in good repair. Take the time to fix everything and not give the impression that it is a disaster area a buyer will have to fix.
- Update Fixtures: If you have either old, or the most basic fixtures spend a little money and upgrade them. Utility lighting doesn’t have to be bare bulbs with an economy base. Use fixtures that fit into your garage design. Sometimes it has exterior lights, or interior lighting fixtures that just look completely out of place. Make sure you change out these fixtures to ones that fit the area.
- Repair Concrete: One of the main things is the concrete slab. This means to make sure your garage increases your homes value that it needs to be in good shape. Patch any cracks in the slab, not necessarily small surface cracks, but any deep cracks should be fixed. Remove oil stains from the concrete, as well as spilled paint, kids drawings, etc…
- Fresh Paint: The cheapest and easiest way to make the space an asset is with some fresh paint. Everyone can do this upgrade, and it is an inexpensive way to make your garage look inviting. Consider painting the concrete as well, this can be a nice touch that makes your garage a selling point.
Fix the Garage Door
Garage doors are often a great way to make your garage increase the value of your home. It can also be something that turns it into a large problem for buyers. The door has to both enhance the curb appeal of your home, and work as a visual element inside of the garage. Things to think about are;
- Function: Make sure your garage door works well. It should raise and lower without requiring extra effort, and without loud screeching sounds. The springs should hold the door up securely, without door droop. Any electric door opener should be wired correctly and functional. If the electric door opener is older than you are, consider updating it.
- Form: Your garage door should be something that looks good. Broken window panels, rotted wood panels, these things turn your garage from a draw into a drawback. A new garage door has a large price range. A basic metal utilitarian option can be as little as $750. While a high-end solid wood decor option can cost as much as $4000.
Upgrade the space
It’s often not enough to just make sure your garage doesn’t look bad. Sometimes you need to use this space to add some style or emphasis to your home to help it stand out from the crowd. Your first step is to look around your neighborhood at comparable properties. Look and see what they have done with theirs. The goal is to outdo your neighbors, but only just so much. You don’t want to price yourself over the market. Some upgrade options to consider are;
When considering doing upgrades always remember that you should always choose options that will appeal to the widest audiences. From paint colors to cabinetry, every choice you make should be with the widest audience in mind. Some upgrade options to consider are;
- Storage: Built-in storage options can be a great way to increase the impact of your garage on the value of your home. There are a few built-in options that you can explore.
- Overhead: There are some great do it yourself options for overhead storage. With some plastic bins and some 2×4’s you can make a great looking option that doesn’t take away space. An added bonus is that it can be done for under $100 most of the time. This is a great option for smaller spaces.
- Wall Units: If you have a big enough garage, wall units for storage can make your garage a great selling point. This can be a project you do yourself for a few hundred dollars. If you are not a do-it-yourself sort of person look for options that don’t have the look of interior cabinetry. Select cabinets that look like they belong there. The cost for garage cabinets ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
- Conversion: Depending on your circumstances you may want to look into how to convert your garage into a functional room. This is not always the best option, and largely depends on what other houses comparable to yours look like. If other homes in your area have more square feet available, or more bedrooms it may make sense to convert your garage into a bedroom.
The real truth about increasing your home value is that it is not a one size fits all situation. There is no one magic bullet that will make your garage into something that others want. Each home is unique and an idea that is great of one situation will be completely out of place in another. Take the time to research the ideas we have outlined above, and compare them to what is in the neighborhood. Your best choice is one you make for your home and that appeals to buyers.
Your garage doesn’t have to be just a big empty space. With a little thought, some effort, and occasionally some investment, your garage can improve the value of your home.
56 Genius 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 tips will make you look like you have done this a thousand times.
As you plan, the following tips can be indispensable. Don’t start 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 project. 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.
- Don’t begin without a clear plan to see you through from start to finish.
- If you add more bedrooms, remember how many bathrooms your home has. The standard rule is to have one bathroom for every two bedrooms in your home.
- As you find issues make sure to take the time to fix issues permanently, don’t just temporary fix them.
- Be careful about doing anything to structural components, especially if you are doing it all yourself.
- Remove oil stains from concrete to avoid a lingering “garage smell”.
- Have a plan for parking your car, if you don’t have a long driveway ensure there is room to park somewhere else.
- Have the right tool for the job, trying to just get something done with whatever you have on hand can result in costly accidents.
- 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.
- Make sure you have enough lighting, both natural and artificial, throughout the new spaces.
- Don’t forget you will have to put what is in your garage somewhere, this might involve getting rid of things, or renting storage.
- 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.
- 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.
- Plan for storage of your materials. You can’t leave piles of wood flooring outside in the rain
- Add in “green” elements to both save money, and reduce long-term costs.
- Use indoor paints indoor, and outdoor paints outdoor. Avoid glossy finishes except for accents.
- 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.
- 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.
- Consider safety. Cutting corners on safety might save a few dollars here and there, but an injury will erase any savings in a second.
- 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.
- Don’t build your home out of the local market with a garage remodel. Putting too much into the project 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.
- 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.
- Don’t forget to include storage as you plan out the new living spaces.
- 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.
- Keep things simple, over complicated projects are much more prone to delays and mistakes. Also, complicated remodeling plans often go over budget.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- To make it look natural often requires taking out the part of the driveway connecting to the garage and adding some green space.
- Avoid “trends” as it will only add short term value to your home.
- Buy inexpensive but not cheap materials. Finding a deal is great, buying bad quality materials is not and will show in the long run.
- Measure twice, act once. The difference of a half an inch can be a costly mistake. This goes for everything involved in the project.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Try LED lights instead of recessed lighting. Avoiding canister lights saves time and money.
- Don’t forget the details. These small touches are what make your remodel look like a finished project.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remember the long term impact of your remodel. Avoid something that is only meant to fix a short term issue. A temporary guest or relative may not need a whole new set of rooms.
- The floor will need to be raised to the level of the house, or at least above the drainage grade.
- 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.
- Small garages often benefit from having a “theme” as they are essentially a one room remodel.
- The return on your money can be as much as 70% if you sell the home within 5 years of your completing the project.
- Each new interior wall costs around $1500. Open floor plans can save you money, and are fairly modern.
- Use a remodeling checklist to keep yourself on track.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use flooring that is not permanent in order to allow the next owner to change it.
- Keep your garage one big room to let the next homeowner undo your work
- Check with a realtor to make sure a remodel will help your house value.
- Make sure to get permits for all the work you plan to do.
- Contact a professional to have it done right.
- Remember that turning your garage into living space means you have to comply with different code requirements