As the wife and I gear up to make our way back to our hometown here in North Florida, we’re seriously considering building a new house on some acreage, since we can’t find anything that we really are looking to call our last home. Naturally, I’ve already been working on designing my stand-alone dream garage. I mean, as long as we’re building stuff… ?
Paint manufacturers have recognized these problems and have come to the rescue with new solutions. But a word of advice: If your garage floor sees heavy water leakage, if it's badly cracked or if it's damp and slimy all summer, don't apply any coating. In those cases, you're better off simply keeping it as clean as you can and then calling it quits.
Besides a brand new room, there are plenty of other benefits that come with remodeling garages. First and foremost, if you simply update your garage with new flooring, windows, insulation or garage organizers, you instantly increase the value of your home. While you may not see a 100% return on investment the day you sale, you will surely get more than you would have before the garage renovation.
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.
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.
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 extras on a garage often get short attention, but those little details can make a big impact. Take lighting and house numbers: Choices more in step with your garage's style can tie together paint, materials, and more. Use proportion as your guide when selecting fixtures: Low-slung styles such as this garage work better with small to medium fixtures.
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.
One of the biggest impacts you can make to a refreshed garage has little to do with the garage itself: Add containers potted with pretty blooms. The planters help to soften the edges between structure and landscape and add pops of visual interest to what is often a neutral facade. Here, miniature trellises up the columns add even more growing spots, with delicate vines that clamor up toward the pergola. Another idea: Use hanging baskets on either side of a garage’s door.
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.
Garage floor coatings fail for a number of reasons. First, the floor is usually not clean enough to receive a coating. Years of grime have to be removed using solvents and proprietary cleaners. These are sold at paint stores, hardware stores, home centers and industrial supply houses. If the floor is really filthy, consider pressure washing. Rent a machine that produces at least 1,200 to 2,000 psi. Also, buy some grease-cutting detergent at the rental store. Along similar lines, you might consider a steam cleaner if a pressure washer is unavailable.
Every project comes down to cost, so it only makes sense to start there. According to our garage remodeling cost estimator, the average garage remodel runs $8,582. Keep in mind, this takes the full garage into consideration. That includes the garage door, flooring, windows and plenty of other renovations. For those remodeling one aspect of their garage, of course, expect the final price to be much less. In fact, we have even seen garage remodels cost as low as $900.