Help us keep our converted garage nice and dry
July 8, 2010 11:42 AM   Subscribe

GarageConversionFilter: We're converting a single car garage into a bedroom and need to waterproof the walled-up door opening.

The garage used to be a room but was converted to a garage by the previous owners. Thus, it already has windows, plumbing, electric, heat, etc., and should generally be an easy conversion. Our main concern is the garage door. We plan to leave it in (disconnecting the mechanics) in case future owners want to convert it back, but we need to wall it up from the inside and, most importantly, keep water from seeping in when it rains. We plan to put in a subfloor, so we could put a concrete curb or cinder blocks under the framing, but we want to make sure it's sealed to the floor. Also, if there's any easier/more creative solution than concrete for keeping water out, we'd love to hear it.

We will be hiring a professional to do the work, but we like to know what's going on and get ideas from as many places as possible. Any suggestions for the rest of the conversion or pitfalls you might have encountered in similar projects would be appreciated. Thanks!
posted by walla to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
Best answer: I'd say some Tyvek (or other similar house wrap product) over the whole opening would be a good start.
posted by jferg at 1:04 PM on July 8, 2010

Best answer: Is the door a roll-up or a one-piece door that pivots up into place? If it is a roll-up door, it is most likely directly behind (toward the inside of the room) from the frame. You might want to consider installing a sliding glass door into the frame just outside the of surface of the door. Then you can roll down the door for privacy or roll it up for light. The threshold of the slider will provide all of the protection from the rain. This might be too funky for you, though.

If it is a pivot-type door, you should probably remove it and frame in the opening that is left behind. You can get a roll of foam that is made to go between the bottom plate and the slab that is designed to block drafts due to uneven slabs. Flash up over the base of the wall and then install Tyvek.
posted by Old Geezer at 2:25 PM on July 8, 2010

I know this doesn't really answer your question but if I was looking at a house with a conversion, I think I would prefer see the work done completely and well (with maybe an appropriately sized window in the place of the door). If it was a room before, there should be a foundation wall that you can rebuild to above grade.

Setting it up so that it could be "re-re-converted", sounds like the worst option and I think it's liable to make a buyer worry that other work you've done is not up to par.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:30 PM on July 8, 2010

This is work that often is required to be permitted, because you're changing the living space of a home. As such your local authority may have specific requirements for e.g. closing off the door. I suspect you won't be able to do it as quick and dirty as you'd like.
posted by dhartung at 9:09 PM on July 8, 2010

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