You’ve got a garage. Up until now you’ve been using it for your car, mower, storage of stuff and more stuff. You’ve begun to think that it’s time to carve out a space for your man cave and the garage comes up on your radar. But you just have the bare bones of a living space. It’s time for a garage makeover.
This article isn’t how to create your special man cave. It’s pre-man cave preparation info. Things to think about if you are going to get involved in a renovation project to get your man cave started.
Now this can be a fun project if you do some planning at the beginning, rather than jumping in with both feet first and then trying to plan in the middle.
Things To Think About Before Starting
- First, you need to figure out what the garage will look like after it is completed. Take some time to think about what you want to do to your garage. Is it going to be part garage and part workshop? Man cave and garage? Or all man cave. Decide what you want to do and then make a rough drawing of what your garage makeover will look like when it is finished.
- Your garage floor may need some fixing, depending on what you plan for your room. Are you going to need to level it with leveling compound or leave it as is? There are concrete finishes you can use and there is prep if you’re going to lay down carpet, do tiles, or have a floating or wooden floor.
- Are you going for a full blown man cave? If this is your goal, are you going to remove the garage door and hardware? If you are going to change out the doors, you can install a single door, but you might as well go for it and install a large set of French doors for exterior doors. These are great in good weather for opening up your cave when you and your buddies are having a barbecue or tailgate party at your place.
- Usually garage windows are a cheaper grade than those used in a house. Are they double paned or single pane? If you intend to use your attached garage as an indoor room, you’ll probably want to change out your windows. If is doing double duty as a garage and workshop or man space, you could leave the old windows as is.
- Be sure to wire in enough outlets – you can never have too many, but you can surely have too few. Think about where you want things and put them in at different heights. You’ll want wiring for cable or satellite TV, audio cables and wiring for speakers, for lighting, heating and air conditioning if needed, neon signs or special clocks you may want to hang on the walls.
The Big Decision
Are you going do the whole project yourself or not? And which parts not. Do you have time for a big DIY project?
You can hire subcontractors to do the whole job or do parts of the job you don’t want to do. You need to decide if you want to be the general manager or hire one. Your subcontractors will figure the costs to do the project. You can use their information to figure costs. Have them breakdown costs for labor and materials. A good place to find good subcontractors is your local lumberyard. Ask sales people or manager.
One thing to keep in mind. Don’t have a contractor figure out everything you need in detail and plan it out for you and then just grab his information and do it yourself. That’s just plain sleazy.
More For You To Do
You’ll need to figure what materials you’ll need and get an idea of the cost. Go to the hardware store and lumber yard tell them what you need. Ask them questions, tell them what you’re doing, and ask for suggestions. There could be new products on the market that could make job easier and/or cheaper. This will give you idea what it will cost to rough in the garage.
Here’s something they don’t always talk about on the home renovation shows on TV – building codes and permits. Go contact your building inspector before beginning any work to make sure you’re meeting building codes in your area. Ask them questions about your project. They can have a lot of knowledge and can be very helpful.
If this is going to be a DIY project, you’ll need to figure out what tools you will need to complete job. Consider what tools you have and what tools you need to buy or rent and add the cost of those to the job. You can buy the tools or rent tools from a rental company.
If you’re going to do the job yourself, the following are probably the minimum tools you’ll need: hammer, screwdrivers, electric or battery power drill, electric power saw, level, drywall lift, drywall knife and saw, saw horses, pliers, Voltmeter, staple gun, power lights – 250 to 500 watts. You can never have enough light for a project.
Budgeting Your Garage Makeover
Of course, you’ll have to decide how you are going to pay for your garage makeover project. Pay for it out your pocket or borrow money. And are you going to do it in stages or all at once. Just remember remodeling a garage adds value to your house.
Now here’s how you can break down your project to the budget basics from the drawing you made. Here’s a list of things you can use to get an idea of what you need to do and how much it will cost. This will help you figure out your costs for your job so you won’t be unpleasantly surprised after you’re done.
Estimate Cost Breakdown Table
1. Plans, Specifications and Permits – $
2. Framing Lumber and Material – $
3. Framing Labor – $
4. Windows – $
5. Exterior Doors – $
6. Plumbing – $
7. Heating and Air Conditioning and Vents – $
8. Electric – $
9. Insulation – $
10. Water and sewer-$
12. Interior Trim – $
13. Interior Doors – $
14. Painting – $
15. Light Fixtures – $
16. Flooring – $
17. Miscellaneous (3%) – $
Two Last Tips
Plan the project completely and be sure you have all the necessary supplies before you begin any building or renovating. You don’t want to get halfway into your garage makeover and realize you are missing something, especially if it will take weeks to schedule or order and deliver.
Always wear your safety glasses, hearing protection, and any other necessary safety equipment while doing work in your garage conversion. Even the simplest tasks can become dangerous when safety is not a first priority. Think hearing protection looks silly? Think how you’ll look with hearing aids.
I hope this has given you a good start on planning and remodeling your attached garage so you get going on creating the workshop or a man cave of your dreams.