In recent years, garage remodels have been becoming more and more prevalent. Whether they are turning it into an in-law suite or simply updating it to meet your needs better, lots of people have decided to go for a garage remodel.
However, just like any other home update, if you’re not smart about it, your garage remodeling project can turn into a stressful, time, and money-consuming venture. There are plenty of things to consider. From small things like choosing the best possible flooring to wider choices such as whether installing a whole new garage will be a cheaper investment than updating your current one.
Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura or San Diego with reliable garage contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about planning their desired garage remodel – you can utilize these certain tips, strategies, and ideas to ensure you’re smart about your garage remodel.
Do the necessary prep work
Before you get started with anything, you need to prepare your garage for a remodel. Proper preparation is the key to reducing all of the stress associated with renovating to a minimum. Additionally, it can help save you a lot of time and money during the renovation. Of course, the prep work you’ll be doing depends on what type of renovations you’ll engage in. However, you can take three steps that are helpful for almost every garage remodel.
Decluttering is the perfect way to prepare your garage for its remodel. Not only does it make the suggestion to talk about next a lot easier, but it also helps you get an accurate (and reduced) estimate of how much storage space you’ll need in your new garage. Of course, you can use the tried-and-true “If it doesn’t bring you joy, throw it away.” method. However, you can get creative with determining what should be thrown out and what shouldn’t. Remember that you can also do a good deed if you donate or upcycle the things you decide you won’t need.
Pack up what’s left
Your next step should be to pack up your items now that you are sure that you won’t be packing up unnecessary clutter. What you’re essentially doing when you pack up and relocate items you kept in your garage is protecting them from damage while also clearing space for the remodeling process.
Cover up what you couldn’t pack
Remodels can get very messy. If your garage has features and items that can’t be packed and taken out (ex., a bolted-in workbench), you should cover them up to protect them from getting dirty or damaged. Additionally, unless you’re redoing the floors themselves, you should cover them as well.
Choose the right flooring
Your garage’s flooring can greatly impact its aesthetic appeal and utility. If you do plan to redo your garage flooring during the remodel, you have to be smart about choosing the right type. There are several options available, each with its pros and cons. Each of these options is also best fitted to different kinds of remodeling goals. Let’s go over some of the most popular options.
Concrete flooring is perhaps the most popular option for garage floors. It’s very likely that your garage already has this type of floor. However, one of concrete’s biggest flaws is its cracks and stains. If your concrete is in bad shape, but you still want to stick with it, make sure to at least get it resurfaced. Additionally, simple concrete usually looks quite plain and boring. You can remedy this by giving it a simple paint job.
Epoxy flooring is a better-looking and more durable alternative to concrete. It’s a great choice for people who like to work on their car or do projects (ex., a woodworking hobby) in the garage. Oil won’t stain or stick to epoxy flooring. Regular sweeping should be enough to clean any dust or dirt particles. Two of the biggest cons of epoxy are that it’s more expensive than concrete and requires more frequent ongoing maintenance. ‘
Foam floor mats
These are great options for those who want to avoid concrete’s plain look and fragility without big investments. If you only use your garage to store things and park your car, you can place these mats to protect an area of your garage floor from getting damaged from your car constantly going in and out of it. Additionally, they can spice up the look of your garage a bit.
Traditional household flooring
This is an option for those who want to create additional living space in their garage. If you don’t have a car or are more inclined to park it in the driveway, you can turn your garage into a living space, such as a small in-law suite or hangout area. This would mainly mean installing tiles, hardwood, carpet, laminate, etc.
Refresh the paint job
If you’re on a budget, this can be a simpler and less expensive aspect of your garage remodel. While it is a lot less money and time-consuming, it will be very impactful. A good and refreshed paint job can truly breathe new life into the area. A great example of how it can save you money on the remodel is that if you pair it well with your current flooring, you can improve the overall look of your garage without investing in an expensive floor replacement job.
Add insulation if you don’t have it already
This is sort of a conditional remodel idea. If your garage is already insulated, you might only have to consider renewing the installation if it’s worn out. Otherwise, you’re already set. But if your garage isn’t already insulated, this is a great project for long-term benefits. Having your garage insulated is essential no matter what type of garage you have (or plan to have). You can benefit from insulating your garage, no matter if it’s connected or detached from your home. It’s also a great idea, no matter what you plan to use your garage for after the remodel.
The Benefits of Adding Insulation
- Reduced heating bills – If your garage is attached to an external wall of your home but isn’t insulated, it’ll allow all of the warm or cooled air from the adjacent room to escape easily. This will make your HVAC system work twice as hard and drive up your heating bills.
- Car protection – Your car can be very sensitive to extreme temperatures. Whether it’s attached or detached, an uninsulated garage is susceptible to getting extremely hot or extremely cold.
- More comfortable living space – If you’re converting your garage into an additional living space, insulating it is a must. If you don’t insulate it, spending time inside the garage when the weather outside isn’t favorable will be virtually no different than spending time outside.
Add a second floor
This is only a smart solution for people who use their garage regularly. Whether it’s for parking your car or as a personal workshop, by adding a second floor, you won’t be losing out on storage space while also increasing the usable space that you need. Since this can become very expensive, you should only consider it if you know it’ll greatly benefit the utility of your garage.
Install windows during your garage remodel
This is another thing that’s very important for people who spend or plan to spend lots of time in their garage. Adding windows to it brings two main benefits. Firstly, it adds more natural light to the space. This subsequently makes it more comfortable. Secondly, it allows for much better airflow. If you open a few windows while you’re in there, you’ll greatly benefit from the additional fresh air.
Use your garage as a flexible space
We’ve already alluded to this idea throughout this entire article. If you don’t have a car or generally never use your garage, your best option is to do a gut remodel and turn it into something else.
While this might be a very expensive option, it’s still a smarter solution than wasting money on a remodel of a space you won’t be using anyway. One of the most popular options lately has been to turn your garage into an additional bedroom since that can greatly increase the value of a home. However, there are plenty of other options to choose from. Some of the most popular ones are:
- Decked out workshop
- Space to hang out in
- Home gym
- Home bar
- Spa-like bathroom
- Reading/meditation nook
As long as you plan this project out carefully and have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, your garage remodel can be an extremely profitable venture. Aside from getting more utility from your garage space, an updated garage can also skyrocket your home value. Remember that this article should be your starting point for inspiration and strategizing. You have to be creative. For example, you can also think about the exterior of your garage. Things like adding an awning in front of it have become a popular trend. Whatever you decide to do, your main goal should be to turn it into something that you’ll enjoy.
When it comes to planning and coordinating a garage remodel for your home, you shouldn’t have to go it alone – GreatBuildz can help simplify your remodel experience.
GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura or San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish. Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next remodel project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com