Have a ballpark figure in mind. Determine what you can comfortably afford to spend on your garage remodelling or building project. Where does it fall in your list of home improvement priorities? Will you be spending 100% of your remodelling and construction budget on it? Having a clear idea of your price ceiling will help you avoid making choices that are too expensive or elaborate and having to scale back in the process.
Although many people use it as the catch-all of the house, the garage offers valuable storage and potential living space that can often be more effectively used with a remodel. Some people remodel the garage to turn it into an extra bedroom or living space, while others remodel it to make it more functional as storage and workspace. The total cost depends on the size of the garage, age of the house and the remodel purpose, but you can plan to spend an average of $6500 for a garage remodel with a common 600 square foot garage into a more functional space. Although it is possible to remodel a garage yourself, especially for smaller projects, hiring a professional contractor is always recommended.
Whether it is to create a new workspace, a reliable spot for extra storage, or because you are tired of coming home to a rundown garage, the option for garage remodelling is always a good one. The average garage is sized for two cars and provides a small workspace in front of the vehicles.
A garage can be a fun and relatively easy space to remodel because many garages are not in a “finished” condition. For example, they may be entirely free of sheetrock (drywall) and have only basic or minimal lighting. Most have electric door openers, but that may be the extent to which space is finished. This makes it a blank slate for all kinds of improvements.
Of course, a garage may be required if the flooring is cracked or failing, the roof or walls are in bad shape, and so on. Many options will affect the final cost of the project, but for the most part, a garage remodelling project involves work on the floors, walls, wiring, lighting, and finish work.
Check out our range of garage renovations here.
Garage Remodel Cost
A garage remodel can take many different forms. Some finished garages are transformed into guest bedrooms, game rooms, man caves or even master bathrooms. Others go the traditional route and clean it up to just keep their cars inside. The traditional route is certainly more cost-effective, but after analyzing national garage remodelling costs, the average price to renovate a garage is roughly $10,000.
Cost To Finish A Garage
If you have an existing garage in place, but no walls, floor, ceiling, or finishes in place, the cost to finish your garage will be much less expensive than $10,000. Oftentimes, finished a garage entails adding a few beams or drywall. Contractors can install wooden or steel beams for a few thousand dollars. In addition, according to our drywall installation cost guide, you can purchase drywall for at little as $0.30/sf. If you hire a general contractor to install the drywall, expect to pay another $1,000. Overall, the cost to finish a garage should not exceed $5,000.
Garage Remodeling Options
When it comes to remodelling, the only thing holding you back is your imagination. Believe it or not, anything you can add inside your home, you can add inside your garage. Therefore, you have plenty of options when it comes to garage renovations:
- New Flooring
- New Windows
- New Walls & Ceilings
- Install Garage Organizers
- Install Insulation
- Install HVAC
- Install Plumbing
- Install Electricity
- Install A Bar
- Install A Bathroom
- Install A Bedroom
- Expand Garage
- Build A New Garage
- Garage Remodeling Options
Garage Remodeling Cost Considerations
With any remodelling projects, certain, non-obvious, aspects can affect the total renovation cost. Whether it’s building permits, getting your garage up to code, adding windows, or hiring different contractors, there are a few cost considerations all homeowners must be aware of.
Every city has certain building codes all homes must follow. One popular item many homeowners have to add when they convert their garage into a living area or bedroom is a new window. Building codes require living spaces to have a window large enough for a person to crawl out of in case of an emergency. Single window installation costs start at $1,200.
To make sure your new garage is up to code, make sure you go over all plans with your city before any work begins.
If you’re vastly transforming your garage or building a new garage, you’ll need a building permit. Permit costs vary in different jurisdictions. Depending on your location, factors such as the size and complexity of your project will affect your permit cost. However, most building permits cost roughly $980.
Plumbing & Electricity
While most garage remodels do not include adding a bathroom or sink, some do. Sadly, new plumbing will easily drive up the cost to convert a garage. Plumbing costs vary by project but expect to pay at least $500 to hire a plumber and install the necessary piping.
Furthermore, most garages have electricity in place, but if you’re converting your garage into a living area, game room, or man cave, chances are, you’ll need additional outlets and wiring. New wiring generally costs $1,100.
