Ideas for Your Garage Space
If you’ve ever wished for more space in your home, consider converting your garage into an extra room. Converting a typical two-car garage can give you about 600 square feet of additional living space that can be used for storage or turned into a room for relaxing, working or entertaining. A recent report found that 82 percent of homes in the U.S. have two-car garages or larger, but only 15 percent of people use them to park their cars, meaning that this valuable space is often perfect for many families to use as an additional living area.
Transforming a garage into a beautiful and functional space usually costs less than a full renovation and requires only a few changes to the outside of your home. Changing your garage door is a great way to enhance the look and feel of your new space, and ensure that you get the most use and enjoyment from it throughout the seasons. Modern garage doors are available in a variety of beautiful styles and colors, with sleek and quiet openers equipped and smart features that allow you to monitor and control the door with the swipe of an app.
Whether you’re considering transforming your whole garage, or only a certain part, here are some garage conversion ideas that are sure to give you some inspiration.
Upgrading Your Garage Space
You have a lot to think about when planning a garage room transformation. When considering what to do with your garage space, ask yourself how you plan to use it and what storage or functional issues it could alleviate. You may only want to convert part of your garage and keep the rest for vehicle parking or storage. Garage room conversions typically cost less than a full renovation, with the average cost being between $20,000 to $50,000 to renovate a two-car garage. If you plan to add a bathroom, it can cost an additional $15,000 to $25,000.
Some other things to plan for and consider include:
- How you plan to clear the space, including getting rid of anything you no longer need or want and storing the items that you wish to keep.
- Whether your town requires you to obtain permits before transforming your garage into a living space and whether you need to hire a contractor or architect.
- Raising the height of the floor to accommodate insulation or flooring materials. You may also have to seal or prepare the floor before adding different flooring materials.
- Installing heating and cooling if the space will be used year round. You may choose to have additional ductwork installed and connected to your home’s existing heating and cooling system or use portable heating and air conditioning units. Radiant floor heating, where heating tubes are installed under the surface of the floor, is also a good option to heat a garage space.
- Whether or not you plan on insulating the walls, floor and ceiling. You may want to install insulation if the room will be used in all seasons or if you live in an area with temperature extremes. Installing weatherstripping around the garage door will keep out drafts, dirt, moisture, insects and small animals.
- Whether you plan to install drywall or wish to leave the ceiling rafters and walls exposed. Using drywall is a must if you plan to insulate the walls and ceiling, and gives you garage room a finished look. You can paint the ceiling, walls and inside of your garage door to enhance the look and feel of your new space.
- Upgrading the electrical service to accommodate a higher electrical load if you plan to have additional outlets and lighting installed or will be using high-power tools or appliances. Always use a licensed electrician for any electrical work in your home or garage.
- Adding additional windows and doors for entry, ventilation or extra light. Replacing your existing garage door with a smoothly operating door with windows or glass panels can provide entry into the room and let in natural light without the need for adding additional windows or doors.
- Choosing the type of garage door that will best fit your garage space. There are many different options today with features such as windows, all-glass panels and different types of openers to fit your needs. Choose the level of insulation, indicated by the R-value, that best fits your location and space.
Here are our top eight garage room ideas to transform your current garage space into the room of your dreams.
If you’re a woodworker, artist or car enthusiast, consider turning your garage into a workshop that’s perfect for doing projects and storing tools. Garages provide lots of space for work tables, large tools and vehicles. Since this space will most likely be used all year round, it will be heated and cooled. You may need to add additional ventilation if you plan to work with automobile exhaust or fumes from paint, stain or other chemicals. Most workshops need an electrical upgrade to accommodate extra task lighting and large machines, which should be separate from your house circuit. Consider adding plumbing if it’s not already there to provide running water and a sink for washing hands, tools, brushes and other items.
