Almost every homeowner I know wishes that they could have extra space on their house. Some believe that the solution is to buy a bigger house, but I always convince them that it’s not always the answer. Creating extra space for your house is very easy, especially if you have an unused garage. By just adding wiring, insulation, and wall covering, your garage can transform into a workshop, play room, or even a private den that you and your family can share!
Most garages are made of rough frames only, which is why you can’t drywall a garage’s wall automatically. Before you can proceed with the drywall, you need to first install additional blocking and framing.
Here are a few areas to check if you’re looking to add blocking and framing on your garage:
• Inspect the bare framing of your garage walls and look for areas needing extra support;
• Look out for missing studs at the corners and attachment points for the ceiling drywall; and
• Never forget to inspect the corners where the walls and ceilings meet to see if there are any missing framing.
When remodelling unfinished garages, it’s a must to install additional outlets and lights. In worst case scenarios, however, you’ll also need to reroute tons of wires attached to the face of studs or the underside of ceiling framing. When I was renovating the garage, I experienced rerouting phone wires, door opener control wires, and even the plastic-sheathed cable.
I learned from this experience that to successfully reroute wires, you need to drill holes through studs or through the top plate of walls, and if the plastic-sheathed cables are too short to reach the next during rerouting, just add a junction box and splice on a length of cable.
Don’t forget to secure a permit from the local building inspections department before starting any electrical projects on your home, otherwise your local officials might charge you a fine. Moreover, rewiring projects must be fully tested and passed by a qualified technician.
If you are not very experienced in rewiring electricals, I highly recommend that you hire a certified electrician to do the work for you. You don’t want to risk your house burning down just to save a few hundred pounds on doing the project yourself.
Remember, safety is always a priority in any project.
Out of all the tasks that you need to do, checking for weather strip on your garage doors and windows may be the most essential because the latter seals out drafts and bugs out of your garage!
If your doors or windows have no weather strips the most practical solution is to buy a new, weather-tight version. Affordable, pre-hung metal exterior doors can be bought at home centres and lumberyards.
Installing a drywall is the fastest and cheapest way to cover the bare walls of your garage. For garages with trusses or rafters are spaced at 24 in. apart it’s best to use 5/8-in.-thick drywall.
There are 2 things you need to remember before pushing through with the install. First, make sure to remove the brackets that support the garage door tracks and opener. Second, rent a drywall lift for the install!
Like any DIY project, expenses will really depend on your planning, so just how expensive or manageable your costs turn out will be really be up to you. But with careful planning, renovating your garage can add significant space into your home and improve its overall value. So if space is a problem for you, perhaps you may want to check out options on how to utilise your garage.