Simple garage remodeling projects such as clearing a stain, adding insulation or repairing a garage door opener can be completed by active DIYers. However, if you’re converting your garage into a living area or adding any electrical or HVAC to the space, you should hire a professional. Piping, electricity and garage door springs are dangerous if handled incorrectly. Furthermore, simple mistakes garage pros do not make could end up costing you more in the long run. Therefore, play it safe and get a few quotes from garage pros before you start any garage remodeling project.
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.
The cost of installing five windows falls somewhere around $5,000, or about $1,000 per window. If your garage doesn't have any windows, plan to add at least one. This is especially important if you want to list it as a bedroom or rent it out. You'll need an egress window big enough for a person to escape through in case of a fire. Egress windows average about $3,500.
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.
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.
And you really need your investments protected, but you just don’t have the funds to build some of these other options. Well, don’t give up hope. This video shows you how to build a pretty decent structure that will do what you need it to do for basically no money. And honestly, if you have the materials on hand it could actually be built for free.