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This Is How to Remodel a Garage the Right Way

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In the U.S., 63% of all occupied housing units have either a carport or a garage. Garages can be incredibly useful spaces, as they can help keep your car and other belongings safe from weather, theft, and other risks.

However, what if you’re finding that you need a garage less than you need some additional living space?

If that’s the case, you might be starting to look into how to remodel a garage. Depending on what your intended outcome is, this can be a fairly accessible project for someone who is pretty confident in their DIY skills.

Are you designing a garage and wondering what you should know? Let’s take a look.

Heat, Air, and Electrical

It is common for a residential garage to have an overhead light and some electrical outlets. You will want to make some upgrades when you are renovating a garage.

If the walls are stone or brick, you can run surface-mounted wiring over them using a conduit. If there is exposed studs and joists on unfinished walls and ceilings can make it easy to install new wiring.

If you have walls that are already insulated and finished, you can use surface-mounted wiring so you don’t have to cut into the walls.

You can tie new heat and air ductwork into the main system if the garage is attached to the house. You will need an independent source of air and heat if the garage is detached.

Windows and Doors

Windows can make a big difference for a space. When you add windows it can help it look like the room you want it to be rather than a former garage.

If you keep the garage doors it’s hard to hide the fact that it is a converted garage. You might choose to replace the garage doors with carriage doors or double French doors. This is a solution that makes it so you don’t have to do as much structural work.

You can also wall up the opening if you don’t want to have an exterior door in the room. If the walls haven’t been finished yet it’s easier to add windows and doors.


Keeping the concrete floor of your garage space can leave your new spot feeling cold and a little damp. Odors from chemical spills or oil on the concrete can also permeate the room. To deal with this, you can pressure wash the flooring to get rid of both odors and stains.

If you are hoping to make a floor that’s warmer and more appropriate for putting down other types of flooring, you can create a slightly raised platform over the concrete that’s covered with a plywood layer.

It is common to put this platform over top of a plastic vapor barrier. This helps to ensure that your new flooring isn’t damaged by moisture from the concrete slab.

Depending on your intended purpose for the remodeled space, you might consider custom garage flooring.

Walls and Ceiling

If you’re remodeling a garage to be a bedroom or a living space in anything but the most idyllic of climates, you will likely want to insulate. Your main options when it comes to insulation are roll or batt insulation as well as spray-on foam, though there are other alternatives.

Drywall is definitely the most common way to finish both ceilings and walls. It has an even surface and can cover a big space.

Remodeling a Garage: The Types of Spaces You Can Create

As long as you stick to building code requirements and get the necessary permitting, you are otherwise free to do whatever you want with your garage space. However, you will want to look into the zoning of your home if you are thinking about building an independent living space to make sure you understand what the process is like if it is allowed.

Some of the types of rooms people commonly turn their garage into include:

  • Bedroom
  • Playroom
  • Art studio
  • Studio apartment or in-law suite
  • Office
  • Family room

There is a wide range when it comes to how much a residential garage conversion costs. How much it ends up costing has to do with the size of your garage, how much professional contracting assistance you need, and the type of room you’re making.

If you are just trying to turn your garage into a simple bedroom, you might find this only costs about $5,000. However, if you’re going to be doing things like plumbing work to install a kitchen or a bathroom, you might find it costs more like $25,000.

If you aren’t able to do a garage conversion because of zoning, parking, or other reasons, you aren’t totally out of luck. You might consider whether or not a basement or an attic conversion makes sense for you.

Learning How to Remodel a Garage Will Help You Avoid Avoidable Mistakes

Designing a garage space to fit the needs of you and your family can be a fun project, but it’s worth doing right. If you are making changes such as removing garage doors or other structural considerations you might want to think about whether or not that is a good idea from the standpoint of selling your home in the future. That obviously isn’t the only consideration, but it’s something that you will want to keep in mind.

Did you find this article about how to remodel a garage useful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog!

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