You may be the kind of person looking for your garage to be more of a living space than a “store your car” kind of area. This may seem like a peculiar idea to some, but more and more people are giving it a try. It is a great alternative instead of adding to your home, which can be a costly process.
In many homes, the garage is nothing more than a place to park the car, store the Christmas decorations, and hang up a few tools. With a little ingenuity, however, a garage can be transformed into a great space as comfortable as any other room.
There are many ways to make your garage comfortable and cosy for your family and friends to enjoy. Check out these tips to help you on your way.
FAQs About Garage Renovation
Upgrade your insulation and add climate control. Your comfort level while using the garage is important, too. Outfitting the garage with new insulation (or adding to your existing insulation) in the walls and ceiling makes this part of your home more functional when it warms up or cools down.
To convert a garage into a comfortable and homely space, you might find knocking down internal walls or repositioning them.
Transform Your Garage Conversion Into a Hobby Room
- home cinema.
- Games room.
- Snug or den.
- Library/reading room.
- Craft/hobby workshop.
- Gaming room.
- Home gym.
Genius Ways to Turn Your Garage into an Amazing Space
- Add some vertical storage.
- Turn the space near the door into a mudroom.
- Upgrade your garage door.
- And make it accessible via remote.
- Use pallets to store sports equipment.
- Add some insulation.
- Paint the floor.
- Turn it into a play space.
Here's what they recommend.
- Install A Functional Garage Door.
- Insulate And Vent The Space.
- Use A Smart Storage Strategy.
- Install Adequate Lighting.
- Put An Easy-To-Clean Finish On The Floor.
- Add More Electrical Outlets.
- Add A Walk-Through Door.
- Let Your Car Own The Space.
Get Creative with Extra Space. In fact, according to HomeAdvisor data, the average cost of converting the garage into a finished room costs an average of $11,986, with an 80% return on investment. So, not only does a finished garage provide more living space options, but it also provides substantial growth in home value.
Great Tips For Converting Your Garage Into A Cosy Living Space
Start by upgrading your floor. A concert floor keeps the garage cold, so begin by insulating your garage flooring. The temperature will be noticeably different, even without a furnace to heat the place. Plywood may be an excellent place to start for some, but vinyl, laminate, tile, and carpet options will spruce up the joint.
If your garage floor is in decent shape, you can probably get away with simply painting it. Please give it a good power-washing beforehand and fill any cracks with a mortar repair compound. If your floor is beyond repair, opt for gym-style rubber floor tiles. They hide a lot of sins, are comfortable to walk on, insulate for sound, and make cleaning up spills—whether beer or motor oil—a breeze!
Garage doors usually have an old feel to them. Consider getting a new garage door and door to enter your garage. This way, it will help your living situation look brand new, even when it is not.
Also, consider getting doors that allow daylight into the garage to get natural light and heat from the sun. However, this may cause you to lose more heat in your area, as windows are notorious for this. Just check for the best materials that will mesh with your situation.
By adding some utilities to your garage space, you will feel more at home than before. Electricity, plumbing, TV, Internet, etc., can go a long way to make your garage space livable. This might even mean that a kitchenette and half bath could be added.
Store Garage Items
If you want your garage to be homier, you should try your best to hide garage tools and equipment. Try a Large Gearbox Cabinet. With four adjustable garage shelving options, you can put whatever you need away from view. This cabinet even has a security feature to keep them locked when you are away. All the shelving and cabinets are finished with powder coat material, which will last and last.
Additionally, you can even attach this cabinet with the other garage wall systems from Gladiator. Its garage storage solutions will help organise your items but keep them out of view in your comfy living space.
Add Some Furniture
Adding furniture will finish up your garage living space. Think through options like sofas, couches, love sacs, futons, etc. This way, you will enjoy sitting around and passing the time with the people you love.
Speaking of passing the time, get a coffee table to put things on or a TV stand to raise your television experience to the next level. If you have a kitchenette in your space, a small table and chairs will do to keep your space trending in the right direction.
When converting your garage into a cozy living space, use some of these tips to help you along in the process. Most people will not have enough room to take their garage items out, but by using garage organisation techniques, your space will be maximised to its highest potential.
