Simple Steps to Turn Your Garage Into a Room

Simple Steps to Turn Your Garage Into a Room

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If you have an attached garage, you have in-home space just waiting to be converted into a room. Homeowners looking for additional living space may resort to turning a garage into an office, den or bedroom, an easy to do project that has no impact on your home’s footprint. Your main consideration may be whether you want to keep your cars outside or not.

Converting a garage into a room is something many homeowners can do themselves especially if additional wiring or extending plumbing isn’t required. A contractor, however, is necessary if you’re not experienced with drywall or if you want to remove the garage door and replace it with a solid wall. Never settle on an amateurish job just to save some money — your home’s value will suffer if it is apparent that the job was done sloppily.

Six Steps

The first step you’ll need to do before tackling your garage project is to empty this room of all of its contents. This seems obvious, but homeowners don’t always know what to do with half empty paint cans, bicycles, storage bins and other items cluttering their garages. It may have been years since you had your cars in the garage anyway. Now you need to find a place for all of your other stuff or get rid of these items.

Your second step involves coming up with a plan for the room, right down to the plastering, addition of a wall, a floor or a dropped ceiling. Leave nothing to chance: spell everything out and get a budget estimate of your job. Find out if this project is something you can handle with your personal funds or something you’ll do with a home equity loan or equity line of credit.

Your third step is to start the work or hire a contractor. If hiring someone else, get at least three estimates to compare your costs and check references. Given that renovating an existing area of the home is basic work, most contractors should be able to handle the job themselves, perhaps with one worker. If you do the work yourself, enlist the help of one or more family members to keep this job going.

Assuming that your garage renovation project does not require the installation of a new wall or door, you’ll be hanging sheetrock first wherever needed. Modern garages are sheetrock ready which means our fourth step is disconnecting the garage door so that it doesn’t accidentally pop open. You can either remove and replace the door or remove the tracks and the unit used to open the door and place drywall behind it. From the street, your room will still look like a garage which may be the approach you want to take as you renovate.

Step five has you laying down sheets and beginning to paint, using a primer base first followed by a coat of paint. Patch holes and use painter’s tape to set off lines or to protect edges. You’ll need a day between priming and painting — time your job so that no extra time is wasted. Paint the ceiling when you paint the walls, putting this project behind you.

Your next decision, your sixth step, is whether you should install temporary or permanent carpeting. You may also need to install a raised floor with insulation underneath if you anticipate that frigid winter temperatures will have a bearing on room comfort. Expect to modify your project considerably if the outside walls of your garage need to be insulated too. Temporary carpeting is ideal if you plan to someday repurpose your room perhaps reverting to a garage.

Considerations

Make good use of carpet adhesive as you put your carpeting in place. A utility knife can be useful for trimming off excess carpeting and to ensure that the carpet is securely in place. Invest or borrow a carpet trimmer and always wear googles and gloves as you do your work. Keep the garage ventilated; you may need to install a ventilation fan if air circulation is a problem or a ceiling fan if there is enough overhead room to house one.

Resources

SayEducate; Matthew C. Keegan; Turn Your Garage Into Valuable Living Space; July 9, 2008

HGTV: Garage to Family Room Remodel

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Categories: Garage

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".