If you have a garage, what do you think of it? Is it just a place to store junk, a place you never go to if you can help it? Perhaps it’s not used for anything at all because it’s dirty and cold. Yet if you consider your garage more closely, you might realize that it’s actually a very useful space, and currently you might be wasting its potential.
A garage might not seem like much when you first encounter it, but with a little thought and imagination, it could become an integral part of your home. Read on for some ideas about how to make this happen so you can add value to your property and get more use out of it.
Connect It To The House
Whether you want to use your garage as a home office, a gym, a playroom, a home cinema, a yoga studio or anything else (and there are countless ideas you could come up with), one of the most important things to do is connect it to the house. Otherwise, you’ll have to go outside every time you want to use it, and this can soon become tiresome, especially in bad or cold weather. Rather than go to your garage, no matter how nicely converted it might be, you may well start to use other areas of your house and the garage will be wasted again – but so too will the money you spend doing it up.
Therefore, if possible, you need to connect your garage to the house. This can be done in a variety of ways, and it depends where the two buildings are in relation to one another. If they are already connected and built together, this idea becomes very easy. You simply knock a hole through the joining wall and add a sturdy internal door such as those from George Hill Timber and Building Supplies. Of course, this might require a professional as it’s a physically demanding job, not to mention you need to be careful of load-bearing walls and any electronics or pipework that might be in that wall. However, this is certainly the best way to join your garage to your house and make it easier to use.
Alternatively, you might need to consider building a covered walkway from the house to the garage.
Even if your garage is connected to your home so you can use it like any other room, you’re still not going to want to go in there if it’s cold and feels uncomfortable. This is why it’s important to insulate the walls and roof. Garages normally won’t have insulation in them (although sometimes there will be some in the roof, depending on when your home was built) because they are not traditionally somewhere that needs to be kept warm – they’re not built to be lived in. However, if you want to use the garage as another room in your home, especially if that means you don’t have to move to get more space, then insulation is a must.
Insulation will help to keep the temperature in the garage regulated, meaning it will stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Plus, because you’ll likely want to have your home’s heating installed in the garage as well, this will save you wasting a lot of energy and money – without insulation, the heating will disappear through the roof and the room will cost a lot more to keep warm, if keeping it warm is even possible.
You can install insulation along all the walls and then put up drywall to hide it. After that, you can decorate the drywall just as you would any wall, either by painting it or putting up wallpaper. As soon as you do this, the room will be much more comfortable and, if you can match the décor to the rest of the house, it will soon feel like just another useful room rather than a converted garage.
Remove The External Door
If you really want your garage to feel like a part of the house and an intentional room rather than one you’re just using because it’s handy, putting up plasterboard and decorating, perhaps also adding a comfortable flooring type, is a great start. However, there will always be one big issue in the way of making your garage a cohesive part of the house; your garage door.
The garage door is different to any other kind of door. It’s much bigger, for one thing, and it flips up and over. It was originally designed to allow vehicles to pass through, of course, but now that cars are larger and garage dimensions have generally remained the same, most people don’t use garage for car storage, hence why they can so readily be turned into useful additional rooms.
Ideally, you’ll need to remove this garage door and block up the hole. If the garage is connected to the house, or at least has an additional, personal exterior door, this space is no longer needed and can be entirely covered up. This is something that you will need a professional for as it’s a big job and you need the property to look good both inside and out. In the best cases, you won’t be able to tell there was a garage door (or even a garage) there at all. Remember, though, you might need permission to do this, so check first.