For many people, garages are places you park your cars or store the holiday decorations during the offseason. They’re the frequent source of many a spring cleaner’s to-do list, and more often than not, workplaces for the handy. But a garage is more than just the things kept inside. Each one has its own purpose and design, tailored to the owner. Even a messy garage probably has some hidden purpose waiting to be realized beneath all of the clutter.
Garages are used for so much more than cars these days, and this list will highlight ten of the most popular—and unique—uses for the garage that you might not have thought of yet!
1. Home gym
Why pay for an overpriced gym pass when you can build your very own gym at home? Many people are opting to get fit from the house and if they have a garage, they can create the home gym of their dreams. Garages are ideal for holding big, heavy pieces of equipment so it makes sense to turn the space toward your fitness goals. It may require you to install additional ventilation or to double-check that there the walls, floors, and ceilings are strong enough to support any particularly heavy equipment. You could lay down rubber mats to cushion the floor and affix weight racks to the walls, or a ballet barre and mirror depending on the kind of workouts you have in mind.
2. Spare bedroom or apartment
Maybe your family has gotten bigger, you’ve decided to take on a boarder, or your home has become a frequent layover for guests and family, but the garage presents a convenient opportunity for extra housing. Depending on the size and layout of your garage, it could easily be converted into a spare bedroom or an apartment. For this, you would have to install windows for light and ventilation, insulation, storage, lighting, and adequate flooring.
The key to this renovation is making sure that the space is homey and comfortable. The addition of a TV, computer, or other amenities can keep any visiting family happy while they’re staying with you if used as a guest room.
3. Family Room
If you’re not getting the most out of your current garage setup, why not dedicate it to family fun and relaxation? Because there’s minimal connectivity between the rest of your house, it doesn’t necessarily have to match in décor or theme—you could go as informal as you like. The new family den could provide a nice contrast to the rest of your house while providing meaningful space for family gatherings. A garage redesign can be your ticket to bringing your family closer together.
4. Home Office
Telecommuting and mobile offices are quickly becoming a big deal in the professional world, especially among the self-employed. Garages often provide an ideal space for a home office given the garage’s distance from the house. You’ll want to ensure that you still have access to electricity, Wi-Fi, and your home’s other amenities—unless you plan to install a router and printer in your new home office. You can also outfit the space with a desk, computer, and even a mini-fridge to make trips into the house less frequent. There’s any number of conversions you could utilize to turn the garage into your perfect home office space.
5. Game Room
A game room can take on a plethora of meanings depending on the household. The garage could become a den of digital gaming, featuring big TVs and the latest game consoles, or computers for a private LAN party. Games could also be analog, such as dice, card, and board games. Owners could renovate the space to create a comfortable space with tables and seating, and plenty of storage and displays for all your favorite games. If you go the digital gaming route, be sure the garage has all of the right protection and electrical work to support all of the equipment you want to install and house there.
6. Local hangout
Some people love to entertain but hate having to deal with the aftermath—both adults and homes with teenagers know the feeling. Two of the simplest preparations you can do when converting your garage into a hangout hotspot is to soundproof the space and design it to be easy to clean. Of course, there are also the fun bits, like installing a TV and music sound system, cool seating, and even a refrigerator for drinks and other fun foodstuffs.
Teenagers with their own hangout space are less bothersome to their families when they have their own space, especially when that space is also soundproofed.
7. A bar
Why confine the home bar to your basement when there’s a perfectly good garage just a few steps away? When you can confine the rowdy fun and get-togethers to its own space outside the house, you might be able to enjoy yourself and give the rest of your family a break from the noise. Garages are typically open spaces, perfect for bars and liquor cabinets—not to mention plenty of seating for your friends. Just make sure to check your building codes permit first!
Some homeowners want to set themselves apart from the rest and altering your garage is one of the simplest ways to do that. You can explore designs and functions that suit your needs, and perhaps you come up with an idea not listed here that makes your garage something wholly your own.