Sometimes you need professional help.
No…not THAT kind of help.
I’m talking about your garage renovation.
If you’ve ever considered hiring garage remodel companies, then this article is for you.
It’s designed to give you a comprehensive overview of what you can expect during your renovation process.
From selecting the right renovation company to understanding the costs involved, preparing for the renovation, and how to make the most of the process, we cover it all.
Whether you’re looking for new garage storage systems, upgrading your flooring, or converting your garage into a living space, we’ll guide you through choosing a garage renovation company.
Perfect for first-time renovators and seasoned homeowners alike, we’ll give you the knowledge to help make your garage transformation a success.
How to Choose a Garage Remodel Company
After choosing to remodel your garage, the next step is finding the right company. You need to compare different contractors and pick the one that best suits your needs.
Of course, you’ll need to consider the company’s price, services, and reputation. But there’s more to finding the best garage remodel company than that.
The garage remodel industry varies widely throughout the country.
National companies like Garage Living or Hello Garage typically subcontract to local companies in your area.
The actual work could be done by a local firm under the umbrella of a national brand. That means it’s essential to look at the national brand and the local subcontractors they may use.
If you know friends or neighbors who’ve had similar work done, you should start by getting their opinions.
Next, check reviews for local services on platforms like Yelp or Angie’s List. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews for a balanced view. Use directories like the Better Business Bureau to find reputable companies.
Platforms like Reddit can offer unfiltered opinions and recommendations. However, be aware that you’ll often find more people complaining on Reddit rather than providing practical suggestions.
Evaluating a Garage Remodel Company
Before you spend your hard-earned money on a renovation, look for a track record of success.
Consider how professional the company is when you reach out to them. Are they prompt and courteous? Are they transparent about their processes, timelines, and costs?
When getting multiple quotes, compare the price and scope of work, materials, and timelines.
Key Questions to Ask:
- About the Company:
- How long have they been in this business? What kind of projects have they done before?
- What services do they offer? Do they have any particular specialties?
- Ask to see their portfolio and showroom. Get some references from satisfied (and dissatisfied) customers.
- Ask to see their contracting license and a certificate of insurance.
- How do they handle permits, inspections, and code compliance?
- What are their warranties and guarantees? How do they handle disputes and complaints?
- What are their pricing and payment terms? Do they offer financing? How do they handle changes and extras?
- About Your Renovation:
- Who will be your project manager and the dedicated team working on my garage? Ask to meet them before the project begins?
- How do they handle the project’s design, demolition, installation, and inspection stages?
- What is your estimate and contract for my project? What happens if (or when) the project goes over budget or over time?
- How will they communicate with you throughout the project and address any issues or changes that may arise?
- How will they protect your property and belongings? How will they minimize the disruption and inconvenience caused by the project?
Asking detailed questions to garage remodel companies can significantly influence the success of your project.
These questions provide essential insights into the company’s qualifications, reputation, and experience, crucial for ensuring they can meet your specific needs.
Always discuss pricing, payment terms, and contract conditions beforehand so their services align with your budget and expectations.
How Much Does a Garage Remodel Cost?
When hiring a garage remodel company, one of the first questions that comes to mind is the cost.
The cost can vary significantly based on several factors:
- Garage Size, Condition, and Layout: A larger or deteriorated garage will naturally cost more to remodel. The current layout can also impact the cost, especially if structural changes are needed.
- Material Quality: Higher quality or specialty materials and fixtures will increase costs.
- Scope and Complexity of Work: The more complex the remodeling work, the higher the cost. This includes electrical work, plumbing, insulation, drywall, and custom designs.
- Contractor’s Location and Labor Rates: Costs can vary depending on where you live and the prevailing labor rates in your area.
To give you an idea of the costs involved, here are some average cost ranges for different types of garage remodel projects:
- Upgrading items like flooring, lighting, or storage systems can cost anywhere from $500 to $5,000, depending on the materials used.
- A full 2-car garage remodel, including new cabinets and floor coating, typically costs between $7,000 and $15,000. The average spend is around $11,000.
