Does your garage see infrequent use, or do you and your family need some extra space to entertain in? Transforming your garage into an entertainment cave is a great way to make use of your garage space while affording you and your family some extra room inside your home. And while this can be a major home renovation project if you desire to convert your garage into a living space for the long-term, this project need not be over-the-top if all you need is a space to sit back, relax, and enjoy some fresh air. Here are some tips on transforming your garage into a space for entertaining.
Remove any hazards. First things first—it’s important to remove any potential hazards from your garage as you make it a safe entertainment space for you and your family. This article lists important hazards to be aware of, including paint, gasoline, strong chemical cleaners, garden tools, hardware tools, and more.
Refinish the floor. Most garages are finished with concrete that has a tendency to attract dirt and debris—not to mention get your feet dirty. Make your garage more habitable by refinishing the floor. You don’t necessarily need to get carpet or hardwood here; rather, you can opt for epoxy coating or acid staining, which will transform the concrete that already exists on your garage floor. Epoxy coating and acid staining both have the power to give your garage a more homey feel, with many options for customization, without requiring too much of a transformation. (Keep in mind, however, that if your garage is going to become more of a long-term space for entertaining guests, or if it’s going to be home to some expensive electrical equipment, you may need to raise the floor by installing a concrete “topping slab” over the existing concrete.)
Upgrade to an insulated garage door. It’s highly important to make temperatures in your garage as stable as possible, and one way to do this is to ensure that your garage door offers ample insulation against extreme temperatures. (This is assuming that you’re not finishing the garage door space instead with large windows or folding glass doors.) Foam-injected core garage doors are some of the most effective against extreme cold and heat, and opting for doors with windows can help make your garage feel more like an actual extension of your home.
Insulate the walls. On a similar note, you’ll want to insulate and finish the walls in your garage if they happen to have been left unfinished. This will help stabilize temperatures in your garage significantly and make it a space that people actually want to stay in. Insulate the walls, finish with drywall, and paint them just as you would in any other area in your home. If your garage has any additional wiring needs (a new 20-amp circuit, for example), don’t forget to take care of those needs before closing up the walls.
Plan for heating and cooling. What are you going to do to heat your garage during the winter and make it cooler during the summer? If your garage is going to maintain it’s identity as a garage while still offering a comfortable space for entertainment, then this isn’t too much to worry about. While it’s sometimes possible to extend your HVAC system into your garage, it’s usually more cost-effective to opt for less permanent options like space heaters, wall mounted AC units, and window AC units. Whatever you decide, be sure that your garage features adequate ventilation.
Install a sound system. Want another way to truly set your garage apart from the rest? Consider installing a built-in sound system—perfect for entertaining with music or a projector movie system. You’ll want to opt for higher tech equipment here, such as built-in wall speakers like these ones. A typical home theater sound system features five satellite speakers and a subwoofer, while a sound system made just for playing music throughout a space can be a little more simplistic.
Add a fridge. Many standard-use garages have refrigerators in them for storing extra drinks and perishable items, and this is a scenario where you’ll definitely want to be sure your garage has a fridge. A fridge in your garage is perfect for holding drinks and snacks for guests.
Bring in furniture. Finally, you’ll want to bring in comfortable furniture to complete the space and make it prime for entertaining guests. If your garage is still primarily a garage that only serves as an entertaining space every so often, you’ll want to opt for foldable chairs and tables. If it will primarily host your family and guests, however, then you should consider living room type furniture, a coffee table, and some end tables for holding drinks and snacks.
By: Maurine Anderson