When your family begins to increase in size or a relative comes to live with you, you may find yourself looking for ways to expand your home. Converting a garage to a livable room is often easier and less expensive than building an addition and allows you to utilize built-in extra space. While it may seem cold and drab, there are several ways to make your garage a warm, comfortable room that can be used for a variety of purposes.
When turning your garage into a livable room, the first step is usually addressing the walls. If the walls are not already finished, they likely lack insulation. This means you have to install wall studs, drywall and insulating materials so that the room is not too drafty. Even if your garage has finished walls, check to make sure that there is adequate insulation. Blown-in insulation is the best option because it will not corrupt the rest of the wall.
Garages typically have cement floors that are cold, damp and unattractive. However, if you have a concrete slab surface in your garage, you can cover it with several flooring options. Carpeting is a possibility because it can add warmth, comfort and color. Alternatively, install a floating wood floor to add a natural element that warms up the space. Before adding any type of flooring, clean the concrete of stains and repair any cracks. Install a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from damaging the flooring. You may also need to have the cement leveled as garage floors are often sloped to allow for better drainage.
Depending on how you plan to use the livable space that you create in your garage, you may need to add plumbing. A kitchen or bathroom require pipes and plumbing hook-ups. If a contractor is finishing your garage, have him study the floor plan to determine the best way to route the new pipes. In some cases, you can simply cut into the existing floor. However, it may be necessary to elevate the floor so the pipes can be placed beneath it.
Doors and Windows
In a converted room, standard garage doors can ruin the look of the space. Replacing them with more decorative doors can improve the garage's appearance and brighten the room. French doors are an attractive option and allow plenty of natural light into the space. Sliding doors are another option. You can also install a bay window in the main garage door and add a smaller door in another spot. If your garage does not have windows, add a few to let natural light into the space.
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