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.
Although many people use it as the catch-all of the house, the garage offers valuable storage and potential living space that can often be more effectively used with a remodel. Some people remodel the garage to turn it into an extra bedroom or living space, while others remodel it to make it more functional as a storage and workspace. Total cost depends on the size of the garage, age of the house, and the remodel purpose, but you can plan to spend an average of $6500 for a garage remodel with a common 600 square foot garage into a more functional space. Although it is possible to remodel a garage yourself, especially for smaller projects, hiring a professional contractor is always recommended.
If the concrete slab in the garage is the problem, there are more cost-effective solutions than a concrete mason. Most cracking, flaking, stains, pitting or wear can be easily fixed by calling a concrete specialist to apply either an inexpensive epoxy or polyurethane-based coating. These seals are very durable and can make your garage floor look brand new.
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If you don’t want to spend $10,000 on a garage remodel, you could partially finish your garage. You can frame a concrete garage the same way you you’d finish a basement. Wooden crossbeams are secured to the floor, and the remainder of the framing is built up from there. Walls of either paneling or sheetrock can then be fastened, making your garage look and feel like another room of the house. Sheetrock is very often used for garage ceilings, allowing you to choose a paint color, and the same can be said for the walls. This is a job any general contractor can accomplish for a few thousand dollars. You could use metal studs, as opposed to wood, when framing to cut down material costs significantly.
An insulated garage will stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The first step is to be sure the attic is well ventilated. Check to see how many attic and roof vents you have. A good rule of thumb is a total of 1 sq. ft. (144 sq. in.) of vent opening per 300 sq. ft. of attic divided between the soffit and roof vents. For a typical 20 x 22-ft. garage, you’d need about six 4-in. x 12-in. soffit vents and two standard square roof vents. Make sure your ventilation is effective by installing vent chutes between the trusses. Vent chutes have a channel that prevents blown insulation from blocking the airflow from the soffit vents to the attic space. Plug the area under the vent with wood blocking or plastic and a chunk of fiberglass insulation to prevent wind from blowing up through the insulation or insulation from filling the soffit.
With most garage renovations, flooring is usually the prime focus. Many garages are made entirely of concrete and brick work, and replacing or repairing concrete can be very costly. In cases where the floor or walls are severely damaged, a concrete mason must be called. In this scenario, materials come at a low cost, but working with concrete is very time consuming, which can lead to a large labor bill.
Most unfinished garages have the bare minimum of outlets and lights, so you’ll want to add a few. And in some cases, you’ll have to reroute wiring that’s attached to the face of studs or the underside of ceiling framing. We had to reroute phone wires, door opener control wires and plastic-sheathed cable in our garage. Remove surface-mounted wiring and move it into the stud space, or reroute it over the top of the ceiling joists or trusses.
With its 3D Warehouse and simple user interface, you can certainly be on your way to designing a SketchUp project within minutes. However, If you’re a newbie or have a more complex vision, SketchUp’s own learning center is a great place to start, with several handy video tutorials. There are also lots of user-created SketchUp tutorial videos on YouTube. And if you’re really serious, there are third-party SketchUp training programs available, too.
Garages have minimal insulation, so if you’re renovating your garage to turn it into an office or family room, you’ll certainly need to add insulation and HVAC. Your insulation pro will start with the ceilings and floors. Beyond that, they may or may not choose to add insulated garage doors (if doors are being kept). All in all, adding new HVAC and insulation can add $2,000 to $3,000 to your garage remodel cost.
Leaky doors and windows let in uncomfortable drafts and increase heating and cooling costs. Check your garage service door to be sure it has good weather stripping and a threshold that seals tightly to the bottom of the door. In most cases, if your service door is missing a threshold and weather stripping, it’s more efficient to replace the door with a new, weather-tight version. You can buy an inexpensive prehung metal exterior door at home centers and lumberyards.