When we moved into our house, we knew we needed to improve the mudroom situation.
There was just nowhere to hang up all of the jackets and keep all of the shoes. From our garage, you literally walk straight into the kitchen.
There was no space for jackets and shoes, not to mention kid backpacks and everything else that comes in and out of the house. We also live in New England and therefore having a place to get bundled up to go out in the snow is a huge need.
So, after spending lots of time trying to come up with how to gain space in our house for a mudroom, we decided to utilize garage space and build an enclosed mudroom.
Here is our mudroom transformation to give you some ideas and inspiration for your own DIY mudroom.
The Before “Mudroom”
There were essentially two spaces in the house that could be utilized for hanging up jackets and storing shoes: space in our garage near the door to the kitchen and space in our kitchen near the door to the garage.
Here are some pictures of the spaces and why neither space was working for us.
Space in the garage
We had an oversized garage that had shelving in it but it was not practical shelving for mudroom items. So, one thought we had was to just build mudroom shelving and hooks along the wall in the garage.
However, we had this in our last house and there are a few things I don’t love about that idea.
First, the garage gets a lot dirtier than inside the house, so I was constantly having to sweep and clean everything that we kept there. Second, since we do live in a climate that does get very cold, the shoes and jackets were always freezing to put on.
Entryway from the garage
The previous owners used this wall in the kitchen near the door leading to the garage. While it could work for a couple, it is not practical for a family. We used these hooks until we built the mudroom and the reality was that coats, shoes and bags just gathered on the kitchen floor.
The Mudroom Design
First, we made a list of everything we wanted to store in the mudroom. If we were going to build it, then I wanted to do so knowing that it would fit our needs.
- Snowsuits, swimsuits, and towels
- Sun Hats
- Dog leash
- Gloves and winter hats
Based on the number of items we wanted to store in the space, we decided that the best way to achieve this was to enclose the space in the garage. We had two options, option A and option B in the schematic below.
We decided on option A because we want to save option B for a half bath and laundry room. Since laundry is already located there, we felt the option A was the best for the mudroom. This was the space that was currently being used as garage shelves. Since our garage is very oversized and we have additional outside storage, we could get away with taking this space.
It would give us a mudroom “hallway”. We could utilize one wall to hang items, the opposing wall to store items and at the very end have a bench.
Additionally, by enclosing it, the items would stay cleaner and warm since they won’t be stored in the garage. This also gave us back our kitchen freeing it of shoes, hats and jackets.
Building the Mudroom
Here is everything from what we bought to what we did to build an enclosed mudroom in the garage.
Demolished the garage shelves
The very first step in the process was removing the existing shelving in the garage. This turned out to be more work than we originally anticipated since the shelves were built into the ceiling. After we finally removed the shelves, we also moved the existing stairs. The door between the garage and kitchen would now be the opening between the kitchen and the mudroom.
Measured the space
Once the space in the garage was clean and everything was removed, we measured the space (and double checked!) to ensure our cars would still be able to fit in the garage. We checked that we could fit our SUV and open the trunk on the side of the garage where we would build the new mudroom.
Once we had our measurements, we were good to go. Our mudroom would be approximately 5′ by 11′.
Built the floor
We used pressure treated 2x4s for the base, put down a water proof liner between the board and the concrete floor for added protection. After checking that the boards were square, we nailed the boards down into the concrete floor using a Powder-Actuated Gun.
Next, we built up the wall to match the height of the existing house, using 2x4s. We paid careful attention to the height of these boards to ensure everything was level since it was possible that the concrete floor wasn’t perfectly level.
We went for 2×8 floor joists because that is what was there. We didn’t have to use joist hangers because there was a concrete lip on the door side where we could put a support board. On the exterior side the joists sat on the 2×4.
Once the joists were in, we put in two layers of R-19 insulation in each joist bay.
After the insulation was in, we put down plastic sheeting for a moisture barrier.
After that, we put down half inch thick plywood.
Framed it and added electrical
After a trip to Home Depot, we were ready to build the frame of the mudroom. We used the old stairs as a placeholder until we built new ones.
For the electrical, we added two power outlets on the inside and one on the garage side. We simply pulled power off an outlet on the other side of the wall. For lighting, we put in two recessed LED lights that simply clamp into the ceiling sheetrock. We wired the lights so they could be controlled by a switch in the house and by a switch in the mudroom. We moved the garage light switches and garage opener to be on the exterior wall of the new mudroom.
After electrical, we added R-19 faced insulation to each stud bay, securing them to the studs with a staple gun.
Sheetrock, Tape and Mud
After the insulation and electrical were done, it was time to put up the walls. We went to Home Depot and grabbed sheetrock, tape and mud. After all of the walls were up, we taped and then mudded for days. It was a long process and to speed up drying time, we used a heater.
