Most people see the garage as an after thought—a place to stash their unused items or park their cars at the end of a workday. If you’re using the garage for these reasons alone, then you’re not taking advantage of all the extra space this room has to offer. Think of the garage as an essential space of your home, not a separate or overlooked partition by revamping it with these renovation hacks.
Amp the Curb Appeal
Update the garage door
The garage door is like a home’s handshake—the first impression guests get when they visit—so make sure it’s not detracting from the exterior façade. Do away with the standard white aluminum and replace your old garage door with a modern material and look.
Instead of replacing it, which can costly, redesign the existing door with a fresh coat of gel stain. Experts at Artisan Custom Doorworks, suggest the following colors, which are popular this year:
- – Oceanside by Sherwin-Williams
- – Black Magic by Olympic
- – Caliente by Benjamin Moore
- – Black Flame by PPG Paints
- – In the Moment by Behr
This DIY project from the Domestically Speaking blog is another great option, allowing you to create a faux wood finish for $20—an affordable and attention-grabbing look.
Create an Organization System
Clear the clutter
Rather than treating the garage as a catchall room for power tools, lawn equipment, seasonal decor or athletic gear, maximize the square-footage by keeping the space organized. If you don’t have a lot of floor space, create additional storage on the walls and ceiling using overhead storage (follow the instructions on The Family Handyman) or install a DIY pegboard wall, which allows you to hang a wide variety of items, from gardening gear to arts and crafts supplies. Check out the tutorial from the DIY Network if you want to go this route, which includes hanging storage baskets and other extras that make organization a breeze.
Turn It Into an Extension of Your Home
Give it a professional look
If you don’t need the garage for parking, then turn it into an extra living space for your family. There are multiple routes you can take with a garage conversion project, and the guide Garage Conversion Alternatives for the Carless Homeowner suggests the following ideas:
- – Game and activities room
- – Fitness center
- – Home theater
- – Guest bedroom
- – Office
The process of turning your garage into another functional room can be simple or complicated, depending on what you want to do. If you’re okay with renovating, minus insulation, assuming it’s not already insulated, then a more casual space is likely ideal. If you want to rent it, or turn it into a guest bedroom, it will need to be insulated. Don’t forget to check with local zoning codes and laws to make sure you’re staying within regulations.
Add Upgrades to Keep the Inside Energy Efficient
Make it energy efficient
Adopting a greener lifestyle is more than just a trend—it’s the eco-friendly approach to being a homeowner. Start your journey toward being more environmentally friendly with making it energy efficient, reducing your home’s carbon footprint and saving you money at the same time.
The first and least expensive change is switching to LED lighting, which conserves 25 to 80 percent more power than regular bulbs according to Energy.gov. In addition, switching to LED can result in an annual savings of $75. Other ideas to promote sustainability in the garage include ensuring all cords are unplugged, sealing cracks in the floor, weather-stripping the perimeter and insulating the door to maintain climate control—all of which are small changes that can be done over time.
Create a Mudroom
Make room for shoes and outdoor gear
Build a mudroom in the garage, adjacent to the door leading into your house, to keep dirt, mud and other debris outside, where it belongs. This space can serve as the designated area to drop off sports equipment, sweaty clothes and dirty shoes, and backpacks and duffle bags—anything you don’t want inside.
Keep the mudroom functional and organized with hooks, crates, benches and shelving. “Even the tiniest of mudrooms is helpful for keeping the house clean and organized and the family efficient,” adds LEED-certified architect Rachel Wray Thompson in a blog post for Apartment Therapy.
Spruce Up the Garage
You might be surprised how much potential exists in the garage once you de-clutter, update, and configure the space. Whether you simply add a few modern touches or do a complete makeover, an improved garage enhances both the look and feel of your entire home.
About Author: Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and has five years of experience in the marketing world. She is currently a lifestyle blogger and has been featured Homes.com, Tripping.com and LifeHack.org. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07.