How to Install a Room in Your Garage

An open and empty garage.
  • 10-100 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-20,000

If you find you don't quite have the room you need in your existing home, consider renovating your garage to add some square footage to your living space. You already have the foundation, walls, and roof, so converting or adding a garage room is as simple as a basic remodeling project that you can do yourself.

Here are the basics you need to know before starting.

Step 1 - Decide if you Are Adding or Renovating

The first step is to decide what kind of space you are trying to create. If you need a larger space such as a den, you will likely need to convert and renovate the entire area. The install option is right for you if you are looking to add something smaller like a play area for the kids.

You will also want to consider where you will be parking your vehicles. Consider what to do with all of the miscellaneous items you store out there as well when planning your garage room. You might want to consider adding a shed for the continued storage of those, and other household items.

Step 2 - Get your Building Permits

You may require building permits if you are going to install windows, plumbing, electrical, HVAC systems, or make any other major modifications. It is important to ensure you keep everything up to code and do not do any renovations illegally. This can result in a fine or a headache should you decide to sell your home in the future. Visit your local zoning office and take care of these permits ahead of time to ensure everything is in order before you begin the transformation for your garage room.

Step 3 - Design Walls

You should start by putting up the new walls, which may not be necessary if you will be doing a full conversion. If you are not familiar with drywall and electrical, you may want to have a contractor help you with this. A contractor will also be able to ensure that the walls are structurally sound and insulated.

While you may not need extra partitions for a full-scale renovation, you will still want to add an additional wall around the perimeter. Most garages are basic, and you can go over the interior with an additional layer of drywall or Sheetrock. Paneling does not require as much work and might be the easiest option for you. The only downfall is that you won’t have as much insulation. Adding insulation will increase the cost, but will go a long way in keeping your room quieter and more comfortable and your cooling/heating costs minimal in your new garage room.

Installing walls

Step 4 - Install Flooring

Now you can move onto the flooring. Since you probably have a concrete floor, this is perfect for carpet tiles or laminate flooring. If you want to install regular carpet, you will need to invest in carpet padding as well. The carpet tiles are probably the easiest solution.

Choosing your flooring.

Step 5 - Evaluate Ceiling Options

Most garages have very basic ceilings with exposed elements. Consider adding a drop ceiling to help mask the fact that it was once where you parked the car. These are relatively easy to install, and will make the new garage room blend with the rest of your home. Your other ceiling options are vaulted, exposed beam, or pitched. The choice will come down to aesthetics, ease, and cost.

Step 6 - Add Windows

Not many garages have windows. If they do have windows, they are usually high and small.

You may want to add a few windows to give an airier look. Since the insulation in a garage isn’t generally the greatest, you will want to install energy-efficient windows. Double-hung windows are usually easier to put in and will offer a great deal of protection from air escaping from your new garage room.

Now you have the area you need for a new office. Always be sure to consult your local hardware store or a contractor to gauge how difficult your project will be before you begin. You want to ensure that you take all of the necessary safety precautions as well.