The garage is probably the most altered part of the house over the years. It’s because the number of vehicles or their sizes could change a lot. Sometimes, to accommodate more or bigger vehicles, you’d opt to build a new garage that’s more convenient. So what do you do with your old garage?
Rather than leave it as a messy storage area, you could convert an old garage into a multipurpose room your family could enjoy. It would take some work as garages would normally have minimal features for human comfort, but the converted space would decongest your other living areas.
First, make it habitable.
Your car doesn’t mind being parked in a stuffy space. But for you to survive hours in your garage, you need some air circulation. Tear down some parts of the wall and put in bigger windows. Customize your garage door so that you could partially open it without exposing the entire room. If you could afford it, you could change it to a fancier one. Some garage doors are made up of glass panels with side doors. Instead of putting up a wall, which might need additional structural support, replace the old door with a nicer one.
Of course, your room must be habitable any season. Extend your HVAC system. Insulate the ceiling against heat during the summer and keep the warmth during winter.
Your garage most likely has bare cement as a floor. There’s no need to make it fancy. Bare concretes are popular among interior designers as they could complement any furniture. Put on rugs to make them warmer during the cold seasons though.
Consider its possible uses.
Although we are still asked to continue social distancing, small gatherings have already been allowed provided that health protocols are followed. The garage would be a perfect alternative dining area. If you could install ample windows for good ventilation, it’s a warmer alternative to having dinner in your backyard. Your garage would also presumably have a bigger space than your dining room so you could space your guests safely.
The garage could also be used for growing plants within a controlled environment. With winter coming up fast, the tropical plants you have acquired in your shopping binges would need warmth, but would also want fresh air and sunlight. Your garage could perfectly convert into a greenhouse.
Another need that arose because of the pandemic is private space. Maybe it’s for you who are now working from home, or maybe it’s your children who need a learning station far from distractions and household noise. You could even share the space since you would all need a quiet space to focus. If you wish to use your garage for this, you need to soundproof it well. Check doors and windows for spaces along their jambs. Garages are often not tightly sealed spaces, so they’re prone to the noise coming from the street. You could also try out soundproofing curtains or wall tiles.
The garage is also perfect as an exercise room. Since going to the gym might be a health danger, it would be best for you to sweat it out at home. A treadmill and a stationary bike would conveniently fit in there together with your yoga mats and weights.
Of course, you could just make it into another living room or bedroom if it’s what your family needs. The point is to make the space functional.
Convert into separate living quarters.
If you already have enough space for your family, you could convert your garage into a pad that you could rent out. A garage’s features could easily be converted into a loft-style tiny home. Have an open space design with an industrial feel so you don’t need to spend too much on adding partitions.
What you need to add is plumbing so that your tenants will have a toilet and kitchen sink. Apply for a separate electrical connection and other basic utilities. You could also rent it out daily like those on Airbnb. Just make sure your guests follow sanitation procedures, and you disinfect your facilities regularly.
An extra garage does not have to be a waste of space on your property. There are so many things you could do with it. You might not want to spend to renovate it, but you could look at it as an investment in its potential to support your family’s lifestyle. Rather than having a useless room in your home full of junk, you would never have time to sift through, turn into something you and your family could enjoy.