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If you spend a lot of time in your garage, you have probably wondered whether it’s a good idea to install drywall. But with the job potentially costing thousands of dollars, is it really worth putting up drywall?
Installing drywall in your garage is a great addition to your home and has many benefits. The benefits include temperature stability, aesthetic appeal, fire protection, noise reduction, increased visibility, and better resale potential. If you need added strength for your garage walls, then plywood may be a better option.
You’ll need to make sure that the drywall is compliant with local building code, which is something I’ll discuss later. But first, more on the benefits.
Benefits of drywall in a garage
If your garage is somewhere that you spend a lot of time, or if you have a lot of your possessions stored there, then it is a good idea to install drywall. Drywall provides much more protection and makes the garage much more appealing while increasing its durability.
There are many other benefits to installing drywall, which I’m going to show you now.
Using drywall in your garage can make it a much more comfortable place for you to spend time in because it improves temperature stability. When drywall is combined with insulation, it keeps the warm air trapped inside.
Insulating your walls is always a good idea as it’s not only useful for keeping warm air trapped in, but it will help keep your garage cool during periods of hot weather.
Insulation further helps to stop pipes from freezing in extremely cold weather. This is particularly important as frozen pipes can cause all sorts of issues which could end up costing you a lot of money in repairs.
Drywall can also improve the look of your garage and make it more aesthetically appealing as it gives you a blank canvas that you can prime and paint to your own taste.
Installing drywall offers improves the visibility inside your garage. Even if you don’t decide to paint the drywall, the bright surfaces of drywall provide added reflectivity from your garage lighting.
The extra visibility is excellent for DIYers and hobbyists alike as it can help to reduce accidents occuring when using power tools.
From a safety point of view, it’s an extremely good idea to install drywall in your garage as drywall is fire resistant, which is especially important if you use power tools. This is because drywall is made from the mineral gypsum and contains crystallized moisture, both of which give drywall fire-resistant properties.
Although all drywall is fire-resistant to a degree, type-X and type-C drywall have been specifically designed to be used in fire-rated assemblies. The products used in type-X and type-C help to contain the fire much better than regular drywall.
Although drywall cannot completely prevent outside sound, it can greatly reduce it, which makes it a great choice if you live in a populated area.
Improve resale value
A lot of home buyers like houses that have drywall in their garages as it creates a smart and appealing look. Instaling will help you sell your property if you place it on the market and may even add to the property’s value.
Cost of installing drywall
If you are planning to install drywall in your garage and want to work out the cost, then you will need to know the square footage inside your garage.
If you decide to install the drywall yourself, the cost will be around $0.50 per square foot for the materials. According to SFGATE, the total cost will be $290 to $448 for a single-car garage and $330 to $528 for a two-car garage. If you need to purchase all the necessary tools, you should add another few hundred dollars to the total cost.
If you decide to hire a contractor to do the job, it will be a lot more expensive. According to Home Advisor, the cost of installing drywall in a single-car garage is between $1,200 – $3,600. For a two-car garage, the price is $1,400 – $4,200, and for a three-car garage, the price falls somewhere between $1,700 – $5,100.
Contractors will oftentimes use thicker or fire-resistant drywall panels, which cost up to 50% more than the average.
What to consider before hanging drywall
There are a few things that you should always consider before you hang drywall in your garage. Moisture on the walls is an important consideration as it can cause structural damage to your home and garage. If the walls often have condensation or moisture, then you probably need to use a dehumidifier in your garage.
Benefits of adding insulation
If you don’t insulate the walls then the wall doesn’t really do anything to help with temperature control. This isn’t so much of a problem if you live in an area that is not subject to extreme temperatures, but it can be extremely uncomfortable if you do.
For insulation to be really cost-effective, you need builders-grade fiberglass insulation on the walls and cellulose or batts for the ceiling.
If you want to sound-proof your garage at the same time as insulating, then mineral wool is a material that is suitable for both purposes, as well as being resistant against mold and mildew.
However, if you wanted something with a higher R-value, then spray foam insulation is the better option for you.
Follow building code
Building codes can vary from state to state, so you should always check the guidelines that are local to your area before carrying out any work on your garage.
Oftentimes, there are rules that need to be followed regarding the dividing wall that separates your garage from your home. Walls must meet fire code standards, so it’s vitally important to hang drywall that is fire-rated.
You will need to make sure that the drywall is also of the correct thickness to meet the fire code regulations. Usually, hardware stores will sell drywall that is the correct thickness to satisfy the regulations in the local area, but do make sure by speaking to a professional.
You will often have to meet other fire standards such as using fire-resistant tape. Fire tape is a self-adhesive drywall tape that doesn’t require a joint compound to achieve its fire rating.
Size of drywall panels
Usually, drywall panels are 4 feet by 8 feet, which is the correct size for garages that have 8 feet high walls. However, if the walls are 9 feet high, then you will need 54-inch wide drywall panels.
If you install the panels horizontally, then they will fit the wall without needing to be cut. However, to install the drywall on the ceiling, you should choose the biggest-sized panel that you can handle while still being safe.
This is because using bigger drywall panels means there are not as many seams in the ceiling. Also, if you tape out the drywall, then using bigger panels on the ceiling will save you a lot of time.
Should you install plywood instead of drywall?
If you don’t want to install drywall in your garage, then the other option you have is to install plywood instead. There are some benefits of choosing plywood over drywall, which I’ll take you through now.
Plywood has extra strength
Compared to drywall which is more aesthetically pleasing, plywood can really improve the strength of the walls in your garage. This is particularly useful if you intend on hanging tools or mounting shelves on the walls.
Mounting is easier on plywood
Because of plywood’s strength, it’s much easier to mount things on as you can simply drill directly into the plywood for hanging and mounting.
When mounting on drywall, you have to either find the stud behind it and drill into that for added strength or use anchors in the drywall.
Plywood is easier to install
Plywood is much lighter than drywall, which makes it much easier to install and can usually be done by just one person. Drywall is very heavy and requires two people to carry and install it safely.
Make sure to consider how you’ll be using your garage before you decide on what material you want to use. If you’re in any doubt about the type of material you need in your area, make sure to consult a professional before carrying out the work yourself to ensure that you don’t invalidate your home insurance.