Your garage is not just a small building where you park your car. Depending on your lifestyle, you may spend a great amount of time in your garage.
Whether you are using your garage for storage, hosting a get-together, inviting friends over for a game of pool, or just relaxing, it can be a haven from the hectic life that many of us face every day.
During this time of year, you may be planning to see how you can update your garage to meet your needs better, and you are probably wondering when the best time would be to build a new garage or renovate your old one.
Timing is Everything Late winter, and early spring is a great time to start building an addition to your home. When the ground is frozen and the air is dry, it can be easier to dig a foundation and pour concrete footers.
Many homeowners decide to build a new garage in the spring or early summer. Implementing new ideas during this time allows them to get the most use out of their garage throughout the summer and fall. However, since spring is considered the home-building season, the cost of labour and materials for your garage may be greater due to higher demand.
In the summer and early fall, it is a good idea to work on roofing projects for your garage since roofing materials must be exposed to higher temperatures to seal properly.
Most homeowners would like to have their garage building and remodelling projects done by the end of the year. During the fall, homeowners may want to remodel the inside of their garage, ensuring that it will be ready in time for Thanksgiving and holiday gatherings.
Pre-Planning Your New Garage Build Building or renovating a garage can be a complex undertaking. When preparing for your garage project, you will want to design a space that will meet your needs, estimate the costs required, obtain any necessary permits, ensure that the foundation is properly built, plan for framing the building, choose the right materials, and determine the style and materials of doors.
A new garage is usually between $30 to $55 per square foot, depending on the materials used. A one-car garage will typically be around 240 square feet, and a two-car garage will be around 380 square feet.
If you do the framing of your garage yourself, using a wood or steel frame kit with pre-cut materials, you may be able to save on labour costs and complete the project more quickly.
FAQs About Garage Renovation
How Much Does It Cost To Upgrade A Garage?
The national average cost range for a garage remodel is between $7,000 and $15,000, with most homeowners spending around $11,000 on a full 2-car garage remodel with new cabinet storage and floor coating. This project’s lowest cost is around $3,000 for a cosmetic update with floor and wall paint and shelving.
How Long Does It Take To Finish A Garage?
Building the garage structure, including framing, roofing, windows, doors, trim and siding, can take 3-to 5 days depending on the size and complexity of the garage.
When Should You Renovate A Building?
If your building needs some repairs, such as updating electrical work, patching, cracking drywall, and replacing worn floors, renovating may be the right option for you. The general layout and design of the building remain the same.
How Much Value Does Finishing A Garage Add?
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.
Does A New Garage Increase Home Value?
A New Garage Means Increased Home Value. While that’s a substantial sum of money, when you consider that a garage will bump up the value of your home, it makes financial sense. You’ll see plenty of your investment back when you sell your home. You might even recoup the entire investment or more.
Factors And Timelines
It is best to plan your project either later in the year, like early or mid-fall, or even next spring or summer. The construction cycle can take several months and is dependent on many factors such as crew availability, material supplies, city permits, and bank financing approval for the homeowner.
Setting expectations that a project like this might not happen right away, unlike an Amazon next-day delivery, will help you when you start to reach out to potential building partners. Take advantage of this built-in time to do your research, price everything out, ask questions and get to know a garage builder.
Spring, Summer, And Fall
Spring, summer, and fall are excellent times for a garage project. The simple fact is during spring. The weather is on your side. However, this is the peak season for home renovations, so finding a garage builder or carpenter partner may be a challenge if you hope to turn the project around right away.
In The Meantime
If waiting a full season or year doesn’t sit well with you, there are ways to spruce up an existing garage to add value and hold you over until a full renovation or rebuild is possible. These make-over projects typically cost less and can be completed on a quicker timeline.
Things like installing a new door, replacing worn siding and roofing, or adding fresh paint or gutters to the exterior can extend the life of your garage while you work with your garage partner to plan for a full remodel.
Take Advantage Of The Weather And Give Yourself A Winter Garage Makeover.
Winter is the ideal time for many home improvement projects, and a garage renovation is no exception. While it’s easy to imagine why you might want to paint or do other indoor fixes while you’re already stuck inside, there are several practical reasons why it makes good sense to give yourself a winter garage makeover.
