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Author Topic: Turning garage into office  (Read 8660 times)

Kanvas Keepsakes

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Turning garage into office
« on: September 05, 2014, 04:37:48 pm »

Hey guys, was debating whether or not to close up my garage and turn it into an office for my print work.  I stretch all my canvas prints in the garage currently, but the opening to the garage faces south and boy do I get that garage filled with dirt and grass quick.  I'm taking the plunge and closing it up.  Question:  What kind of flooring would you all that have done this (if any have done this) recommend I get?  Tile?  Wood?  I'm thinking of what would be easiest to clean and keep clean.  Also, what kind of AC unit would be best for about a 400-500sq/ft area?  A split AC type?  Thanks for the help in advance, guys. 
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louoates

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2014, 05:41:44 pm »

If you have a concrete floor now I'd strongly recommend a professionally installed seamless floor of epoxy acrylic. Lots of pro installers can do this properly. I would never try the do-it-yourself epoxy acrylic sold at the hardware stores because you'll never get the floor prepared correctly--acid wash/grinding, etc. that the pros do all the time. I have a 1,000 s.f. workshop and a 3 car garage in Arizona coated in that fashion and a 500 s.f. workshop and double garage in Illinois. After 8 years all those floors are perfectly clean. A pro can do the job in a few days. Lots of color options and degrees of non-slippery-ness.
Most amateurs will mess up this kind of flooring.
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Kanvas Keepsakes

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2014, 05:45:15 pm »

Great idea, Lou!  Thanks!  Any idea what this kind of work costs?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2014, 05:47:38 pm by rgvsdigitalpimp »
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louoates

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2014, 05:52:10 pm »

Google an experienced pro installer in your area for an estimate. Make sure you check out job references.
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Kanvas Keepsakes

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2014, 05:52:35 pm »

Already did that.  No one comes up :/  I'm in way south Texas. 
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2014, 08:11:43 am »

Already did that.  No one comes up :/  I'm in way south Texas.  

Epoxy coatings for floors and walls is a speciality painting application.  Look for large painting subcontractors in your area; they probably will be able to apply epoxy to your floor.  Make sure that they use the commercial grade epoxy, which to use they will need to be licensed by the manufacturer of the epoxy.  (Usually they can not even buy it unless they are okayed by the manufacturer.)  

It is expensive, however very durable compared to the consumer grade epoxy you can buy at home depot.  

In any event, I am not totally sure if this would be the best solution for you.  Most painters I know who do epoxy flooring install it in warehouses and manufacturing facilities.  It dry twice as hard as concrete and is primarily used to protect the floor from fork lifts, pallets, trucks, etc.  

Epoxy may be over kill for a photo/print studio. 
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Walt Roycraft

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2014, 08:49:12 am »

We put a Mitsubishi mini split unit in an addition recently. It is a great unit and am very pleased with it.

With the flooring, one thing to consider is when you will sell. You want it to be an asset.
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Kanvas Keepsakes

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2014, 04:32:32 pm »

@Joe, any recommendations you can think of for flooring? 
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jferrari

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2014, 10:13:23 pm »

Lots of anti-fatigue mats. Concrete floors are tough on muscles and joints.
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Steve Weldon

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2014, 06:21:19 am »

Lots of anti-fatigue mats. Concrete floors are tough on muscles and joints.
+1

Epoxy coat it yourself for under $200 and lay down high quality anti-fatigue mats where you'll stand for any length of time. 


I also make my work surfaces middle grey, do the floor this color too..
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2014, 01:17:42 pm »

I do not know.  All I know commercial epoxy flooring is really made for very high traffic areas that have fork lifts and machinery buzzing around.  Like I said, epoxy is really used to keep the concrete subfloor from being chipped or cracked, which would be more expensive to replace (especially if the concrete is reinforced).  Also, it is used in laboratories too because some epoxies have non-slip properties and do not react to chemicals as much. 

For a photo/print studio, I would go cheap, especially if this a new venture and you are trying to keep expenses low.  Maybe epoxy it yourself, which would more than enough since I doubt you will be driving fork lifts around all day. 
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louoates

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2014, 06:24:05 pm »

I have never seen a painted concrete floor applied by an amateur hold up. Only a professional painter has the patience and the know-how to do the proper floor prep. Be careful about using mats -- make sure they are designed to be used atop paint. Lots of odd chemicals in those sorts of things can eat through stuff. Ask the painter specifically about rubber/fake rubber mats and if it will affect his guarantee.
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jferrari

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2014, 08:22:04 pm »

I have never seen a painted concrete floor applied by an amateur hold up. Only a professional painter has the patience and the know-how to do the proper floor prep.

