The overhead garage door can be a big source of drafts and heat loss. Recently installed doors usually include a weather-stripped stop around the perimeter. But older doors may be lacking a weather strip. Luckily, it’s an easy fix. Garage door weather stripping is available at home centers and hardware stores, and installation is straightforward. If your overhead door is uninsulated, search online for “garage door insulating kits.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.