The upper floor of our garage is ready for drywall! Our contractor spent the last week framing in a few knee walls and adding extra electrical outlets and switches up there, and now everything is ready for the drywall crew who plan to start this week. We’re getting close to the professional work being done and the DIY work beginning, and I can’t wait!
I’m really excited about finishing up this space! It will still be a while until it’s 100% done, but as soon as the insulation and drywall is in, I can start using it as my office/craft room! Sure, it won’t be as nice without flooring, paint, trim, etc., but the space will be totally functional, and form follows function!
In order to regulate the temperature upstairs so that it can be a useful work space, we needed to insulate the exterior walls and roof. But we decided that it didn’t make much sense to try to heat and cool the entire garage space, just the upstairs where I plan to work. The ground floor will get insulated and drywalled, but we won’t be installing heaters or air conditioners on this floor.
So in order to separate the upstairs “office” space from the ground floor “garage” space, our contractor has framed in a wall next to the stairway. We plan to put a door on the landing and leave the bottom three steps as part of the “garage”. We will also insulate and drywall underneath the staircase and this newly framed in wall, and hopefully that will cut the space we need to heat and cool in half!
On the upstairs floor, we have framed in short knee walls in the three corners of the room where the roof meets the floor. That space is kinda unusable anyways since we can’t stand there, so we’re planning to use those little triangle areas for storage instead. The knee walls also serve as a vertical surface on which to mount the electric baseboard heaters we plan to use in the winter. Each little storage area will have a small doorway left open, but everything else around the knee walls will be drywalled.
We also installed a bunch of new electrical boxes in the ceiling so that we can add more lights. Currently there are only two overhead lights, but I want four (one in each bay of the garage), plus we plan on putting additional task lighting close to the exterior walls so that I can have extra lighting in my workbench spaces. We also added a box in the very center of the room for a ceiling fan.
The garage roof is already vented at the top and under the eaves, so the contractor installed vents in between the studs to allow the air to continue to flow, even after the insulation and drywall is installed.
We also added more electrical boxes at workbench height on either side of the windows in each bay, because you can never have too many outlets!
Because we were making so many electrical changes and additions in the garage, our contractor kept a running list on the wall next to the fuse box. By the time he was finished the list was about twice as long as this, but I took a picture last weekend because it just reminds me of my dad.
When I was young we added an addition to our house and my dad did most of the work himself. I “helped” (I was two at the time and we have adorable photos of me in footie pajamas up on a scaffold with him!), and of course, when you work in a construction/architect/builder line of business, your own house is always in some state of construction because you spend all your time on other people’s houses. So even though the addition was done and liveable pretty quickly, we left the plywood subfloor exposed for years, because at that point my brother and I were toddlers, and why not let your kids rollerblade and ride bikes in the house? We couldn’t hurt the plywood subfloor! So using the parts of new construction that will eventually be covered and “prettied up” as a functional space in the meantime totally reminds me of my dad letting us ride bikes in the living room. The list of electrical changes is most functional right next to the fuse box, and our living room was most functional as an awesome place for kids to be kids, and eventually both were covered up, but no functionality was wasted in the meantime!
I will keep updating as we make more progress, and the DIY parts are starting soon, so check back for tutorials on all of that once we get started!
- Garage Remodel Part 1: The main floor before and plans
- Garage Remodel Part 2: The second story before and plans
- Garage Remodel Part 3: Drywall on the main floor
- Garage Remodel Part 4: Upper floor framing and electrical work
- Garage Remodel Part 5: The drywall is finished and ready to paint!