I’m not a car guy. I’m not a DIY guy with a ton of tools either.
But I love a cool garage.
So I wanted to turn my drab two-car garage into something that I could be proud of. But I had a problem with that plan.
I’m not made of money and a total garage renovation is expensive, right?
So once I got some of my other house projects done, I wanted to see just how much a new custom garage would cost.
Let’s take a look.
What’s important to you?
Your tastes are different than mine. What I like in a garage might not be what you like in yours.
For example, if you’ve turned our garage into an amazing workshop where you do wordworking projects like tables and chairs, it doesn’t really do anything for me.
Similarly, if you’re a gearhead that has everything you need to do pull the engine out of your muscle-car, that’s not my thing either.
Your garage has to reflect what’s important to you. For me, that’s two things:
- I want a place to show off my car and do some minor work on it – cleaning, detailing, stuff like that. It’s not anything special, but its my car and I want to take care of it.
- I want a place where all of my gardening stuff is clean, accessible and organized.
- I want it to feel open and bright. I want to be comfortable when I’m working on something
Nothing major and nothing that should be too expensive.
My garage remodel plan (and budget)
I’ve broken down my garage remodel into smaller chunks. This should help spread out the costs over a longer time period and make it easier to handle. Plus, I’ll be doing all of the work myself, so it’ll help there too.
Here’s what I’m going to be working on (in order).
I have a south facing garage…in Florida.
For anyone who lives in the South, you understand what that means. It’s pretty damn hot.
It’s not as bad as Arizona in the summer, but it’s still unbearable. Temperatures regularly hit the mid-90’s leaving me
So my first order of business is to make the garage cooler so I can use it year-round.
For me, that means I’m going to look at adding a garage door insulation kit to see if that can keep the temperatures down. If not, I’ll look to replace the entire door with an upgraded insulated garage door.
That is obviously more expensive, but it’s worth it to me. If I can’t spend more than a few minutes in the garage without sweating like a pig, then this whole garage renovation project just falls apart.
Cost: $200-$300 for the insulation kit or $2000 for the entire garage door
Drywall a garage
When I look at a picture of a really sweet custom garage, do you know what stands out to me?
The flooring gets the attention, and I’ll get to that in a bit. But what gives a showroom garage that finished look is the walls.
Think about it. If you’ve got this amazing flooring and cool matching organization system, but cinder-block walls, then you’ve half-assed the job. The garage isn’t finished, it’s just lipstick on a pig. Plus, you really can’t decorate your garage the same way on cinder-block as you can on finished drywall. Paint won’t stick as well. You can’t hide wires or extra outlets.
Just do yourself a favor. If you’re going to do this…do it right.
Cost: Less than $600
Tankless water heater
You’re probably wondering why this is on the list. So let me tell you.
In my garage, the water heater tank is pressed up against one of the corners of the garage. I can’t drywall around it or behind it, so I’d have to find some way of hiding it. Otherwise, I’d have one side of the garage drywalled and one cinder block.
That doesn’t work for me.
Plus…if I’m honest with you, I’ve been looking for a reason to get a tankless water heater for a while. They take up less space (which is what I need here), but they also save a ton on energy costs.
Cost: $1200 installed ($500 parts)
Adding extra outlets to the garage
My garage only has two outlets. That’s just crazy.
I mean, even if you don’t use your garage as a workshop, you’re still going to have to plug in more than four things.
I’m planning to add two additional outlets on each wall to actually make my garage a usable workspace. This should be one of the easiest parts of this project, especially if I do it while I’m framing and drywalling the side walls.
Cost: Under $100
Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for.
Custom flooring is what makes turns your garage into a showroom garage.
You can do everything else on this list and it’ll be nice, but the flooring is what gets your neighbor’s attention.
And when it comes down to it, don’t we really want a cooler home than our neighbors?
I’m going to write a lot about garage flooring as I make my decision. There are patterns, brands, flooring styles, and a bunch of other factors to consider. But for now, I’ll just put in some basic numbers.
Cost: Approximately $2000
Organization and storage (cool cabinets)
I don’t have a lot of tools, so my garage remodel costs for this category might be a lot less than yours.
But what I do have is a lot of gardening stuff like a lawnmower, various shovels and hand tools and rakes, edgers, trimmers. The list goes on. Not to mention all of the normal house-stuff like ladders and extension cords.
I want them all to have a home.
I’ve settled on Gladiator Garageworks to my cabinets and storage. I’ll get more into why in a later article. You can already see some of the garage organization components that I’ve added, but there’s more to come.
What’s cool about this for me is that I don’t need everything all at once. I’ve got a couple of pieces that I need right away, but I’ll pick up the rest as I need them or as they go on sale. I highly recommend you do the same.
Cost: Approximately $2000 (over time)
When we were building our house, I actually though about the garage lighting ahead of time. I had the builder put in an additional 4 halo lights to make it brighter.
It’s still not enough.
So my plan is to add super bright LED lighting from Big Ass Solutions to my garage. They’re the lighting arm of Big Ass Fans. You may have seen them in industrial or commercial applications.
If you’ve ever looked up and thought, wow…that’s a big ass fan, well…it probably was.
Before you say it…yes they’re expensive. And yes there are definitely cheaper options.
I have a couple of Haiku fans in my house, which is what they call their home fan division.
I truly can’t say enough good things about this company. The build quality is amazing and the efficiency blows everything else away.
They’ve turned me into a customer for life.
Cost: $500 each. Hopefully I only need one.
Make your garage smarter
I’m big into smart homes. You might not be, but I think that’s where the world is going.
I can look at my smartphone and tell instantly what my thermostat is set to, what time my sprinklers went off last or if my front door is locked, But my garage is a big blind spot.
I want to fix that.
I’m going to replace my garage door opener with a newer model with Wi-Fi connectivity and some smart functionality. Liftmaster has a side mounted garage door opener that will save some overhead space, so I’m going to look into that as well.
Cost: Approximately $400
Adding a sound system
Now for the finishing touches.
If I’m spending any time in a room then there needs to be music or a TV there.
For my garage, I’m not too big on having a TV, but that may be an option down the road. For now, I’m going to budget about $500 for a sound system and see what changes along the way.
Cost: $500 (for now)
Total Cost (The conclusion)
My total budget for my garage remodel project is $7500. That seems like a lot of money and it really is. But there are a couple of things that could knock this cost down for you.
For starters, I’m budgeting $1200 for a tankless water heater. If you can avoid this then your costs drop down to $6300, which just seems more manageable.
If you’ve already got some garage organization in place, you can trim some money off that as well. The same goes for flooring – another big chunk of the costs. You can use epoxy and skip a huge portion of the garage renovation costs.
The point I want to make is that there are lots of options that can work for you.
I’m excited to get started and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.