Many homeowners who have garages use them to protect their vehicles from the elements. For others, garages are a major source of storage space. But if you don’t have a car or don’t mind keeping yours outside, and you don’t necessarily need the extra storage room (you have lots of closets or a basement), you may be able to make good use of your garage if you’re willing to spend a little time and money renovating it.
The first step in any garage renovation project? Clearing out the junk. (Be honest: you probably have lots of it.) But once that’s done, there are a number of things you can do with your garage. Here are a few renovation ideas to consider.
Check out our range of garage renovations here.
New Garage Flooring
Your garage’s flooring makes a huge difference in its overall look and how it’s used. There are many different options available, so we’ll go over a few.
Most garages have concrete flooring, and if you want, you can keep it that way. But if it’s cracked or damaged, you’ll want to get it resurfaced. Also, concrete can be rather plain and boring, but you can spice it up by painting it the colour of your choice.
One of the major flaws of concrete is that it stains. If you choose to epoxy your garage floor, stains are a thing of the past. Oil and grease won’t stick or seep into the epoxied floor, which is perfect for homeowners who work on their own cars. Did we mention it looks great as well?
While you might have to overhaul your garage flooring if you want to convert it into a new room if you simply want to refresh your garage you have the choice to give your flooring a makeover. Concrete flooring is affordable and can provide a high sheen if polished, which can be a great way to spruce up your garage before the sale quickly. This does require a significant amount of work to effectively polish concrete, which is why the expense of hiring a professional may put some people off. Rubber flooring is an alternative that is a great choice for those looking to DIY refresh their garages, as it is easy to install and maintain/replace.
There are also foam floor mats that you can park your car on. These prevent concrete floors from becoming damaged and are an inexpensive way to change up your garage flooring.
These aren’t your only available options. Depending on how you use your garage, you can get tile, hardwood or carpet like you would in any other room of your home. You can read more about different garage flooring in one of our previous articles.
Paint the Walls a New Color
Once you’ve decided on the flooring for your garage remodel, you can pick a wall colour. You want it to match the floor, so it isn’t clashing.
If your walls are concrete, you may want to consider installing new walls. This allows you to add insulation and completely customise your garage. Speaking of insulation.
Whether you have an attached or detached garage, insulation is important. If your garage is attached, several rooms share a wall or floor/ceiling with your garage. You won’t be able to regular the temperature in those rooms if your garages allow heated or cooled air to escape.
Plus, having garage walls that aren’t insulated will affect the cost of your energy bills. When heated or cooled air escape, your furnace or air conditioner have to work much hard to reach the temperature you want. They’ll use more power combating the elements, jacking up your electric and heating bills.
But what if you have a detached garage? Having insulated walls won’t affect your home’s temperature or energy bills. That doesn’t mean insulation isn’t important. You’re still parking your car in the garage, and you don’t want it to face temperature extremes. Keeping out the weather is very important.
Also, if you convert your garage into a living space, insulated walls are essential. If you don’t insulate the walls, the occupants of your garage might as well sleep outside.
Another thing to consider about insulating your garage is the condition of the roof. Adding insulation when the roof itself is in bad shape will only be a temporary band-aid. If your roof looks old and worn out, you should strongly consider getting a new one from a local roofing company.
Get an Insulated Garage Door
When people talk about insulating walls, they forget about their garage door. Since a garage door can take up an entire wall, it can be a huge weak spot in your garage if it isn’t insulated.
Thankfully, many steel garage doors come with foam insulation which helps keep the outside weather out of your garage. Other materials such as wood and aluminium aren’t as energy efficient as steel.
Loft Your Garage
Another cool garage remodels idea is lofting your garage. By doing this, you can still park your cars in the garage while having plenty of storage. Think of it like a large, easy to access the attic.
If you need the extra space, a lofted garage can be used for so much more. You can treat the lofted space like an extra bedroom, office or living space and furnish the area. The sky’s the limit when you loft your garage.
