How to Finish Garage Walls

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Many garages, especially in new, low-end construction homes, don’t include finishing the garage walls as part of the package. Thus, many homeowners don’t bother to finish them. This is too bad, because a well-done garage can add value and enjoyment to a home, as well as protect the internal frame from damage. There is more to it than just throwing up some drywall, however. Consideration and planning are necessary to get a garage worthy of your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Wiring
  • Window or door
  • Insulation
  • Lighting
  • Drywall or paneling
  • Primer and paint
  • Baseboard trim or wood boards
  • Decide on any additions to the garage wiring that may be required. This includes any wiring for more electrical, telephone, or cable TV. Add water lines and a drain if you are considering adding a sink.

  • Install a window or service door with a window included to allow some natural light inside. Natural light will enhance the space and make it more enjoyable to work in.

  • Add insulation to the walls before completing drywall or paneling. Although not necessary for use in a garage, insulating the walls makes it more comfortable to be in, is easier on items stored in the garage, and will reduce heat loss.

  • Cover all the walls with drywall or paneling, and remember to also do the ceiling. Both may be done either personally, or by hiring a contractor. Drywall is more expensive, but gives the better finish and makes the walls smooth with no seams. Paneling is usually cheaper, but the seams can cause problems later by developing gaps.

  • Paint the drywall with a good quality primer and then coat with a latex paint to help protect the wall from moisture. Paneling may also be painted and the paint can add a level of protection to this as well.

  • Add baseboard around the perimeter of the floor. There are two ways to do this. One, add regular home molding if water, chemicals or other damaging elements are not in question. For the opposite, consider using treated 2-by-4-by-1 boards around the floor. These will not only be more apt to survive damage, but will also give the room a nice clean look.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the same insulation level for the walls as the rest of the house if you know it.
  • Try to plan for any future needs to simplify work later after the garage is complete.
  • Consider using 2-by-6-by-1 boards for the baseboard. Their extra height helps protect the wall more from things that may bang against it.
  • If you’re not confident in the ability to perform the electrical or wall covering work yourself, hire only licensed contractors to do the work for you.

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References

  • “IdeaWise Garages: Inspiration & Information for Do-It-Yourselfers;” Laura Gross; 2004
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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