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Ultimate Guide to Garage Remodeling Costs 

December 13, 2023
Ultimate Guide to Garage Remodeling Costs

Whether you want to revamp your garage or turn it into a different space, budget is something you can’t ignore. Garage remodeling is a significant investment, so it’s important to have a rough estimate of how much it will cost before starting the project.

Garage remodeling can cost as low as $500 to as high as $75,000, depending on the type of remodeling, the size of the garage, the floor refinishing, the plumbing and electrical work, labor, location, and more.

To get a better estimate of how much your garage remodeling project will cost, here’s a breakdown of every expense involved.

Factors That Can Influence the Cost of Garage Remodeling

Type of Remodeling

Type of Remodeling
Type of RemodelingCost
Partial$500 to $5,000
Full$7,000 to $15,000
Conversion$20,000 to $75,000

Partial

Partial

Partial garage remodeling is when you only need to change or upgrade a specific part of the garage, like the door, the floor finishing, or the wall. Most homeowners do this when the garage’s structure is still good but looks outdated or rundown.

This is usually the cheapest type of remodeling since there aren’t many changes done in the garage’s structure. Expect to pay around $500 to $5,000 for a partial remodeling, depending on what changes you want to make.

Full

Full

A full garage remodeling is a lot more expensive than partial remodeling since there’s much more to work on. You can expect to pay around $7,000 to $15,000, depending on the quality of materials you’ll use and the scale of work that needs to be done.

It usually involves changing up almost everything, like the cabinets, the flooring, the ceiling, and the door. Unlike partial remodeling, which focuses on improving the garage’s look, full remodeling focuses on enhancing both functionality and aesthetics.

Conversion

Conversion

A garage conversion is when you want to use the garage space for something other than storing cars. It usually involves changing up almost the entire garage structure to fit its new purpose, whether it’s for a utility room or a bedroom.

This is the costliest type of garage remodeling you can do for your home, with most homeowners paying about $20,000 to $75,000. The total cost can be lower or higher than the range, depending on what type of conversion you’ll be doing.

Type of Conversion
Type of Conversion
Type of ConversionCost
Utility Room$3,000 to $8,000
Home Gym$3,000 to $10,000
Living Room$7,000 to $10,000
Home Office$10,000 to $20,000
Bedroom$10,000 to $20,000
Bathroom$15,000 to $30,000
Kitchen$20,000 to $40,000
Granny Flat$50,000 to $75,000
Utility Room

Utility room conversion costs a lot cheaper than other types of conversion since there isn’t a lot of finishing needed. It doesn’t focus on cosmetic changes, which significantly reduces the cost, and all expenses are usually on plumbing work.

Prepare about $3,000 to $8,000 to convert your garage into a utility room.

Home Gym

Home gym conversion is still relatively cheaper compared to other conversion types, costing about $3,000 to $10,000. The price, however, can drastically increase depending on the equipment you’ll use and the other features you add.

Home gyms with basic features, like gym equipment, mirrors, and mats, are usually the inexpensive ones. If you want to make the gym a bit more comfortable by adding an HVAC unit, expect to pay something around the higher end of the cost range we listed.

Living Room

Living rooms are where guests and family members hang out, so it should be as comfortable as possible. However, to make a garage a comfortable place to stay in, you’ll have to install a good insulation and HVAC system, which can be pricey.

You might also need to install windows and replace the garage door with a solid wall. The garage will also need to undergo a cosmetic makeover, like repainting and floor refinishing.

These works can easily sum to $7,000 to $10,000.

Home Office

Converting your garage into a home office will require a lot of electrical work to accommodate the need for new computers, charging stations, internet connection, lighting, and HVAC units. You’ll also need lots of storage and furniture for the office.

Home offices also tend to have beautiful finishes to motivate people to work, so you might have to change the flooring, the wallpapers, and the ceiling. All these new additions to the garage can easily cost you around $10,000 to $20,000.

Bedroom

When converting a garage into a bedroom, your top priority would be comfort. This means you’ll have to install new windows and need better insulation, HVAC, and lighting, which can all be costly.

Bedroom conversion also needs a lot of cosmetic changes, like new wallpapers, new flooring, and new ceilings. You’ll also need to buy furniture like beds, closets, and bedside tables.

All in all, you can expect to pay around $10,000 to $20,000 to convert your garage into a bedroom.

Bathroom

Bathroom conversion can be a bit more costly than bedroom conversion because of the amount of plumbing work needed. The floor will also be drilled to install a drainage system, which can be very expensive.

The fixtures and finishes for the bathroom can also be quite expensive since they have to withstand moisture and high humidity. All of these combined can cost you anywhere between $15,000 and $30,000.

Kitchen

Converting garages into kitchens requires a lot of plumbing work and installation of gas lines, new countertops, cabinets, lighting, and flooring. You’ll also need to install insulations and HVAC to make working in the kitchen comfortable.

Due to all these works, you’re looking at spending around $20,000 to $40,000, depending on the size of the garage and the quality of the furniture and fixtures.

Granny Flat

Converting a garage into a granny flat will require not just interior renovation but also exterior. You’ll have to fully insulate the garage to make it livable and install a kitchen, a bathroom, windows, and an HVAC system.

You’ll also need to make a separate entrance from the house, so you’ll need new doors. You might also have to close off the main house’s access to the garage if it’s attached to ensure privacy.

Overall, a granny flat conversion project can cost around $50,000 to $75,000.

Size of the Garage

Size of the Garage

The size of the garage directly influences the amount of material that will be used in remodeling it and the amount of work it will take. Larger garages will naturally cost more to remodel because they require more material and labor.

