Some property owners can convert their garages into rooms. So how can you enclose a garage door opening to complete that task? We researched the proper steps for this procedure and here's what we found.
Enclosing a garage door opening can become a DIY operation, although it can be a laborious project. Deciding to pursue this renovation might need the following steps:
- Remove the garage door and its frame, if necessary.
- Make a wooden housing at the opening for the concrete nip.
- Pour concrete into the nip and remove the air bubbles with a shovel.
- Wait 24 to 48 hours for the concrete to dry. Paint the timber to use for the enclosure while the concrete is drying.
- Remove the wooden box to expose the dried concrete nip.
- Install the timber on the opening based on your plans.
- Install insulation and vapor barrier into the new garage wall’s frame.
- Complete the enclosure by installing the painted timber for it to act as an exterior wall.
Take note that you also need to acquire the necessary building permits before starting this remodeling project. Continue reading as we talk about the different requirements to acquire these documents. We’ll also discuss the steps to enclose a garage door opening in greater detail.
How Do You Close A Garage Door Opening?
Make sure that you assess and take note of every demand for this particular project before proceeding with it. Keep in mind that some operations to enclose a garage door opening may have unique requirements. For instance, you may need to install studs to help secure additional walls and other structures in the room.
Also, ensure that you possess the building permits for this project. Trying to do a home remodeling project without the necessary documents may result in expensive fines.
Finally, you need to practice proper safety protocols before, during, and after enclosing the garage door opening. For instance, wear safety equipment, such as goggles and long-sleeved clothing, and observe the enclosure for any issues before using the new room.
After taking note of those pieces of information, here's a look at how to enclose a garage door opening:
What You’ll Need
- Wood paint
- Nail gun
- Vapor barrier
- Remove the garage door from the opening. Then, take out its frame and set it aside.
- Create a wooden housing at the bottom of the opening for a concrete nip. Then, pour concrete into the nip.
- Remove the air bubbles in the concrete by stabbing it with a shovel multiple times.
- Wait until the concrete dries completely, which takes anywhere from 24 to 48 hours.
- Paint the timber using your preferred wood paint.
- Remove the wooden box containing the concrete nip.
- Install the timber on the opening based on your sketched plans.
- Install your preferred insulation and vapor barrier into the wall.
- Complete the enclosure by installing your painted timber over the wooden frame.
You can also watch the video below for a more detailed version of this process:
Also, you may need to pour a new concrete floor into the garage as part of the space conversion project. If so, read our post on how to pour a concrete floor into a garage for help on this matter.
How Can I Enclose My Garage Without Removing The Door?
Some garage conversion projects may not require the removal of garage doors. If so, you need to take note of certain elements to ensure this project completes with as minimal errors and issues as possible.
Like any other home remodeling project, enclosing a garage requires you to follow a well-thought plan of action. Have the necessary documents, such as blueprints and permits, to ensure this operation goes as smoothly as possible.
Also, keep in mind that ‘winging it’ isn’t an option for this case. Otherwise, you’ll most likely commit to expensive mistakes.
Homeowners should prepare to spend about $5,732 to $23,993 to convert their garages. The project's demands will dictate the costs of this investment. For instance, the overhead may skyrocket if you need to install additional fixtures for electricity, heating, and plumbing.
Other factors that can affect the expected costs are:
- Access point creation
- Professional labor
Clean and Declutter
It can be relatively easier to enclose a garage if junk isn't all over the space. You can clean and declutter the area by yourself. But if you don't have the time to do this extra task, you can consult the help of professional junk removal services. If so, prepare to spend an extra $100 to $800, depending on the amount of trash to dispose of.
Enclosing and converting the garage into a living space should also mean that the space needs to be reasonably comfortable. Insulating the new room can help prevent comfort and structural issues, particularly during the winter.
Take note that you have different types of insulation to choose from for this part of the renovation project, including:
- Fiberglass: A reasonably inexpensive choice but can become a fire hazard if installed improperly.
- Rigid foam: Often possess a relatively high R-value, making it a good choice for properties in fairly cold locales.
- Spray foam: Creates an airtight seal but may shrink over time.
- Cellulose: Quite expensive but known to have high resistance against pests and high temperatures.
We also have a guide on how to insulate a garage ceiling if you need help with that task.
Since you decided that you’re going to keep the garage door, you may want to think about repurposing it. If so, you can choose to:
- Seal the door.
- Dress the garage door with treatments.
- Build a wall over the door for extra security and insulation.
Otherwise, you can remove the garage door and replace it with another type of opening, such as a French door. However, replacing the garage door is going to be a separate DIY operation, which may demand additional requirements.
Watch the video below if you like the idea of covering the garage door as you enclose the garage:
Do I Need A Permit To Convert My Garage?
Generally, you need a permit for relatively any major home renovation project, including garage conversions. But each state may have different guidelines set for homeowners to acquire building permits for garage remodeling projects.
Some examples of these necessities are:
Garage conversions in this state should comply with different requirements, including (but aren’t limited to):
- Window and exterior doors need 0.30 U-factors at most.
- Insulation installation should either be (1) directly on the subfloor sleepers or (2) on a raised floor system.
- If a curb is necessary for the garage door opening, it needs to be either (1) pressure-treated or (2) poured concrete.
Some cities in California, particularly in Yreka, require property owners to abide by the following building code requirements for their garage conversion projects:
- The garage’s ceiling height should not be lower than 7 feet and 6 inches.
- Installation of at least R-21 insulation to the exterior walls and R-38 insulation in the garage’s ceiling.
- The converted room should have an opening of at least 5.7 square feet that acts as an emergency egress.
- Spaces along the garage’s wall should not be more than 6 feet from an electrical outlet to help create a habitable living space.
- Installed windows should be no less than 8% of the garage floor’s square footage.
Interested homeowners should apply for the permit to their city’s planning department. A detailed site plan is necessary, which should include the location of different elements like doors, walls, windows, and electrical outlets.
The requirements to acquire a building permit to enclose and convert a garage include:
- Proof of ownership for the property.
- Statement of the usage for the converted space.
- Detailed copies of the garage’s existing and converted floor plans.
- A copy of Florida’s Energy Code Forms (if relevant)
- A copy of the 321-633-2100 septic tank permit from the Environmental Health Department or other similar documents
- If the conversion value exceeds $2,500, a copy of the Notice of Commencement is necessary
Some of the typical requirements needed to acquire a garage conversion permit in Texas are:
- Detailed garage floor plan, including its dimensions
- Drawings of the changes to both interior and exterior structures
- Electrical and plumbing plans
To enclose a garage door opening means gathering the necessary building permits, along with the essential equipment and materials for the job. Take note that each garage door conversion operation may have unique demands. Assess your project’s particular requirements and put them into a documented plan to reduce the risks of costly mishaps.