For many of us, the garage is more than a place to store our cars. It may be a workshop, a hangout place, or even an unorganized mess of storage. That’s why many people are starting to take their garage and make it into something special.
If you’ve ever wondered how to begin making over your garage then you’re in the right place. Let’s hop right in and we’ll help you create a garage which is better than you ever imagined.
1. First Things First: Insulation and Sealing
Crafting an amazing garage begins with creating something that you can stand to be in no matter what the climate is. Insulation and heating go hand-in-hand when you’re talking about garages.
Here’s the thing: a heater without insulation is only going to handle a small area, while insulation without heating will only keep the interior of the garage a bit warmer than the outside temperature.
So the first step is to insulate and seal the garage.
Sealing is the easiest thing, to begin with. Take a look at the weather stripping around the door and any windows that might be in your garage. Replace anything which is cracked with a new strip.
You should also look for any holes which lead to the outside, these small gaps add up and are easy to seal with a bit of caulk and a putty knife.
Insulation can be DIY’d pretty easily if you’re willing to deal with the potential itchiness of fiberglass. Just fill in the gaps between posts and cover them with sheetrock for the best results.
You can also hire professionals to do spray-in insulation, which is pretty tricky to do yourself. Either way, the end result is a garage that holds temperatures well and makes it possible to get the heating you need.
2. Picking the Right Heater and Air Conditioner
After you’ve got insulation you’ll need to decide on what kind of heater to install.
If you have a separate laundry room it may be worth it to hire a natural gas plumber to put a T in the line from your water heater so that you can use a gas heater. This isn’t something most people can pull off without risking an explosion, so there are better options if you’re trying to save money.
For most people, however, an electric heater is going to be the way to go. Depending on how the wiring runs in your garage you may be able to use a 120V or 240V heater. For the most part, both\ voltages will easily be able to heat a space as small as a garage.
The nice thing about an electric heater is that it can be installed without the need to call out a professional. They’re also safer for the most part as long as you keep them away from combustible materials.
Once you’ve learned a bit about them you’ll see why they’re the best option for many.
Having controlled the climate, the real makeover work begins.
In warmer climates, you may want to invest in some form of air conditioning. An HVAC professional should be able to run ducting from the central air in your home but window units are also a good option.
If it’s not particularly hot in the summer then you can look into a portable air conditioner as well.
3. Make a Blueprint
Making a plan and sticking with it is vital to getting the most out of your made-over garage. While many people improve their garages piece by piece, most will find that things work out more smoothly when they plan it.
Want a workshop that still stores your car? Measure things out for workbenches, tool and material storage, and workspace as well as leaving room for the vehicle.
Going for an extensive man-cave? Get the dimensions for your Kegerator, your bar, the couch and the TV that you want to have a homey place.
You get the drift. No matter what you’re planning on using the garage for it’s possible to plan out the basic footprint of everything with some graph paper and a scale drawing.
Blueprints also help with planning the budget required. Remember to wait until you have insulation in the garage to measure the floor plan, as the new sheetrock walls will reduce the floorplan by a few inches.
Get the plan before you get started.
You’ll also want to figure out which professionals you want to hire to do any of the work you can’t handle yourself.
Any structural changes will usually require a permit as well, so head down to city hall and make sure that you’re not doing anything illegal before you begin.
It’s easy to find plans online for pretty much anything you may need, from storage racks to tool holders to TV mounts and bars. You can use these as a general guideline when sizing things before you begin the actual construction.
4. Complete the Construction
Blueprint in hand, it’s time to follow it to the letter unless last-minute modifications are needed.
Generally, any new wiring and plumbing should be done first, followed by framing and then the actual items which make up your garage’s new use.
Use the professionals first and don’t be afraid to alter the blueprint if something can’t be done. The most important part of following the blueprint is going to be moving in storage, refrigerators, workbenches, and the other items which are actually there to complete your dream garage.
After that comes the final modifications and decorations which truly make it your own.
5. Enjoy Your Garage Makeover
Okay, so it’s technically not a step but it’s definitely what you were looking to do when you set out to create a dream garage.
If you’re careful about planning and follow the above steps you just might find yourself with something you never thought possible and you’ve done it through your own hard work.
So kick back and enjoy your garage in whatever way you remodeled it.