HVAC & Insulation
Garages have minimal insulation, so if you’re renovating your garage to turn it into an office or family room, you’ll certainly need to add insulation and HVAC. Your insulation pro will start with the ceilings and floors. Beyond that, they may or may not choose to add insulated garage doors (if doors are being kept). All in all, adding new HVAC and insulation can add $2,000 to $3,000 to your garage remodel cost.
Hitch Property Constructions has the biggest range of the garage renovations Melbourne. Check it out here.
With most garage renovations, flooring is usually the prime focus. Many garages are made entirely of concrete and brickwork, and replacing or repairing concrete can be very costly. In cases where the floor or walls are severely damaged, a concrete mason must be called. In this scenario, materials come at a low cost, but working with concrete is very time consuming, which can lead to a large labour bill.
If the concrete slab in the garage is the problem, there are more cost-effective solutions than a concrete mason. Most cracking, flaking, stains, pitting or wear can be easily fixed by calling a concrete specialist to apply either an inexpensive epoxy or polyurethane-based coating. These seals are very durable and can make your garage floor look brand new.
Conversely, some people choose to furnish their garages with very durable indoor-outdoor carpet. Not subject to the wear and tear of indoor carpet, using this in your garage can be practical as well as visually appealing.
Garage Floor Stains
Garage floor coatings fail for a number of reasons. First, the floor is usually not clean enough to receive a coating. Years of grime have to be removed using solvents and proprietary cleaners. These are sold at paint stores, hardware stores, home centres, and industrial supply houses. If the floor is really filthy, consider pressure washing. Rent a machine that produces at least 1,200 to 2,000 psi. Also, buy some grease-cutting detergent at the rental store. Along similar lines, you might consider a steam cleaner if a pressure washer is unavailable.
Another problem is moisture vapour. Moisture vapour from the groundworks from below to loosen the coating’s bond with the concrete. In the case of alkyd paints (also called oil-based paints), the moisture will react with the alkaline materials in the concrete and form a soap. This process is called saponification. The soap loosens the paint’s bond with the concrete. Never use alkyd or modified alkyd paints on concrete.
Finally, a car’s tires are hot when it pulls into the garage. In the summer, the tires may be too hot to touch. The heat can melt the paint and, combined with the pressure the car applies on the tires, even peel the paint. This is known, appropriately, as hot-tire pickup. Fortunately, there are ways to beat all these problems.
Garage Remodeling Cost Considerations
New Formulas To The Rescue
Paint manufacturers have recognized these problems and have come to the rescue with new solutions. But a word of advice: If your garage floor sees heavy water leakage, if it’s badly cracked, or if it’s damp and slimy all summer, don’t apply any coating. In those cases, you’re better off simply keeping it as clean as you can and then calling it quits.
But about those new formulations, one is Epoxy Shield garage floor paint. It’s a waterborne coating consisting of epoxy and acrylic resins with colour chips that you sprinkle over while the coating is wet. Its manufacturer says it’s specifically formulated to withstand hot-tire pickup, moisture vapour, and attack by solvents and chemicals that drip from a car or come in on the car’s tires. It comes as a kit that consists of a cleaner-degreaser, two paint components that you mix together, and nonskid colour chips. To apply, first clean, and degrease the floor. Then mix the two-part coating together and roll it on. Finish up by broadcasting the nonskid chips onto the coating while it’s still wet. You should be able to walk on the surface in four hours and drive on it after seven days when it’s fully cured. The kit costs about $60.
Another Alternative: Stain
Like wood stains, masonry stains are less dense than paints. They soak into the masonry and don’t form a film the way paint does. Unlike film-forming coatings, stains won’t make your garage floor feel like the deck of an aircraft carrier. Because of this, stains are somewhat more forgiving and easier to apply and reapply as they wear off and become dirty. One of the oldest (perhaps the oldest) masonry stains available is H&C, now owned by Sherwin-Williams and sold at local paint stores. This venerable brand has been used in the Southern U.S. for many years. It’s available in a wide range of colours, and it can be tinted to any colour you prefer. It’s available in two formulations: a solvent-base (that is unavailable in California) and a waterborne acrylic available nationwide. The solvent-based formulation is the tougher one, so if you have both available, choose the stronger route unless you’re very sensitive to solvent fumes.
