Sooner or later, most homeowners decide they’re ready to take on a renovation project. We tend to think about renovations in bathrooms, kitchens or possibly living areas. The truth is, you can renovate any part of your home that seems to need it. Often, the area that needs it most is the garage.

Garage renovations are more common than you might think, and they can pay off – both in terms of your day-to-day life as well as the value you get when selling your house.

Before embarking on a garage renovation, make sure you’re going about it wisely.

Here are seven things to think about before remodelling your garage:

  • Are you turning your garage into a room or keeping it as a garage?
  • How will you use the space?
  • What kind of storage solutions do you need?
  • What about aesthetics?
  • Can you handle the project independently, or should you call in the pros?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What will you do while the remodel is happening?

Fundamentally, you’ll need to decide what you’re going to use the space for. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to decide they need an extra bedroom or living room and can live without a garage. Thus, they convert their garage into a fitting room. That’s one way to go, but you may also decide that you want a nicer garage with better storage options and space to keep a car.

Even if we assume you’re going to use your garage as a garage, there are still some important decisions about how the area will be utilised. Will you keep your vehicle in the garage? Lawn equipment? 

Many people want to keep an overflow of household items that don’t fit in closets or the basement in the garage, like holiday decorations. The garage is also a popular location to set up a workbench area for hobbies or home improvement work.

Most garages are used primarily for storage, and sometimes that might mean upgrading your shelving. This is especially true if you have many items to store and need to take advantage of the vertical space the garage offers. 

Consider any shelving upgrades that need to be made to achieve your garage renovation goals. If you are remodelling your garage to sell, the more storage solutions you have available, the more attractive it will be to buyers.

Depending on the scope of your garage remodel, it may or may not make sense to handle it on a do-it-yourself basis. Certainly, if all you’re doing is reorganising, perhaps painting the walls or adding some shelves, then you can probably do it on your own. 

For something as ambitious as a garage door installation or a room conversion that requires insulation and new walls, you’ll likely want to recruit a professional renovation team. Be sure to work with contractors who have experience doing the work you need.

Any time you renovate your home, the cost will be a factor. Hopefully, you’ll recoup your investment when it comes time to sell your home. Regardless, be sure you get some reasonable estimates about the anticipated expense and have your payment ready to go.

If you have a remodelling project that takes more than a day or two, then you’ll probably need to find space to temporarily keep all the items that are normally kept in the garage. 

Your car may have to stay in the driveway, a lawnmower and other yard tools may have to stay on the back patio, and more fragile stored items should be brought into the house. 

This can present an inconvenience, and while it’s not an impossible issue, it’s something to think about before your remodelling effort is underway.

7 Things To Look For In A Garage Remodel Company

Once you’ve decided that your garage needs a makeover, it’s time to do some homework and find the best garage remodel company for the job.

There is no shortage of contractors available to do the work, but what factors matter most when choosing who to hire?

Reasonable pricing, a good reputation, and an impressive level of overall professionalism from a prospective garage remodel company is a high priority, naturally. 

Don’t stop there. A few more essential things the company you choose to upgrade your garage should bring to the table to maximise your satisfaction when the project is completed.

Things To Consider Before Starting A Garage Renovation1

Why Hire A Garage To Remodel The Company Instead Of Dying?

Before we look at what a garage remodel company should be able to do for you, let’s quickly explain why you should entrust a garage renovation to an expert instead of doing the work yourself.

A recent survey found that 55% of homeowners have DIYed a home improvement project, yet only 31% of them considered the project to be successful. In many cases, these homeowners ended up hiring a pro to fix the work they had done.

Someone once said, “there is no substitute for experience”. Unless you’re experienced with the complicated nature of the design and installation process, a garage remodels entails. It’s best to leave things in the hands of a seasoned professional.

Sure, it may be cheaper to attempt a garage remodel yourself. A garage remodels expert will get the job done the first time properly and eliminate the stress, time investment, and messy work involved when you tackle the project yourself, however.

A highly specialised garage improvement company like Garage Living also has the know-how to ensure your garage isn’t just more organised and visually appealing. They can give the space the major overhaul that adds an impressive “wow factor” to one of your home’s hardest working rooms. 

When you decide to hire a garage remodel company instead of going the DIY route, there are several essential things to look for from them to make sure your home improvement project is successful. 

A Great Reputation And Positive Online Reviews

We all know there are many shady contractors out there who will cut corners, rip you off, and come up short in the reliability department.

You’re entrusting someone to work in your home and improve a room you will use every day. Therefore, any garage renovation company you hire shouldn’t just have a good reputation – they should have a great reputation.

FAQs About Garage Renovation

How Long Do Most Renovations Take?

For smaller whole home remodels, this should generally take somewhere between 4 to 6 months. Much larger whole home remodels can take from 6 to 12 months, and sometimes longer depending on how complex the work is.

What’s The Difference Between A Renovation And A Remodel?

