The problem with garages is that they are very convenient dumping places. Anything that is not needed in the house and which is too heavy or bulky to carry up to the attic or down to the basement usually ends up in the garage. Pretty soon it is filled up with all kinds of things that you know you will need one day, but not right now. And before you know it, the car is sitting in the drive. Since the car being evicted from its home is inevitable, why not think of making better use of the garage than as a dumping ground? A little effort in planning your storage needs can provide you with all the storage space you need somewhere else in the house and finally having a garage sale to get rid of unwanted junk can leave the garage free for conversion into a living space.
Living Space is too Precious to Waste
Even if you are not cramped in your home, extra space can make life easier and even add a much wanted touch of luxury to your home. A garage, because it is at ground level and offers an open unhindered floor space, can be converted into almost anything. Being semi-detached from the rest of the house, garage conversion is generally not a complex affair since the rest of the house does not need to be touched.
If you want to convert your garage into a more useful space, you will find information on suppliers in your area of the materials you will need as well as the equipment you can rent or buy for completing the project online. Or if you want to have the job done professionally, details of local home renovation and remodeling contractors can also be found using Google – the company and website that has changed the world.
1.The "Man Cave"
The garage is, for some strange reason, thought of as a “guy’s area.” So when conversion is contemplated, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the “man cave.” This can be a simple conversion since a man cave needs to be comfortable and things like decoration etc. are low down on the priority list. All a man cave needs is some comfortable armchairs, a couch, a home entertainment system, video games, a refrigerator for keeping the beer and a table to lay out the pizzas, bread sticks, cup cakes, vegetable dip, chips and salsa, chips and dip, chips and crackers, pie, cake, cinnamon roles, zucchini bread, sandwiches, and the list continues.
If you have extra money to spend, you could add a toilet and a sink so people do not have to enter your home to go to the bathroom. You need to have sufficient lighting as well, do not forget that. Anything else is a luxury that would be nice, but not really necessary.
2.The Game Room
A variation on the man cave is the gaming room which can be used by the whole family but will keep the man of the house happy. What you need for this is a powerful computer/gaming system, a large monitor with good speakers, a table or platform that will allow for easy viewing and a comfortable place to sit – preferably a captain’s chair. Storage space for game and equipment is a good idea. And décor can be limited to an electronic or metallic theme. Make sure you cover these electronic components with plastic or a cloth cover when not in use because garages can become dusty and dirty faster than the interior of the home.
3.The Home Gym
For a family that wants to get or stay in shape, turning the garage into a home gym is a good idea. You may need to make a few structural modifications to ensure that there is enough ventilation and create strong wall and floor supports for some of the heavier equipment. The important thing to keep in mind is not to overcrowd the gym – leave enough space for people to move around without getting in each other’s way. A cupboard for towels and odds and ends and a place to keep bottles of water are always useful.
4.The Home Theater
If your family is made up of movie fans, a home theater will be a popular conversion. For this you will need a large wall mounted flat screen TV (the larger the better), a DVD / Blu Ray player, a compatible sound system (loud is good) and enough comfortable seating for the family and friends who will be regular visitors. If you want to do it in style, add a refrigerator for drinks, a popcorn machine, and a microwave for warming up pizzas, bean dip, and other munchies.
Make sure your garage is secure if you are going to have expensive items in there. Garages are usually easier to enter than other parts of the home. In addition, do not forget to toss some rugs down on your garage floor or just one large rug. You may have to keep a vacuum cleaner in your garage but a cool rug can help keep people’s feet a little warmer in the winter time, be softer when standing and watching the World Series or a movie for instance, and just make the garage look nicer. Because of the cold, you do not want to be watching the Super Bowl in a cold atmosphere. Not everyone has a nice winter jacket like you. So you may want to hop over to the home appliance or improvement store and buy 1-3 portable heaters to put in and around your garage. Now you are talking comfort! And you can just turn them off after the lights go out.
5.Convert it into a Bedroom
A practical conversion for a family that is running short of space is to turn the garage into a bedroom. This involves more than just putting in a bed. You will need to put in lighting, proper flooring, paint the walls and ceiling, make a window for light and ventilation and have a closet or cupboard and a chest of drawers for keeping clothes. A chair and table are also essential. If there is enough space, adding a bathroom is a prudent idea.
6.The Guest room
A variation on this if you have a 2 car garage is to create a guest suite of a bedroom and living room for visiting parents and other relatives. Although it may not be a good idea to stick your mother-in-law in the garage, it can be converted into a more comfortable environment. Add a TV to keep the guests entertained at night and a lot of blankets or comforters to keep them warm.
7.The Hang-out Spot
A home with teenagers may find creating a place for them to hang out will free the rest of the home from noise and clutter. All you need to do is ensure comfortable places to slouch (not just sit!) around, a TV and music system and if you want to pamper them, a refrigerator for sodas and snacks. Sound proofing the room makes sense because with the place of their own, teenagers can get really noisy and you don’t want to be a killjoy by constantly telling them to keep it down.
8.The Home Office
For those who are self-employed, a garage makes for the ideal home office since it somewhat apart from the living area and the home atmosphere will not enter the workplace. Just make sure you have access to your home necessities including wifi, a printer, and a desk. A mini fridge with drinks can also help relieve some stress while trying to make deadlines.
9.The Family Room
A garage makes a comfortable family room or den. Because there is only limited physical connectivity with the rest of the house, it can be as informal or quirky as you want. What the garage looks like will not affect the rest of the home which can stay and elegant and conventional as you want.
10.The Casino Bar
For an unusual conversion think about turning your garage into a casino or bar – if your building codes permit. This does not mean that you are going to gamble or drink heavily – these are just unusual rooms with roulette or blackjack tables or a traditional bar with stools. These are fun rooms for entertaining a few friends of just goofing off.
Additional Living Space is Always Welcome
Unless you live in a mansion you will always be able to use extra space in the house. In most homes, the garage is an underutilized space. Even with a limited budget, you can turn it into a fabulously usable room that will give your family the additional living space you may not know you needed until it is available to you.