If you don’t use your garage to store a vehicle in then you might prefer to incorporate the extra space into your living area. When converting a garage, how you use the new room will depend not only on your needs but also on how the space relates to the rest of the house. If your garage is joined to your living room, a home office or playroom is sensible, and a utility less so. If you live in an area with minimal parking then converting a garage might actually lessen the value of your home. It could be worth your while to improve the garage and not get rid of it. For more information, see Garage Racking Systems. Here’s how you could use the room:
Extra living room
Not everyone wants to watch the same TV shows and if your family is growing (or growing up), you’ll begin to need extra living space to cater to everyone’s tastes and needs. A converted garage that your kids can use – whether for gaming, relaxing or entertaining their friends could save many headaches. The older children become, the noisier they get, so ensure that the sound-proofing is up to the job.
If you have a garage that adjoins your kitchen, knocking through into the space to create a bigger, brighter kitchen-diner will give the best results. A large kitchen is a much sought after feature if you go to sell at any point. Be prepared to plan very carefully to get the design details right as it’s crucial that the new room doesn’t have the feel of a dark boxy converted garage.
Many people would love a utility room as it saves a lot of space in the kitchen if all your white goods are in a separate place. When a garage adjoins a kitchen or hallway, it is quite easy to use as a utility room. An extra advantage would be if you could squeeze in a downstairs cloakroom if you don’t already have one. For a utility, underfloor heating will be useful for keeping the room warm and dry, while good ventilation is also a must.
If you want less distraction while you work, a home office is best placed away from the main living space. If, however, it doubles up as a homework space, having it near to where you’ll be most of the time can be very useful. You’ll want it to have loads of natural daylight to make it welcoming and ensure the heating is sufficient to avoid the cold and damp.
Having a small garage off a living space or hallway makes it easy to convert into an extra bedroom for guests or an older child sick of sharing a bedroom. Keep it practical by exchanging a conventional bed for a wall bed or sofa bed and fit in a desk or wardrobe. A possible downside to a downstairs bedroom might be lack of access to a toilet or shower room. If there is ample space then think about adding a small wet room.
For families with young children, a playroom makes a lot of sense. Include a TV so you can keep your living room much more of an adult space. Good daylight, ventilation and lots of practical storage will all be must-haves.
This is a bigger conversion and is ideally suited to an unattached, probably double, garage because it will give both you and the occupant privacy and space. Depending on your arrangements, you will have to fit in a shower, kitchen, plus a generous bedroom/living space. The space will need lots of natural light, and you should consider how it will be linked to the rest of the house.