Have you ever thought it would be awesome to add living space in your garage? At Boulder Garage Door in Boulder, Colorado, we would like to show you just how easy it can be. You can finally have that new office or guest bedroom that you’ve been thinking about all this time. Read on for a few tips and tricks for transforming your garage into usable living space.
Before You Begin…
Adding living space in your garage is a great, relatively inexpensive way to add living space to your home. You don’t have to build a whole new structure, and you can make the garage into anything – an office, man cave, laundry room, music room, extra bedroom, or whatever you wish. You can even create an entire mini apartment for your adult children or mother in law if you want. The gain will be fantastic.
But you have to consider that you’re also losing something. If you convert your entire garage, you now no longer have a place indoors to store your car. Because we live in an area with harsh winters and don’t forget those spring hail storms, this could be a big downside as it will take a toll on your vehicle.
Garages also typically have tons of storage space. Depending on the new usage you have in mind, you could end up losing all of that extra room for your holiday decorations, tools and sports equipment. Finally, keep in mind resale value. A house without an indoor parking space generally sells for quite a bit less. If you plan to sell your home in a few short years, carefully weigh your options.
Also, don’t forget to check with the local authorities and your HOA if you have one. You may need a permit to perform this kind of remodel, or it may not even be allowed in your area.
Depending on what you plan to convert the garage into, you may need to upgrade some of your home’s utilities. Garages often don’t have very pleasant lighting, so you’ll almost always need to upgrade the electric running to it. If you want to plug in a refrigerator or oven, or perhaps add HVAC, be sure to have an electrician consult with you on your power needs.
If you plan to install a laundry room or bathroom, you’ll need to add additional plumbing. Based on your level of skill, this job may require hiring out a professional to make sure that it gets done right.
What to Do with the Door?
A typical garage is going to have a garage door big enough to let your car in and out. A two-car garage has a huge opening that may not work for a living space in your garage. What do you do with that opening? You can wall it over, or simply cover the inside with an insulating false wall. That way it looks like a garage from the outside, but a normal room from the inside.
Or you can use the big door to make your space unique and interesting. Consider installing a new garage door full of windows to let lots of natural light into the room. This is great for an art studio or office. Add some curtains to close for privacy at night, and you’re set. For man caves and more casual spaces, you can leave the garage door and simply add a screen so that you can open things up to let in a breeze or create an indoor-outdoor living space.
Ultimately, if you ever want to turn it back into a garage, it will be easier if you don’t wall off the door opening. This will also help regarding resale value. Even if you don’t show it as a garage, it will be easier to sell since the new owners will be happier with having the option to use it as intended.
Garage floors are often concrete and are not known for keeping your tootsies warm. In fact, they can even be a heat drain on the entire room and make your heating bill more expensive. To avoid this when adding living space in your garage, build a second floor over the top, leaving a couple of inches of space for insulation. A simple way to do this is to lay a framework and cover it over with sheets of plywood. Top it off with lovely flooring that matches your decor and voila! Warm feet.
The Best of Both Worlds
You may want to add some extra living space in your garage but still have the option to park your car indoors during the winter and hail season. In that case, plan the design carefully to work for both functions.
One way to do this is to set up zones. For example, in a two-car garage, reserve one side for parking your car. Then set up the other half as a living space. Another option is seasonal use. During the summer you can use the living space but park your car inside during the winter to keep it safe from the weather.
Don’t Try to Hide It
Sometimes, when doing a garage renovation, homeowners want to hide the fact that the space used to be a garage. This can be a big task. You’ll have to spend a lot of extra time and effort to cover up all traces of its former identity. Instead, embrace its sizing peculiarities (particularly the garage door) and create something interesting with it. It will be less expensive, and you’ll end up with a fun, unique room that doesn’t look like what everybody else has.
We hope that these ideas to add living space in your garage have been helpful. You can always talk to one of our experts here at Boulder Garage Door about your ideas for the new space. With over 40 years of experience, we have a wealth of knowledge and if you need to install a new door to complete a renovated look, be sure to contact us. We can help choose the perfect door to complement your new space, and our technicians will have it installed in no time.