Transforming a Single Car Garage Into a Small Living Space

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  #41  
Old 12-06-15, 05:23 AM
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Be completely open with the contractor. Tell him that you are on a budget and that any extra funding is highly unlikely. Tell him that you are not looking to move into the space full-time, just need a place to get away from the wife and kids (whether or not you are married) for a few hours at a time. Definitely ask about any permits, inspections and other fees that the government may impose. Ask him about maybe doing the job in stages to spread out the cost and if doing so would result in a better job.

Something that has not been touched upon is heating the space. All along I have assumed that electric heat would be the easiest as it certainly would be the easiest to install, albeit perhaps the most expensive to run. However, you may want to add provisions for a fuel-fired heat source such as a wood-burning stove or a pellet stove. Maybe even a gas-fired wall heater would be an option. Do you think you would need air conditioning in the summer months?

Another thing to think about is additional windows. If this ends up being a permitted job (permit required) you may need to add a couple of windows. That is another reason to try to retain the ability to revert back to a vehicle garage at some future date as living spaces often have a requirement for a minimum amount of windows, something that garages generally don't.

What I am envisioning is a minimalist approach to get you your "man cave" that will serve year-round with the least cost. You need any structural deficiencies repaired, including the floor. You need the walls insulated. You need a ceiling with insulation above the ceiling. You need a certain amount of electrical work, somewhat dependent upon the type of heating (and cooling) you will need. You need a finished interior wall (drywall, with paint is the least expensive) and you need to deal with the vehicle door. All of these things together are going to stretch your $6-8,00 budget mighty thin depending on how much work you can do yourself. Don't be surprised if the contractor comes back with a figure two or three times higher than your budget. Ask him where the costs can be shaved without sacrificing good workmanship.
 
  #42  
Old 12-06-15, 05:34 AM
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the only things that might be inhibited by cold weather is painting and digging up any frozen earth, correct?
Joint compound must also be protected from freezing until it dries. Setting compounds dry quicker than regular already mixed mud. When painting the substrate's temp is just as important as the air temp and again the temp needs to be maintained until after the coating dries.
 
  #43  
Old 12-06-15, 09:34 PM
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Welp, I had the contractor I mentioned stop by today to check things out. He seemed like a nice and honest guy. Unfortunately, I tipped my hand as it were, by telling him my exact budget. Not sure if I should've done that. I'm concerned that might have shaped the quote he gave to me, but who knows. I'll post the quote down below. Please let me know what you guys think of it and if there's any room for negotiation.

By the way, I had him inspect some of the exterior wood nearest the ground and it would appear that some of it is indeed rotted. Hopefully, it won't be too big of a deal to replace the necessary boards. He also pointed out that laying a sub-floor over top of the current concrete is probably the best way to go about fixing the garage floor.


"To renovate Garage as follows:

Demolition

* To clean up walls and replace area that are decayed

* To secure garage door and install new front wall.

Framing

* To frame new walls for a future man cave

* To finish all necessary framing in Garage

* Install new window and entrance door.

* Install new ceiling rafters.

* Repair concrete floor where necessary.

* Install delta membraine and 5/8 t&g osb flooring.

Walls ceiling

* Frame in garage door and insulate

* roxul insulation to be place on interior walls, and pink insulation in ceiling.

* Drywall wall and ceiling ready for future finishing.

Electrical

* Install 2 fixture, switches and plugs to ESA standards.

* Install new line from house to garage

Note:

Clients to clean garage.

New roof and siding should be done in the spring

All work to be done in a workmanship like manner to all local and Ontario building codes.

A one year warranty on all material and labour, starting when completion draw is paid.

Our price for your project is $7,600.00 taxes included

Deposit of $2,500 on signing agreement

first draw the week of start $2,500

Second draw at 50% complete $2,0oo.00

Balance on completion of $600.00"
 
  #44  
Old 12-07-15, 05:16 AM
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I don't like that payment schedule!
I've never believed in down payments but I was a painting contractor not a builder. Any down payment should be just for materials. A payment schedule should be based on work completed with a sizable chunk not paid until completion! The money you owe the contractor is your best defense to insure the job is finished and done right!
 
  #45  
Old 12-07-15, 02:33 PM
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I agree with Mark, too much money up front. I wouldn't have a problem with 5% at signing and then maybe another 10% upon delivery of materials but hold back at least 25% until the job is finished to your satisfaction.

Be sure to check references thoroughly as well as certificates of insurance and contractor's bond. Local business licensing too. And, while I don't put a whole lot of faith in it, checking with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints against the contractor is also a good idea.

If you go this route be sure that the contractor gives you lien releases from all his suppliers for any materials.
 
