7 Steps to Making Your Garage More Livable

Homeowners want more space. Their needs have grown, yet the spaces they have seem to be getting smaller by the day. Studies show that at least 70 per cent of households in the United States have outdoor living space. Of this 70, a staggering 71 per cent would like to make changes to their outdoors. This includes adding seating space, enhancing the look of their curbs, and adding accessories. People with log houses are also getting in on this trend. You may wonder what the appeal of all these changes is. Well, it all boils down to the need for relaxation. Yes, people want more space in which they can unwind. They lead busy lives and ache for one place where they can put their worries to rest and just be.

The garage has been of particular interest in all these changes. Most people do not use their wooden garages to their full potential. Now and then they park their cars in these spaces, and they add more storage items to this room. But there is more than a garage can do, other than being a parking space. You could use it as a man cave, a fitness space, a playroom for the kids, a sunroom, or a bathroom. And these uses are but the tip of the iceberg. If you open your mind to it, there is little that you cannot do with this space.

Now that you see the potential of this space, what can you do to make it more livable?

Preliminaries

First off, you need to think of how you would go about the changes. What do you want to add? How much will it cost you? Where you plan on having an extensive renovation, you should engage professionals. Activities that would call for specialists include moving walls, electrical wiring, and plumbing fixtures. These would enable you to gauge how long the process is going to take and come up with a budget to match this.

Permission is also necessary to ensure that you do not get into trouble with the law. Whatever applies to the task you have in mind, make sure you get it before you start working on anything. And lastly, note that work on your garage could expose you to prying eyes. Thus, it is a good idea to have a security system in place.

You do not have to put in a lot of work to transform your garage. Here are some simple steps you could undertake to get more out of this space when working with a budget.

Zone Separation

You have likely been using your garage as a storage space. If this is the case, people often put everything in one place, and it can get very messy. Thus, the first step in this transformation is to separate the spaces. Where your car will still be in the space, designate an area for it. It is best to have this area close to the door. In this way, you can have more space for the other uses towards the inside. Then, if you are storing tools and other work items in the space, create a zone for them. It could be towards the front of the car. Thus, you would have an entire side to yourself, which you can use for the purpose in mind.

Smart storage is an easy way to go about this separation. It enables you to stay organized by keeping your items safe and in one place. Plus, it makes space feel less cluttered, and it looks clean.

Where you feel that the separation does not work, you can use partitions. In this way, it will be clear what goes where and there will be less room for confusion. Some people find that clearly outlining zones enables them to get the most out of these spaces.

Turn on the heat

You will spend a lot of time in this room, and it thus needs to be comfortable. The type of heating you use will depend on the size of the space. If it is small, you can make do with a space heater. Where the room is big, you should get something much bigger to ensure that you cover most of the room. Additionally, you should look into cooling systems. Garages can get pretty hot during the summer, and you may require an efficient air conditioner to regulate the temperatures.

Insulation

With log houses, you will find that you can skip this step and enjoy the space throughout the year, owing to the use of wood which is a natural insulator. However, for other structures, you cannot skip this stage. You need to insulate the room such that it remains cool in the summer and stays warm in winter. If you have exposed beams, cover them up. Make changes to the space such that it feels comfy. Plus, you will notice a reduction in utility bills as you will not rely on the heating and cooling system much.

Plumbing

You do not have to call in a specialist if the garage has a water line running through space. You can hone your DIY skills and get to work by slicing a line off the waterline and creating a sink. You can use the water for a lot of things, including making drinks. Or you could skip this step if you do not need running water for the purpose you have in mind.

Flooring

Most wooden garages have standard floors. If the floor is in good shape, you can paint it and move into space. Ensure that you wash it and clean the cracks before applying a coat of paint. Where it is in bad shape, you can use rubber floor tiles as they insulate sound and feel comfortable.

Other Considerations

Consider how you wish to use the space. Suppose you want to use it as a home office, you should make it feel like one. Simple things such as boosting the Wi-Fi and adding furniture will do. Where you want to have a relaxing space, add coffee tables, books, comfy couches, and a TV.

It all depends on what you want to get from the space. Keep this in mind, and everything should turn out as desired. All the best!

Wooden garage flooring you can choose

There are tons of garage flooring on the market, and this works in your favor as you are free to choose the option that fits into your budget and meets your needs. Here are the main wooden garage (more information here) flooring that you can choose and what they can do for your finish:

wooden garage flooring

A garage floor does more than provide a foundation on which you can park your car and store household items which are no longer in use. It is also the surface that suffers damage from oil drips, chemical spills, moisture, and road salt as time goes by. Suitable flooring not only helps your floor appear aesthetically pleasing, but it also acts as a deterrent against damage from substances, thus giving it a longer lease of life. It also translates to fewer maintenance practices and ease of cleaning as well as dealing with cracks.

There are many options out there, and you may feel tempted to get any one of them and start working on your floor. However, not all of them will work for the purpose you have in mind, and some of them may not work with your current look. It thus helps to know what you can use, and whether you are okay with its upsides and downsides, in determining whether the option is feasible in your case.

