With so many homeowners thinking about how they can turn their unused garage into usable space, this post will walk through 8 simple and creative ways that you can add some major value to your home by turning your empty garage into something else. Tap into that unused storage space.
Build A Partition
This is a quick and effective way to create the illusion of separate spaces within an open floor plan. It’s best to hire professionals for this job. Some States have comparably cheaper services, like Arizona; hiring a garage storage company in Tucson, AZ likely means great affordable service. With this method, you need to attach wood framing to the existing walls in your garage. You then create new wall frames with 2×4 studs and cover them with drywall. Finally, nail up one of the room divider options detailed below.
Another way is to use a door as a room divider. One of the simplest ways to divide an open space is with a simple hinged or sliding door. Some homeowners choose to have a full-sized doorway cut into the partition if they think it will be used frequently between the two rooms (though keep in mind that each time you pass through, you’ll knock out some of the plaster), while others go with half-door options. For example, for this set-up – a half-door with an open bottom provides easy access between the two rooms and allows for better airflow.
Or add a freestanding shelving unit as a room divider. This is another great option for homeowners who need to divide up an area but don’t have plans to re-do their walls in the immediate future. Freestanding bookshelves give you that extra storage space can be moved around at will, and are relatively easy to build yourself (with instructions like these, you’re sure to get it done right). They also add a nice touch of style and decor to your garage while hiding imperfections in the wall behind them. Here’s another example of how they were used in this multi-purpose compound.
Add A Ceiling
A garage roof is typically not insulated, so adding a layer of styrofoam between the rafters can reduce energy loss in winter months by up to 60 percent. Conversely, insulating the walls (with 2-in rigid foam or 5/8-in drywall) helps keep summer heat out. The best part? Insulation is surprisingly easy to install. For walls, just attach the insulation to studs and use a thick layer of drywall on top; installing it in the ceiling is even easier, since you only need to nail it into place between rafters.
You can also insulate your garage door. If you’re planning on leaving it attached to the opening, simply add a filler strip (a 2×4 or 1×6 will do) and spray foam. This DIY insulation project adds another layer of protection from cold air in the winter months.
Install Radiant Floor Heating
While there are many different approaches to installing a radiant floor system, one of the simplest is known as “hydronic” because water pipes pass through the concrete slab to deliver warm water to electric heat coils within each tile. This method usually costs between $1-2 per sq foot, but make sure you factor in replacement piping when estimating the total cost. Another option is an electric underfloor heating mat that you can roll out and lay directly on the ground, though it usually costs more to install ($3-6 per square foot).
You can click here for more information about different types of radiant floor heating systems. Adding a nice flooring option can make a huge difference in converting your garage into livable space.
Build A Bump Out
A bump-out is a small addition (about 8 to 10 sq feet is suggested) that juts out from one side of an existing wall. It essentially gives you the “best of both worlds” because it can add storage space and extra square footage, but doesn’t take away too much room inside your home. If you really want to be bold and creative, then this is a great idea for you. This design will help you turn your entire garage into one whole room and it’ll look amazing too. You can use all sorts of materials to build it, but remember that you can also make the garage into a living environment too. It’s relatively easy to build; just attach studs or joists with header plates along the front edge of the garage, then cover them with drywall.
Add French Doors
French doors are typically less than 7 ft tall, which means they won’t make your ceiling seem too low. In fact, their classic style adds some flair to your humble workshop: they’re especially great in a garage where you can see the garden outside.
They also add a sense of privacy: while they don’t fully eliminate noise, they do cut down on the sound of neighbouring traffic or children playing in your front yard.
In addition to looking good, French doors are functional too – they offer better light and airflow than most other options (think windows). Plus, they’re more energy-efficient, especially if you install them with insulating glass units on both sides. An uninsulated door lets heat or cold air escape through it.
Create A Landing
If you have enough vertical space, then adding an extra floor on the ceiling is one way to add square footage without making your garage look cluttered. A “landing” platform is a great place to store large items, as well as mount bike racks, shelving units and even artwork.
Make Use of Vehicle Under Storage
Many garages have enough vertical clearance to stash bicycles, golf clubs and other items underneath your car or truck. Alternatively, you can purchase a “car lift” so you have extra space to store even more items in the future – like skis, snowboards or kayaks. Cost aside, it’s better to reserve this highly accessible storage area for frequently used products instead of filling it with boxes, tires and other bulky items from your attic.
Install Ledges Above Work Tables
To free up floor space (and add character to an otherwise boring garage) build wood shelves that hang above workbenches. You can paint them any colour you want and mount them on either side of the wall – just don’t place heavy stuff directly over them because they might collapse from the strain. In addition to creating a more attractive space, ledges also make it easier to organize your garage: they’re a great place to store often-used tools and supplies right next to a work table.
With these 8 simple tips, you can transform your unfinished garage into a functional space. French doors are an elegant addition to the exterior of any home and they also provide extra storage for inside items. Add radiant floor heating upstairs and downstairs for maximum comfort in all seasons. If you don’t want to rent out or sell this new room, build a partition that divides it in half so each side can be used as either a workshop or even a playroom.
The Seeker Newspaper is located at 327 Second Street E., Cornwall, ON K6H 1Y8 -- All rights reserved The Seeker does not accept responsibility for errors, misprints or inaccuracies published within. The opinions and statements of our columnists are not to be presumed as the statements and opinions of The Seeker, and should not substitute professional or medical advice.
ISSN 2562-1750 (Print) ISSN 2562-1769 (Online)