How much use are you getting out of your garage? If you are like a number of people out there, then you generally park your vehicle in the driveway and use your garage as a storage space for collecting junk. It’s time that you took back your garage and started to make better use of that space. You have a number of options available for what you can do with the space, but you will find that the steps to actually getting to the point where you can use the space are nearly identical. Let’s look at some of the ways that you can use the garage and what you need to do to get your garage into usable condition.
How Can You Use Your Garage?
The first thing to do is consider how you want to use your garage. What you plan to do will generally depend on the amount of space you have, but you have quite a few options. Perhaps you want to put in a workout room so you can keep in shape. Maybe you want a place where you can do some woodworking, or maybe an area where you can relax in front of the television when the kids and/or spouse are watching something in the living room. You could turn it into a game room, an office, a guest room, or anything else your heart desires.
Once you have an idea of what you want to do with the space, you will then be able to start thinking about the ways that you can get the garage ready to accommodate that vision.
Before you get started on the steps that follow though, you’ll need to think about your budget and what it will allow as far as renovation costs go. You will still be able to declutter it and give yourself the space you need, but you might not be able to make all of the changes that you want right away. For example, if you want to have flooring, want to replace the garage door with a wall, or if you need new lighting installed by an electrician, consider the costs.
Remove the Clutter
Before anything else, remove the clutter that you have in your garage. Chances are that you have quite a bit of it that has accumulated over the years. You need to think about what you want to keep and what you are able to get rid of. Some of the items you may need to throw away. Others can be donated to charity, and you could even sell some of your items to help increase your budget for remodeling the garage. The goal is to remove as many of these items as possible so you have more space to work with in the garage.
Treating the Walls
You want your new space to be energy efficient and comfortable. This means you should insulate the walls if they aren’t already. If you need to add walls to your garage, it is the perfect time to add more wiring and outlets, including Ethernet and USB support. Unless you are an experienced journeyman, you will want to hire a professional for any electrical and plumbing needs that you need to add to the garage. That is serious business, both for your safety in the short term (installation) and long (soundness of the wiring and connections in the garage).
Consider a Drop Ceiling
If you add a drop ceiling to your garage, it will look more like a regular room of your house and less like a garage that you converted. This isn’t a step that’s necessary for all garages, but if you are building a guest room, for example, it’s a good option to consider.
Using the Garage for Your Car
Of course, you might want to go really crazy and actually use the garage for its original purpose. If that’s the case, then you probably won’t need to do too much work other than decluttering the space. To ensure that you are able to keep the clutter under control, you can add some cabinets, and even some overhead storage. This will allow you to keep many of your items, but they will be out of the way so you can get your vehicle into the garage.
No matter how you plan to use your garage, the first step is removing the clutter. This is the biggest problem that most people have. Take the time to think about what you plan to do with your space and only then proceed. Even though many of these changes are DIY, keep in mind that you might need to call in the professionals. Create your plan, budget, and then move forward.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.bigstock.com and www.dreamstime.com