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.
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.

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.


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.

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.
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.
On the exterior we remove the siding on the front of the garage and installed new hardboard siding that matched the original on the building. Electrically we removed and relocated existing lights and added a ceiling fan as well as recessed lighting. Some additional outlets and network wiring was installed then connected to the home and panel box. The interior was insulated in areas such as the ceiling, stairwell and miscellaneous sections of the walls. We laminated (overlay) the existing sheetrock with 3/8″ wallboard on the sidewalls and stairwell and 1/2″ for the ceiling.

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 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.”

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.
Forty-something years later, Michael still doesn't' know what he wants to do if he grows up. Raised around cars and trained in diesel mechanics, Michael has owned a successful detail shop, developed and sold software, led a K-9 SAR team, ridden the dot-com wave as a marketing & PR executive, led digital strategy teams at both large and small agencies, and now this. He digs Jeeps, off-road racing, football, photography, writing, making EDM, cranking metal, PC gaming, and a plethora of other contradictory things.
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.
Windows are important features when considering garage remodeling costs. Garage windows should be checked and replaced, if necessary, during any garage remodeling project. Not only are garage windows susceptible to the elements, but they also provide intruders another way into the home. Check for drafts, broken window locks and consider using metal cages around the windows for increased safety.

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.
On the exterior we remove the siding on the front of the garage and installed new hardboard siding that matched the original on the building. Electrically we removed and relocated existing lights and added a ceiling fan as well as recessed lighting. Some additional outlets and network wiring was installed then connected to the home and panel box. The interior was insulated in areas such as the ceiling, stairwell and miscellaneous sections of the walls. We laminated (overlay) the existing sheetrock with 3/8″ wallboard on the sidewalls and stairwell and 1/2″ for the ceiling.
Purge: Look at your pictures, think of them in terms of a small space. Purge anything that doesn’t work in a small space. With minimal square feet to work with, you don’t need a spa bathroom. While a game room sounds great, the space needed for a pool table is probably not there. Take out anything from your plan that doesn’t fit in a smaller space.
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.
It’s often not enough to just make sure your garage doesn’t look bad. Sometimes you need to use this space to add some style or emphasis to your home to help it stand out from the crowd. Your first step is to look around your neighborhood at comparable properties. Look and see what they have done with theirs. The goal is to outdo your neighbors, but only just so much. You don’t want to price yourself over the market. Some upgrade options to consider are;

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.”


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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