Sorry, Lou, but you lead a sheltered life. For crying out loud it's just a concrete floor! In Texas! No realistic concern of leaching moisture down there. Just put one coat of this stuff down, put down some anti-fatigue mats in the necessary spots and enjoy your new office. Life's just too short...    - Jim
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Steve Weldon

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2014, 11:51:58 pm »

I have never seen a painted concrete floor applied by an amateur hold up. Only a professional painter has the patience and the know-how to do the proper floor prep. Be careful about using mats -- make sure they are designed to be used atop paint. Lots of odd chemicals in those sorts of things can eat through stuff. Ask the painter specifically about rubber/fake rubber mats and if it will affect his guarantee.

No offence, but you either know people who can't follow directions or chose to skip steps.  Painted epoxy floors are about 90% dependent on preparation and 10% on application.. kinda like photography.. ;o)   I've done several of my own and a helped family do a half dozen others and they are neither expensive nor that hard to do.  A couple hundred bucks, a few gallons of Muriatic acid, and some disposables like stout scrub brushes (the type that normally last for years but will be disposable for this job) and you've got all you need.  Glossy, flat, add sand for non-slip, whatever you want.  Companies such as Ucoatit are good and I've used them 2-3 times and there are others.   You can get the exact same name product cheaper on Amazon, ebay, Summit Racing, and 100 other places.  Shop for a deal.  Try to get an extra 10-20% more product than you measure for to avoid last minute discoveries..   I like the middle grey flat.. I don't want light reflected in my studio that I didn't reflect or in my processing rooms.  I've found matching anti-fatigue mats too. 

Not a single floor I've been involved with as had issues not directly caused my abuse.  15 years is the first one I did.  Let them season before even walking n them.. they say 24 hours, do it for two weeks and you'll be rewarded.  Longer if you can.  If you drive on them know that pebbles in your tires will chip away at it.. but as a work room the floor should outlast any human life.

We swept, swept again, scrubbed with degreaser several times, rinsed, repeated several times, pressure washed.. and then Muriatic acid washed each floor using a good quality respirator.  When I was younger I had a job cleaning pools in Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Santa Monica, Brentwood, etc, etc.. and gunnite pools were routinely acid washed every 3-4 years if taken care of well and no algae was allowed to foster.. My boss used to pay me $100 a pool to crawl down and do the scrubbing with the acid.  That was big money for me back then.. mid-70's.. I did this for years before he finally figured out I was using a scuba tank setup.. then he wanted to reduce my pay.. funny.     If you prep like this or whatever the directions call for.. you'll be golden.  Skip a single step and it's for naught.  Epoxy is nothing more than chemicals.. and chemicals are exact in requirements.
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2014, 12:25:53 pm »

I think that this comes down to use and how much ware and tare the floor would get.  To boldly assume that the people he knows are incompetent at following directions and steps is being ignorant. 

Maybe he has known a couple people who decided to epoxy a floor themselves with consumer grade epoxy when it really should have been coated with commercial grade epoxy (which you can not buy unless you are licensed).  I have heard of this several time from painters I know.  Consumer grade epoxy will not hold up to constant abuse from folk lifts, pallets, etc. 

However, for a photo/print studio, consumer grade epoxy should be fine. 
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Kanvas Keepsakes

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2014, 01:45:28 pm »

Thanks everyone for all the help.  Very much appreciated.  I was going to post another topic about this next question but thought I'd just add it in here since it has to do with the same office conversion.  I have a spray room that we built about 2yrs ago in my garage.  Works great.  Only thing is there is no exhaust in there to suck out the spray coating.  So right now my flooring looks black from all the spray residue lingering around.  For now, I can open garage and let it all fly out.  Once my garage is closed, no way for the fumes to exhaust out of my room.  One wall is directly behind my brick wall of my house.  The other wall faces my soon to be office.  No way to exhaust through the wall.  I need to exhaust out through the roof possibly.  Attached is a photo of my spray room.  Anything you all can recommend I buy to install that will exhaust up into the ceiling and out through maybe roof vents or so?  Thanks
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Steve Weldon

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2014, 01:20:40 am »

I think that this comes down to use and how much ware and tare the floor would get.  To boldly assume that the people he knows are incompetent at following directions and steps is being ignorant. 

