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.
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:
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.
Add between $75 and $500 to your budget for the cost of outlet installation. Most garages have electricity of some sort, even if it's just a bare bulb in the ceiling and a few outlets spaced around the walls. If you're trying to convert your garage into living space, you'll need a nearby licensed electrician to add more wiring and outlets for additional electrical devices.
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.
Garages have minimal insulation, so if you’re renovating your garage to turn it into an office or family room, you’ll certainly need to add insulation and HVAC. Your insulation pro will start with the ceilings and floors. Beyond that, they may or may not choose to add insulated garage doors (if doors are being kept). All in all, adding new HVAC and insulation can add $2,000 to $3,000 to your garage remodel cost.
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.
With its 3D Warehouse and simple user interface, you can certainly be on your way to designing a SketchUp project within minutes. However, If you’re a newbie or have a more complex vision, SketchUp’s own learning center is a great place to start, with several handy video tutorials. There are also lots of user-created SketchUp tutorial videos on YouTube. And if you’re really serious, there are third-party SketchUp training programs available, too.
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.
Wall Units: If you have a big enough garage, wall units for storage can make your garage a great selling point. This can be a project you do yourself for a few hundred dollars. If you are not a do-it-yourself sort of person look for options that don’t have the look of interior cabinetry. Select cabinets that look like they belong there. The cost for garage cabinets ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Update Fixtures: If you have either old, or the most basic fixtures spend a little money and upgrade them. Utility lighting doesn’t have to be bare bulbs with an economy base. Use fixtures that fit into your garage design. Sometimes it has exterior lights, or interior lighting fixtures that just look completely out of place. Make sure you change out these fixtures to ones that fit the area.
If you're planning to maximize the space, add useful features, and otherwise make changes that are likely to appeal to a majority of homeowners, your renovation may end up being a worthwhile investment in your home's resale value. However, the quality of the work matters, especially if you're planning a major change such as converting the garage into a bedroom. Trading your garage space for a poorly insulated "bedroom" with no windows and the garage door intact won't do much to boost resale value.
When it comes to design, nothing provides more a boost than the actual garage door. Not only can they match the architecture of your home, but they come in a wide range of sizes, styles and components. Chances are, you already have a garage door, but years of opening and closing, along with general wear and tear, can bring about a fair share of issues.