It is important to know the difference between a remodel and a renovation before embarking on any project. Remember: Renovate means to make something new, and remodel means to undergo a structural change.

Does Finishing A Garage Add Value?

Get Creative with Extra Space

In fact, according to HomeAdvisor data, the average cost of converting the garage into a finished room costs an average of $11,986, with an 80% return on investment. So, not only does a finished garage provide more living space options, but it also provides substantial growth in home value.

Is A Garage Remodel Worth It?

Whether you’re just adding storage, re-coating the floor, or doing a complete teardown, garage improvements are well worth the investment. Your new and improved garage will give you more storage and flex space. You can make a new hobby or workshop room, a home gym, or give your family more room to spread out.

Are Heated Garages Worth It?

Pros of Garage Heaters

Keeping your vehicles in a heated garage means no warming them up before you get in, saving fuel. A warm garage can lengthen your vehicle’s battery life and performance. Plus, if your car needs a jump during the winter, you’ll be much happier doing it in a heated garage.

Customisation Options

Having high-quality products to choose from is nice – can they be customised, though? And if so, what is the range of those customisation options?

If you want your finished garage space to look exceptional, having plenty of options to customise the room’s interior décor will be essential. Only having two or three colours to choose from for your garage floor coating, Slatwall, or cabinets means you’re limiting your creative options. Look for a company with a selection of products that gives you an ample amount of customization flexibility and freedom to create a distinct, appealing aesthetic in your garage.

Our Designer Series of garage design themes is a popular option with our clients. It includes seven themes of curated custom colours and materials from our roster of products that produce finished garages with a high-end look. The series simplifies the design process for our clients and is an effective way to help them visualise what their garage can look like.

Things To Consider Before Starting A Garage Renovation2 (1)

Impressive Examples Of Past Work

A personal referral or reading some online reviews about contractors will help you narrow down your list of candidates, but “the eye test” will be a huge factor in making a hiring decision. 

If you’re lucky enough to know someone who has had a garage renovation done recently, an in-person viewing of the work will give you a helpful up-close example of what a garage remodeler can do.

Unfortunately, that kind of opportunity will rarely present itself. The next best thing is to naturally look at photos of a garage makeover specialist’s past work. A garage can look anywhere from shoddy to serviceable to exceptional – don’t settle for anything less than the latter for your garage!

High-Quality Products

One simple way to eliminate certain garage renovation companies from your list of candidates is to look at the quality of the products they carry. Visiting one of their showrooms or checking out a remodel they’ve worked on and seeing and using the products the company works with will tell you whether or not they have high standards.

If a garage remodelling company’s products look and feel cheap, what does that say about the work quality and value of the hard-earned money you’re spending with them?

There’s a reason that polyaspartic floor coatings cost more than epoxy coatings – its quality is vastly superior, it lasts much longer, and you need professional equipment to apply it.

The same consideration regarding quality should be given to garage cabinets. Inexpensive cabinets bought online or at a big-box store may seem like they’ll get the job done, but you’ll quickly find they’re cheaply made and won’t last as long as you expected. Try to shop local by supporting local small businesses and buying American and Canadian-made products that tend to be higher quality than products from overseas and keep your spending dollars closer to home. 

Amazing Customer Service

Excellent customer service should be another huge selling point for you. A company with top-notch customer service can be the difference between a home renovation project is a pleasant experience or a headache-causing experience that’s unsatisfying for you.

Use the previously mentioned resources to determine how effectively a contractor communicates with their clients and how reliable they are. This includes asking questions like:

  • Does the company get back to their clients about quotes or other inquiries promptly?
  • Was scheduling convenient consultation and installation times an issue, and was the company flexible and easy to work with?
  • Does the company have a showroom?
  • Were the installers punctual and properly cleaned up when they finished working?
  • Does the contractor stand behind their work and products with strong warranties?
  • Did the garage remodel company follow up with the client when the project was completed and address any concerns?

Good customer service should also be convenient for you. If you’re seeking to transform your garage, the floor will likely need some work.

Unless a contractor uses a high-quality product like Garage Living’s Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating that can be applied year-round, you’ll have less flexibility for what time your floors can be upgraded if you live in a colder climate.

Expertise And Professional Training

During your contractor vetting process, set a high bar for the level of expertise the company you’re considering has, specifically with garage renovations.

This is where hiring a garage to remodel specialist instead of a general contractor or handyman can make a big difference. The phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” exists for a reason, after all.

Having completed thousands of makeovers across the U.S. and Canada since 2005, a company like Garage Living has experienced just about everything for garage remodels.

Most high-quality and reputable garage renovation professionals will:

  • give their employees the proper training to work efficiently and safely
  • know how to bring the best out of a garage space
  • use high-quality products that last longer
  • be properly licensed and insured
  • stand behind their work
  • be better equipped to deal with renovation challenges

Don’t undervalue that first point about proper training. Garage remodel pros are skilled tradespeople, and although they learn much of their craft from hands-on experience, the foundation of their knowledge should start with professional training.

