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Like 80% of Americans, you probably see your garage as soon as you pull up to your house. Some homeowners use their garage exclusively for vehicle or tool storage, but did you know you can easily do a garage makeover to make better use of this part of your home? If you have an unused garage, or simply have extra space outside where your car parks, try these simple garage ideas to give it a facelift for year-round use.
Define The Purpose for Your Garage Space
Before you even move one thing, you need to have a plan in mind. There are many things you can do in your garage besides house or work on your vehicle.
Here are a few options to get your creative juices flowing:
- Workout Room – A dedicated space makes it easier to hit desired fitness goals without having to slog to your local gym. Dance and/or martial arts enthusiasts can also utilize a garage to practice their passions indoors with tons of floor space to get their bodies moving.
- Playroom – This is a great option, not only for kids but for parents who want to keep an eye on their more curious little ones. A child-proofed playroom in the garage can provide endless hours of fun in any weather and allows access to the outdoors in nicer temperatures. For added fun, make designated “parking spots” for the kids’ various methods of travel – bikes, battery-powered cars/trucks, skateboards, etc.
- Recreational Room – Outside of games/toys for the kids, Garages can also have fun in store for the adults of the house and their guests. Putting in an entertainment center, a pool/foosball table, a couch, and/or a bar can turn your garage into an instant pub for date night without the cover charge at the door.
- Party Room – Do you love entertaining lots of people but lack the space to do so? Host parties in your garage, giving guests an indoor space to hang in while keeping them from exploring private areas inside your home. Party decorations for your space can be specific to the special occasion, or you can play with the theme and have all car related décor!
Here are a few fun car party decoration ideas:
- Workshop/Craft Room – If you want to continue your DIY spree after you spruce up your garage space, a workshop might be a great option for you. For power tool use, a garage also sequesters the loud sounds/byproducts (dust/wood shavings/etc) away from living areas.
- Guest Room – Struggling with where to put the in-laws at Thanksgiving? Don’t want to put grandma in a motel down the road? A guest room in the garage, if properly appointed, doesn’t even feel like they’re staying in the garage. The right touches will give this space a homey feel immediately.
- Home Office – With many people electing to work remotely from home, even having a home office within the main house can cause distractions. A nice dedicated home office in your garage gives you peace and quiet so you can hit your productivity goals.
- Studio Space – Do you have a video blog, a podcast, or another media venture but can’t find a dedicated studio like those big-wigs in Hollywood? Transform your garage into a creation space! If you stream video content, a “green screen” or stylized backdrop can add professional quality to your videos. Walls/doors can be easily soundproofed to keep out ambient noise that will distract your audience from your production.
- Music Room – Need a place to practice your music without bothering everyone else at home? Turn your garage into a music room, call your bandmates over and have a jam session rock ‘n roll style.
But how do you get your garage ready for your grand plan? Don’t worry–we have it all covered, keep reading!
Get Your Garage Spotless
Most garages have seen better days cleanliness-wise. Maybe you painted a dresser out there and some splotches got on the ground or your car drips fluids such as condensation from the air conditioning and the result is a dingy, dirty floor and cobwebs on the walls. Fear not—cleaning your garage is relatively easy with a good plan.
Liquidate Unneeded Stuff
This is a great opportunity to organize! First, take out everything from the garage. Box up unused stuff and donate to a local charity or host a garage sale to end all garage sales. Profits from your garage sale can immediately be put back into refurbishing that space.
If you have extra stuff that you need later but don’t want in your garage, a shed in the back yard might be an attractive option. Also, check out these Helpful Tips to Maximize Your Garage Space.
Dust-Bunny Round Up
Make sure the walls, doors and shelving/surfaces are free of debris. We suggest a good shop vacuum to clean up even the smallest of particulate dust but a regular home vacuum will do just fine. Wipe down any level surfaces with a cloth and all-purpose cleaning product. This is also a great opportunity to get rid of old/rotted wood shelving units.
Power Wash the Floor
While it is possible to do the traditional sweep/vacuum and mop of your concrete flooring in your garage, it’s going to be time consuming. Renting or buying a pressure washer makes short work of this task. Certain stain removal solutions can also be found at hardware stores to eliminate pesky oil slicks or other ugly splotches.
