The first step in planning a garage conversion is deciding upon the room's new intended purpose. Do you need a place for teens to hang out at home with friends? Are you dreaming of a large, luxury man cave? Maybe you'd just enjoy an upgraded space to park your cars in winter - one that's fully insulated and climate controlled? Before you decide, keep a few factors in mind:
Know your priorities. Will your garage be purely functional? If so, durable surfaces and systems trump expensive trappings. Make a list of what you’ll need, from storage to appliances to furnishings, and then rank every item in order of importance. That way, if you have to cut things as you get farther into the process, it will be easier to make choices.
Most rough-framed garages aren’t ready for drywall. Your garage may be missing studs at the corners and attachment points for the ceiling drywall. To see where framing members may be missing, inspect inside corners where walls meet and where the walls meet the ceiling. These are the most common areas needing additional framing. These two photos show how to add ceiling blocking.
You may have to drill holes through studs or through the top plate of walls to reroute wires. If so, be sure to center the holes on the stud. If the plastic-sheathed cables are too short to reach the next box when you reroute them, you can add a junction box and splice on a length of cable. The new box must be accessible either in the attic space or through a blank cover on the wall or ceiling.
Another problem is moisture vapor. Moisture vapor from the ground works from below to loosen the coating's bond with the concrete. In the case of alkyd paints (also called oil-based paints), the moisture will react with the alkaline materials in the concrete and form a soap. This process is called saponification. The soap loosens the paint's bond with the concrete. Never use alkyd or modified alkyd paints on concrete.
Unlike many other home remodeling projects, it’s very easy to tell when you need to replace your garage door spring; your overhead garage door won’t open or perhaps more obvious, the weight of the door is off. When your spring is working correctly, you should be able to manually lift the garage door very easily. Likewise, when you open it, the garage door should not move and stay where you left it. If the garage door is very heavy or it closes as soon as you let go, then you need a new spring.
So if you are in need of a garage but don’t have a lot of money then consider this option. It could still be used as a great protector of your vehicles and other items. And would certainly make a great workspace as well. The only thing I wouldn’t be certain about would be the storage of personal items. But that could be worked around if this project could be done on a budget that works for you.
Waterproof paint (for concrete walls) • Paint (dry wall) • Behr concrete cleaner (2 Gal) • Behr Concrete Etcher (2 Gal) • Behr Concrete Bonding Primer (1 Gal) • Behr 1-Part Epoxy Paint (2 Gal.) • MiscPainting Supplies • Stainless steel light switch/receptical covers • Lumber for cabinet over circuit breakers • Gladiator Garage Works workbench-Wall cabinets-tall cabinet • Hooks for bicycles/tools • Tapcon masonary drill bits • PVC (to run wires for garage door openers
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.
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.
We first used Crown Exteriors 2 years ago to repair some wood siding and do external painting. We were very happy with the end result that we decided to use them again when we needed windows replaced now. They are reliable and do what they say they will. In addition, they are reasonably priced and just do great work for the cost. Would use them again if we have another need arise.
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.
Larger projects might entail hiring an architect or structural engineer. If you're having trouble deciding on the specifics of a garage remodel, consider hiring an interior designer. Costs for these professionals vary depending on their experience and level of involvement in the project; you could pay a few hundred dollars for a one-time consultation or several thousand dollars for beginning to end involvement.

Unlike many other home remodeling projects, it’s very easy to tell when you need to replace your garage door spring; your overhead garage door won’t open or perhaps more obvious, the weight of the door is off. When your spring is working correctly, you should be able to manually lift the garage door very easily. Likewise, when you open it, the garage door should not move and stay where you left it. If the garage door is very heavy or it closes as soon as you let go, then you need a new spring.
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