Custom cabinetry and a sturdy workbench provide ample space for working on projects and storing tools. Consider using a fold-up workbench to maximize the space in your workshop. Pegboard walls, rolling tool chests, cabinets and drawers are also good storage options for your garage workshop. Make sure your flooring is easy to clean. Epoxy is an excellent surface since it also provides traction. If you will be standing on your feet for long periods of time, you may want to use rubber floor tiles. Use a garage door that is well insulated to keep the space dry and comfortable, and that has lots of windows for extra working light.
2. Extra Living Room
A garage space is perfect for converting into an additional living room. Many homeowners opt to remove the wall between the garage and the rest of the home to allow it to be a part of the house. Heating and air conditioning can be added by tying into your existing system or installing portable units. You may opt to insulate and drywall the walls and ceiling or create a vaulted ceiling with exposed rafters. Consider adding recessed or ceiling lights for a cozy glow. Use comfortable and functional furniture that will accommodate the whole family or guests.
For the floor, consider polishing the concrete or using laminate wood flooring with an area rug for coziness. Use a neutral paint color and add pops of color with your accent pieces, pillows and decor. Don’t forget to hang a few pictures on the walls. Use a contemporary or modern garage door with a lot of windows to give the living room plenty of natural light. Glass and aluminum garage doors will bring in natural light during the day and provide a warm glow at night. Glass panels are available in a variety of tints and obscurity levels, ensuring that you always have the right level of privacy and light.
3. Upgraded Storage Space
Since most everyone can use more storage space, your garage is perfect for converting into the ultimate storage area. While planning the space, consider what items you need storage for and organize them into six different zones:
- Transition Zone: Things like shoes, bags and jackets that you need to grab before leaving the house.
- Need It Now: Everyday items such as bulk foods and paper goods.
- Long, Tall, Thin Storage: Everything from rakes to skis.
- Large Item Storage: Bikes, coolers, sleds — anything too big to easily store elsewhere.
- Frequently Used Items: Keep these close to the garage door.
- Workspace: Cabinets and workbench for doing hobbies.
There is a multitude of storage solutions available today such as plastic bins, lockers and wall cabinets. Whatever storage options you choose, make sure they are durable. For items such as racks, hooks and shelves, make sure they are adjustable. Since you won’t be using your garage as a living space, it’s not as vital to heat, cool and insulate your garage, although having proper ventilation is necessary to prevent rust and mold. The concrete floor can be kept as-is, or you may want to add an epoxy coating for a neat and easy-to-clean space. Consider using a wall-mounted garage door opener rather than a ceiling-mounted one to keep valuable ceiling space clear for an overhead storage system. If properly planned, you may still have room to park your car.
4. Playroom for Kids
Turning your unused garage space into a playroom gives the kids a place to play when it’s too cold or rainy to go outside. Since playrooms tend to be used year-round, you’ll probably want to install heating and air conditioning. You may also need additional outlets to accommodate TVs or video game consoles and additional lighting. Insulating the walls and ceiling and finishing them with drywall will give the room a finished look, although exposed rafters are ideal for hanging swings and monkey bars. Choose flooring that is easy to keep clean such as rubber mats or floor sealant. Adhesive carpet squares are easy to install and replace if they get stained and provide a comfortable surface on which to play.
A garage playroom also provides ample storage for toys, books and art supplies. Furniture such as rolling cubbies, shelves and storage drawers can be moved around, making the space extremely versatile. A table and some chairs provide a place sit, eat, read or draw. Paint the walls and the inside of the garage door with a fun and bright color, add wall decals, some fun painted designs or even a mural. Choose a garage door with windows that allow plenty of light for playing, reading and art or craft projects. Consider using a swing-out style door to extend the playroom into an outdoor play space during nice weather.
5. Garage Gym
If you have gym equipment but don’t have enough space for it in your house, consider turning your garage into a gym. Having a gym in your garage is extremely convenient since it eliminates the commute to the gym, paying gym fees and having to share equipment. Garages provide plenty of room for weights and other workout equipment. Your home gym will most likely be used all year and will require heating, cooling and insulation. Consider if you need to upgrade your electrical system to accommodate a sound system, TV for virtual fitness classes and large equipment such as treadmills or elliptical machines. You may also want to add a small refrigerator for water, sports beverages and ice packs.
