Writing is a hobby which I have picked up again after being away from it for four decades actually, while I was busy with a career.
How to Raise Floor Height in Your Garage: Getting Started
Wondering how to raise garage floor for living space? Before you get started, check for these three important elements of the project.
1. Check the building codes and local zoning laws to see if this is permissible.
There may be restrictions in height that may be a qualifying factor, as generally garages are built of a height not more than 8 feet. So if you raise the floor, you have to check the minimum height available after you raise the floor.
Ensure this is within the building codes. If it is not, see if you are inconvenienced by creating a step between the house and the garage area.
2. Measure everything!
While measuring these heights, use a level to mark a common datum on the garage walls and base all your measurements of the house floor, the garage floor, and the garage roof from there. Quite often, garage floors will be sloped, and this requires you to be more circumspect.
If you think you need to put in a few windows for light, do these works before you do the floor raising, again keeping the sill per the raised floor. You would also need to decide on how you intend to close the garage door. You can always replace it with an external wall, but using drywall inside the door to match up the surface to the existing walls could be a solution.
3. Check the dampness on the garage floor.
Garage floors are normally of almost the same level as driveways, and there is every chance the dampness from surrounding areas could get into your garage. If there is a dampness problem, tackle this first with poly or other liners.
How to Raise Garage Floor for Living Space
Normally, garage floors are about 8 inches below the general house level. This height can be easily made up with a layer of insulation and some concrete screed. This will leave you a sufficient margin for the final floor tiles or another flooring that you propose for your new living space.
Raising the garage floor this way is the easiest and fastest way for a DIY project. But if you are planning to have a lot of electrical points or other wirings in the new space, it may require a lot of detailed planning before you lay down the concrete. By the way, insulation is suggested to keep the temperature in the modified space uniform.
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Framed Wooden Floor
A framed wooden floor is another very simple way how to raise the garage floor for living space. This framing also allows you to lay down insulation and any electrical circuits that you may need for the converted space. Give some thought to termite treatment if you are going to use this method.
Make sure that the framing laid down gives you a level floor that matches the one in the house. You would need to constantly check the levels to ensure that you have the right height.
Once the framing is done, the insulation put in place and the electrical circuits where they should be, cover the entire area with plywood of ¾ inch thickness. If you are planning floor tiles or carpeting over this, you would need to make the necessary adjustments in the height.
Create Your New Living Space!
Now that you have your garage space converted to a living area, you can move in the furniture or appliances that you had planned for that area. Of course, before doing this, you would have to decide whether the walls and ceiling need a coat of paint or wallpaper.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: What type of insulation should be used to raise a garage floor?
Answer: Insulation will depend on your needs. You can use fiberglass batt, or fill up the space between the frames with foam insulation, which is also strong enough to take tiles or other floor material directly.
Question: Can you describe the wood flooring frame involved in raising a garage floor? Is it made with 2x4s? What spacing is required?
Answer: You can use 2X4s at a spacing of 15 to 18 inches in both directions. You will then need to cover it with plywood if you are planning a PVC tile or carpet cover. Alternatively, you can use ceramic or other tiles.
Dan Bill on October 20, 2019:
I am trying to decide what to do with the floor in the garage as I convert it to living space. The garage is 16 ft wide and has a cement floor that grades down. I do not know what to do to make it level I do not know how or what to from it with I have thought about 2x6 floor joists but I am not sure about the grade and how to make it level. I would appreciate any guidance. Thanks