Garage Renovation Cost
Most homeowners spend between $6,476 to $10,582 nationally.
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Garages serve many purposes: they’re used to park cars, declutter a home, house workshops and serve as an alternative entry to your home. Sometimes, garages get messy or damaged and call for a renovation. When you remodel a garage, the costs will greatly depend on your needs as well as the status of the existing garage.
If your garage could use some life, let us help you get in touch with local garage contractors.
National Remodel a Garage Costs
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|National Average Cost||$9,970|
|Average Range||$6,476 to $10,582|
How do we get this data? This info is based on 386 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.
Table of Contents
- Garage Remodel Cost
- Cost To Finish A Garage
- Garage Remodeling Options
- Garage Remodeling Cost Considerations
- Garage Flooring
- Garage Doors
- Garage Windows
- Partially Finished Garage
- Advantages Of Remodeled Garages
- Disadvantages Of Remodeled Garages
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- Find A Garage Pro
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 remodeling 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 steal 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 remodeling, 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 Cost Considerations
With any remodeling projects, there are certain, non-obvious, aspects that 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.
With most garage renovations, flooring is usually the prime focus. Many garages are made entirely of concrete and brick work, 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 labor 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 centers 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 vapor. Moisture vapor from the ground works 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 actually 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.
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 color chips that you sprinkle over while the coating is wet. Its manufacturer says it’s specifically formulated to withstand hot-tire pickup, moisture vapor 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 color 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 viscous 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 colors and it can be tinted to any color 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 afterward. 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.
A Friendly Word of Advice
Regardless of what you do with your garage floor, remember that the coating is only as good as its preparation. The surface has to be clean and dry before you do anything. Walls, doors and thresholds have to be protected with masking tape. Take precautions to keep kids and pets off the surface, or you'll have a real mess on your hands (and feet).
While some homeowners fully transform their garages, others simply want to install a new garage door. Luckily, replacing a garage door is a rather simple project, for a trained professional. The reason we say trained professional is due to the garage door spring. These springs are wound up very tight and one small mistake can turn into a serious injury. Therefore, play it safe and contact a garage pro whenever you’re installing or replacing your garage door.
Before you do so, you have to know what type of door to install. Each material brings its own set of pros and cons, but as we know better than most, it usually comes down to cost. Below are the most popular types of garage doors and their costs:
Garage Door Material
Windows are important features when considering garage remodeling costs. Garage windows should be checked and replaced, if necessary, during any garage remodeling project. Not only are garage windows susceptible to the elements, but they also provide intruders another way into the home. Check for drafts, broken window locks and consider using metal cages around the windows for increased safety.
Partially Finished Garage
If you don’t want to spend $10,000 on a garage remodel, you could partially finish your garage. You can frame a concrete garage the same way you you’d finish a basement. Wooden crossbeams are secured to the floor, and the remainder of the framing is built up from there. Walls of either paneling or sheetrock can then be fastened, making your garage look and feel like another room of the house. Sheetrock is very often used for garage ceilings, allowing you to choose a paint color, and the same can be said for the walls. This is a job any general contractor can accomplish for a few thousand dollars. You could use metal studs, as opposed to wood, when framing to cut down material costs significantly.
Advantages Of Remodeled Garages
Besides a brand new room, there are plenty of other benefits that come with remodeling garages. First and foremost, if you simply update your garage with new flooring, windows, insulation or garage organizers, you instantly increase the value of your home. While you may not see a 100% return on investment the day you sale, you will surely get more than you would have before the garage renovation.
Second, new or added insulation saves money on energy bills. This won’t only save you money now, but in the long run as well. Finally, converting a garage into a living space is far cheaper than adding an addition. If you live in a warm climate and are fine leaving your car in the driveway, a remodeled garage is a terrific idea.
Disadvantages Of Remodeled Garages
Of course, there are some drawbacks to garage remodels. First, renovating a garage is not cheap. Adding insulation may only cost $1,000, but as you can see from the average above, certain remodels get up to $10,000.
Next, if you live in a colder climate, garage remodels can actually hurt your home’s value. Homeowners who live in the Midwest or on the East Coast value a garage. While the extra bedroom is nice, parking a car on a snowy driveway is not ideal.
Finally, converting a garage usually means less storage. If you’re adding a man cave, bedroom or living area, chances are, there’s no room for tools, old dishes, sporting equipment or anything else you currently store in your garage. Therefore, you better have other storage options around the house if you remodel your garage.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
Simple garage remodeling projects such as clearing a stain, adding insulation or repairing a garage door opener can be completed by active DIYers. However, if you’re converting your garage into a living area or adding any electrical or HVAC to the space, you should hire a professional. Piping, electricity and garage door springs are dangerous if handled incorrectly. Furthermore, simple mistakes garage pros do not make could 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 remodeling project.
Find A Garage Pro
As you can see, you have plenty of options when it comes to remodeling or converting your garage. If you’re ready to transform you garage, let us help you get in touch with up to four local garage remodeling contractors.
Get free estimates from local garage contractors
Last updated on Jul 26, 2018