While they are typically designed with one specific purpose in mind, homeowners often find that they put their garages to a number of uses. From storage to workshop and home office to living space, the versatility garages offer can truly be an asset to the home. No matter what kind of use you put your garage to on a regular basis, there's likely a remodel that will make the space more effective for the activities that take place there.
1.Garage Doors Are a Top Priority
Adding ventilation and a good space heater can make garages in cold climates excellent places to work during the winter.
As many in the home improvement industry will point out, the largest opening between our homes and the outside world is the garage door; the International Door Association (IDA) also notes that the garage door is also the largest moving object in most homes. This large, heavy, unique door must be taken into special consideration whenever garage remodels are considered, and if it is not working properly, it is one of the components that should be addressed first.
A new, high-quality garage door will not only operate smoothly and quietly, it will also be a significant barrier between the elements (and uninvited guests--human or otherwise). An older door, on the other hand, presents a cumbersome, noisy breach in your home's first line of defense. While there are certainly other garage updates that are well worth looking into, upgrading an old, jerky garage door is likely the one that will make the most difference in how your garage is used and how much value is added to your property.
2.Temperature Control and Insulation
A garage can be used for many different functions, but if it is too hot or too cold to be in comfortably, its versatility decreases dramatically. Adding ventilation and a good space heater can make garages in cold climates excellent places to work during the winter; replace the space heater with an in-wall air conditioning unit and southern garages become far more bearable in the summer months. In both situations, an appropriate addition of insulation will help keep the space the temperature you want and avoid any spikes in energy consumption.
3.Design with Your Needs in Mind
Though the garage can be converted to suit just about any whim, this space can really improve your quality of life if you carefully consider what needs your current indoor spaces simply can't meet before deciding on how you will remodel. If you need a workshop or a place to practice pursuits that are too messy for the main house, easy-to-clean flooring, additional ventilation, and a little soundproofing may be your best bet. If your needs lean more toward storage, waterproofing and organization components like shelves and cabinetry are probably more appropriate upgrades. Remember: The housing market has made staying in an existing home a much better option for a huge number of people; careful planning of garage upgrades can give you many of the things a new home might offer without the expense of moving to a larger home.
4.Garage Conversions and Loft Construction
For some households, the floor space a garage offers is simply too valuable to use as a place to park. Full-blown garage conversions can effectively and affordably give your home a significant increase in actual living space without all the hassle and expense of a traditional addition. In some cases, a loft bedroom above the garage can be created without losing the parking and storage space below.
It should be noted that, though they are far less involved than constructing a traditional addition, garage conversions can still require major alterations that can add up to a hefty investment. However, to the delight of many homeowners, the additional living space that's created is often just what the doctor ordered to relieve a house that is too small for all its occupants. As an added bonus, garage conversions are also excellent spaces to rent out once growing teens move out; adding a small bathroom with a stand-up shower stall will provide any renter with a perfectly contained space to live autonomously, and makes a nice place to offer out-of-town guests, too!