Install Windows on Your Garage
Your garage can be dark and void of natural light. That’s not safe if you work on your car in your garage or it’s your makeshift workshop. We recommend you install windows in your garage.
Not only will you enjoy more light in your garage with windows, but they’ll allow you to circulate the air. By opening the window, you’ll allow fresh air in. You’ll no longer have to worry about your garage becoming stuffy.
Improve the Lighting
Speaking of light, having bright lights in your garage is a must if you’re going to be spending time in there. When you have dim lights, it prevents you from enjoying your garage after sundown.
There’s also the option for motion sensor lights. They turn on whenever someone enters the garage. It’s a unique and convenient touch to enhance your garage.
Refreshing your garage lighting is an easy way to inject new life into space. Artificial lighting can be used in a range of ways, mixing accent, ambient and utility lighting for various effects. For instance, accent lighting can be used to highlight your car (for when you want to show it off to visitors) while ambient lighting might be a better option if you want to use the garage as a space for recreation (pool tables, etc.). Consider opening up the garage to more natural light to make it a more inviting workspace within the home.
Hitch Property Constructions has the biggest range of the garage renovations Melbourne. Check it out here.
Convert Your Garage into an All-New Room
We’ve already mentioned a few times that you can use your garage as more than just a place to store items or park your cars. It can be a workshop, bedroom, office or living space. That being said, there are a few additional projects you’ll need to consider for a garage conversion.
For instance, if you plan on creating another bedroom or office, your garage remodel isn’t complete without running electricity through your garage. How else would you be able to use your TV or computer?
Other elaborate ideas such as a bar or gym may require you to run a water line to your garage. Manipulating water and electric lines will require permits and can be very unsafe for someone who isn’t properly trained. We recommend you hire a professional for these projects.
If you want to work on your car in your garage, larger investments such as a car lift are essential. While it may seem expensive up-front, think of all the money you’ll save by being able to do your own oil changes and car repairs.
Replacing your garage door
If you’re using your garage as a workshop, you may not mind retaining its original doors. But if you’re using that space as an office or bedroom, you’ll probably want to replace that garage door with an outside wall. In doing so, you’ll also need to remove the clunky apparatus that runs along the top of that space.
If Your Garage is Falling Apart, It’s Time for a New One
If you have an old, outdated garage, then it’s time for a new one altogether. This will not only improve your home’s curb appeal, but it will allow you to customise and create the perfect garage for your home.
For instance, if you have a large family with many cars, plan on using your garage as a living space or hosting large parties, a large garage is a great investment. Smaller garages are out of date and will make it harder to sell your home. You’ll have a better return on investment with a larger garage.
When you customise a new garage, you also have the choice of the style and shape. This opens up many possibilities. If you need extra space inside for a car lift or a loft, a hip roof garage is a great option. You can also build a deck on a flat roof garage which is great for entertaining guests.
Keep your garage as storage
If you want to keep your garage functioning as a garage, there may be little you need to do to refresh it apart from some solid sorting. Garages tend to be the destination point for a lot of unused items in the home, so after doing a thorough clean of everything you find, consider storage solutions. Consider exploring space beyond wall space and look towards floating ceilings to make the most of the unused volume in your garage.
Are you prepared to take on a DIY Garage Makeover?
A garage makeover isn’t always an easy process but is often a top priority when it comes to home renovations. Removing the clutter, redoing the floor and adding storage might even create a room you’ll want to spend time in. At the least, you’ll be able to find that weed wacker or snowplough.
For this post, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of completing each task the do-it-yourself way and the calling-a-professional way. To determine the best practice, we factored in price, efficiency and potential for quality work. You must also consider your own experience in DIY’ing.
Step 1: Junk Removal
Chances are you have a lot of “stuff” in your garage. From sports equipment to lawn care tools to boxes from when you moved in five years ago, the list can go on and on. We found the best way to take care of this problem is to remove it all simply. Placing every single item in your driveway or yard, unless it’s hanging up on a wall, will help you reset and prep for the floor coatings.
