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Garage Construction - How Much Can You Spend?

Feb 24, 2008
When evaluating their options for home building or remodeling, many people neglect to think about a great opportunity for extra space - their garage. You can remodel or renovate your garage to be the space of your dreams. Not only can it house your car, but it can also accommodate a home gym, an apartment, a playroom, a workshop, an artist's studio, or anything else. You decide what you want it to be and you can probably do it. Some people even remodel their garages at the same time they build a pool. This way, they can have a pool house with a bathroom and changing area conveniently located next to the pool, so swimmers will not have to walk through the main house.

If you are thinking about remodeling your garage, the first thing you need to decide on is a budget. You will probably get your money back when you sell your home, but this is never a sure thing and besides, you may be talking years down the line before you see the return. So decide on what you can spend on a contractor, materials, and labor. Then stick to this number. Once you start meeting with professionals, it is easy to be tempted to exceed your budget with fancy perks. Be strong and stay as close as you can to the original number.

For big remodeling jobs, people generally hire a general contractor to take care of all the hiring and details of the project. But if you have the money, it is worth it to hire an architectural designer as well. A good architectural designer will work with you to translate your real life needs into an architectural plan and brick and mortar language. You can come up with a plan together so your contractor knows exactly what you want before you begin. You could add a second story to your garage with a master suite and a study. You could add a bathroom and kitchenette. You could make your garage into a game room with a pool table and a dart board. Or you could turn your garage into a home theater and install a movie screen when the workers leave. You could turn the garage into a home gym with some free weights and a treadmill. You can be as elaborate as you want, as long as you have the finances. You can even improve the outward appearance of your garage, adding a wraparound porch perhaps.

Garage construction is more convenient than home construction because you are not displaced while people are working on your garage. If you are having your kitchen or bedroom remodeled, it is terribly inconvenient to have to move or change your lifestyle for the project. But when you remodel a garage, the most you will have to do is park your car in the driveway and tolerate some early morning hammering. But your garage design does not have to be complicated and expensive. You could simply clean out the space and turn it into a practical workshop for woodworking projects. It all depends on what you want.
About the Author
Ray Walberg usually publishes informative papers on problems related to garage racks. You might see his contributions on garage workbench over at http://www.insidewoodworking.com .
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