Your Next Home Improvement Project : The Garage

When it comes to home improvement projects, many people shudder thinking about workmen traipsing through the house, disturbing the daily routine, and generally creating chaos. However, there is a place you can update that will not stress your daily routine too much. In addition, it adds long-term value to your home … we’re talking about your garage.

Making any home improvement can add value to your home especially when you are ready to sell it. But in the meantime, a garage makeover can be a fun project that provides a lot of room for creativity and fun for the family.

If your home is a bit too cramped and you don’t have the money for an addition, you can renovate your garage to make it a place where family and friends love to hang out.

Following are some ideas to get you started planning what type of home improvements you can make in your garage.

Workshop

Have tools but need more space to use them? Then this home improvement project will give you a dedicated space for your woodworking hobby. Whether you buy the latest storage cabinets or use simple pegboards to store tools within reach, ensure each and every tool has its own space.

A mobile workbench, tool set, and some vintage metal signs add ambiance. You can go with as much or as little decor as you want: cabinets, under-cabinet lighting, anti-fatigue floor mats, overhead lighting. Depending on the size of your garage you can also add separate workstations.

Home Office

Converting your garage into a home office can be a big help for you. Having a designated space to work without interruption means you can get more done in less time – and the commute is fantastic. It can also mean a deduction at tax time.

Remember when doing this type of home improvement, you want to keep comfort in mind. You need to have the basics like a height-adjustable desk for sitting or standing. Changing your position throughout the day can help relieve boredom and loss of attention. An office chair with proper lumbar support is a must-have, too. If you see clients on a regular basis, some extra chairs or a sofa will give them a comfortable place to sit.

Consider floor tiles or carpet tiles to make sure the space feels comfortable all year. Then to improve upon that thought, insulate the walls and add energy-efficient windows to keep your new office at a comfortable temperature.

Music Room

A wonderful space that’s all your own. With a music room, you can have a dedicated place to listen to your music. If you play an instrument, this can be your new sanctuary, freeing up some space in your home. Maybe you have teenagers who are putting together a band. Avoid the headaches of practice sessions by making the garage a space reserved for music. No need to stifle their creativity.

So the neighbors won’t be disturbed, you can add porous sound-absorbent materials including carpet, thick drapes, and open-cell foams to the room. Decorate the walls with old album covers, posters, instruments, and other music memorabilia for an overall cool vibe.

Home Gym

Want your very own gym but don’t have a room that’s not already being used? Your garage can make the perfect home gym. Enjoy the space day or night. Your gym is ready whenever you are. The money you save on a yearly gym membership will pay for your equipment in the long run.

Before you move anything into the garage, cover the floor with rubber mats to help hold your equipment in place and give a slight cushioning to the floor.

Some thoughts on equipment are: a weight bench, storage for free weights, a yoga ball, jump rope, stationary bike, and other equipment you have or need. Pop in the ear buds and get ready to sweat.

Extra Bedroom or Guest Room

At some point your child will become a teenager and having his/her own room can be a wonderful thing for them and you.

Ensure the space is insulated and has heat, air, and plumbing. Carpet the concrete flooring, stain it, or place multiple throw rugs to keep the chill from permeating the space. If you don’t need to buy new furniture, maybe wait until they actually get their own place, all you’ll really need to do at this point is paint the walls, then bring in the furniture.

The space can work well as a guest room, too. If you are using all the available bedrooms and have frequent overnight guests, it makes sense to have a separate living/sleeping area for guests. The changes would be the same as a teen bedroom except for new furnishings.

Bar

What if you had a place where you, your friends, and neighbors could come and relax while you all watch the big game or boxing match? You would need some bar stools, comfortable chairs, a sofa, and a coffee table for putting up your feet.

Of course with a bar, you’d also need plumbing, a wine refrigerator, a refrigerator for beer and snacks, some shelves for your liquor bottles, and the largest flat screen TV you can afford. Don’t forget the neon beer signs and sports memorabilia.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Before making any home improvement, check with your city’s rules and regulations regarding home improvements on your garage.
  • Ensure you have the budget for construction and furnishings. Changing a garage into a living or working space can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000, depending onthe size and that estimated cost does not include plumbing.
  • You will need additional electrical outlets and more lighting. Shoot for a mix of task and ambient lighting.
  • Depending on the project you choose consider replacing an old garage door with glass panels or sliding glass doors to improve ventilation and provide natural light.
  • If you don’t replace the garage door with insulated windows, think about insulating the door, walls, and ceiling if you live in a climate with hot and cold extremes.
  • You may want to carpet, seal, stain, or polish the concrete flooring.
  • Add shelves, pegboard, hooks, and storage boxes to keep smaller items in order.

Conclusion

Making home improvements to your garage can be far less painful than renovating the inside of your home. There are many types of changes you can make. The only limit is your imagination. Enjoy your new space now and when you sell the house it will be worth more thanks to the changes you make today.

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