Remodeling Your Garage

This is a guest post by Jerry.

Remodeling your garage can give a nice facelift to one of your oft-used but often overlooked rooms in your home; in addition to being able to make more use of your garage, giving it a makeover can also make your garage easier to clean and maintain, as well as eliminate potential pests that infiltrate your home through your garage.

Before you start screwing in sheets of drywall and think about where you’re going to put that flat screen TV, you should think about what you want out of your garage, or what your plans are with the garage. If you want a place you can work or hangout in all year round, you’re going to want to put in some insulation, you might also want an AC unit for the summer months (which would likely require some cutting. You should also think about wiring, such as taking the opportunity to add outlets and additional wires for lights, fans, power tools, whatever you plan on using your garage for. Conceptualizing your garage before you start working on it means you won’t have to back up down the road and cut into your new walls.

Now that the conceptualizing is done, it’s time to start working. Take a stroll through your garage and look for areas on the frame that may need additional blocking in order to affix the drywall. These missing areas will likely be found in the corners, at the ceiling and around the frame of the garage door. In addition, you may want to look for areas on the walls and ceiling where you might want to add additional support for shelving, workbenches, bike racks, etc. Again, planning ahead will save you time, money and headaches down the road.

With your trusses in place it’s time to work on the wiring. Firstly, make sure you’ve shut the power off to your garage when working on the lights. Secondly, you may want to contact a building inspector for a permit before you begin working and after you’ve finished with the wiring for approval. Having approval from a building inspector means added benefits for your safety, insurance, and if you ever sell your home. Go through and move any wires that are mounted on the surface of the studs and tuck them inside or around the back, away from where they’d interfere with drywall; in order to accomplish this, you may have to drill holes into the sides of the stud for the wires to pass through. This is also your time to add any additional circuits and power boxes you might want or to cut holes for windows, skylights or attic access.

Now it’s time to start insulating and installing the drywall. First, check to make sure you have sufficient ventilation for your garage; you’ll likely have to add some vents if your garage’s ceiling is unfinished. Next, insulate the garage with either blown-in insulation or the fiberglass strips. Strips work very well for wall insulation and the blow-in insulation is great for attics. With the insulation in place, you can begin putting up the drywall. Depending on your mudding, taping and sanding skills, you might have to apply and sand the joints a couple times before you’re ready to prime and paint. Once the paint is dry you can begin furnishing your fresh garage with all the tools and toys you’ve been dreaming of. You might also want to throw a coat of sealant down on the garage floor to add protection and aesthetic to your garage.

Remodeling your garage is a great way to make the most out of the space you have; it can add some luster, added utility and potentially cut down on your energy bill. And of course it doesn’t hurt that the project is fun, too.

About the Author

Jerry Davidson is a home repair professional, specializing in garage door installers in Chicago. When he’s not working, you can find Jerry coaching his son’s hockey team to victory.

Thank you to Jerry for helping us keep this blog alive. We couldn’t do it without people like you.

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3 Responses to 'Remodeling Your Garage'

  1. Mitchell says:

    Great job! Another good idea would be to hire a specialty company to come in and install built in work benches, shelving and storage racks. Most of them have software they can use to generate multiple layouts.

  2. Be sure to consult a local garage contractor before starting any work yourself. They can save you time, money and frustration by keeping things from being done multiple times due to screw-ups.

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