Garage Remodeling: Everything You Need to Know

Evelyn Long

Jan 30, 2023

garage remodel

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Do you have an unused garage? You can turn it into a functional room through renovation projects. This can increase its resale value as well. Although, it can be a costly and timely project. So, here are tips for your garage remodel. 

1. Create a Vision for the Finished Space

The first step is to determine the goal of the project. How did you plan to use the new space? Is it turning into a home office or workout room? Then think about the furniture and decor you want to include. Pick an overall style for a more cohesive look. You can review design magazines or scroll through Pinterest for inspiration. 

Remember to include fabric swatches, paint colors and various storage ideas in your plans. Your budget will also help determine what realistically fits within the space. Having these plans ahead of time helps prevent costly changes down the line. 

2. Draw Out the Plans

Once you create your plans, meet with a general contractor. They can help you figure out what is feasible and the total expenses. The average garage remodeling cost is around ​​$7,000 – $15,000. You also want to consult multiple contractors before accepting the final bid. 

Once you have agreed on a plan, it’s time for the finished drawings. Hire an architect to create the blueprints. Before talking with them, have as much figured out as possible from new walls to outlets. 

3. Create a Budget and File for Permits 

Have a set budget in place ahead of time. Overestimate the project costs, especially when adding new walls or routing plumbing. As you start to create your wish list, total up all the estimated expenses. Remember the simple things like nails and rags. You also want coverage for hidden expenses like water damage or demolition. 

Then add some extra cash for emergency funds, such as incorrect installations. The other cost you might not consider is permitting. You need a permit when making any structural changes. The process can take time and is filed with your local building officials. While meeting with them, schedule any required inspections as well. 

4. Clean up the Space 

Before starting the renovation, you want to remove the clutter. This involves emptying the area so contractors can move around freely. How long it will take depends on how much stuff has accumulated. To make it go by faster, recruit your whole family for help. 

During this time, consider donating any unwanted items or selling them online. The Salvation Army, Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity are all great options. Donating can be an easy way to make extra cash and clear up some space. 

5. Choose Your Contractor Carefully

Unless you’re extremely handy, going with a professional can save you time and stress. Check reviews and verify they have proper licensing and insurance. See if you can contact past clients and learn more about the builders recent projects. 

Skimping on a contractor can lead to costly mistakes down the line. So, the higher upfront costs may be worth it. You may end up paying around $250 – $58,000. However, this can help ensure the job is done right.

6. Make Sure There is Plenty of Natural Light

Turning the garage into a livable space will require you to replace your current windows. You might also need to add a few more than what you have. Bringing in more sunlight can make the room feel open and welcoming. 

You can update to egress windows. These are at the right height and size for a quick escape during an emergency. They also improve indoor ventilation. However, they must comply with International Residential Code (IRC) requirements and building codes.

7. Create a Functional Space 

Creating a comfortable space is an essential step in the garage remodeling process. The first step is to ensure the room is heated and cooled correctly. So, you’ll need to install ductwork for an HVAC system. If you’re using your current system, tie the pipes into the available ducting. If it’s an entirely new installation, add the necessary ductwork and equipment. 

With the walls still open, add in the proper wiring for electricity. You’ll want to hire a professional for this project. Before closing your borders, add insulation. This will prevent energy loss and keep your internal temperature consistent. 

8. Prepare Yourself for the Process

While all the work is going on, it can disrupt your everyday routine. So, you want to plan for any inconveniences ahead of time. For example, determine where you will park your car for the next few weeks. 

Also, discuss when your contractor will be on-site and set non-access hours. Plus, let them know which rooms they can enter, like your bathroom. If you have younger children, inform them which areas are unsafe. 

Garage Remodeling Tips

Remodeling your garage is a great way to create a functional space. Instead of storing old Christmas decorations, it can become your new home office. Yet, there is alot to consider. So, follow these steps for a successful garage remodeling process. 

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