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Should I Drywall My Garage? Key Considerations


Drywall in a garage - should you or not?

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If you spend a lot of time using your garage, you might be wondering if you should hang drywall in the room. Drywall can provide a lot of benefits to your home. With some tools and a little know-how, it can be a DIY project to install. 

Drywall your garage for the cleanest finished look. Drywall, in combination with insulation, can help to keep your garage climate-controlled all year long. Finishing your garage with drywall can also add value to your home.

While you can hang drywall yourself, building codes may vary from state to state. Always check with your local guidelines to make sure your project is safe and up to code. Drywalling your garage is an excellent way to improve the room and make it seem more like an extension of your home.

Pro Tip: For custom drywall cuts, have a look at the Goldblatt Folding Drywall Hand Saw (link to Amazon). 

What Are the Benefits of Having Drywall in Your Garage?

There are multiple ways to finish a garage. I’ve covered the considerations of drywall compared to OSB previously for finishing a garage and I’m currently installing shiplap in my own garage. But for many drywall is the ultimate solution to a finished look.

When you finish the interior walls of your garage it can also help to increase comfort. This is especially true when insulating exterior walls prior to drywalling.

Making the room comfortable

 Drywall can be a fantastic way to help keep your garage climate-controlled. In combination with insulation, drywall can keep the heat trapped in. However, it’s important that you consider moisture issues.

I have faced a lot of issues with condensation in my garage. Moisture on the walls can lead to structural damage so be mindful of this if it’s an issue in your area.

If your garage is prone to moisture and condensation, a dehumidifier may be needed.

Ensuring your walls are insulated can prevent pipes from freezing in the winter, saving you thousands of dollars in possible repairs. If you are in a hot climate, this will also keep the cold air from the A/C in.

For more information, see Make A Garage Energy Efficient: Improve Comfort, Pest Control

Finishing the room 

Depending on what you intend the garage to be used for, drywall can add a more finished and refined look to the room.

This can really depend on personal preference but to many, a garage with unfinished walls or even OSB-lined is less appealing. Drywall can provide a light canvas that not only reflects light better but can also be primed and painted for further customization.

Increase the value of your home  – sort of

Finishing your garage with drywall can help it edge out the competition when it comes to selling. It may not technically increase the value in terms of sale price but it could be the deciding factor for a buyer when it comes down to your home and a comparable alternative.

What Should I Know Before I Hang Drywall?

When considering whether you should hang drywall, you should ask yourself a few questions:

What are the building codes for your area? 

These can depend on which state or city you live in, so always consult your local guidelines.

Usually, residential building codes will have some regulations on the wall that separates your home from your garage. This wall will need to use a thicker drywall sheet to act as a fire barrier. (See this article for more information).

Are you going to use insulation? 

Insulation plays an integral role in heat and cold retention; you need to keep your garage comfortable. Without insulation, the wall only plays a cosmetic function (for the most part at least).

This could be manageable if you live in a reasonably temperate climate with a steady tolerable temperature. If you live somewhere with aggressive highs or lows, you’ll want to take this under consideration.

Drywall can make a great addition to your garage, but make sure you consider this.

Pro Tip: Prior to insulating, take the time to properly air-seal any gaps or seams along exterior walls using expanding foam such as Great Stuff (link to Amazon).

Is it challenging to drywall a garage?

Home improvement projects can seem daunting and complicated. When it comes to drywall, installations seem like a tremendous job. In reality, its a job you might can do by yourself with only a handful of tools and some basic construction knowledge.

Before moving forward with a DIY project of this caliber, make an accurate assessment of your skills. Even if you were a complete novice, you could reasonably install your drywall with proper instruction.

If budgetary concerns are motivating you to do it yourself, then you might not have other options. 

Here’s a brief overview of the process:

  • Hang full drywall pieces first by attaching them to the wood studs in the wall with drywall screws. 
  • Fit custom cut piece of drywall into the spaces left and secure with drywall screws. 
  • To Pre-Finish the wall, you’ll need to use drywall mud, mesh tape, and a trowel. Use these to fill in the spaces between drywall pieces. 
  • Prime and then Paint the pre-finished wall. 

The whole process deserves a lot more involvement than just a few bullet points, but this gives you a general idea of what you’d be in for.

If this sounds like a project you have the aptitude for, then there are tons of useful tutorials online that can assist you. For a great tutorial, check out this video:

Insulate and Drywall Exterior Garage Wall

Is it Expensive to Hang Drywall in Your Garage?

When it comes to any project, getting a reasonable estimate of what you’ll be paying overall can be difficult. You might need more materials than expected or need specific tools you don’t already have. Another factor to take into account is time. How long the project will take can be as important as the price. 

To price out what a drywall job would cost for your garage, you need to have an idea of your square footage.

Installing drywall in a garage usually costs about $0.50 per square foot for materials alone, with an average cost hovering around $300-$400. With tools, you can expect to add a few more hundred dollars to that total. Expect the price to double if hiring a contractor.

Recommended Reading:

Why Are Rats In My Garage?

Paul

As a homeowner, I am constantly experimenting with making the structure of my house more energy-efficient, eliminating pests, and taking on DIY home improvement projects. Over the past two decades, my family has rehabbed houses and contracted new home builds and I've learned a lot along the way. I share my hard-learned lessons so that you can save time and money by not repeating my mistakes.

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