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  1. #1
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    Question Okay.....order of converting a garage.....

    Right now it has framing and open beams, a concrete floor, 1 window, 1 door.

    Does one install the wood floor before you insulate and drywall the walls and ceiling, or do you do that first, then address the cold, hard floor?

    Also...there must be tons of black widow spiders hiding out there. Short of tenting and fumigating the structure, is it worthwhile to spray all the surfaces and crevices with something like orange oil, to help kill at least some of them...or do you just figure snug drywall will discourage those who are already in residence from worming their way in?

    Thanks....and happy holidays to everyone : )

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Okay.....order of converting a garage.....

    If you spray anything, it should be a sodium borate solution like Timbor or Boracare. I would do the floor last simply because all the rest of the construction is so hard on the floor surface. If you do the floor's final finish before the walls and ceiling are done, then you have to protect them somehow.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Okay.....order of converting a garage.....

    Thanks! Good points : )

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Okay.....order of converting a garage.....

    Couple more points, you no not have a black widow problem, you have an insect problem. Black widows eat other insects. No food, no spiders. The Timbor or Boracare will get rid of their food source (other insects), as far as I know, it does not affect them directly. Its really good for getting rid of termites, even the Formosan termite and carpenter ants.

    Also, if this is going to be a media room or home office, be sure to run speaker wire (in wall rated speaker wire, not the common speaker wire sold at most audio stores) and any structured cabling needed to support your communications/entertainment equipment before putting up the sheet rock.

    Then finish (paint/paper etc.) the ceiling first, then the walls and finally put down the floor.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Okay.....order of converting a garage.....

    Right....I left out the wiring issue. There's some ugly, exposed wiring now for lights, but I plan to bring in an electrician friend before we start and say, "Okay one central hanging fixture will be here, and hopefully a pair of outlets here and here," etc. before we begin any work. Will address the speaker wire you've raised at that point, too.

    So it seems like that aside, the order of work is like when you're painting a room....do the ceiling first, because then nothing will drip on it or disturb it. Then you address the walls, then clean up and work on the floor last : )

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Okay.....order of converting a garage.....

    Quote Originally Posted by California_Cookie View Post
    So it seems like that aside, the order of work is like when you're painting a room....do the ceiling first, because then nothing will drip on it or disturb it. Then you address the walls, then clean up and work on the floor last : )
    Pretty much.

    1 - While the ceiling and walls are at bare stud, make sure you do any plumbing and electrical that is needed for the space or put through the wall to the exterior.

    2 - Seal up any vent holes around the perimeter just above the foundation, you don't want them open to the space and you don't want moisture or bugs/critters getting into the wall cavity. Any new doors or windows get added at this time.

    3 - Insulate walls and ceiling. You'll need 5/8 drywall on the ceiling and shared house wall areas, 1/2" drywall will suffice for non-shared walls. Texture and paint.

    4 - Now you can address the floor. You can either lay hardwood or vinyl over the slab or you can build a sleeper floor. Keep in mind that the garage floor is not level, it should drop approximately 1/4" per foot from the interior wall to the roll-up door. It may even have some crown to it, so if you want a perfectly level floor, you'll have no choice but to install a sleeper, otherwise you can work with what you've got. Any material that touches the concrete needs to be pressure treated.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Okay.....order of converting a garage.....

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    4 - Now you can address the floor. You can either lay hardwood or vinyl over the slab or you can build a sleeper floor. Keep in mind that the garage floor is not level, it should drop approximately 1/4" per foot from the interior wall to the roll-up door. It may even have some crown to it, so if you want a perfectly level floor, you'll have no choice but to install a sleeper, otherwise you can work with what you've got. Any material that touches the concrete needs to be pressure treated.
    Very clear. Thank you.

    I should have been more clear. It's not exactly a garage...I called it that because it's an outbuilding using the basic construction materials of a garage. I don't know WHAT the 1940's structure started out as. It might have been a big potting shed. It's about 11' X 20'. There's no car-sized opening....though perhaps the whole thing has been minorly adapted in the past, removing a traditional garage door and replacing it with a single, people-sized door.

    My impression is the floor is basically level.

    Does laying the wood (or Pergo, or whatever's salvageable from CraigsList, etc.) floor right on the concrete make for a more uncomfortable space to work in? I was thinking of attempting the sleeper floor "boards" (whatever that system is called) (after researching, of course), then a layer of plywood subflooring, then the wood (or whatever) floor product.

    I was thinking this might make the space a little warmer over time, as there would be a pocket of air between the concrete slab and the top floor (?) Perhaps it would also give the floor a bit more "bounce," which is easier on your spine etc. as the years roll on.
    Last edited by California_Cookie; 12-21-2012 at 07:31 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Okay.....order of converting a garage.....

    It is up to you how you install the floor. If you raise the floor at all, you're going to affect the doors and thresholds.

    In my own home I installed a floating engineered floor and it made a huge improvement in both the warmth and in anti-fatigue. Before we had vinyl over slab and more than a few minutes in the kitchen had your body aching. After installing the floor it was no longer cold in the winter and you could be in the kitchen for hours and not have fatigue issues.

    I used Kahrs, which was roughly 1/2" thick, 3-ply planks. A heavy plastic vapor barrier was laid first, then 1/8 foam pad, then the floor on top of that. We very much enjoyed that floor for the remaining time in that house.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Okay.....order of converting a garage.....

    Yay. Good job! Will file that info away...

    Thanks

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Okay.....order of converting a garage.....

    Ultimately, as long as the slab is level or you don't care about the slight slope (as earlier described ), then you can install a floating floor with no problems. If you need/want a perfectly level floor, then you would need to either float it, pour over it, or build it up with lumber.

    If you do build a raised floor, then I would also suggest insulating the cavity for added warmth and sound deadening.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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