Pick: Pick what your new room is going to focus on. Your small garage can either do one thing perfectly or a lot of things partially. Think of it like any small room in your home. Your small bedroom wouldn’t be able to be a bedroom, media room, work space, and storage area. Your small garage can’t do all of these things either. So pick one focus and ensure your plan addresses it. Some average room sizes to help you pick are:
Determine needs vs wants: There is always a difference between what you WANT in your garage, and what you NEED. While you may want a high end entertainment complex, do you need it? Before you begin your project sit down and make a list of needs, and wants. By creating a prioritized list you keep yourself from overspending. Once you have your needs addressed, throw in a few wants.
Older homes have smaller garages. This is a simple architectural truth. In the past cars were smaller, and most families owned a single car. This means your older home has less garage to work with. Where a new home may have a garage that is up to 50% of the square footage of your home, an older home may have a one car garage that is no more than 200 square feet. Knowing how to remodel a small garage begins with knowing the 5 P’s.
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.
The real truth about increasing your home value is that it is not a one size fits all situation. There is no one magic bullet that will make your garage into something that others want. Each home is unique and an idea that is great of one situation will be completely out of place in another. Take the time to research the ideas we have outlined above, and compare them to what is in the neighborhood. Your best choice is one you make for your home and that appeals to buyers.
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.
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.
A garage remodel is usually much cheaper than a home renovation because the foundation, roof, and walls are already built. Many garages also have electrical and plumbing installed to some extent. The actual cost of a garage remodeling project, however, depends on what the renovated space will be used for. While a new home gym won't require much in the way of amenities, converting a garage to an office, apartment, or bedroom requires adding significantly more creature comforts.
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