- Converting a garage into a living space like a bedroom, bathroom suite, or home office usually costs between $20,000 and $50,000. The specific cost depends on the purpose and design of the new room.
- Adding a second story to a garage can range from $45,000 to $75,000. The cost varies based on the existing garage’s size and structure and the new addition’s materials and features.
These figures provide a rough estimate of what you might expect to spend on your garage remodel. Every project is unique, so most contractors won’t estimate without seeing your garage first.
What to Expect When Hiring Garage Remodel Companies
Once you hire a garage renovation company, the fun part of the process begins.
Here’s what typically happens in a garage remodel project:
- Initial Consultation: This is the first step, where the company visits your home to assess your garage. They will discuss your needs, style, and preferences. They’ll take the necessary measurements and typically provide inspirational images to see what you like. If an in-person visit isn’t feasible, some companies offer online consultations where you submit photos and details of your garage.
- Design Phase: After the initial consultation, the company finalizes the design plan. This includes deciding on the layout, materials, fixtures, and features. Once you sign off on the design, the real work can begin.
- Demolition: This phase removes unwanted structures or materials in your garage, such as old walls, doors, or cabinets.
- Construction: Next, the company will do any structural modifications and installations like electrical, plumbing, and insulation work.
- Installation: Finally, new fixtures and materials are installed. This could include flooring, lighting, cabinets, and other elements that define the functionality and design of your garage remodel.
- Cleanup: Post-installation, the company will clean up the work area, ensuring your new garage space is neat, tidy, and ready for use.
Projects vary widely in scope and duration, depending on the homeowner’s goals, budget, and preferences.
Simple upgrades include enhancements like new flooring, lighting, or storage systems that can improve the appearance and functionality of the garage. Depending on the garage size and installation specifics, these projects could take about 1 to 2 weeks. For example, installing a new epoxy floor coating can take 3 to 5 days.
Garage conversion involves transforming a garage into a living space like a bedroom, home office, or gym that can add extra square footage and utility to the home. This is more complex and costly than simple upgrades since it requires electrical, plumbing, insulation, ventilation, and heating and cooling work. These projects typically take 3 to 6 months, depending on the contractor’s availability, permit acquisition, and home inspections.
Expansion (second story or extension) projects add a second level or add space to park an additional (or bigger) vehicle. This is a massive undertaking, often involving structural and drywall work and matching the exterior and interior design of the existing home. On average, it can take around 6 months to complete, depending on the complexity and scope of the project.
In any garage renovation project, how much time the contractors spend working in your home largely depends on the project’s complexity, the contractors’ schedules, and your communication with them.
Expect daily activity during active phases, although this can change due to weather, material deliveries, and inspections.
Work may go quicker for simpler tasks like new flooring or lighting than for more extensive projects like garage conversions or additions. Often, contractors’ schedules vary. Some may work on your project daily, while others might split their time between multiple projects or extend their work into weekends.
It’s essential to have regular, clear communication with your contractor to understand and plan around their work schedule. Agree on a work schedule with your contractor before the project begins and keep in touch throughout for a smooth process.
Preparing for Your Garage Remodel
To ensure your garage remodel is as smooth and efficient as possible, it’s critical to prepare beforehand.
Here are some steps to get your garage ready for remodeling:
- Decluttering: Start by clearing out the clutter in your garage. Sort through your items, deciding what to donate, discard, or keep. This frees up space and helps you reorganize efficiently after the remodel.
- Find Alternate Storage: Pack up the items you intend to keep and label them clearly. Consider renting a storage container or self-storage unit, or use another room in your home for temporary storage.
- Protect Your Valuables: Keep your vehicles, tools, and other valuable items safe from your garage remodel’s dust and debris. Cover them with tarps or move them to a safe area.
- Minimize Disruption: There’s no getting around it. A garage remodel will disrupt your daily routine. Communicate with your contractor to set realistic expectations. Plan ahead for the remodel’s duration and remain flexible to adjust for unforeseen changes or delays.
- Permits and Approvals: Ensure compliance with local regulations by obtaining necessary permits, inspections, and approvals. This might involve checking with your local homeowner’s association to adhere to their guidelines.
