Five Things To Consider When Finishing A Garage

Finishing the garage is an excellent option if your family needs more space but you don't want to move. The following are five things to consider before you begin your build.

1. Permitting

Some aspects of a garage finishing project may need to be permitted. This is especially the case if you are turning the garage into a finished room, as unpermitted work of this level may cause issues if you ever sell the home. You may also need a permit if you will be having electrical or plumbing work done in the garage, walling in the overhead door, or extending the size of the garage.

2. Insulation Needs

Many garages aren't insulated, which doesn't work once you finish the space. Not only will it cost  more to heat and cool an uninsulated garage, but condensation problems and the resultant water damage can be worse when there is no insulation. If there is no finishing in the garage, insulation can be added with inexpensive batt or roll insulation. If the walls are already finished, blown-in or spray insulation is the easiest and most economical choice.

3. Finishing Options

In most garages, the walls, ceiling, and floor will need to be finished if you want the garage to become part of your home. Drywall is the most common option for garage walls and ceilings. It is cost effective and goes in much quicker than options like plaster. Drywall can simply be installed over the existing studs and ceiling joists in your garage with little to no preparation. A drop ceiling or ceiling tiles are another option, especially if you want to still access the area above the joists for storage. As for the floor, you can have the concrete sealed and polished, or you can have carpet or tile installed over the top.

4. Overhead Door

If you opt to keep the overhead door, you will want to invest in an insulated and sealed door to cut down on noise as well as air leaks. Otherwise, you will need to have the door removed and a wall put in. Most people want the new wall to blend seamlessly into the rest of the house, which means you may need masonry or stucco work, or you may need to install siding. With siding, you may need to paint the entire house to ensure a good color match.

5. HVAC and Utilities

Do you plan to use the garage room year-round? If so, you will want to connect it to the main HVAC system. This may mean extending the ductwork so that it reaches into the garage. You may also need to upgrade your HVAC units so that they can handle the additional square footage.

Contact a construction contractor in your area so they can help you plan for your garage finishing project.