A garage can be so much more than a messy catch-all for items that don’t fit inside the home. Through a remodel, it can be made into an organized storage unit or a workshop, or simply made more functional, with room for at least one car. Turning a standard 600-square-foot, two-car garage into a well-organized, tidy space is less expensive than most remodeling projects. Because a garage already has a floor, walls and a roof, the primary tasks are finishing the framed walls and adding organizational systems.
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.
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.
Like wood stains, masonry stains are less viscous than paints. They soak into the masonry and don't form a film the way paint does. Unlike film-forming coatings, stains won't make your garage floor feel like the deck of an aircraft carrier. Because of this, stains are somewhat more forgiving and easier to apply and reapply as they wear off and become dirty. One of the oldest (perhaps the oldest) masonry stains available is H&C, now owned by Sherwin-Williams and sold at local paint stores. This venerable brand has been used in the Southern U.S. for many years. It's available in a wide range of colors and it can be tinted to any color you prefer. It's available in two formulations: a solvent-base (that is unavailable in California) and a waterborne acrylic available nationwide. The solvent-based formulation is the tougher one, so if you have both available, choose the stronger route unless you're very sensitive to solvent fumes.
Don’t make the mistake of beginning your garage remodel before you know the basics. Learn how to do it right instead of just diving in. There are many reasons that home owners want to remodel their garage. It is often more difficult to put an addition onto a home than it is to use your garage. Perhaps your parents need a place to enjoy their golden years. Or your kids may be staying home longer than expected.
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.
Additions & RemodelsAcoustic CeilingsArchitectureCarpentryCarpet CleaningCleaningDecks & PatiosDemolitionDesignersDoorsDrywall & InsulationElectricalEngineeringFencingFlooringGaragesGlass & MirrorsGuttersHandymanHome SecurityHome TheaterHome BuilderHome InspectorsJunk RemovalHVACLandscapingMasonryPainting & StainingPavingPest RemovalPlumbingRoofingSidingSnow RemovalSolarSwimming PoolsTesting & AbatementTile & StoneTree RemovalWindows
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.
A 'Ready to Sell' garage remodel will give you the best ROI possible without the need for a permit. It may include finishing interior texture (already sheetrocked), painting, and changing a few light fixtures. This level is perfect for those who are preparing their home for sale and tends to be cosmetic in nature in order to present the home well to potential buyers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If the concrete slab in the garage is the problem, there are more cost-effective solutions than a concrete mason. Most cracking, flaking, stains, pitting or wear can be easily fixed by calling a concrete specialist to apply either an inexpensive epoxy or polyurethane-based coating. These seals are very durable and can make your garage floor look brand new.