This will also allow you to sell or donate items you no longer need, throw away useless items and move the rest temporarily. We suggest doing this with a crew of family or friends and calling upon professional services, like a roll-off dumpster, if necessary. A group of people and means to get rid of some junk will make this job quick and easy.
Junk Removal Guidelines:
- Do it yourself (or preferably with a group of people).
- Place items in a secured spot away from the garage.
- Donate unused items in good shape.
- Throw away items collecting dust or damaged.
Step 2: Preparation
Now that your junk is out of the way, it’s time to prep for the upgrades you plan on making. Most of this step requires hands-on, small tasks that you can knock out in a few hours and possibly a trip to your local hardware store. Here are the biggest responsibilities you’ll have:
- Replace any old drain caps or floor cover plates – If they’re at all rusted or show some wear and tear, purchase new ones. At the least, do some general cleaning.
- Update garage door seals – Ensure they’re properly functioning and fit your desired look. Replace them if they don’t check these boxes.
- Remove floor fixtures – If it’s not built into the wall or cemented to the ground, get it out. This includes cabinets, sinks or even appliances.
- Reschedule home maintenance projects – You’ll want to schedule a few days where other tasks can be put on hold. Block out time for garage related tasks only.
Makeover Preparation Guidelines:
- Do it yourself.
- Complete all small tasks.
- Clean items are remaining in the garage.
- Plan major renovations.
Step 3: Floor Coating
The hardest decision you’ll have to make in a complete garage makeover is whether you want to take on applying garage floor coatings yourself or hire a professional to do so. There are advantages to both, and each has a wide range of options. Plenty of big box store retailers offer DIY epoxy garage floor kits, and there are numerous online tutorials to back them up. Professional garage floor coatings offer unparalleled quality and, of course, make the work easier on you.
Money is almost always the determining factor of why people decide to redo their garage floor themselves. Overall, prices vary heavily depending on where you’re located in the United States.
- Professional decorative chip coatings cost between $5 and $7 per square foot.
- Professionally done solid colour epoxy coatings typically cost $4 to $5 per square foot.
- DIY kits range from $200 to $800 for 400 to 600 square feet of space.
DIY kits win out on short-term price, cutting the cost in half or more, but you also need to consider the longevity of the product. As is so often the case, you get what you pay for. Professionals apply a superior product that will last longer. The difference is noticeable on day one, and it will last for years down the road. In the end, the long-term cost is close to equal and may even favour calling a pro.
Garage Floor Guidelines:
- Do it yourself to save money, hire a pro for quality.
- Do your research on companies and/or quality of kits.
Looking for Melbourne garage renovations? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Step 4: Adding Storage Space
Before you start packing your lawn equipment and golf clubs back into the garage, consider building cabinets and/or storage space. This will virtually erase the terrible feeling we talked about at the top of the post (digging for hours for seemingly the only item you can’t find). The decision to either go the DIY route or to call someone with more experience, hinges on your personal knowledge and skill. If you can follow the video below, you’re likely a fit to do it yourself.
A series of storage shelves can be built relatively easily and in a short amount of time. This will help you go vertical with paint products, lawn chairs and the many other items that are sparingly used in your garage.
Storage Space Guidelines:
- Do it yourself if you have previous experience.
- Plan shelving and storage according to car placement.
- Add hooks for additional vertical space.
Once you’ve completed all the above renovations, it’s time to move all of your stuff back into the garage and rejoice in your garage’s improvements. Just think of how sweet it will be to easily park your car, find that old baseball glove and access your lawnmower. Oh, the simple things in life.
Renovating a garage can be a time-consuming task, but a worthwhile one at that. If you’re not using your garage to store your car or belongings, it pays to see what other options you have for maximising that space — potentially increasing your home’s value at the same time.