Additionally, don’t forget to close the space off during sanding so the dust is contained and doesn’t get everywhere.
Added a Door
As you can see in this picture, we have put up sheetrock on the outside but have not yet taped and mudded.
Spray Painted Primer
Once the mud had dried and we had sanded it all, it was time to get the primer up on the walls. To do this, we used a spray painter. We made sure to enclose the space with plastic in both doorways, so the spray didn’t get in the house or all over the garage.
The spray painter made getting primer up very easy. It took about 15 minutes to spray everything. If you are planning on doing a lot of paint on items that can be taken out of the house like painting doors, then a spray painter is well worth the investment.
Since we were going to do board and batten along two of the walls, we decided to not use the spray painter for the wall paint.
Tiled the floor
We have tile in our kitchen. Since there was going to be no door (just an opening) between the kitchen and the mudroom, we wanted the floor to be the same. It would help it all look continuous.
The trick here was trying to find the same tile. After finding what tile we had in the kitchen, we then had to find out where we could purchase it. After a week of calling different stores in the area, we finally found one that could get us the tile.
To tile the mudroom, we borrowed (you can also rent) a tile saw. We picked a grout that we thought matched the kitchen but it turned out to be a little lighter. The outside edges don’t need to be perfectly grouted because the baseboard trim will cover it. Be sure to seal your tile once you are done.
Board and Batten
Now that we had a floor, it was time to tackle the board and batten. I absolutely love board and batten in an entryway. It is not only beautiful but also very practical. You can add so many hooks to a space and still have it look good.
We added board and batten to two of the walls. Be sure to work your measurements around any outlets. Additionally, board and batten is spaced based on studs. Studs are usually 16 inches apart so make your board and batten that far apart so you hit a stud every time.
On the very back wall, we did board and batten with a floating bench. Having somewhere for kids to sit to help them get on gear is very useful. I also think the bench adds so much to this room.
Since the board and batten went to the floor, we kept with the theme and used the same type of board for baseboard trim around the room. At this point in the project, we also added the trim around the doors.
Now that the board and batten and bench were in, we needed to paint.
After many paint samples, we decided to paint the room with Benjamin Moore Pale Oak. Our previous house had Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter but I always felt like it was a little to dark.
Since, doing this project, we have continued to use Pale Oak in our Kitchen and Living Room and I really like the color.
We painted the board and batten and bench in Ultra Pure White by Behr. It is very similar to the Highly Reflective White by Sherwin Williams and I love it. Painting the board and batten took a lot longer than I expected. It was so much easier to do the second coat because we bought a corner brush and that helped tremendously. We also painted the baseboard, door trim and door in Ultra Pure White.
We had an old shoe rack that I planned on using in the room that was white so I didn’t paint it. However, I did paint the old entryway piece white. I used Zinser primer first so that the paint would stick to the gloss finish. The primer also stain blocks, ensuring the tannins in the wood don’t bleed through turning the paint yellow.
Now that everything was painted, it was time to put it all into the mudroom. We started by adding hooks to the board and batten walls.
Next we added our shoe rack from closet maid. We bought it originally because it was so inexpensive but have never upgraded. It has lasted us years and is very practical.
We hung the old entryway piece above the shoe rack and added a key ring. I also bought a few baskets that can hang on the hooks for extra storage. We also realized at this point that we needed to add more board and batten to add symmetry to the bench.
Lastly, I picked up some foam and a shower curtain on discount to make a cushion for the bench.
How long did the project take?
Overall, the project took about a month. We worked on it every weekend. The hardest parts were electrical (hire this if you’re not comfortable), tiling, and dealing with attic insulation (we could have used the existing sheetrock ceiling in the garage but it was popcorned so it was kind of a mess).
How much did the project cost?
Building the mudroom in total costed about $1500. The biggest expenses were the new door, the tile, and the lumber. We had, or were able to borrow, almost all of the tools necessary so that brought down the cost. The one thing we did buy was a new framing nail gun.
Was it worth it?
YES! It has given us so much more organization. It is by far my favorite room in the house because I am not constantly picking up jackets and shoes. Everything stays in that room. The mail, keys, sunglasses are all there. It makes finding things and getting ready to leave so much easier.
Lastly, the mud actually stays in the mudroom.
DIY Mudroom Addition
Hopefully by telling you our story of how we added more functionality and organization to our house by building a mudroom, you will get some ideas for your next home project. Maybe you have a corner or a wall that would make a perfect mudroom. Or you could always build one into your garage.
Tell us what you think about our diy mudroom house project in the comments!