In a garage, you can use the walls and ceiling for equipment space and hanging equipment such as punching bags. You may want to install mirrors along the walls and a storage area for mats, towels, small weights and other equipment. Choose a flooring material that provides traction and is easy to clean such as rubber mats or an epoxy coating. Ensure proper airflow in your garage gym by adding a ceiling fan, several freestanding fans or by opening the garage door. Choose a garage door with lots of windows for providing natural light.
6. Social Room or Bar
Convert your garage into a social room or bar for the perfect entertaining space. If using the space year-round, install insulation, heating and air conditioning. This also protects toys such as pool tables and pinball machines from humidity and temperature extremes. You may choose to drywall and paint the walls and ceiling or leave exposed rafters. There are many suitable flooring options for social rooms including carpeting, hardwood, adhesive garage tiles and polished concrete. Consider upgrading the electrical system for the addition of lighting, TV and sound systems, a refrigerator and ceiling fans. You may also have to install plumbing if you plan on having a wet bar.
Your decorating style should reflect the mood of the space with lots of seating, comfy couches and interesting lighting including recessed and track lighting, wall sconces and hanging strings of lights. Hang a mirror behind the bar to make the space look larger, and use racks and shelves for storing glasses and beverages. Neon signs, dart boards and sports memorabilia add a touch of fun and color. Using a swing-out Carriage Style garage door can transform the room into an indoor/outdoor entertaining space during the warm weather months.
7. Practice Room
For the aspiring musician or garage band, turning a garage into a practice space is a great option. It eliminates the need to pay for rehearsal studio space and allows you to keep your instruments set up and ready to go. Keep in mind, however, that you should install soundproofing to reduce sound and avoid complaints from the neighbors. You can do this by insulating the walls, ceiling and floor, installing special soundproofing material and furnishing the space with rugs, couches, draperies and wall hangings for additional sound absorption.
It’s also essential to properly ventilate the space to avoid a buildup of moisture which can damage musical instruments and equipment. Installing a ventilation system or an air conditioning unit in the space will keep it cool and dry. Consider upgrading your electrical service and adding additional outlets if planning to plug in amplifiers and other music equipment or add lighting. Add some music decor and storage cabinets for cords, microphones and other small equipment and you’ve got yourself the perfect practice room. Consider using a garage door with a high level of insulation and without windows to keep the noise down and prevent sunlight from damaging fragile instruments.
8. Guest Room
Whether you run a short-term rental and open your home to guests, frequently host family and friends or just have older kids who want a space of their own, consider turning your garage into a functional and elegant guest room. When planning the space, think about which layout will work best for your guest’s needs and comfort. Consider adding a closet for clothing storage and plumbing for a bathroom and kitchenette area. You will need to have the space insulated, drywalled, heated and cooled for maximum comfort. Add nice lighting and electrical outlets in convenient places.
For areas where guests will be staying for extended lengths of time, it’s important to install nice flooring such as carpeting or hardwood. Make them as comfortable as possible with a light and airy paint color, draperies, wall decor and comfy furniture. Use Carriage Style swing-out doors to avoid a bulky opening motor. These garage doors can also be used as an entry door for your guests. Wooden garage doors convey luxury and elegance while offering a unique private space for your guests.
Finding the Right Garage Door for Your New Garage Room
Whether you’re building the ultimate man cave or are just looking for some extra space for the whole family, Easy Open Door Company has the right garage door for you. Family-owned and in business for 39 years, we are a Premier Clopay garage door dealer.Clopay’s Door Imagination System lets you see how each garage door style can transform the look of your home. Not sure what kind of garage door you want to enhance your space? Contact our team of professionals who can help with everything from ideas to quotes, to making your inspiration become a reality.