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.
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.
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.
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.
For those searching for more room when you decide to remodel two spaces come quickly to mind. These are your garage and your attic. Both have benefits and drawbacks as far as conversion to a bedroom or usable space goes. It is a bit more easily converted than your attic and can result in a beautiful living space. Before you begin work you should know the real garage remodeling costs involved. Converting your garage to a bedroom requires certain elements that are not necessary for a family room. When converting your garage to a bedroom you will need to have a window that serves as a secondary escape route, and a closet. There are additional requirements by code, but these are the main ones to consider.