Be sure to ask any garage remodelling company you’re considering hiring what kind of training their installers get. Garage Living has all of our installers take training courses to ensure they’re qualified to perform the work that goes into every garage remodel we do.

Fair Pricing

One of the most important questions anyone seeking out a garage remodels company will have for their project will be the cost and whether a contractor can work within their budget.

A top-to-bottom can involve many upgrades, including adding a floor coating, wall base coating, a Slatwall storage system, garage doors, door openers, a storage cabinet system, overhead storage racks, and a car lift.

Other potential upgrades include installing modern lighting, a heating system, insulation, drywall, redoing the ceiling, and painting the walls and ceiling.  

The size of the garage, scope of the project, quality of the products, and processes used to install everything will largely determine what the project costs. As with any home improvement project you’re hiring someone for, be suspicious of anyone quoting you a price that seems too good to be true. In most cases, it is.

If you’re more confident that one garage remodelling company will do a better job than another based on examples of work you’ve seen and the fact they have a superior reputation, that’s worth paying more for if their quote is a bit higher yet still reasonable. 

The end goal is to have a beautiful garage that you’re 100% happy with and to have the process of making that happen to be as stress-free as possible. 

Top 10 Tips Garage Renovation Tips

Besides being a secure place to store your car and being an alternative entrance to the house, your garage can have numerous other functions. This includes acting as your home workspace, additional storage space, a game room, or even being an extra guest room. When you need to convert it from one use to the other, a remodel might be necessary. Overall, the benefits of redesigning your garage can be extremely rewarding in the long run.

A garage renovation project will come with a long list of decisions, tasks, and interactions. Here’s how you can make things less confusing as you get started.

Plan well

If there is something you want to run wild as you plan your garage renovation, it’s your imagination. Certainly not your costs. Otherwise, your remodelling project could become a nightmare of expenses that keep mounting. 

While your enthusiasm can drive the project, it is proper planning that will ensure its successful completion.

Think Beyond Just Now

Your plan should enable your current and future hobbies. This means setting aside some room for the hobbies’ particulars, whether you are into kayaking, ATVs, model planes, woodworking, or cars, among others. Ensure that you have sufficient space to avoid tripping over your new hobby every day.

Set A Budget

When you plan to do a garage renovation, the first thing you should do is set a budget. Even though you want a particular design, you should be able to afford it. Having a budget will ensure that you prioritise your needs and are clear about the amount you are prepared to spend. Plan out every detail before the construction begins and budget for it to ensure that you don’t spend more than you were prepared to.

Start From The Ground Up.

You should start the project by designing and installing a garage floor that serves your current and future needs. You might have to resurface if the surface has cracks or is uneven. 

Epoxy resin garage floors are ideal since they are highly resistant to staining, durable, easy to clean and suit numerous purposes.

Get Your Timing Right.

You might have a timeline in mind as you start the garage renovation project. However, it is a great idea to avoid having a high-pressure deadline as surprises can occur. Make sure you are not locking yourself into a tight turnaround time, leaving room for potential delays.

How Many Cars?

If you are renovating your garage to optimise space for cars, consider how many you are trying to store. There could be certain instances where you may have to install auto lifts (if you have high ceilings) to accommodate space for multiple cars.

Deal With Power Outlets

You might have less of them, depending on your needs, but you have to make them work. First, ensure they are connected to a dedicated electrical circuit, free from house appliances such as air-conditioners. If you are using heavy electrical tools, such as welding, you will need at least 220 Volts. 

Expect The Unexpected

Sometimes, even a well-laid plan can go awry. Delays and setbacks could threaten to stop your project. However, you can curb them by having an emergency reserve which equates to about 20% of your entire budget.

Light It Up

Fluorescent lighting offers the best value for money. However, when it comes to offering superior quality and a well-lit atmosphere, LED might be the better option. This technology is also more efficient. As you install your lights, ensure that dark closets and workbenches, among other hidden spots, are also well lit.

Budget For A Professional

There are some things you can do on your own. There are others you simply can’t. Trying to take on a garage renovation from the ground up is an advantageous task and could result in a poorly executed finished product. 

This, in turn, can make the renovation even more costly, as a professional now has to repair your work before starting all over again. Professionals will also advise you on the necessary permits, liabilities insurance, and workers’ compensation.

Conclusion

Renovating a garage is an important investment. Doing it right the first time is vital. Choosing the right design means identifying important factors such as purpose, functionality, storage needs, size, and budget before commencing. 

If you want to be sure you will have the perfect garage makeover, consulting with a garage makeover professional is crucial. Custom garage designers and storage experts can help you feel confident knowing you have found the right garage design to suit your unique lifestyle.

When choosing a design or storage solution for your garage, it’s important to think about your present situation, as well as the future. Garages are not only a space for vehicles; they can also serve other purposes, such as an entertainment or hobby space, storage, mechanics, home office, or even a space that’s converted into additional living quarters. 

A garage renovation that flows with the style of the home can also improve property value substantially.

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