I stink at drawing. So pencil and paper isn’t an option for me when working to design my perfect garage (which I’ll unveil at some point in the future). Instead, I’ve been using SketchUp Make —a free 3D modeling software program, once owned by Google, that’s been around for almost 20 years now. And while CAD-style programs can be quite intimidating, SketchUp is super-easy to use and has a huge active community made up of all kinds of people—from architects and interior designers to woodworkers and other creators.
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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.

Look for a contractor who specializes in garage remodels - or at least one who has experience remodeling garages. Ask to see pictures of previous jobs such as the before and after garage conversion picture shown here. A good contractor should be able to show you garage conversion designs and you can also get some inspiration from looking online at garage remodeling ideas. Remodeling a garage is different than remodeling other areas of the home, and it helps to have a contractor who understands that.


While some homeowners fully transform their garages, others simply want to install a new garage door. Luckily, replacing a garage door is a rather simple project, for a trained professional. The reason we say trained professional is due to the garage door spring. These springs are wound up very tight and one small mistake can turn into a serious injury. Therefore, play it safe and contact a garage pro whenever you’re installing or replacing your garage door. 
SketchUp has a massive library of over 2 million free user-created models to get you started in what they call the 3D Warehouse. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel… you can just download it! Need to add a garage door to your plans? It’s in there. How about a workbench? That’s in there, too, available to drag-n-drop right into your design. In fact, many of the items you’ll find you want to add to your own plan can be turned into plans themselves—like a homemade workbench.

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.
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.
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