Your Garage Is Closed For The Winter
Except for getting the cars in and out, your garage is closed for business once the thermometer starts consistently dipping below freezing. You’re not getting out lawn tools and equipment, you’re not working under the hood, and you’re not tinkering at your workbench when you have to wear a parka.
So if you’re going to introduce the chaos of a renovation project to your garage, it makes sense to do it when you don’t have to use the space.
Making Room For Another Car
One of the benefits of any garage reorganisation is the creation of space. Is there a better use for that space than fitting in another vehicle? By making over your garage space, you can put the days of scraping windshields and defrosting your car in the rear-view mirror.
Preparing for Spring With A Winter Garage Makeover
While winter might seem like it will never end, Spring and warmer temperatures are just a few weeks away…and you want to be ready. By having a winter garage makeover, you’ll ensure that your space is in prime condition when you’re ready to start working out there again.
Want more room to work on your cars or at your workbench? Want to be able to get out the lawnmower or that outdoor tool you need without crawling over piles of stuff? A garage renovation can help you achieve those goals.
The Best Deals Are In The Winter
There’s no time like the present to save money on garage renovations. Contractors are generally slow during the winter months and are much more willing to offer discounts on their services. They’re also more available!
If you’re thinking about making your garage space more efficient, give Garage Designs of St. Louis a call. They’re the proven garage professionals in the St. Louis area and can help you with your garage space needs, from renovation to reorganisation. They’ll even give you a free estimate on what they can do with your space!
Please don’t wait until it warms up to renovate or reorganise your garage. Then you’ll have plenty of other things to do. Do it now while the weather is frosty and turn your garage into a space you’ll enjoy all year long.
Garage Renovation Ideas For Inspiration
Of course, the value is as individual as your renovation can be. Some will look at the increase in the home’s value by adding taxable square footage to their investment. Others will see value in having a family game room or home studio. Still, others want a temple for their favourite toys.
Regardless of why you want to increase the value of your home by converting that poorly designed box you store all of your extra stuff in, here is some cool things you can do with it.
From a modified front porch for neighbourhood gatherings on warm summer nights to an elegant dining room, we’ll go over some of our favourite ideas.
Many employees and business owners enjoy the benefits of working from home. Not only does it save money on the commute, but working from home can also reduce the amount of stress in your life.
One of the challenges is that working from home can bring no clear line where your personal life ends and work begins. This can cause some difficulties for your brain to “get in work mode.”
A home office can solve this problem quickly by providing a place where work is done and, when you leave that space, work is left there.
The financial benefits don’t stop with saved commuting costs. The IRS will allow you to take a deduction for the square footage of your home dedicated to your primary employment. A yearly tax write-off is nothing to scoff at regarding the already tight budgets we all live on.
Don’t forget to look at the latest recommendations on standing desks to support good ergonomics; if you are building it, you might as well make it custom.
You could convert your garage into a movie theatre, complete with a big screen and a projector. Depending on the room’s dimensions, it can be designed into a quality sound system.
Some foam sound deadening boards to reduce echoes and a few can light for effect are a great touch. A plush carpet and a row of recliners, and you and the family just saved a pretty penny on going to the movies once every couple of weeks.
Your family will start looking forward to the next Netflix release…be careful, or you may become the neighbourhood theatre!
Maybe you have always wanted your main suite off and out of the way of the rest of the house. Here’s your chance to convert your garage into your main bedroom suite.
A two-car garage can give you enough square footage for a comfortable bedroom, closet and bathroom combination. With a one-two power combo, you added value to your home and a place to retreat and recharge at the end of the day. Go ahead; you deserve it.
In-law Suite/Efficiency Apartment
Are one of the kids getting old enough for their section of the house? Maybe one moved back in – it’s a reality today. Perhaps you want to make a few extra bucks renting a portion of your home.
Whatever the reason, a garage can offer you the space to install an in-law suite-style space. Drawing from the design of an efficient apartment, it’s possible to pack a lot into a little space.
Use a professional building crew with experience to help you layout an ingeniously designed space that’ll allow someone to live there without impacting your household. This can be especially lucrative in a college town where students are coming and going.
