In the late 1950s, all the way through the 1980s and beyond, American culture was intertwined with automobiles in many ways. As people spread into suburbs and gated communities, houses got bigger and garages became common. Most construction during this era, and many newly constructed homes in suburban neighborhoods, had one or two car garages for the family automobiles. Of course, the trend now is towards greater urbanization, walk ability, and environmental sustainability, and cars have taken something of a backseat to public transportation and bicycle commuting in some areas.
Besides, garages are the easiest part of your home to turn into living space since the walls and the roof are already done – it just takes a simple garage conversion before you can start using your garage as a man cave or recreational room.
If you already park in the driveway so you can use your garage as your DIY project headquarters, why not make your garage the perfect working space that you always wanted. Start by upgrading your garage’s power system so you can plug in your power tools and operate air compressors and other high demand machinery. Next, use an epoxy floor covering to make your floors look nice and make it easier to clean up the inevitable messes that you will create. Add direct lighting, some heating and cooling for the winter and summer months, and have custom cabinets and work benches put in for all of your projects and tools! Some of our clients even equip their garage workshops with mini-fridges and television sets so they can spend all of their time tinkering on their hobbies.
If you already have a finished garage, then you’re only a couple steps from building the perfect living space out of your existing space – otherwise you first need to put up drywall, insulation, and paint to make your garage seem as though it is part of your home’s original interior. Most people replace their garage doors with a combination of large windows and patio doors – or you can keep the garage door and have a neat “industrial” look to your man cave.
Turning your garage into living space requires a few adjustments, like the incorporation of heating and cooling so you can count the garage as part of your home’s footprint, but it is far easier (and cheaper) than building a room addition. If you just want to use your garage as an informal storage area or recreation room (perhaps for ping pong or pool) then you don’t need to take the living-space steps, and you can dress the room out for your own comfort without increasing the total footprint of your home.
Garage conversions can have a few effects on your home value. For one, many people specifically look for homes that have garages, and doing away with your garage is going to narrow the audience of people that will look to purchase your home. However, garage conversions can also add a bonus room to your house – or valuable living space that can turn your “too small” home into one that is just the right size for potential buyers. If you live in the middle of the city, you might not even have the need for a garage – and you would be better served by using your garage as a hobby room or even as an extra bedroom! Make sure you check your neighborhood and comparable sales if you are planning a garage conversion specifically to add to your home’s sale price.
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