  #46  
Old 12-08-15, 05:23 PM
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Hey guys. Sorry for being MIA for the last little while. I've decided that this first stage of renovations will almost certainly involve a lot of the more "specialist jobs" being contracted out. These would be things such as: fixing the cement floor, upgrading the electrical and framing the new interior wall behind the garage door. Stuff like insulating, shingling, drywall or even inserting a new window/door I'm willing to do myself.

Having said that, I've been in conversation with that contractor I had come over a couple days ago and I've decided to tell him to take a hike. He was very resistant in trying to negotiate the first quote he gave me, along with being suspiciously reticent when it came to references. Needless to say, this started sounding a few alarms.

The process of finding a decent contractor who isn't looking to screw you is always such a pain in the neck. I'll keep looking, though. I'll also keep giving you guys continuous updates, and if there's any more precise information you need just let me know.
 

Last edited by Shiny_; 12-08-15 at 05:38 PM.
  #47  
Old 12-09-15, 04:04 AM
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Keeping looking for a contractor until you find one that you trust! Your search will be hampered a little by the fact that it is a small job - the best contractors tend to stay busy with bigger jobs. Besides the yellow pages, word of mouth or going by supply stores and asking them who would be good to hire should produce good leads.
 
  #48  
Old 12-09-15, 05:43 AM
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I guess that explains why we have this Do IT Yourself Forum ?

They've got Angie's List and Home Advisor for the others.
 
  #49  
Old 12-09-15, 06:47 AM
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Dimensions

I believe the rough dimensions of the floor are something like 200 sq. meters.
Would you please measure the inside length and width and post the results? I am doubting the "200 sq. meters". This will be important when you order the concrete to install the floor.
 
  #50  
Old 12-09-15, 05:53 PM
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I guess that explains why we have this Do IT Yourself Forum ?

They've got Angie's List and Home Advisor for the others.
Yeah, I see where you're coming from. In my defense, I am going to do as much as I can, realistically speaking, by myself. It's just those certain jobs that require a special kind of expertise that'll have to be contracted out. I apologize if that sounds taboo in these parts, but that's just how it is.

I've never heard of "Angie's List" or "Home Advisor". I've been using a site called "Trusted Pros".

Here's the link: https://trustedpros.ca/
 
  #51  
Old 12-09-15, 05:57 PM
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Would you please measure the inside length and width and post the results? I am doubting the "200 sq. meters". This will be important when you order the concrete to install the floor.
Thanks for the helpful reply. That job is getting contracted out, however, so no need to worry.
 
  #52  
Old 12-09-15, 06:29 PM
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Considering that 200 square meters is approximately 2158 sq. ft or the size of a rather spacious 3 bedroom ranch home, I sure won't worry. You can have your little play room and rent out the rest.
 
  #53  
Old 01-15-16, 12:15 PM
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Thumbs up I'm BACK!

Hey everyone. Sorry for taking so long to post an update on how things are going, and the abrupt thread revival as a result. It's been a busy last few weeks. Anyway, I'm happy to report that much progress has been done since I last posted here. Luckily, I was able to get my brother down here to help me out with this project and between the two of us we've made enormous strides. I'll try my best to roughly lay out and explain everything we've managed to accomplish, but since I'm not the foreman here my apologies if all the necessary details aren't present.

For starters, we replaced all the rotten wood along the bottom of the garage, and elsewhere, with new pressure treated wood with a painted on membrane. We also dug a trench around the garage a couple feet deep to clear all the dirt away from the wood and we filled it in with some pebbles/rocks.

Next, we built a foundation for the 10' x 7' shed to sit on. We dug a hole and laid out a black membrane on the bottom to prevent weeds from growing and then filled it in with screening. We then tamped it out and laid some stone slabs over top of the screening for the shed to sit on. We probably over-engineered that bit, but at least its got one rock-solid foundation to sit on now.

The shed itself wasn't too difficult to put together. Took us about the length of an afternoon to construct. It's working great so far as a substitute for the garage, as far as storage is concerned.

After that, we removed and cleared out everything that was in the garage. While we were in the middle of the cleaning/removing process we decided to jackhammer up the cement to lay some new piping for a future toilet and sink to be installed. We were going to have to jackhammer up the outside concrete to lay some new electrical, so we thought "What the hell?" and extended its scope to include some new piping as well. After we jackhammerd up all the concrete and cement, we dug a six foot deep hole leading from the garage to the house for the pipes and new wiring. The pipes have heating coils installed in them controlled by thermostat, so they don't freeze. I can't offer too many details on the electrical, but we'll be installing a new panel out in the garage to connect with a new 60 amp line from the house.

Finally, we began the framing process for the new wall and door/window inserts. We also strengthened the existing walls and ceiling with some new pressure treated wood and filled in the existing back window.

