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.