Not every home owner has a few hundred thousand dollars to put towards renovations. Some of us need to save and therefore need to know how to remodel a garage on a budget. The need to make every dollar count means you need to make smart choices. Smart choices require having the best information. We’ve put together the best tips from across the internet for you.
There are a few different options when it comes to garage renovation basics, but finishing materials provide the most options and the most flexibility. Flooring alone offers a dozen or so choices, from inexpensive laminate and carpet to elegant hardwood and natural stone. A great discrepancy in quality (and therefore costs) also exists between different types of cabinets, countertops, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, appliances, wall finishes, ceilings, windows, doors, molding, heating systems, and much more. And of course, depending on your intended use for the room, you'll need to buy furniture, appliances, curtains, decorations, and all the other complimentary odds and ends.
Flooring: Concrete slabs are cold, hard, and not very pretty to the eyes. Even if you’re on a tight budget, installing new floors during your garage conversion could be worth your while in terms of comfort and aesthetics. Vinyl flooring is one of the more cost-effective options and is available in many different designs made to look like wood, tile, or natural stone. If the space is framed in and moisture isn’t a concern, carpet is also a viable option for softer flooring as long as insulation occurs beforehand.
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:
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.
If you have an existing garage in place, but no walls, floor, ceiling or finishes in place, the cost to finish your garage will be much less expensive than $10,000. Oftentimes, finished a garage entails adding a few beams or drywall. Contractors can install wooden or steal beams for a few thousand dollars. In addition, according to our drywall installation cost guide, you can purchase drywall for at little as $0.30/sf. If you hire a general contractor to install the drywall, expect to pay another $1,000. Overall, the cost to finish a garage should not exceed $5,000.
We had an excellent experience with Renown. Fast responses, excellent service, and they fought with our insurance company for what was truly needed. My only regret was not letting them handle the insurance company conversations from the beginning, rather than dealing with trying to coordinate myself. Once they took over direct communication everything went very smoothly. I would highly recommend Renown Roofing and Construction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
If you decide to expand your garage to make more room for tools or storage, this is considered adding on to your home, and costs will typically go up. Home addition costs fall between $20,000 and $70,000 for most homeowners, depending on the size and type of space built. Your contractor will frame out new walls and expand the room's foundation. If you intend to keep the space the same only reorganizing it, you may have only the costs associated with purchasing and installing shelving and cabinetry.
When it comes to garage insulation, homeowners have two options. Foil insulation (pictured above), tends to look like foil, but the inside is usually laced with heavy-duty polyethylene. The polyethylene is usually used in rigid sheets that are placed inside the cavities of your garage door. Once placed onto the garage, the polyethylene expands to fit into place.