Garage storage will be a breeze, but your living situation will not be. Instead, it will be insulated and relaxing for everyone to enjoy. But, watch out! You may have more people wanting to come over than you bargained for.
The first step toward creating a more livable garage is establishing zones: one for your car, one for your workshop, and one for your enjoyment. Use smart storage to hide tools and off-season items. Once you get organised, each space will naturally stand apart, but if you want a more formal division, get serious by adding partitions.
During the winter months, a simple space heater might do the trick if the square footage isn’t too big. If you need something more, a hanging gas-powered forced hot air unit is your best bet. For summer, an individual air conditioning unit or a freestanding evaporative cooling unit should suffice.
A comfortable garage is warm in the winter and cools in the summer—a sign of proper insulation. Most uninsulated garages have exposed beams, so you can roll your insulation in easily and cover it up with Sheetrock. If the space is already finished but uninsulated, you could bring in an installation company like RetroFoam, which sprays insulation behind the walls.
Whether you need a slop sink for your workshop or you want to add a wet bar to the garage, you can DIY a solution. Your garage already has a water line running through it, so it’s easy to splice a line of it to create a utility or bar sink. If you can get only cold water—which is not uncommon in the garage—you can install an on-demand “tankless” unit under the sink.
Let’s face it, these days, every room in the house is better with Wi-Fi—including the garage. If you're lucky, your home’s Wi-Fi signal is already strong enough to reach out to the garage. If not, you can install a signal booster like Netgear.
Install A Dedicated HVAC Unit
Consider asking one of our HVAC technicians to outfit your garage conversion space with a ductless or mini-split system. You’ll gain full control over the temperature in the room, and your thermostat settings won’t impact the rest of the house. If the garage gets a bit chilly during the winter, you can crank up the heat even if you’re already toasty inside the home.
Use The Recommended Amount Of Installation
Some garages need more insulation than others when they become living spaces. Hire an expert to evaluate your garage before you start the conversion. Ask how much insulation you should add to make the space as comfortable as possible. You can also inquire about other ways to insulate the space, such as more efficient windows and doors.
How To Convert Your Garage To A Comfortable Living Space
Looking for a little more living space? A garage conversion can be less expensive than an extension and usually less of a headache, too. Take a look at the various projects involved with a garage remodel, and keep these essentials in mind before starting renovations.
What Do You Need Out of Your Garage Conversion?
A garage conversion is one type of Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). An ADU is an extra living space added onto a home’s lot, which can be attached or unattached from the actual main house. In the case of a garage conversion, your living space is often attached to the existing building.
If you’ve decided to complete a garage or remodel to create additional living space, first assess the scope of your projects. Before tearing down shelves, consider your motivations for converting a garage into a living space.
There are plenty of different ways you can make the most of your garage conversion and extend the living areas of your home, such as:
Space for a relative
If you decide to take in a loved one to help them get back on their feet or take care of them due to a decline in their health, an ADU can be the perfect solution. Living with the family is often the more comfortable option, but sharing close quarters can sometimes cause tensions to rise.
A “granny flat,” or a self-contained living space, named because they’re often used for ageing relatives, allows your loved one to live comfortably while maintaining their privacy and autonomy. In certain jurisdictions, you may be able to add a bathroom and even a small kitchen during your garage conversion, so they have everything they need.
If an elderly relative is moving into your ADU, make renovations with any necessary accommodations, such as installing safety grab bars wherever necessary or low-height cabinets that they can easily open if they use a wheelchair to get around.
If you’re not getting much use out of your garage, consider making an income. You may be able to convert a garage to an ADU, which a tenant can rent out, adding a little extra cushioning to your finances.
When remodelling your garage into a rentable ADU, you may want to consider adding a bathroom, so your tenant doesn’t have to go in and out of your home. You might also consider adding a small kitchen. It would help if you also thought about a separate lock system to give them both privacy and security.
Playspace for kids
Every parent whose living room is drowning in a sea of toys has probably tried to think of a convenient storage solution at least once or twice. Although you might lack a method for keeping the endless piles of books, blocks, Barbies, and balls organised for more than 30 minutes, you might be able to exile them from your living room into a room of their own.
Creating play space for kids with a garage remodel can give your children a safe area to have fun in, sparing Mom and Dad from the chaos. Remember to be child proof when you convert the garage to a living space, mindful of sharp corners and any potential toxins.