Homeowners who are used to house paints should have no trouble applying either and cleaning up afterwards. First, apply some H&C cleaner degreaser, a mixture of heavy-duty detergent and phosphoric acid. You simply sprinkle it on the garage floor with a watering can, work it in with a broom and let it foam the floor clean. Then, rinse the floor and let it dry. The stain is applied with a roller. It’s ready for foot traffic in one hour and car traffic in 72 to 96 hours depending on temperature and humidity.
Other considerations and costs
- Most have functional garage door systems, with openers, but any upgrade or remodel is an excellent time to consider new doors and a new opener. After all, the garage can be the most commonly used entrance into the home, and it can be a make or break factor in curb appeal.
- Insulating the interior walls before having any drywall installation is a very wise investment. It will cost under $1 per square foot while helping to keep heating and cooling costs down or regulate the interior of the garage to a higher degree.
- Many homeowners look at a garage remodelling project as a time to update storage and workspaces. Adding new cabinetry at the end of the garage, including countertops for projects of all kinds, as well as overhead storage, wall storage, and organizer bins is a wise investment. It will require professional cabinet installation at around $70 per hour as well as the cost of cabinets (typically from $500 to $2,000) but can make a tremendous difference inside the space.
- Be aware that a lot of the work in a garage remodel may require permits from local agencies.
Garage Remodel Return on Investment
Converting your garage into living space can actually lower the value of your home. For many buyers, especially those in colder climates, a garage is an important selling feature.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go ahead with the conversion if it makes sense for your family; just have realistic expectations about the impact on value.
As a general rule, experts advise against a garage remodel if you expect to be putting the house on the market within the next few years.
But there is an exception…
The exception to this rule may be if you plan to convert your garage to a rental unit. This could potentially add value to your home, depending on the market you are in.
Some states are encouraging its residents to convert their garages to rental space as it creates more affordable living opportunities. California has passed a state law that will make it easier for homeowners to build and permit their garage transformation to lower skyrocketing rental prices.
Choosing a Contractor
- Look for a contractor who specializes in garage remodels – or at least one who has experience remodelling garages. Ask to see pictures of previous jobs such as the before and after garage conversion picture is shown here. A good contractor should be able to show you garage conversion designs, and you can also get some inspiration from looking online at garage remodelling ideas. Remodelling a garage is different than remodelling other areas of the home, and it helps to have a contractor who understands that.
- Get multiple quotes to compare prices before choosing a contractor. But keep in mind that the cheapest contractor is not always the best. Typically, it’s a good idea to throw out any quotes that seem suspiciously high or low.
- Do some background research on any company you’re thinking of hiring. Ask for references – and call them. Check the company’s record with consumer organizations like the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List. You can call the local building department, too.
- Make sure the company you hire is licensed and insured. Ask for proof. A company that is not licensed is not likely to be reputable – they’re breaking the law. If the company is not insured, you could be financially responsible for any accidents that occur on your property while construction is underway.
- Ask for details – in writing. Professional garage remodels contractors will provide you with a start date and an end date for the project, as well as a detailed breakdown of all anticipated expenses, including materials and labour.
Know Your Garage Remodel Costs
Plan how you’ll pay for it.
Do you have savings or expected income that will finance the project? Will you be tapping into home equity? The last thing you want is to get a bill from your contractor without having an idea of how you’ll cover it.
Budget for unexpected costs.
One of the truths of construction is to expect the unexpected. Any number of things, such as a previously unknown problem behind the walls, can throw a wrench in the works of your project and add to labour and materials costs. Factor in a 15 to 20 per cent margin for error, so your budget stays on track.
Know your priorities.
Will your garage be purely functional? If so, durable surfaces and systems trump expensive trappings. Make a list of what you’ll need, from storage to appliances to furnishings, and then rank every item in order of importance. That way, if you have to cut things as you get farther into the process, it will be easier to make choices.
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Be diligent about tracking spending.
All the budgeting in the world doesn’t do any good if you don’t know how much you’ve spent. Create a spreadsheet or other document to keep tabs. Be diligent about entering costs as they come up, so the process doesn’t get overwhelming.
Active DIYers can complete simple garage remodelling projects such as clearing a stain, adding insulation, or repairing a garage door opener. However, if you’re converting your garage into a living area or adding any electrical or HVAC to space, you should hire a professional. Piping, electricity, and garage door springs are dangerous if mishandled. Furthermore, simple mistakes garage pros do not end up costing you more in the long run. Therefore, play it safe and get a few quotes from garage pros before you start any garage remodelling project.