Many people do not want to invest in the housing market, but they have outgrown their living space. Children have been added to the family; active teenagers need a getaway area, or grandparents move in. All of these require more living space. The answer may be just outside the front door.

The most under-used area of a home may be the garage. In the spring and winter, garages are invaluable for protecting cars from the elements. If you are a classic car lover, you wouldn’t think of putting the car in any other place. For those, however, that are wanting additional living space, the following may be of interest. Garages can be converted into playrooms, workout rooms, living rooms, and offices.

Take a weekend or day off to toss out the things that are no longer needed. Sort items that can be sold or donated. The more items removed from the garage, the more space that is available.

Walls and Insulation

The downside of being in a garage is the temperature, especially in the late fall or the early spring. A garage may need to be insulated. Suggestions include outfitting the perimeter with stud framing, adding insulation, and installing drywall. Slatwall, corrugated sheet metal, and pegboard are alternatives to drywall.

Heating

Several options to consider for heating include a forced-air system, radiant floor heating, or a mini-split air conditioner or heater.

Wall Paint

Jazz up the wall of the garage with a coat of paint. You want it to look on par with the rest of the house. Choose a color that is appropriate for the intended use of the garage. Carpentry work and car repair need light colors that reflect light. For most uses, light colors are a good idea. A garage usually gets natural light only when the door is open.

Garages tend to get dirty. White and shades of yellow should be avoided. Gray or light shades of brown work best. Those colors are sophisticated and modern. They also hide dirt well, making them ideal for the garage.

Shelves

Shelves offer accessible storage for items that are used regularly or seasonally. Sporting goods and recreation equipment can be stored in cube style shelving. When space is organized, items are easy to find, time and effort are saved, and the available space is maximized. Equipment can be found exactly where expected.

Floors 

The easiest way to change the look of a garage is with the flooring. An epoxy finish is the most widely installed garage flooring. The option is ideal for all kinds of weather. It is low maintenance and durable.

Considerations of flooring options include the durability needed, the desired look and finish, the budget, and the condition of the garage floor. The most common choices are flake and solid color finishes.

Flake finish applications can be heavy or light. Epoxy has a high adhesion capacity. There are two levels of durability. They are residential and commercial grade. The residential grade is suitable when the only garage activity involves driving cars on the flooring. Converted workshops should be finished with commercial grade epoxy.

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