One of the most commonly encountered questions when
thinking about converting your garage for a new use is
the warmth of the floor. Whether you are choosing to convert
your garage into a spacious home office or to convert it into a
gym room, you have to take into consideration some
improvements for your floor.
Since the garage has a concrete and uninsulated floor you
should focus on making it warmer and more resilient. Furring
up the floor with wood and plywood can accomplish both
tasks. As a warning, you should use pressure-treated wood or protect
the wood which is in contact with the concrete by placing a
layer of felt paper between the wood and the concrete.
First of all measure and determine how much you want to raise the
floor. All garage floors have some amount of slope from the
back wall to the wall with the garage door in it to allow the
water runoff. To achieve a level floor you will have to adjust
the joists, for this if you are placing the joists perpendicular to
the slope in the floor each of them would have to be ripped
down or shimmed up and if the joists are parallel to the slope,
you can rip them on a taper or use shims to level them.
Ok, you finished remodeling the floors, now it’s time to
examine your walls. You might be surprised to find out that
your walls are not even with the foundation they sit on. They
may be set back from the foundation or maybe overhang it in
other areas. Only one step will solve these problems: selecting
a lumber size that is deep enough to extend the framing past the
concrete. By notching each end of the furring strip and
attaching one strip to the face of each wall stud will result in an
even wall that completely hides the foundation. Also it will be
deep enough for the R-21 wall insulation, this type of
insulation being the most common code requirement.
When remodeling the walls and the floor several obstructions
may appear. Obstructions like pipes, ducts, wires and other
impediments to smooth walls may exist. For small obstructions
such as wires or small pipes you could adjust the furring strips
enough to accommodate them. The solution for larger
obstructions is to box around them. If the obstruction is a water
heater or something that you will need access to, you can frame
it in and enclose it on three sides and then provide a removable
access panel for the fourth side.
A building permit may be required for a garage make over.
Of course all the methods presented here are purely theoretical
and only for guidance. All garages are different and some
adjustments to the used methods or materials may be required
in order to accommodate to your garage.