If your dining room table is often covered in documents, unopened mail, and to-do lists, a home office might be in order. Adding an office can help you stay on top of your agenda without worrying over a misplaced statement or accidentally spilling your morning coffee on a critical piece of paper.
When you don’t have extra space inside, a garage conversion can be the perfect place to get things accomplished in peace. Check the range on your router and see whether you’ll need a WiFi extender to get your computer up and to run.
Man cave or she-shed.
Looking for a little repose? Whether you need a quieter place to read, play video games, or enjoy football season, a garage conversion can turn into your sanctuary.
Take your interests into consideration and plan how you can make a garage renovation for when you need a little “me time.” Think about TV mounts, couches, and other essential comforts for your accessory dwelling unit.
These suggestions scratch the list of possibilities for garage conversions. The most important thing is to consider the unique needs of your specific ADU remodel.
What Kind Of Projects Are Involved With A Garage Conversion?
Now that you know your end goal and all its demands, you can think about the various projects involved with your garage remodel. When building a garage with a living space, keep in mind the following jobs:
- Insulation: Insulating your garage conversion can help you create a living space that is both comfortable and energy-efficient. This project is more important if you live in a region with extreme temperatures. Ask your contractor about insulating your floors, too, to help prevent heat from escaping through the ground on those chilly winter days.
- Heating and cooling systems: If insulation isn’t enough to keep your garage remodel warm and cozy, you might consider investing in heating and cooling systems that can keep the area temperate. Your options run the gamut, from electric space heaters to infrared tube heaters. Some garages may not have air vents connected to the interior HVAC system, which could get pretty hot and stuffy during the summer. Consider installing ceiling fans, a swamp cooler, or a mini-split air conditioner to keep the heat at bay.
- New walls: Does your garage conversion require you to build new walls? If you want to add a closet, bathroom, or change the floor plan in your ADU, you’ll probably need to put up new walls first. It's recommended to find a contractor to assist you with this part of your project.
- Doors and windows: Think about how you might need to retrofit your garage conversion by adding doors and windows. Maybe you need to install a closet door frame or would like to add a side-service door for convenience. Plan the timeline of your project accordingly to work smarter, not harder, and map these out during your wall construction. Windows can provide natural light and increase the ventilation in your garage conversion. Keep in mind that anytime you’re working on your home’s exterior, it may be best to enlist a professional.
- Replacing garage doors: Depending on how you intend to use your garage with a living space, you might need to replace the garage door altogether. Extreme care should be taken when removing the garage door; consider enlisting a garage specialist who can help safely unwind the coils and remove the door from the track.
- Flooring: Concrete slabs are cold, hard, and not very pretty to the eyes. Even if you’re on a tight budget, installing new floors during your garage conversion could be worth your while in terms of comfort and aesthetics. Vinyl flooring is one of the more cost-effective options available in many different designs made to look like wood, tile, or natural stone. If the space is framed in and moisture isn’t a concern, carpet is also a viable option for softer flooring as long as insulation occurs beforehand.
- Plumbing: If someone lives in your garage remodel, consider adding plumbing for a bathroom and kitchenette. Running water and a plumbing system can make the garage conversion self-contained and eliminate the need for anyone to come into the interior of your home.
- Wiring: Most garages only have a few outlets. To install appliances, you might want to run additional electrical wiring. The techniques required to cut, bend and install surface-mounted metal conduits require expertise—especially if your garage conversion is detached. A professional electrician can check that everything is up to code.
Research Local Requirements
Depending on the size of your project and the jobs it involves, you might need planning permission to convert a garage into a living space. In the past, some cities have had restrictions related to garage conversions.
Additionally, installing windows, plumbing, electrical wiring, an HVAC system or any other major modifications may require a permit. Do your research to see what requirements are involved for your project in your area.
It would help if you also researched what the local building codes are for a garage renovation before starting any work. Consider visiting your city’s zoning office to obtain additional information. Doing your homework ahead of time will help prevent issues later.
For a successful garage conversion, do things right from the start. Use Finance of America Home Improvement’s Find a Contractor tool to search for a highly-rated professional in your area who can help you with your project.
A garage renovation may improve your home by providing much-needed additional living space. Contact a contractor to help navigate the process and get started today.