What artist doesn’t want their home studio? The open space of a converted garage can give you exactly the area you’re looking for.
Whether you’re a sculptor, painter, graphic designer or architect, open space allows the creative mind to flow and allows you to expand and create freely.
As your children grow, so too will their needs for a playroom. The garage can create an adaptable space that can evolve with your kids. Early on, a converted garage with good insulation, thick carpet, and HVAC can be a bright and enjoyable space to sequester all of the toys, clutter, and noise of a toddler’s playroom.
You can close the door to the chaos and relax in your part of the house.
Later, the room can be converted into a lego den or video game centre with a table for homework and bean bag chairs. In the teen years, the garage can morph into the local kid’s hangout and theatre space, allowing the kids their space to mould as they desire.
The front porch has long been the gold standard in meeting your neighbours and staying in touch with your local community. Warm summer evenings aided by a glass of cold iced tea and a rocking chair are custom built for telling stories and sharing laughs.
The garage has a unique feature that the rest of your home lacks – a big, wide, fantastic door that lets you open your home to the world. Converting your garage to an indoor front porch can be a rewarding and enjoyable way to employ that space.
Insulate, drywall and paint the interior walls and upgrade the windows to brighten up the space and give you a vast canvas to work from.
Install a couple of ceiling fans, a fleet of rocking chairs, a few tables and a fridge in the corner, and you have everything you need for building friendships. Add a portable fire pit and a grill, and you can expand into the driveway for an extended evening.
When it’s all done, roll everything back into the garage out of the elements and close the door. Everything stays just as it is until it’s time for the next meeting of the neighbourhood social club.
Five Things To Consider Before Your Garage Conversion Project
A garage conversion is one of the smartest ways to extend your space and renovate your home. If your garage is attached to your house, it is easier to transform it into a livable space.
You can extend your kitchen, build a home office, create another bedroom or a family room. If your garage is spacious, you can turn it into a second dwelling to rent out to gain extra cash.
Functional in many ways, a garage conversion is not a waste of your hard-earned money.
But, like any other home improvement project, it is important to plan this one properly.
Proper planning is key to creating an extension that functions well and blends with the original structure. It ensures that your new habitable room/s are thermally comfortable as well.
Your garage is for your car. When you convert it into a livable space, you must do many things to make the room more suitable for humans.
Here are the top things to consider:
Maintaining A Nice Indoor Temperature.
If the garage is attached to the main dwelling, consider using your existing heating and cooling system. This works, especially if there’s a powerful HVAC system in your home.
If that’s not possible, consider other artificial heating and cooling options. Use a room air conditioner to cool yourself in the summer. When it’s cold, plug in an electric baseboard or a gas space heater. Not a fan of electric heaters? Fire up a wood stove instead. Another option is to install a radiant floor heating system on your existing concrete slab.
Of course, don’t forget to insulate your floor, walls, and ceiling before installing artificial heating and cooling here. You’ll see your electric bills skyrocket when you don’t insulate your garage properly.
Organising The Electrical Wirings
When you convert your garage into a livable space, expect an increase in electrical usage. Hire a professional and licensed electrician to organise the circuits, wiring, and outlets. Please don’t DIY electrical work unless you are an electrician yourself. We all want to avoid any accidents.
Organising The Plumbing Lines
If you’re planning to build a kitchen or a bathroom, you need to organise the plumbing lines. It would help if you had a plumber for this job. A plumber will arrange the supply of water as well as the drainage.
If you’re planning to turn it into an ordinary bedroom or a lounge area, the space won’t need plumbing.
Getting Building Approval
A garage conversion is simple, but you still need a permit before starting any building work. Your local council probably wants to know the purpose of converting your garage and how you plan to construct it.
Also, the garage is not a habitable structure. Turning it into a livable space requires you to follow the standards set by the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
Adding New Windows
Garages don’t have windows. All they have is a large garage door.
If you want to turn your garage into a habitable space, consider adding windows. These allow natural light in the space, making it feel like a real room rather than a converted garage.
Consider replacing the garage door with a properly insulated wall with a floor-to-ceiling window or a sliding/stacking door. Use double glazed windows to improve the energy efficiency of your home.