A recent Impulse Research survey claims garages are used by 55 percent of Americans for hobbies and other activities. So it’s no surprise that famous companies like Apple, Amazon, Disney, Google, and Harley-Davidson started in a garage.
These spaces can be cluttered and disorganized, though. Junk piles up and steals the space meant for one or more cars. According to the Wall Street Journal, 89 percent of homeowners would like to improve their garage.
When remodeling rooms in your home, you might not immediately think of your garage, but this space holds a ton of potential. Here are five necessary steps to take when renovating a garage.
1. Make a Plan
The first thing you need to do ahead of any garage remodel is to make a plan. What purpose will the garage renovation serve? Will it be a new exercise space? Will it become your home’s new guest suite? How about an additional bedroom?
Your plan needs to reflect the final product. Jot down all your ideas and must-haves. Consider putting together potential paint colors, fabric swatches, and flooring samples.
2. Talk to a Professional
While some renovations can be a do-it-yourself project, renovating a garage might fall into a more complex undertaking. For that, you’ll want to consult with a general contractor about your plans and vision.
The contractor should be able to tell you if your ideas are DIY manageable, or if you should let the pros handle it. If you’re making major structural changes during your garage remodel, the pro will be able to consult building codes for you or file the necessary permits with the city.
3. Examine Electrical Needs
Garages tend to come pre-wired for electricity, and most have plenty of access to the necessary power. But if you’re remodeling a garage into a new living space, you may very well need additional electrical outlets. If that’s the case, you may want to consult an electrician.
Understanding the new power needs of your garage renovation is very important. If you’re painting walls or putting in a window, you may need to move wires or add junction boxes. Large appliances like electric heaters, washers, and dryers need 220-volt outlets, so you’ll need to install that before any finishing work.
4. Consider Plumbing
Another thing to consider is plumbing. While garages usually come wired with power, they don’t always have running water. Many garages could use a sink to clean up. If you’re making a new Man Cave, you’ll definitely want a bathroom.
The cost of these upgrades will vary, but you’ll definitely want to hire a plumber for this part of the project. Residential garages are great spaces for a number of activities, and running water just adds to that utility.
5. Find the Right Floor
Sometimes, remodeling a garage comes down to having the right floor. Picking the wrong flooring can have functional consequences and it might throw off the look and feel of the entire space. Think about how you’ll use the space before making any changes.
The concrete slab makes up most home garage floors. It’s easy to remodel the space by adding a coating to protect against cracks. You can also paint, seal, or stain the floor in some way. No matter your choice, make sure it’s a functional surface for your needs.
Solutions for Renovating a Garage
With all of the options when renovating a garage, it’s hard to get lost in the details. While many aspects of your garage remodel can be done without hiring a professional, some projects, like garage door installation are not DIY.
Make a plan, talk to a pro, and prepare for the next great space for your home.
Want to learn more home improvement tips and tricks? Check out some of the other articles on our blog to kickstart your next project.