If you DIY them, partial and full remodeling can cost around $2 to $5 per square foot. Conversion remodeling, though, can cost around $86 per square foot since it requires a lot of work and the help of professional contractors.

Electrical Work

Electrical Work

The amount of electrical work needed on the garage will also influence the total cost. Although the garage is already connected to the main house’s electrical system, you’d still need to hire an electrician to add new outlets, wiring, or lights.

Installation of new outlets and light fixtures usually costs around $100 each. If there’s a need for new wiring, you’ll need to pay an additional $3 to $5 per square foot.

Plumbing Work

Plumbing Work

Garages typically don’t have any plumbing system since their main purpose is storing vehicles. However, if you’re turning your car into something that needs water, you’ll need to hire a plumber to help you with the remodeling.

Installation of a plumbing system in the garage can cost around $1,550 or more, depending on how much work is needed. The price is a bit high since plumbers will have to add new pipes and connect them to the main house.

Insulation and Ventilation

Insulation and Ventilation

Insulation and ventilation can make the garage more comfortable to work and live in. Hence, they can have a huge impact on the total cost of remodeling if you plan on using your garage as both a workshop and car storage or as a living space. 

Insulating your garage can typically cost around $400 to $1,000, depending on the size of the garage and the type of insulation. Fiberglass batts are the most common since they’re inexpensive, but you can also use spray foam if you have the budget.

As for adding new ducts and vents, prepare around $475 to $2,100. The total cost will depend on the size and type of ductwork and vent your garage will need.

Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

It’s not that common for garages to have windows, so you’ll have to add windows when converting it to something other than car storage. Adding four to six window panels can cost around $400 to $1,000, depending on the glass type.

As for garage door remodeling, you can expect to pay around $500 to $2,000, depending on the door’s size, style, and material. Automatic garage doors are typically costlier, so prepare a few hundred bucks more if you want them.

Floor Refinishing

Floor Refinishing

Floor refinishing is one of the most common works done during remodeling because the floor is prone to stains from oil, chemicals, and other car fluids. Refinishing the floor can also help resist wear and tear and prevent cracks.

Floor refinishing can easily add $800 to $12,000 to your total remodeling cost, depending on the type of refinishing you want and the floor’s condition. The more damaged the floor is, the harder it is to refinish and the more expensive it is to work on.

Labor Cost

Labor Cost

Labor is the biggest contributor to the cost of almost all home improvement projects, including garage remodeling. It’s significantly influential for remodeling projects because of how labor-intensive and time-consuming they are.

Contractors usually charge a per-hour rate for partial and full remodeling. Handymans typically charge $50 to $100 per hour, while carpenters can charge $70 to $100 per hour.

Labor rates for conversion projects are a bit different, though. Contractors typically charge a flat rate of 10% to 20% of the total project cost, which is one of the reasons why conversion projects are costly.

Location

Location

The location of the garage plays a huge role in determining the final cost of the remodeling project. Contractors from urban cities usually charge more compared to rural contractors because of the cost of living in their areas.

Certain materials for your remodeling project can also be more expensive in one area. If the material is not available in your location, the contractor will have to source it out in a different city, so you’ll have to pay for the transportation cost.

Some cities also have stricter building codes, which can affect the quality of materials and structural jobs needed for the remodeling project. This, in turn, can result in higher costs.

Additional Costs That May Be Incurred

Permits

Permits

You generally don’t need a permit if you’re only doing partial or full remodeling of your garage. However, if you’re converting it from car storage to a bedroom, kitchen, or any other room, most local authorities will require a conversion permit.

Most cities charge fees for issuing and processing conversion permits. These fees can usually sum up to $1,400, depending on the scope and value of the remodeling project.

You can incur most costs if the local authorities ask you to make adjustments. It’s not unusual that they require some modifications in the remodeling plans to ensure compliance with building codes, so it can be helpful to prepare a few more bucks.

Garage Soundproofing

Garage Soundproofing

Garages typically don’t have the best acoustics, so you’ll have to soundproof the garage to convert it to a living space. This can drive up the total cost by $250 to $3,500, depending on the garage size and quality of the soundproofing materials.

If you already insulated the garage with spray foam, you can typically forget about soundproofing unless you plan to turn the garage into a recording studio. Insulation foams can be good enough if you just want to dampen outside noises.

How do I save money when remodeling my garage?

How do I save money when remodeling my garage
  • Set a realistic budget.

Establishing a clear and realistic budget can help you identify your priorities and allocate funds accordingly. You can avoid making unnecessary expenses if you have a set budget to follow.

  • Plan your remodeling project thoroughly.

Creating a detailed plan for your remodeling project can help you get a better estimate of the total cost. It can also help you see errors that need to be fixed, avoiding the need for modifications during permit processing.

  • DIY whenever possible.

You don’t have to hire a worker to do everything, as this will only drive up your total cost. Do some of the simple work if you can, like painting, staining, simple light installations, and minor repairs, to save up on labor costs.

  • Reuse existing materials.

Whenever possible, reuse existing materials in your garage to lower material costs. This can include reusing cabinets, salvaging usable lumber, or reusing garage doors.

  • Compare multiple quotes.

Obtain quotes from different contractors to see which contractor can offer the best value for your money. Make sure to ask what’s included in the quotes to avoid getting additional expenses once they start working on the project.

  • Reuse the existing layout.

If possible, keep the existing layout of the garage. Changing the layout and adding additional walls can significantly increase the remodeling cost.

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