Remodeling Your Garage
Into a Family Room

Remodeling your garage into a family room is probably one of easiest large home remodeling projects you can tackle. The solid structure is already there, you probably don't need to move any existing walls or doors, and a family room is usually a large square or rectangular shaped room-much like your garage already is.

You can create a family room that capitalizes on the overhead garage doors-by keeping them in place and using them to create open air, three-season type living-or remove them to make a more traditional family room for your home.

Windows, Doors and Structural Changes

Ideally, when remodeling your garage into a family room, the garage you're planning to remodel is already attached to your home, so there is probably already a door going between the house and the soon-to-be living space. Likewise, there is probably already an outside door, as well. These two doors can simply stay in place, although you may wish to upgrade them to more , attractive new doors for a nicer look.

You will need to assess the rest of the existing garage to see what will stay or go. As mentioned, you could keep any overhead garage doors in place and open them up to let in the sun and fresh air on nice days, depending on the climate in which you live. Or, you can remove the existing overhead garage doors and frame in the opening with 2x4s to construct a solid wall instead.

Most garage spaces don't have a lot of windows, and the windows they do have tend to be small. You may want to add additional windows for your new family room or replace some of the existing windows-or both. You will need to decide on your plans for windows before you embark on the rest of your project.

Structural changes are the first step to your garage remodel. Adding or moving windows or doors or replacing windows with larger units will require you to build a header above the window or door area to ensure the structure is solidly supported. So install your doors and windows and remove overhead doors and reframe those walls before moving on to the next stage.

Complete The Exterior

Ensure the outside of the structure is properly sheeted, weatherized, and then sided or trimmed to match the rest of the existing garage or home. Particularly if you live in areas where it gets cold or rainy, this is an important second step. You can always perform the rest of the remodeling work indoors regardless of the weather.

Walls and Wiring, Ceilings and Insulation

Now assess the existing walls and electrical wiring. If your garage was already fully insulated and finished inside, your job will be much easier. But most garage spaces are not finished or insulated. So the next step will be to add wiring and electric outlets or lights where needed.

Even if you already have outlets, you may not have enough according to the building code for your area for a living space as opposed to a garage space, so you may need to add more and place them closer together. Likewise, you may need to lower them to the standard height and add more light fixtures.

After the area is wired properly, you need to insulate all the walls and the ceiling. If the existing garage ceiling is open rafters, you will need to install plywood or OSB to create the ceiling first. Then you can use a blown-in insulation for the new attic and ceiling area.

Creating your inside walls is the next step, and what you use will vary depending on the look you want for your family room. You could apply paneling, knotty pine boards, or drywall sheeting to the walls. If you use drywall, you will need to tape and mud all the seams and sand the walls properly prior to applying any kind of finish. Don't forget to cover and finish the ceiling, too.

Flooring and Floor Coverings

The next step in remodeling your garage into a family room is to assess the condition of the floor. Hopefully, the foundation will be free from any large cracks in the concrete and will be relatively even. If not, you need to repair the floor to achieve this condition to the best of your ability.

Your choice of new floor coverings for your family room may well rest on the condition of the existing floor. You can opt to put down a new subfloor and then install linoleum, wood flooring, or a pad and carpet. Or you may wish to apply an indoor/outdoor type of carpet directly to the existing concrete floor.

Prime and Paint, Trim and Complete

If you plan to prime and paint the walls, you will probably want to do that prior to actually installing your new flooring. Then, after the new floor covering is in, you can add any trim pieces such as floorboards, trim around doors and windows, molding, or chair rails. The final step is to put outlet covers on your electrical outlets and install any new light fixtures, switches, and switch plate covers.

Now you're ready to enjoy your new family room! Just gather the kids together and start bringing in the furniture and the big-screen television. Unlike kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry area remodeling, creating a family room requires no plumbing or extra special wiring.

Remodeling your garage into a family room is one of the easiest remodels to complete! With some hard work and a few helping hands, you could complete this remodel in less than a week!

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