- Evaluating Structural Integrity: Before the remodeling begins, assess the structural integrity of your garage’s foundation, walls, roof, and door. This might reveal additional repairs or reinforcements that are needed beforehand. It’s better to address them at the outset rather than mid-project.
By following these preparatory steps, you set the stage for a successful garage remodel. It makes it easier for the renovation contractors and helps keep your home safe and organized during your garage transformation.
Garage Remodel Mistakes to Avoid
Everyone loves their garage remodel once it’s completed. Still, there are some pitfalls you’ll want to avoid to ensure a successful project.
Here are some common mistakes to steer clear of:
Hiring the Wrong Contractor: Choosing an unlicensed or inexperienced contractor can lead to subpar quality, safety hazards, code violations, and even legal issues. Always choose a skilled, licensed professional.
Compromising on Quality and Safety: Cutting corners on materials and safety measures might seem like a cost-saving strategy. However, it can compromise your garage remodel’s durability, functionality, and appearance.
Ignoring Building Codes and Regulations: Neglecting local building codes and regulations can have serious consequences, including fines, penalties, or, in extreme cases, demolition orders. Non-compliance can also affect your insurance coverage and property taxes.
Changing Your Mind Often: Constantly changing your mind during remodeling leads to delays, confusion, and frustration. It also incurs additional costs. Always have a clear, well-thought-out garage design from the start.
DIY Without the Necessary Skills or Tools: Starting a garage remodel as a DIY project without the skills or tools you need often wastes time, money, and resources.
To avoid these mistakes, conducting thorough research, obtaining multiple quotes, and ensuring a detailed contract is in place is vital.
Most homeowners hire a garage remodel company capable of handling every aspect of the project from start to finish. This approach ensures that all aspects of your garage remodel are addressed professionally, efficiently, and safely.
After Your Garage Remodel is Finished
Once your garage remodel is complete, there are critical final steps to ensure everything is in order legally and financially.
Update Insurance and Tax Records: It’s crucial to update your insurance and tax records to reflect the changes made. This includes contacting your insurance agent or tax office with the remodel’s details. Give them receipts, photos, and documentation of the work completed. Review your insurance policy to ensure your garage and its contents are adequately covered, considering any increased value or square footage. Adjust your coverage and limits as necessary. If the scope of your renovation is substantial, consider having your home re-appraised.
Claim Deductions or Credits: Certain garage improvements, especially energy-efficient or eco-friendly ones, may qualify for tax deductions or credits. These can reduce your tax liability or increase your refund. Research federal, state, or local programs that offer incentives for installing features like solar panels or insulation. Ensure you meet eligibility requirements and submit necessary application forms and supporting documents to the relevant agencies.
Resources for Further Information:
- Energy Star: Visit Energy Star’s website for information on energy-efficient products and practices that can be applied to your garage and home.
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE): Use the DSIRE database for a comprehensive list of incentives and policies in the U.S. related to renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- IRS: Check the IRS website for information on claiming tax deductions or credits for energy-efficient or eco-friendly home improvements.
Keeping a copy of your contract, invoice, warranty, permits, inspections, or approvals from the remodel is also advisable for future reference. These steps are essential to fully benefit from your garage remodel and maintain your property’s financial and legal integrity.
Wrapping It Up
In this guide, we’ve provided a roadmap for hiring a garage remodel company, highlighting key steps from selection to project completion.
We’ve underscored the importance of choosing a reputable, professional company and outlined the costs associated with various types of remodels. Preparation, avoiding common pitfalls, and understanding the remodeling process have been key focuses.
Post-remodel, updating insurance and tax records, along with exploring potential tax benefits for eco-friendly upgrades, are important steps.
Hopefully, the benefits of hiring a professional garage renovation company are clear.
They save time and money by avoiding costly mistakes and efficiently completing the project. They offer quality work and materials backed by warranties and after-service. Their design expertise allows for customized, stylish solutions with a wide range of products and services.
In short, hiring professional garage renovation companies takes the hard work out of transforming your garage.
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