DIY Savings: Garage Floor Grinding & Epoxy

For the new year I’m going to start a new series about how much we saved doing a renovation ourselves instead of hiring a contractor to do it for us. There has been a number of projects that we originally were planning to hire out but after finding out how much we could save by doing it ourselves we went the DIY route. DIY projects take a lot more time but can save you big bucks if you’re willing to take them on. Hopefully, this will help other people make an informed decision on whether to tackle it themselves or hire it out. I’ve added a new DIY Savings tab in the right column:

DIY Savings


The most recent project we saved money on by DIYing it was our garage floor. After converting our one car garage back into a two car garage we needed to fix the uneven floor that was creating water issues. Then the garage floor got an epoxy coating to finish it off. In our long search to find a contractor that would take on the project we did get one quote for $3,900. We ended up doing it ourselves after we found a place to rent the heavy duty concrete grinding equipment from. It was a messy and time consuming process but it was well worth it. We went from this:

To this:


Difficulty level
Grinding the floor – Moderate
Transporting, moving, and controlling the heavy machinery were the hardest parts. You had to make sure to keep the machines moving or they would make the floor even more uneven.

Applying Epoxy – Easy
There was a lot of prep work and the process took a long time but it was overall pretty simple.


Rental of scarifier = $140
Rental of floor grinder = $75
Renting carbide blades for the floor grinder = $50
Wear on floor grinder’s diamond blades = $290
Total cost of rental equipment = $555


Rustoleum Professional Grade Epoxy Kits = $350
Rustoleum Anti-Skid Additive, Concrete Patch Kits, & Degreaser = $118
Brushes, buckets, squeegee, rubber boots, respirator, goggles, mixer attachment & everything else pictured = $347
Total cost of epoxy floor = $815


Combined cost = $1,370
Contractor’s bid = $3,900
DIY Savings = $2,530

Stay tuned for even more DIY Savings posts!


7 Responses to “DIY Savings: Garage Floor Grinding & Epoxy”

  1. 1 kitliz @ diydiva January 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I love seeing how much you save DIYing. Not that it matters because we’re all willing to put sweat equity in, but I also always divide the savings number by the number of man-hours it took to complete the project to see what we “made” per hour.

    I’m trying to do this for our entire house project… It’s clear we saved but not always by how much. Can’t wait to see the rest of them (particularly when you start on the BIG work in the house!)

  2. 2 Sarah G. January 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Wow great savings. I love your idea of posting the cost of doing the work yourself vs. hiring out. I’ll definately be staying tuned. Your blog is very educational! Thank you!

  3. 3 chezerbey January 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Nice summary, thanks for sharing!

  4. 4 Sam Luettke January 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I like this. you did a ton of work, just like I did. T rented a floor grinder because I had paint on floor from before. I used the rustoleum epoxy from Lowes and it lasted about three months. I had some vacation time coming up so I did it again but bought all the epoxy floor paint from adpolymers. I went with the recommended primer high solids and urethane. 2 car was less than $400 bucks plus shipping, but it is awesome. Much more of a floor than needed for a garage but I can tell you this is permanant. Doing back garage next but only gonna acid etch the floor. Contractor wanted over $1400 to do my small two car. And he said no primer needed but not takig the chance for the little extra cost. I can tell you it really soaked in the floor. We tried getting it up off driveway where my son over rolled and hit the driveway. We had to use xylene and a wire adapter on a drill to get it up. ADpolymers AD144 epoxy floor primer unbelievable stuff.

    How is you floor holding up so far? I love my floor. Your floor looks real nice too.

    • 5 Robin January 29, 2011 at 9:52 am

      Did you use the water based Rustoleum or the Professional non-water based Rustoleum?

      Our floors are holding up really well so far even with all of the salt, sand, and water the cars have been bringing in!

  5. 6 Sam Luettke January 31, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I used the professional kit. The non-waterbased stuff. It came in two gallons, part A and part B. Gallon of each. That material is a solvent based material which requires to sit 30 minutes before applying. Slow reaction, which means the solvent dissapitates before giving the concrete time to soak that solvent in pulling the attached material down with it. I called Rustoleum and they said they are limited to what they can ship to large box stores (i.e. Lowes) due to their restrictions with Hazmat. Anyways it came up in a few spots and still just looked like a painted floor instead of a faux terazzo type floor. I could tell it was better than the water-based but just didn’t have what I wanted. did give me 5% off but you have to ask. No comparison at all. Crazy durable and beautiful do it yourself epoxy garage floor.

  6. 7 Leslie @ NE PDX Bungalow February 4, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I just found your blog, and I’m really enjoying your posts. I especially like your DIY savings posts. We did a similar post for out attic insulation project. Also enjoying your post about bathroom lighting!

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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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