A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage was once the American dream. But today’s vehicles are being kicked to the curb. Instead, homeowners are transforming their garages into dream rooms of all kinds. Does it seem like you aren’t using your garage to its full potential? Consider converting it into a space you and your family love.
If you’re going to tackle a garage renovation, consider these ideas on how to transform your space.
Tip No. 1: Consider the shape and location of your garage
Careful planning is a must, say builders and designers.
“Garages have vaulted ceilings that reflect the contours of the roof, which means you’ll have unusual angles that’ll present design and storage challenges,” points out Dan Moyer of Closet Factory, a company that builds custom cabinets and closets nationwide.
If you live in a cold zone, be certain you’re willing to park your car outside.
“Do you really want to dig out your car in winter?” asks Julie Coraccio, a professional organizer at Reawaken Your Brilliance.
Tip No. 2: Focus on the details
Make sure insulation, heating, cooling, and lighting (track lighting, task lighting, or windows) are factored into your design ideas. You’ll also have to figure out what to do with the garage door.
“Unless you seal it off completely, create a separate entrance so you aren’t pulling it up and down all the time,” Coraccio advises. “If you’ll be podcasting or using the space as a music or recording studio, don’t forget soundproofing and putting in requisite outlets.”
Adds Juan Carlos Daetz, a home design expert at MaxWarehouse: “You’ll also need to decide what to do with everything that’s stored in the current iteration of your garage, including the lawn mower.”
You might need to build or rent a small shed for some items.
Tip No. 3: Use it to replace a room you currently pay for
You can save money by transforming your garage into the type of place you’re currently spending extra money on—like office space or the gym. Who needs a monthly gym membership when you can use that money to craft a workout space and tailor it to your preferences?
Add a treadmill, buy a set of free weights, or clear the space out and add carpeting or hardwood for a yoga or Pilates studio. Also, choose a calming paint color for the walls, put in adjustable lighting, and set up speakers to play your motivating tunes.
Photo by Witt Construction
Tip No. 4: Consider making a playroom
Kids love Play-Doh, but you don’t love scraping it off the floor. One possible fix: Give the garage over to your favorite little people. Chalkboard paint or wall-size bulletin boards are practical additions. Install a low counter and update the floor. Consider bright epoxy paint, rubber mats, flexible plastic tiles, or carpet squares.
“Coating the floor with a polyurethane finish gives it a clean, polished look,” says Moyer. No kids? The same design would work for a crafting or gift-wrapping room.
Tip No. 5: Build a home theater
A tricked-out space for TV viewing appeals to the whole family. Everything’s better in a home theater, even the 22nd (or is it 23rd?) season of “The Bachelor.” Add plush couches, surround sound, and a small fridge for drinks and snacks. Rose ceremonies may never be the same again.
Photo by Weber Design Group, Inc.
Tip No. 6: Create the ultimate wine-tasting room
Wine collecting has entered suburban America, reports Moyer, which means homeowners want more than a climate-controlled cellar or closet.
“Now the trend is toward special rooms to taste and entertain, including cubbies for bottles, opening shelving for wine stems, fridges and seating for two or more people,” he explains. Tricked-out garages can be perfect for this.