An old, worn-out garage isn’t just an eyesore; it can also be an energy inefficient money sink, let in water, dirt, bugs, and other things that can ruin what is inside, and even bring down the value of your property.
In this article, we are going to go over a few things that you can do to your garage to give it the makeover it deserves.
What You Can Add
You don’t always have to completely remodel your garage to improve it. Often just making a few touch-ups and adding or upgrading a couple things is all it takes to turn a frumpy garage into a sleek space perfect for your needs.
Plus, small improvements are the first steps towards making bigger improvements and renovations to your garage later.
- Paint: Something that is very easy to upgrade is the paint on your garage. New paint will spruce up only on the outside, but the inside as well. A fresh coat of paint in a color that is pleasing to you can make an utterly transformative difference for a very low cost. Painting your garage is even something simple enough that you could do it yourself with no experience, no contractor required. Take some swatches home from the hardware store and test them in your garage to see what looks good. Just remember to also replicate the lighting that will be in the final garage.
- Flooring: Another often overlooked but essential component of a functional and attractive garage is the flooring. Many garages have floors of naked concrete slabs, which may have cracks, stains, or more. Replacing your old concrete floor with a smooth epoxy floor can make your garage look brand new while also extending its longevity. Your garage floor will be happier, your car tires will be happier, and you will be happier.
- Electric: Adding outlets and more comprehensive electrical wiring to your garage is a more advanced task, but can be well worth it. Having power running to your garage allows you to include a number of other features that can further enhance the space, such as a home theater or sound system, automated car lift, better lighting, and more.
- Plumbing: Plumbing is likely to be one of the hardest things to add to a garage, since most come with no plumbing installed whatsoever. However, if you wish for your garage to be a living space or otherwise require running water, plumbing will be essential.
- Storage: Forget about stacking cardboard boxes in a pile on your garage floor; innovative storage systems like hanging storage can vastly multiply the amount of space you have available while also facilitating an even larger storage space.
- Doors: the garage door is one of the most common things replaced when giving a garage a makeover. These doors typically see frequent use and the mechanism operating the door has to move a heavy load. Replacing your garage door and keeping the mechanisms operating at capacity can make your garage open smoothly and quietly, a convenience which cannot be understated. Besides the main garage door, replacing the front door to your garage with something high quality can also have a big impact on making the space feel like a home.
What You Can Turn your Garage Into
Let’s say that you have already spruced up your garage with some slick paint and improved flooring. If you still want to take your garage to the next level, you may wish to completely remodel your garage rather than just adding some pizzazz.
See the list below for some inspiration on how to turn your newly upgraded garage into a fully-functional space for you and your family.
- Living space: Many people seek to convert their garage into a living space. If you have a connected garage it can become an attached room, and if your garage is disconnected it can become a small guesthouse. However, if you are looking to live in your garage, you will need to make sure it complies with all relevant building codes. For example, you will need to have at least one window large enough for a person to crawl through in case of an emergency. You will also definitely need to add electricity, plumbing, and an HVAC system if your garage does not already have them.
- Mudroom: A mudroom is essentially a room where you can take off dirty or muddy shoes, wet raincoats, and other clothing that is dirt enough that you don’t want it in the house. A garage is the perfect space for a mudroom since they are already designed to withstand copious dirt, rain, and other detritus.
- Den or personal room: If you desperately need a place to get away from it all, your garage may be the perfect area. You can turn your garage into a space for your hobbies, especially those that take up space, or even just into a den in which to find your serenity.
- Art area: Artists understand the struggle of keeping your space clean while in the midst of a new painting or art piece. Your garage might be the ideal place to set up your studio to achieve both peace and quiet and an easily cleanable area. If you installed epoxy flooring, cleaning up dried paints will be a snap.
- Kids’ play area: If you have kids, it can be a challenge to find enough space for them to get out their energy while keeping an eye on them. Not to mention the mess kids tend to make! If this struggle sounds familiar to you, you may want to consider converting your garage in a play area for your kids. You can easily store all their toys, including larger items like bikes, while providing your kids a space to play in that neither of you have to worry about being ruined.
- Office: Converting your garage into an office space can also help you capture the peace and quiet you need. If you install an HVAC and electrical system, your garage will feel as comfortable as your office at work. You can also very easily include soundproofing in your garage makeover, which will do wonders for blocking sounds of traffic and the nearby roads and distracting sounds coming from your house.
- In home theater: If you really want to think big, you could turn your garage into a home theater. This luxury upgrade will cost more as it must account for a projector, seating, more advanced lighting, and sound, but it will be oh so worth it.
How to Keep Costs Low
With all of these options available to you, it can be easy to lose track of expenses and waste money on unnecessary additions.
In order to keep down costs, you need to have a clear and actionable plan from the outset. Below are a few things to keep in mind while planning your garage makeover:
- Know What You Want From the Beginning: An easy way to burn through your budget is to proceed remodeling without a vision for the final product. With no vision, you may end up having to experiment before settling on something you like; which, while fun, is also very expensive and time-consuming.
- Have a Budget and Stick to It: Garage remodeling costs can vary exceptionally, with reports in 2020 giving a range of about $1,500 to $40,000. As such, it is essential to not only have a thorough budget that accounts for everything, but also to stick with your budget as closely as possible. If you decide to go off budget on one expense, you may end up needing to do so again to ensure that everything in your design plan is compatible and functional.
- Ask the Professionals: Before executing any plan of action, discuss your plan and budget with your contractor. Not only will they need to know your design intentions before working, but they will also be able to offer insight on ways to save, improve efficiency, or otherwise get more bang for your buck.
- Know the Building Codes: Any work or renovation done to your garage has to be compliant with all relevant building codes for your city. Failing to comply with these codes will not only cost you fines but also more time and money as you remodel a second time to bring it up to code. Your contractor can help make sure that you avoid this issue from the outset.
- Know How It Affects Your Home: If you renovate your garage, you will most likely increase the amount of equity in your home. This will have the effect of increasing its overall value. An increase in equity can affect your mortgage, home equity line of credit, taxes, and more.
Hire A Professional: Besides all the advice and expertise a contractor can offer, their main job is to make sure that your project is done according to your wishes. They have the skills, tools, workers, and experience to give your garage the makeover it deserves.