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.
The first step in planning a garage conversion is deciding upon the room's new intended purpose. Do you need a place for teens to hang out at home with friends? Are you dreaming of a large, luxury man cave? Maybe you'd just enjoy an upgraded space to park your cars in winter - one that's fully insulated and climate controlled? Before you decide, keep a few factors in mind:
Like wood stains, masonry stains are less viscous than paints. They soak into the masonry and don't form a film the way paint does. Unlike film-forming coatings, stains won't make your garage floor feel like the deck of an aircraft carrier. Because of this, stains are somewhat more forgiving and easier to apply and reapply as they wear off and become dirty. One of the oldest (perhaps the oldest) masonry stains available is H&C, now owned by Sherwin-Williams and sold at local paint stores. This venerable brand has been used in the Southern U.S. for many years. It's available in a wide range of colors and it can be tinted to any color you prefer. It's available in two formulations: a solvent-base (that is unavailable in California) and a waterborne acrylic available nationwide. The solvent-based formulation is the tougher one, so if you have both available, choose the stronger route unless you're very sensitive to solvent fumes.
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.
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.
Most rough-framed garages aren’t ready for drywall. Your garage may be missing studs at the corners and attachment points for the ceiling drywall. To see where framing members may be missing, inspect inside corners where walls meet and where the walls meet the ceiling. These are the most common areas needing additional framing. These two photos show how to add ceiling blocking.
With most garage renovations, flooring is usually the prime focus. Many garages are made entirely of concrete and brick work, and replacing or repairing concrete can be very costly. In cases where the floor or walls are severely damaged, a concrete mason must be called. In this scenario, materials come at a low cost, but working with concrete is very time consuming, which can lead to a large labor bill.
For a garage-to-utility-room conversion, budget at least $6,000 for appliances, a utility sink, and space for sorting, folding and hanging laundry. A new utility room in place of an old garage brings convenience into your life, especially if you've spent years dragging loads of laundry up and down the stairs. This conversion will cost a bit more due to the addition of plumbing, but it'll be worth it.