Maybe he has known a couple people who decided to epoxy a floor themselves with consumer grade epoxy when it really should have been coated with commercial grade epoxy (which you can not buy unless you are licensed).  I have heard of this several time from painters I know.  Consumer grade epoxy will not hold up to constant abuse from folk lifts, pallets, etc. 

However, for a photo/print studio, consumer grade epoxy should be fine. 

1.  Nah, far more likely to assume every product his friends tried didn't work because they all had the wrong product.  I wasn't attacking anyone, just stating the likely hood of what happened.  Every website and instruction book warns of this.  Epoxy is extremely sensitive to how its used, prep work, temperatures, etc.  I've been involved with maybe a dozen floors from bare concrete, half again more helping those who experienced problems and were doing it over after a painful stripping process.   Each person could tell me exactly what steps they skipped after being involved with doing it right.. they read the directions and thought it wouldn't matter.  Very common and very human.

2.  There really is no such thing as consumer and commercial epoxy. It's like saying there's a professional or amateur level of camera.  There isn't.  There are only different types of cameras.  There are different types of epoxies. These are simply marketing terms and both are available via the internet or local stores to the consumer.  Most websites offer both.  One is solvent based and more dangerous to use but also tougher.. more appropriate for your example of fork lifts and the such..  The other isn't.  Consumers can choose to buy and apply either though California has limited solvent based paints, and herbicides, and insecticides, household chemicals, and just about everything else.  Asking for "a commercial grade epoxy please" could get you either one depending on the vendor.  Ask for "I'd like a solvent based epoxy please" and that's what you'll get.

3.   A warning.  You will need a paint respirator for the solvent based epoxies and you'll need to let the chemicals leech from the paint for a long while.  I wouldn't use it in any location I couldn't either leave open, or lock down unoccupied for 3-4 weeks before using.
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Steve Weldon

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2014, 01:30:35 am »

Thanks everyone for all the help.  Very much appreciated.  I was going to post another topic about this next question but thought I'd just add it in here since it has to do with the same office conversion.  I have a spray room that we built about 2yrs ago in my garage.  Works great.  Only thing is there is no exhaust in there to suck out the spray coating.  So right now my flooring looks black from all the spray residue lingering around.  For now, I can open garage and let it all fly out.  Once my garage is closed, no way for the fumes to exhaust out of my room.  One wall is directly behind my brick wall of my house.  The other wall faces my soon to be office.  No way to exhaust through the wall.  I need to exhaust out through the roof possibly.  Attached is a photo of my spray room.  Anything you all can recommend I buy to install that will exhaust up into the ceiling and out through maybe roof vents or so?  Thanks

You might be able to install such a venting system yourself, but you will need professional help figuring out what to use.  Anyone who's even built their own house or even remodelled their kitchen probably remembers doing essentially the same thing for the stove top, bathrooms, and if there is no outside wall for a dryer vent and you're on a slab.. the dryer as well.  Each company that makes the fans and venting ducts will use these variables to determine the duct size, and how much CFM's the fan will need to pull.  Height of the outside vent, sqft of the room, and one more thing.. the material being vented.  Steam vs. cooking oils vs. lint.. if the product is specifically for one or the other they probably won't ask, but know it matters..   

Also know it's about total flow.  For instance, if a 4 inch duct and and 1000rpm fan is recommended, know that a 8 inch duct with a 500rpm fan is probably a lot quieter.. and if you get a variable speed fan so your 8 inch fan also does 1000 and 2000rpms.. you can get a lot more capacity to clear the room quick.   I went through this a few times building a spray room for furniture finishes when I used to make furniture.  HLVP came along and was much appreciated.

Good luck!
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Kanvas Keepsakes

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2014, 05:20:28 pm »

Hey guys!  Quick update on the garage conversion project.  We're almost done!  I hit the goldmine and was able to find a pair of guys that can pretty much do anything from floor to roof.  So I had them do it all.  Enclosure, lighting, AC, flooring etc.  Here are some images of where we're at now.  Appreciate all your help, guys.  I decided to go with the epoxy flooring that jferrari linked me to.  Looks amazing.  Thanks!
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Jeremy Roussak

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Re: Turning garage into office
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2014, 01:34:15 pm »

Hey guys!  Quick update on the garage conversion project.  We're almost done!  I hit the goldmine and was able to find a pair of guys that can pretty much do anything from floor to roof.  So I had them do it all.

I hope you didn't get the guy in the photo to do the roof. He looks awfully short  ;)

Jeremy
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