That's pretty much where we're at now. After the framing is finished we'll be fixing up the floor and laying some new contact cement to fix the major abnormalities. Other than that, there's just one problem about all this that I'd like to discuss with everybody here and that is the issue of soundproofing this new space.

I'll provide more details about this side of the project in my next post, since this one's getting pretty long as it is.
 

Last edited by Shiny_; 01-15-16 at 01:11 PM.
  #54  
Old 01-15-16, 12:27 PM
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Question Soundproofing a Man Cave

Now about that soundproofing idea. Since this garage's main purpose is going to be a home theater paradise, A.K.A. man cave, I'd like it to be acoustically solid. The last thing I want is to be watching a movie/playing a game and start getting major complaints from the neighbours. I tend to stay up pretty late, so I'd rather not have some cops banging on the door because the sound is too loud while everyone else in the neighbourhood is trying to get some sleep. Not too mention, soundproofing a space like this could drastically improve the quality of the audio itself, which is a nice bonus I'd like to have if possible. Anyway, I'll lay out my plan as to how I'd like go about soundproofing this sucker below. If you guys have any suggestions on how best to go about this, then please don't hesitate to let me know.

For starters, I intend to use Green Glue sandwiched between two drywall panels to soundproof the walls and ceilings, with tons of Roxul soundproofing insulation to boot. I'll also be going the decoupling route, as well. The drywall will hang off the furring/hat channel I've got into the Genie Clips. In addition, I've got some Green Glue audio sealant to close up any gaps that might be present.

Next are the windows. I know I really shouldn't be putting any in at all if I want to make the soundproofing process as painless as possible, but I'm afraid that's just not feasible. I'll be putting in two basic pre-cut windows roughly side by side. The windows themselves are not designed to be soundproofed, since I really don't have the cash to afford soundproofed windows. I'll use audio sealant to close any gaps, put on some storm windows and I'll get some heavy curtains to dampen the sound further, but will that really be enough to ensure I won't get major sound leaking out of those windows? There's a website called "Wintite" that sells magnetic interior windows. You put them over the window on the inside to add an extra layer of density. What do you guys think of that? I'll provide a link below. Any other suggestions on this front are most welcome.

Next up are the outlets, switches and miscellaneous fixtures. I'll be using 1Lb duct seal plugs to seal them up. Should do the job perfectly,

Finally, we have the the door. Once again, I'll be putting in a basic door solid core door. Nothing fancy, and not designed to be soundproofed. I'd like to purchase a door sealing kit to help tighten the seal. I live in Canada though, so I'm not sure where exactly I would find such a thing. Any help would be much appreciated, in that regard. I'll also be following a soundproofing guide for doors that I'll link to below. Let me know what you guys think about it, and if there's anything else I should keep in mind.

There's one last big problem that I'm really not sure how to tackle. I need to put in a pet door. Yes, I know. I'm sure you're asking yourself, "Why the hell do you need to put in a pet door?". Well, I'll tell you. It's weird, but my pet needs to have free access to see me at anytime. He's always coming and going and I don't really want to get up every time I need to let him in and out when he wants to come see me. I'm pretty much going to be out there all the time, so it's imperative that there's a way he can come in and out without it being so much of an inconvenience.

Now that the details as to the why are out of the way, how exactly would I do this? Should I add extra density to the pet door? Use some audio sealant around the edges? I really need some help with this one, so please don't hesitate to throw out your ideas.

I think that pretty much covers anything. I'll provide links of all the materials I'll be using below, along with random sources of info I've been pulling from as well. This is my very first man cave, so as my first foyer into the magnificent world of home theater construction I'd prefer it if it wasn't a flame-out disaster. Here's hoping against that. Anyway, I eagerly await your responses.

LINKS: MATERIALS (THESE ARE NOT SET IN STONE)

FURRING CHANNEL: https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.d...000165832.html

GENIE CLIPS: Soundproofing Walls & Ceilings, Acoustical Treatment Toronto Canada

GREEN GLUE: https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.n...000837170.html

GG AUDIO SEALANT: https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.n...000837169.html

DUCT SEAL 1Lb PLUGS: https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.d...5.html?redir=s

DOOR SEAL KIT: Door Seal Kit | Acoustic Geometry

DOOR: https://www.lowes.ca/entry-doors/rel..._g2454042.html

WINDOW: https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.5...000672038.html

PET DOOR: http://www.amazon.ca/Cat-Mate-4-Way-.../dp/B000793LFK

LINKS: GUIDES/INFO

WINTITE: Wintite

DOOR GUIDE: http://www.tmsoundproofing.com/How-T...of-a-Door.html

AVS GUIDE: Soundproofing master thread - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
 
 

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