Converting Our One Car Garage Back Into A Two Car Garage

Well we’re just finishing up a major garage overhaul but before I can show you the finished product I need to start from the beginning. When we bought the house there was only a one car garage. The house originally had a two car garage but the second owners put up a wall and converted it into a shop.

The one car garage:

The shop side:

Well that is after we thoroughly cleaned it. The previous owners ended up using the space for storage…a lot of storage:


To park their second vehicle (we do live in Wisconsin where parking your car inside in the winter is a huge bonus) they built a two car detached garage that we call a shed to avoid confusion. For the first year I parked in the shed but carrying the groceries across our front yard and shoveling a path on our grass in the winter got old fast. So before our second winter in the house we decided to convert the garage back into a two car garage. I quickly started the search for some high quality garage doors. As I explained previously we wanted a garage door with the highest R-value possible since our dining room is over our garage and we wanted something that was low maintenance but looked good since they are on the side of the house the public sees from the road. But the doors we wanted didn’t come in the odd size we needed (6.5’ x 9’) at least not yet. We had heard a rumor that they might start making them in that size so we ended up pushing back our garage door project until the company started offering the size we needed.


We finally got the call a few months later, “Clopay has started carrying the Dark Oak Gallery garage doors in the 6.5’ x 9’ size you need!” So we ordered them right away and patiently waited until they came in.


Meanwhile we had to figure out how to convert the shop back into a garage without leaving a big hole in our house for an extended period of time. We decided to do everything in one weekend and have the garage door installer come the following Monday. Papa Flannel came over the help and we quickly tore out the wall between the garage and converted shop. It was simply two layers of wood paneling and some 2×4’s that were spaced far apart. In only a few minutes we went from this:

To this:

Sophie had a good time helping getting in our way.


Next we opened up our exterior wall hoping that the framing for the original garage door was still there. Considering the previous owners were lazy enough to leave the original garage door attached to the ceiling and just cut the wood paneling to fit around the tracks we were optimistic that the door opening was still there.

We carefully took out the large 6’x4’ window and started tearing off wood paneling. Luckily, the framing was still there and we just had to deal with siding and brick mold. While Flannel Man and Papa Flannel were working I had the pleasure of taking a 3 hour drive to pick up the PVC door jamb that our local hardware stores only had in 8’ long sections (the openings are each 9’ wide).

By the time I got back they were waiting on me to finish. That night we rigged up a tarp with 2×4 braces in an attempt to close up the opening. Of course it rained that night and we worried we’d wake up to a puddle in our garage but it ended up keeping the garage dry.


The next day the garage door installer came and put in our new doors and openers. Originally, we were going to DIY the garage doors and openers but after calling around on prices we found that the installer was only $100 more per door. Knowing how dangerous the door springs can be and that we’d have to pay to get rid of the waste it was a no brainer to just hire someone.


So in one weekend we went from a one car garage and a fugly shop to a two car garage with beautiful yet energy efficient doors. Better yet these doors and trim can’t rot like the old stuff was:

I know a normal person wouldn’t be excited about garage doors but I’m not a normal person and these are your normal garage doors. Look at these suckers:

Next up we tackle the inside of the garage…


8 Responses to “Converting Our One Car Garage Back Into A Two Car Garage”

  1. 1 kitliz @ DIYdiva December 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    LOVE those doors. I mean, I wouldn’t mind having a built in shop either, but that is a huge improvement.

  2. 2 Debbie Malloy December 1, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    A lot of work, but in the end…BEAUTIFUL!! I love the new doors!! 🙂

  3. 3 Holyoke Home December 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Gah! This post is amazing! This blog is amazing! I’m so glad you stopped by Holyoke Home! This is a remarkable improvement to your home! Talk about improving your resale value! Those doors are perfect.

    Okay – off to read more posts!

  4. 4 Flash and Ollie December 3, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I am so envious of your garage doors! We’d give anything to just have a garage!!

    I thought about you and Sophie the other day when I was getting out our Christmas decorations. I still have the adorable stocking you made for Flash two years ago! I wondered then how you were doing so I am glad I came across your blog today in a random way!!

    Hope all is well!

  5. 5 Christine December 4, 2010 at 12:35 am

    WOW great job! I can’t imagine giving up that space unless you only had 1 car.

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This is the story of two twenty something newlyweds who are learning to adjust to life in their first house, a 1973 fixer-upper.
DIY Savings

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