I want to convert my garage into a family room. My garage has a raised block perimeter with the wall base on top with anchor bolts into blocks that have been filled. I was needing to understand what to do at the perimeter to seal this. I understand the floor needs to be raised and insulated. Another issue is that from floor to ceiling I have 8'4". The block is raised about 3.5 and then the 2" board on top of that along with the height of the bolts. I do not need to get the ceiling to low. Any suggestions or advise would help.
A few things:
1. For the walls, add furring strips to the block surface. This will add 3/4" to the block. Then, add extra framing so that the stud walls above are at the same plane as the furring strips. Once you insulate and then add drywall, you will have a smooth wall surface with no hint of the transition between block and wood walls.
2. The reason to raise the floor is to level it as most garages are pitches towards the door. How high to raise it depends on how much headroom you will have, the pitch of the slope and if you want to use the floor space for things like ductwork or plumbing. Since you have a concrete slab in the entire garage, floor joists can be lighter as they can be braced to the floor every few feet if necessary. This means that floor joists can be as small as 2x6. A 2x6 framed floor with a 3/4" subfloor on top of it will raise your floor by 6-1/4". Adding a finished floor could go another 3/4" so you'll wind up with a 7'-9" headroom.
3. If you have one of those rare garage floors that is not sloped, then you can go directly with a floating floor or carpet. Either will have some padding underneath that will give a little insulation and separation from the slab.
Now the bad stuff:
4. Raising and leveling a garage floor will create a sealed space that you will never see again. However, no matter how well you try to seal it, mice will be able to find it. This space makes a perfect mouse mansion and there is not much you can do about it.
5. The biggest plus for garage conversions are that you get maximum space for minimum money spent. the biggest con is that yo now have a house in your area with very large amounts of square footage - but it's a house without a garage. In most cases, a garage conversion is a killer for resale. If you plan on selling in the next couple of years, strongly reconsider doing this conversion.
6. The other 'con' to a garage conversion is the outside treatment. Plan to replace not only the door but the siding or exterior treatment on the entire gable end of the house. If you don't, you have just created a very obvious garage conversion. Along these lines you should plan to loose some of the driveway that runs up to the garage area. Even a small strip that is removed and replaced with some form of plantings will help to make this room look less like an old garage.
Can you post a picture of what you have now.
Forgive me if I miss it in Jaybee's reply but one other important area is where the old over head door was.
I like to see the old aprin cut and removed, and block added in the old opening so the old stem wall and the old open area are even.
This will held prevent water from getting in under the new wall and get the sheathing and siding up to the required height to prevent damage from splash back.
In such cases dealing with walls is a big issue:
If you are just adding another room inside the garage, you will want to add the walls first. If you are not familiar with drywall and electrical, you may want to have a contractor help you with this. TA contractor will also be able to ensure that the walls are structurally sound and insulated.
If you have chosen to convert the entire garage you will still want to install some kind of wall material around the perimeter. Most garages are basic, and you can cover the existing walls with drywall or sheetrock. Some people opt for simple paneling as this doesn’t require as much work. But if you choose paneling remember that you won’t have as much insulation. Adding some insulation to the inside of the existing wall will be inexpensive, and go a long way in keeping your room comfortable.
For general message board help, click the tab labeled "Tools," and choose "Help" from the dropdown menu.