Are you neglecting your garage? Has it become nothing more than a landfill for unwanted possessions? If so, it could be time to finally put your garage to good use.
Garages can make perfect spaces for just about anything. Here are just some ideas as to what you could convert your garage into and how you can do about transforming it.
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Put your car in it
If you’ve got a car, why not use your garage for its initial intended purpose and store your car in it?
Putting a car in a garage can extend the life of the vehicle by protecting it from the elements. It’s also a great way of keeping your car secure from thieves and vandals. If your garage is joined to your home, it may even allow you to go to and from your car without having to go outside (which could be useful if it’s raining and you’ve brought home lots of groceries).
You could find that there’s little renovation work needed if you’re using your garage for it’s initial intended purpose. That said, if it’s an old garage and it’s been sitting unused for a while, you may decide that a few nips and tucks are necessary. A few upgrades to consider could include:
– Repairing/upgrading the garage door. If it’s remained shut for a while, it may have seized up and may need repairing/replacing. Consider shopping around for a new door. Garage doors come in all forms from wooden swing doors to metal roller shutters. You could even consider a smart door that is activated from your phone.
– Improving the flooring. If it’s bare concrete, it could be worth switching to an epoxy floor or laying down some rubber mats. This could help to protect the floor from scratches and spillages.
– Adding a lift or an inspection pit. This could be handy if you plan to do mechanical work on your car.
– Adding some new lights. If there are no lights or the current lighting is inadequate, why not brighten the place up with some new lights?
Turn it into a workshop
A garage could make a great workshop for any craft hobbies or handyman work. By being separate from the rest of the home, you have the freedom to be noisier and messier. You could also add some machinery in here such as band saws, sanding belts or pillar drills, as well as a workbench.
A workshop isn’t likely to require too much renovation. The flooring may be adequate and there may be no need to fill the garage door. A few improvements to consider when setting up a workshop include:
– Extra lighting. If the space is dimly-lit, extra lighting could be necessary.
– Electrical access. Machinery will need to be plugged into sockets.
– An extractor fan. If you’re soldering or creating sawdust, this too could be necessary for providing ventilation.
– New flooring? A finished floor could make sweeping up sawdust and cleaning up spillages easier.
Set up a home gym
A home gym could be perfect if you’re a fitness fanatic. It could allow you to cancel your gym membership or you may simply want it as a supplementary training space. Whatever the case, it could allow you to work out more effectively from home.
A few things to consider when decorating your home gym include:
– The equipment. What equipment will your gym contain? Plan out the layout, before buying anything so that you’ve got enough space for it. Allow some empty floor for static exercises and stretches. Electrical equipment will require electrical sockets.
– The flooring. If the floor is currently concrete, you may want to consider laying down some wooden flooring or some mats.
– Music/TV. You could add a wall-mounted TV or some speakers to provide entertainment as you work out.
– Air conditioning. On a hot day, an air con unit or fan could be useful.
Create a home office
If your job allows you to work from home, another option could be to turn your garage into a home office. This could give you a private space to conduct your work from. There could also be tax benefits if you’re self-employed.
Turning a garage into a home office may require a fair amount of renovation work. Some of the things that could be worth considering include:
– Electrical access. Make sure there’s enough sockets for any computers or printers.
– Lighting. You don’t want to be working in low light.
– The flooring. If the garage has a concrete floor, you may want to switch to something more comfortable underfoot such as wooden flooring or carpet.
– The walls. You may want to board, plaster and paint the walls.
– The door. Do you still want to keep the garage door there? You could fill this with a wall or a large window instead.
– Insulation/HVAC. This will stop you getting too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.
Create an entertainment room
You may decide to turn your garage into an extra entertainment area. It could be somewhere for the kids to entertain themselves, giving you free reign in the living room. Alternatively, it could be an entertainment room for all the family to use – and possibly even guests too.
A few examples of entertainment room ideas include:
– A home cinema. You could invest in a large TV, surround sound speakers and a cosy sectional sofa and turn it into a home cinema for watching movies.
– A video games room. If the living room is cluttered up with consoles and games, you could dedicate this room solely to gaming.
– A traditional games room. You could put a pool table and dartboard in here. Maybe even some arcade machines too.
– A bar. Always wanted your own bar? A garage could make the perfect space for doing this. Guests are certain to love it!
As with other conversions, you’ll need to consider aspects such as flooring, lighting, electrical access and HVAC in order to make this a cosy space.
Convert it into a downstairs bathroom
Another option could be to transform your garage into an extra bathroom. If you’ve only got one bathroom and lots of people sharing your home, this could help to prevent the dreaded bathroom queues every morning.
Garages tend to be big, so you can go as lavish as you want with your bathroom. In fact, you could even create your own home spa with a freestanding bath or a hot tub.
Converting a garage into a bathroom is likely to be more expensive than other conversions. Some of the thing to consider include:
– Plumbing/fixtures. Decide what fixtures you want and where they’ll go. You’ll need to pay a plumber to then build and connect the piping to each fixture.
– Flooring and walls. It could be worth wet-proofing the room. This could involve plastering and tiling the walls and laying down a suitable floor (either vinyl or tiles).
– The garage door. You’ll likely want to remove this and block it with a wall.
– Heating. Heating will help to keep the space warm and allow water to evaporate. You could consider underfloor heating and even a heated towel rack.
– Ventilation. There needs to be some ventilation to prevent mold. An extraction fan could be necessary.
Turn it into an extra bedroom
Turning a garage into an extra bedroom could have many benefits. If you’ve got a growing family, it could save you from upsizing. Alternatively, it could provide a space for guests to stay. It could even be somewhere to house a lodger.
Adding an extra bedroom could also add value to your home – providing that it meets the legal requirements to be classed as a bedroom. A few features that you may want to consider when converting your garage into a bedroom include:
– Electrical access. Modern bedrooms can benefit from a lot of sockets, so consider calling an electrician.
– Insulation/HVAC. To be legally classed as a bedroom, the space will need to be well insulated and heated.
– The flooring. You can’t have concrete in a bedroom. Consider laying a wooden floor or adding a carpet.
– The walls. The walls may need plastering and painting.
– The garage door. You’ll want to remove and fill this with a wall or a window.
– En suite bedroom? Is there enough space (and enough money in your budget) for an en suite bathroom? It could be convenient if you’re letting guests stay there or you’re renting it out to a lodger. Or it could be convenient for you if you plan to move into this room.
– Skylight. Providing there’s no level above your garage, a skylight could a feature to consider in any of the previous garage conversions, however it could be particularly striking in a bedroom, allowing you to fall asleep and watch the stars.