Q: My home has a room that was converted from a garage to a storage/playroom prior to my purchasing the house. The room is sinking. You can see this by looking at the walls near the floor. I was told by one man that I need to move everything out and have a floor poured again. He said the building codes were different when the home was built and they did not use rebar in the garage floor. Also, the floor is currently covered with carpet, but I can tell by walking on it that there is some cracking. What advice can you give me about what I can do to fix it?
A: Depending if you're staying a while or selling soon, decide first how you want to use the room. If you just want storage space and don't mind the lumpy floor, you might be fine tearing up the carpet, sealing the cracks and leaving the rest well enough alone. It might be possible to "float" the floor with fillers to level out the cracks, but the cracks might return.
If your goal is to add finished space to your home, I highly recommend talking with a few qualified architects, engineers and contractors. And a real estate professional can advise you on whether the project will add value to your house when you sell.
Codes and requirements for finished living space vary from city to city, and state to state, so unfortunately, I will defer to your local licensed professionals. They will know about the soil in your area, the codes and regulations, moisture management and insulation, ventilation, and so much more.
Once the floor is sealed or replaced, you could use rubber gym flooring for a durable and fun play room. Or, an epoxy finish designed for concrete garage floors. Or, concrete can be stained, then clear-coated for a sleek look. Or, of course, carpet or even hardwood or tile for an inviting look.
Other ideas for redoing the space include widening the doorway to the main part of the house to make the room feel more connected and less garagelike. Add insulation, wall board, nice paint and lighting, and the room will feel more like it's been there all along. Good luck and let me know how it goes.