After letting the floors dry thoroughly, time to check your moisture level. Leave a plastic bag on the floor for 24 hours; if any moisture droplets accumulate underneath the bag, it means your garage is likely damper than the rest of the house.
Consult with a handyman or research to find ways to insulate your space from the moisture. Adding a dual air conditioner/heating unit can help regulate temperature and a dehumidifier can regulate moistness, as well.
Instant Garage Makeover: Just Add Flooring
Again, your garage moisture level, the year-round climate/weather situation where you live, and other factors come into play any time you decorate your garage. Even with proper insulation, check manufacturer instructions before installing anything in your garage.
Here are some great flooring options to consider:
Cheap, easy, and attractive, this is a great option for those who might want to change things up later. This is also a great choice for those who desire easy clean-up. Bear in mind, any wetness that occurs will increase the risk of a slip and fall so make sure your plastic flooring stays dry. And remember: measure twice, cut once when installing!
Check out these durable interlocking modular flooring tiles by GarageTrac. They’re easy to install and come in different colors so you can make some pretty cool patterns as well.
Roll out flooring is another non-permanent solution to flooring. This is a great possibility for those who want a workout space, as a soft foam rubber variety will take the brunt of any weights dropping on the ground and provide padding for even the most rigorous workout. It is important to consider moisture and climate for your area as this type will shift, expand, or contract accordingly.
Carpet or Laminate Flooring
This is a more expensive option but probably better for those who want to turn their space into something permanent like a guest room or a play/game room. Professional flooring in general makes it feel less like a garage and more like a natural part of the home. Make sure to consult with a flooring expert to find out which type is right for you.
A coat of paint can go a long way! Lighter colors give a garage a more “open-air” and cheery feeling while darker colors might be better for those who want a studio experience that will play well with professional lighting concepts. For your paint, we suggest the type specifically for concrete over latex or oil-based paint as it adheres better, doesn’t warp due to moisture, and stays true to form longer.
This is not for the faint of heart so make sure to read the instructions carefully before trying epoxy resin. It is also important, while the resin is “curing” and hardening, to keep it free of dust and debris. While this is a labor-intensive process, it also resists oil stains and is easier to keep clean.
Blank Canvas: Your Walls Have Endless Potential
While shelving is great for storage in a garage, sometimes we don’t need it. To give your garage a homier feel, try any of these:
- Drywall – a simple drywall painted the desired color for your purposes makes it feel more like a room and less like a storage shed.
- Murals – Getting a self-adhesive mural for your walls can be done on the internet quite easily. With this, you can express yourself and change it up whenever!
- Wall Hangings – pictures, signs, posters, and other wall décor can really make or break the feel of the room and its purpose.
- Diamond-plate wall tiles – another non-permanent option, these give a feel of a professional job without the price. Do a checkerboard effect to create a fun “accent” wall.
- Peg board walling – for those who feel DIY is a way of life more than a hobby, a peg board wall option is great. Use simple hooks to hang all sorts of tools and gadgets so you can have them on-hand easily.
Curb Appeal: The Outside of Your Garage
The outside is just as important as the inside of your garage. Can you say curb appeal?
For garage exterior decorating ideas, consider the following:
- A New Garage Door – sometimes a new door can transform your garage completely. With so many styles and colors, it might be hard to choose just one!
- Vinyl Siding or Paint – Sometimes all it takes to give the outside of your garage a facelift is a simple coat of paint or some vinyl siding. Make sure it complements the color of your home so it blends in well.
- A Security Camera/Motion Sensor Lights – while this isn’t a décor choice, it does act as a deterrent for would-be thieves and snoops.
- Plants – if you have grass/soil around your garage, some landscaping can make a huge difference. For those with no soil to use, hanging plant baskets are a lovely alternative.
DIY Home Garage Projects Add Value
Whatever your style, needs, or abilities, a garage doesn’t have to be just a house for your car. Get started on your DIY garage project today to increase your home’s value and maximize space to engage in your passions.