Sealing garage to use as home office / exercise area -- suggestions?

Hi everyone,
Our two car garage is 18' x 19.5' and though I'd like to park our small car in it I also want to build a work area for a computer, some books, ham radio gear, treadmill, and some other gear which we just have no place for in the house. I thought about building a small room within the garage, which still may happen in time, but given our city has some crazy building codes I don't know if I want to tackle that just yet. So for now I'm looking at options to insulate and seal the garage door, walls, and ceiling plus getting some cooling and heating setup.
For insulating the garage door I've seen the Owens Corning Garage Door Insulation Kit which would get the door itself insulated, but any suggestions on how to make the door seal completely around it as to not let bugs and critters inside? I've seen things like the Park Smart Garage Door Threshold Seal which seals the bottom, but what about the top and sides? Our house is only a year old so it has the rubber seals there, but would that be sufficient?
And for insulating the walls and sealing, I'm still kicking myself for not having the builder insulate those when we had the house built, but it shouldn't be too difficult to put some insulation in the attic, but any caveats with leaving the walls uninsulated? Two walls are inside walls and one is the garage door, so it's mainly just the ceiling and one wall I have to worry about.
For cooling and heating I'm looking at a portable AC/heating unit to put in there, which I've seen for around $400. Even if I have to run a line out the wall for condensation this is probably our best bet. Also given the garage isn't sealed as well as the house are there any caveats to running a dehumidifier when the garage door is closed?
And for the floor I'll probably look at painting it with some epoxy floor paint or some rubber coating then use indoor/outdoor carpet around the area where we're not parking then keep a mat under the car for fluid drips.
All and all I think we can probably pull this off for $1000 - $1300, but what am I missing? Also has anyone ever done a similar setup? I'd love to see pictures or hear what you went through if so.
Thanks --
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No windows? I'd go for a window ac if there is a window. You can get them that heat as well as cool.
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I just tried a portable AC unit -- vents hot air out via a window mounted vent -- in my shop. Lousy! Get a real window unit -- or PTAC (aka through the wall) unit. The one I have is a 9000 btu Haier, and it produces too much heat to even offset it's cooling capacity.
If it's a garage -- pull down the exterior (interior should be insulated) wall board and insulate. You will need ceiling insulation - blow in/ roll-out. You will lose a lot of heat through the concrete floor. Not much you can do if you still plan to park cars there. But if no cars -- then lay down 1/2" or more insulation foam sheets and top with you flooring of choice. Seal off water intrusion though.
On the cheap -- try insulating the ceiling and put in a window AC unit. If no window , you have to cut a hole in the wall. Next notch up -- insulate the walls and while you are at it install a PTAC with AC and heat.
If you are not going to park cars -- and don't need the garage door --- frame in a wall -- insulate that.
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kansascats wrote:

look into a small mini-split.

you do know the floor is sloped?
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Alex wrote:

it I also want to build a work area for a computer, some books, ham radio gear, treadmill, and some other gear which we just have no place for in the house. I thought about building a small room within the garage, which still may happen in time, but given our city has some crazy building codes I don't know if I want to tackle that just yet. So for now I'm looking at options to insulate and seal the garage door, walls, and ceiling plus getting some cooling and heating setup.

Insulation Kit which would get the door itself insulated, but any suggestions on how to make the door seal completely around it as to not let bugs and critters inside? I've seen things like the Park Smart Garage Door Threshold Seal which seals the bottom, but what about the top and sides? Our house is only a year old so it has the rubber seals there, but would that be sufficient?

having the builder insulate those when we had the house built, but it shouldn't be too difficult to put some insulation in the attic, but any caveats with leaving the walls uninsulated? Two walls are inside walls and one is the garage door, so it's mainly just the ceiling and one wall I have to worry about.

there, which I've seen for around $400. Even if I have to run a line out the wall for condensation this is probably our best bet. Also given the garage isn't sealed as well as the house are there any caveats to running a dehumidifier when the garage door is closed?

paint or some rubber coating then use indoor/outdoor carpet around the area where we're not parking then keep a mat under the car for fluid drips.

am I missing? Also has anyone ever done a similar setup? I'd love to see pictures or hear what you went through if so.

some of the garage are ok with you converting the whole thing to a inhabited room with a car parked in it?
The primary objective in any building project is not to get DEAD. Garages were not meant to be sealed off. There's gas vapor coming out of your car. There may or may not be issues with venting of gas appliances.
Make "not getting dead" your top priority.
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On 7/12/2011 10:36 AM, Alex wrote:

it I also want to build a work area for a computer, some books, ham radio gear, treadmill, and some other gear which we just have no place for in the house. I thought about building a small room within the garage, which still may happen in time, but given our city has some crazy building codes I don't know if I want to tackle that just yet. So for now I'm looking at options to insulate and seal the garage door, walls, and ceiling plus getting some cooling and heating setup.

Insulation Kit which would get the door itself insulated, but any suggestions on how to make the door seal completely around it as to not let bugs and critters inside? I've seen things like the Park Smart Garage Door Threshold Seal which seals the bottom, but what about the top and sides? Our house is only a year old so it has the rubber seals there, but would that be sufficient?

having the builder insulate those when we had the house built, but it shouldn't be too difficult to put some insulation in the attic, but any caveats with leaving the walls uninsulated? Two walls are inside walls and one is the garage door, so it's mainly just the ceiling and one wall I have to worry about.

there, which I've seen for around $400. Even if I have to run a line out the wall for condensation this is probably our best bet. Also given the garage isn't sealed as well as the house are there any caveats to running a dehumidifier when the garage door is closed?

paint or some rubber coating then use indoor/outdoor carpet around the area where we're not parking then keep a mat under the car for fluid drips.

am I missing? Also has anyone ever done a similar setup? I'd love to see pictures or hear what you went through if so.

I can't help you with all the particulars, but i can tell you this.... If you keep the garage door SHUT during construction, you don't need to involve any "BUILDING codes". Just do what you want to do and get on.
--
Steve Barker
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Steve Barker wrote:

fire insurance provider.
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