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.
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.
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.
One of the biggest impacts you can make to a refreshed garage has little to do with the garage itself: Add containers potted with pretty blooms. The planters help to soften the edges between structure and landscape and add pops of visual interest to what is often a neutral facade. Here, miniature trellises up the columns add even more growing spots, with delicate vines that clamor up toward the pergola. Another idea: Use hanging baskets on either side of a garage’s door.
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.”
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.