Building A Room Above A Garage

a hand drawing blueprints and a yellow tape measure crossing the blueprint
  • 120-200 hours
  • Advanced
  • 12,000-24,000

Consider building a room above your garage to expand the living space on your property and finish off the look of your two-story building.

Some Factors to Consider

What are the building codes in your area? You should know if you are allowed to build a room over your garage and any legal height limitations.

Are there any special rules about building over a garage? Because your garage might be a place where you store hazardous materials, there might be some special construction considerations.

Unattached Garage Room Addition

For this article, we will show you how to add a room above a garage that is unattached to the home. This is the easiest way to do the project as you already have the structure in place and just need some basic remodeling and finishing techniques.

Beef Up the Floor

Some garage ceilings are not strong enough to handle the extra weight of a room above it since the joists were not build to handle it. You can either replace the existing joists with 2-by-10 joists, or add additional joists for more strength. While replacing the joists may take more time, it will provide a sturdier foundation for your new room.

Add a Staircase

Determine where you want the staircase and then build the frame. Use a reciprocating saw to cut a hole in the ceiling of the garage for the opening of the staircase, and reinforce it with 2-by-10 headers. Make any type of staircase you want: it can have a finished, closed-in look or can open to the garage. Also, consider space-saving options like spiral staircases or pull-down units.

Finish Interior

For most, the space above a garage is usually an unfinished attic. Turning it into a living space is just a matter of finishing it off. Add some insulation to the walls, along with a vapor barrier. Screw drywall sheets to the walls and fill in seams with mud and tape. Sand the drywall and apply paint.

Depending on what type of flooring you want, you can either add a rug, vinyl, hardwood or even tile. Add the finishing trim pieces, furniture and anything else you need to make the space appealing.

Special Consideration

Just like the rest of your house, a refinished room about a garage must abide by fire codes. Add a simple rope ladder to a window to provide an extra safe exit.