Wasted space. That might be how you view your garage. Yes, it was a great feature when you first moved into the home. This was where you were going to keep your car safe from the elements. A little remote control action on the garage door and you were good to go. Then what happened?
“Stuff” had a way of creeping to the garage. First, it was some random sporting equipment. Then it became shelves to hold all the holiday decorations. Before you knew it, your car got squeezed out onto the driveway and your garage became one big storage locker. Wasted space. Now you have two options and they both involve first clearing out the clutter. You can go back to the space for your car or consider a floor to ceiling renovation to add value to your home.
If you opt for renovation, there are some basic elements you’ll need to incorporate in order to get your garage ready for habitation. Think of this as building out your “blank canvas.” First, you’ll want to insulate the floor, walls and ceiling. If your garage is already down to the “studs,” then this is going to be easy. Insulation and then dry wall. Because you’re working with a concrete slab on your floor, you might have to raise the height in order to lay a foundation of insulation.
Next, you’ll want to provide heating and cooling for the area. This can be accomplished by tying into your existing HVAC system or bringing in standalone units. It might be more cost efficient to keep your garage as standalone. That way you won’t be heating or cooling another space that isn’t going to be occupied all the time.
The Bottom Line
Along with your heating/cooling upgrades you might need to boost up your electrical service. A few added amps will go a long way. What is the cost of all these basic upgrades? You could spend anywhere between $10,000 to $20,000. Just keep in mind that you’re adding a fully functional room. That could hold a lot of value depending on what you turn that room into. Here are some possibilities:
A Home Theater
If you’ve always wanted that movie theater experience in an actual home theater, then your garage could be just the ticket. Complete home theater systems are surprisingly affordable. This is a project that you might want to consider before the walls go up. That way you can wire up your surround sound speakers inside those walls. A few comfy movie chairs and popcorn machine and you’ll be good to go.
A Fixit Room
Your converted garage can also become the ultimate fixit room. Most garages offer room for a workbench but once you clear out all the clutter, you’ll have room for a lot more. Whether you’re into fixing up cars or looking or somewhere to repaint secondhand furniture a-la Joanna Gaines, this new space can house all the equipment you need to indulge in your hobbies.
A Kid Playroom
Do you have one of those homes where it seems like the kids have taken over every room with their toys and games? Your converted garage can become their exclusive playroom. That means everything that own can go into one room. If it crosses over the doorway, then it gets tossed out. Extreme? Perhaps but it’s a sure way of controlling the toy overflow.
A Man Cave
As with the kids and their toys, the man of the house might have problems with accumulated stuff. How many spats have you gotten into over where to hang an autograph jersey? The man cave can be the solution. It might seem unfair that the man gets a room all to himself. Actually, flip that. He has one room and you get the rest of the house. That is actually very fair.
A Bigger Family Room
Depending on the geography of your home, your garage could become an extension of the family room. That would mean knocking down the wall that divides to the two spaces and upgrading the garage door. You might even think about sealing off the garage door all together. It would be as if the garage was never there!
Finally, you also have the option of using that garage for a spare bedroom. This might help keep siblings from fighting but can also be a great space for the grandparents. You should never think of your garage as wasted space with all these possibilities.