A Step-by-Step Garage Remodeling Timeline

A garage remodel can take anywhere from a couple of months to a year or more depending on the size of the project. The steps of a garage remodel are similar for many projects, but can vary based on the scale of the renovation.

After completing more than 30,000 projects, we believe following these steps will guide you through a successful garage renovation. Some remodelers may experience a few hiccups along the way, but with a plan in place, a beautiful garage renovation is possible!

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Before Starting a Project

Big choices, like deciding to hire a contractor or doing it yourself, need to be made before starting a project.

Dream and Set Realistic Goals

Begin by envisioning your end-goal, your dream. Gather photos and design inspiration. Will you replace cabinets, countertops, flooring and appliances? Add a second sink or upgrade to a decorative range hood? Move a wall? Dream big, and then ask yourself what is a must-have and what is nice-to-have.

Create a Budget

Regardless of the total dollar amount, it’s important to create a budget. Learn what costs to expect and How to set your budget.
Keep your budget flexible by setting aside 10 to 20 percent for unplanned expenses.

Research and Hire a Contractor

If you’re hiring a General Contractor, do your research and set aside time to interview at least three. Start this process early because qualified contractors are often booked 4 to 8 months out.

Phase 1: Planning Your Garage Remodel

Planning your garage remodel is the foundation for a successful project. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on when you plan to remodel your garage.

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Measure Your Space

Taking a few simple measurements of your space is all that’s needed to start a free garage design. If you’re working with a contractor, they can help collect detailed measurements.

Order Cabinet Samples

Selecting a cabinet door style and color sets the tone of your garage. It also helps you choose countertops, flooring and more. Ordering samples early in the process will give you plenty of time to decide on a favorite.

Talk With a Garage Designer

Talking with a garage designer will help you translate your ideas and inspiration into a beautiful and functional garage. After discussing your wants, needs and budget, your designer will create an initial design which you can revise together until it matches your vision and goals.

Apply for Building Permits

A building permit is often required for structural, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical alterations to a house. If you have a contractor, he or she should take care of permitting. This process can take weeks or months depending on the complexity of the project and the municipality, so apply early.

Finalize Your Plans

Finalize your garage cabinet design, timeline plans and contracts. Create your own scope of work detailing who is responsible for each part of the project. Set a date for when the work should be completed. This will help avoid delays and miscommunication.

Phase 2: Order Your Products (1-2 months)

Shopping for and ordering your products can take several months.

It is best to wait for all your materials to arrive before demolishing any part of your garage.

Order Appliances

As you choose appliances, keep in mind that their sizes affect cabinets. Communicate any appliance changes with your designer before ordering cabinets to confirm that they will fit with your final design.

Order Cabinets

After finalizing your garage design, you will order the cabinets. The lead time for cabinetry will vary depending on the cabinet manufacturer. CliqStudios cabinetry takes four to six weeks to build and deliver.

Order Complementary Products

With your cabinet selection complete, it’s time to shop for complementary products. This includes: flooring, hardware, countertops, lighting, sink, faucet and more.
Remember that any special order products may require extra delivery time.

Inspect and Store New Products

Prepare space in a garage or other dry area where you can inspect and store each new product. Many products, like wood cabinets and flooring, will need to be stored in a climate controlled area.

Establish a Temporary Garage

Before demolishing your current space, establish a temporary garage. For some, this may be as simple as a dorm-sized refrigerator and microwave. For others, an outdoor grill is the perfect solution.
You may want to budget extra time and money for eating out more frequently during the rest of the project.

Pack up Your Garage

Before the sledgehammers start swinging, you’ll need to pack up everything in your garage. If you haven’t already, this would be a good time to declutter your garage.
Be sure to leave out items you will need in your temporary garage.

Phase 3: Rough Construction (1-6 weeks)

Rough construction means demolishing the existing garage, building out structural features and framing the room. If you are keeping the same room footprint and appliance placement, this step could be completed in one week or less.

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Demolish Your Garage (1 week)

After all new materials arrive and have been inspected, it is time to demolish your current garage. If you’re handling the demo yourself, have a plan for how to dispose of waste.
Before you begin demo, confirm that the gas, water and electric are off in the area you are working in.

Make Structural Changes (2-4 weeks)

Make structural changes like new windows, walls or doorways now. DIYers should consult a professional to ensure that any structural changes, like removing walls, are done safely.
Countertops cannot be fabricated before cabinets are installed. Be sure to schedule the measurements for after cabinets will be installed.

Rough-in Plumbing, Mechanical and Electrical (3-5 days)

Most utility rough-in work needs to be completed before the drywall and flooring are installed. This gives access to the wiring for inspection and placing outlets, fixture boxes and switches.
Utilities will need to be approved by a local building inspector before moving on to the next step. This will most likely take one week.

Install Drywall and Paint (1 week)

Hang and finish new drywall and insulation, if needed. Prep, prime and paint any surfaces that can be completed before installing flooring.

Install Flooring (2-3 days)

Many types of flooring, like tile and hardwood, should be installed before cabinetry. Some floating floor types, like luxury vinyl flooring and laminates, must be installed after the cabinets.

Phase 4: Finish Construction (1-2 months)

Finish construction is when all new products are installed in the garage. This is the final, and perhaps most satisfying, phase of the garage remodeling process.

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Install Cabinets (3-5 days)

It is time to install the largest part of the garage, new cabinets. DIYers can watch our cabinet installation videos for reference.

Measure, Fabricate and Install Countertops (2-4 weeks)

Only after cabinets are installed, can measurements for countertops be taken. Fabrication, or making the countertop, can then take place. This can take up to one month depending on the material. The final step is installation.

Install Appliances and Fixtures (1-5 days)

Lighting is installed after countertops are added. Appliance and plumbing fixtures can also be installed at this time. Use caution moving heavy appliances so they do not ding or scratch new flooring and cabinets.

Finishing Details and Hardware (1-2 weeks)

The finishing touches of the garage include cabinet hardware, crown molding, paint touch-ups and any other details. Level all appliances and check their connections.

Install Backsplash (2-3 days)

Backsplash is the last major item to be installed. It usually takes two days, but could take longer if you’re creating a detailed design.
If a building permit was required, schedule a final inspection by a building inspector. These take place during business hours.

Clean the Construction Zone (1-2 days)

Cleaning includes: clearing the room and ventilation system of dust and debris, wiping down cabinets and scheduling haul-away of any garbage dumpsters.

Phase 5: Unpack and Enjoy!

Congratulations, your garage is brand new and fully functional! Unpack your items and find a new home for each one. You’re ready to show off your new garage!

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