Creating Living Spaces Out of Your Garage

June 30th, 2015

napleskitchenv2Creating Living Spaces Out of Your Garage

Few of us really park our cars in our garages. Often, it’s filled with clutter that we should get rid of or throw away. The money we make in a garage sale could be put towards remodeling the garage into a living space.

There are many creative ideas you could look in to, and most are easily removed if you want the garage back.

One of the most common plans is turning the garage into a home gym. You have a lot of space to put in machines, weights, and mats for stretching.

Some people convert their garage into business space where they can work, or meet with potential clients. Others convert theirs to a day care space and run a child care service out of their home. It also allows you to have a separate entrance into the garage that keeps people out of your personal space.

Other ideas:

  • Play room
  • Arts and crafts room
  • Media room
  • Dining room

One of the most interesting uses is turning your garage into an art studio and replace the garage door with glass to let the natural light in. You can see some inspiration here at Yahoo!

It’s important to remember to get permits for any work that you do. Check with your local government to find out how to obtain the necessary permits. Watch this video for more information.

Another fun idea is to turn the garage into a large gourmet kitchen. You can see how they turned a single car garage into a light and airy kitchen in this Yahoo! article. The pictures are inspiring. Since they removed a wall, it wouldn’t be easy to go back to the original if needed and could impact the sale price.

So why wouldn’t you want to get more space with a room that’s already attached to your house?

Unless you remodel the garage from the outside, it will always look like a conversion because the driveway just dead ends into it.

You’ll have problems on the interior as he floor will be lower than the rest of the house because it’s just a concrete slab.

Other factors to take into consideration are your climate. If you get a lot of hot or cold weather, you will want to look into insulation if you intend to use the room a lot.

Where you’ll encounter the most difficulty is in determining your home’s value. When you purchased the home, you paid so much per square foot. Only living space was counted, which doesn’t include the garage, porch or patio, even if they are under the roof.

Many people do successfully add to their living space, and some people look for more living area when they’re looking. So do what’s best for your situation.

Angie’s List has this top five tips for a successful garage conversion:

1. Contact a building inspector. You want your new room to meet city codes. Find out if your municipality has regulations for converting a garage into a living space.

2. Insulate. Garages are hot in summer and cold in winter because there’s typically no insulation. Keeping the climate under control often requires adding insulation.

3. Keep it comfortable. Heating and cooling goes hand-in-hand with insulation. Can your HVAC system handle an additional room? You may need to install a separate system.

4. Fix the floors. Most garage floors are built lower than a home’s interior flooring. Unless you want to step down about 15 inches, consider raising the garage floor so it’s level with the rest of the home. In addition, garage floors are often made of concrete, which retains water. Contractors recommend installing a moisture barrier before adding carpet, or using a material such as ceramic tile that won’t succumb to moisture issues.

5. Don’t forget plumbing. If the room doesn’t have access to running water, contact a plumber to install water lines and drains.



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