The major types of flooring fall into two categories: coverings and coatings. Where your garage floor is relatively new and is thus in good condition, you are free to choose either of the two. In a case where the floor has been in use for a long time and has thus developed cracks that undermine its looks or other problems such as pockmarks, your best bet lies in the use of a covering. It will not only hide the blemishes but will also work to protect the floor from further damage. Coatings, though quite lovely, come with the downside of highlighting flaws and thus making them pop out more, thus undermining your aesthetics. Where you often face moisture problems, your ideal option would be coverings as they tend to be immune to such issues, unlike coatings which can peel after prolonged exposure. These are the first things you need to consider when making your decision. Now, let’s delve deeper into the flooring options:

Coatings

In this category, there are stains, sealers, floor paints, and epoxy paints. The good thing about using coatings is that you can save a lot of money if you do the application yourself. And the good thing about it is that it is not difficult once you understand the basics. These flooring work to protect the floor from stains, moisture penetration, and chemicals where the floor is in good shape. However, where you have a problem with damp concrete or the floor prep is incomplete, they can fail so be sure to keep this in mind as you select this option.

These options are not useful in situations where ground moisture can make its way through the concrete, thus creating a consistently damp environment. Where this is the case, the water prevents the coating from adhering to the concrete, and after a while, you will notice that the flooring starts coming apart in the form of flakes and chips and you thus have to invest more money in flooring. An excellent way to avoid a situation where your money goes to waste is to test your concrete slab’s moisture content. Where it is too high for the application of coatings to take place, it is best to go with a covering.

Where the above situation does not apply to you, using a coating is a good idea. Before you do so, you should note that coatings come with one major downside.  You require investing a lot of time in prepping the floor before application, and this can translate to many hours, depending on how much work is at hand. In some cases, you may find that the floor is very greasy or dirty and you thus have to bring in pressure washers into the picture to get it right. Also, where there are any holes or cracks on the surface, you need to work on them as part of the prep. Additionally, you will etch the concrete with muriatic acid to make the surface porous before using the coating.

Coverings

Here, you have two options: roll out mats or interlocking tiles. The good thing about using coverings is that there is not much work cut out for you as they are easy and fast to use. You can get the job done in one morning as the only prepping you need to do is to sweep the area thoroughly. You don’t have to work on any blemishes on the surface as the coverings will hide anything unsightly and you need not to worry about any damp concrete problems as this will not affect their effectiveness.

You can get the job done in one morning as the only prepping you need to do is to sweep the area thoroughly. You don’t have to work on any blemishes on the surface as the coverings will hide anything unsightly and you need not to worry about any damp concrete problems as this will not affect their effectiveness.

The downside to using coverings is that you can spend as much as four times what you would use on coatings. However, you have to admit that the time spent on installing and maintaining them is pretty minimal.

Here is something that you can consider if you wish to use a covering and haven’t got the cash to back up the undertaking: ordinary vinyl tiles. You will often find this material in kitchens and stores. The manufacturer does not expressly state that you can use this in your garage, but many people have done so and registered great outcomes. They come in many colors, allowing you to choose what works best with the look you have in mind. It is also a cheap alternative when compared to most coverings. However, the prep work is quite demanding, and you will need to clean and degrease the surface before placing them. You also need to note that it works best in temperate climates or heated garages as they are prone to damage from dampness. They also get ruined when they come into contact with stains and chemicals, but the good thing is that they are cheap and replacing them should be a breeze.

Now that you know the requirements for the various flooring options, it should be easy to choose what works best for your surface and with your budget. Good luck!

Wooden Garage – A Place For Leisure

When you think of a wooden garage (more information here), what comes to your mind? For many people, they think of a space which they use to protect their car from elements as well as burglars. They also think of a room where they can store some extra items from the house. For others, it is a feature that increases the value of their home by improving the aesthetic appeal of their outdoors.

However, there is much more to wooden garages than this and the only thing getting in your way is your imagination. You can choose to convert the wooden garage into a room for another purpose, or you could use the extra space to get the most out of it. Here are some great ideas.

Play Area
While running outdoors is great for kids as they get to explore their creativity, it may not be possible at all times. For one, there are times when the weather proves unfavorable. It can also be hard to monitor their activities when they are not in one area. Thus, the idea of a play area in the wooden garage is a great one.
Here, they can dream up different scenarios as they enjoy playing with their toys. It also enables you to have a neat space indoors as you will not have to worry about picking up toys along the corridors and other areas where kids love leaving their toys.

You could also use this space when they are napping to monitor their schedules better if you wish. And the great thing about a play area is that you too could use it when you want to let your inner child out. All you need to do is to ensure that the shed has adequate lighting and ventilation.

Bar Area
If you want a family setting, you could set up a cocoa bar complete with seats where your loved ones could gather for a hot beverage as they chatted about their lives. You can also serve snacks and create an environment that is warm and welcoming to have people streaming in to marvel at your creativity. You could choose to take the fun to another level by serving alcoholic drinks such as cold cocktails during summer. One fun way to do this is by opening up one side of the wooden shed such that you serve the refreshments from the outside while the guests sit outside.

You could also have couches in the shed where guests could sit as you waited on them. It all depends on the space you have as well as the setting that you have in mind. The great thing about this idea is that you could make some bucks from it if you decided to commercialize the drinks over time.

Salon/ Spa
Do you like treating yourself right but you lack adequate space for the same in your house? You can easily use your wooden garage as a relaxation space where you could indulge in treatments and massages during your free time. To make it more fun, you could invite your loved ones to come over, and you can sip on some smoothies as you take in the raw beauty around you. For men, you can use the space as a barbershop where you and your friends can get your hair cut as you catch up on what’s been happening in your lives.

Music Room
If you have kids who are learning how to play instruments, you know that it can be hard to allocate them space where they can practice. With a wooden garage, your kids can spend time perfecting their skills without getting in anyone’s way.

The room is also ideal for you if you like to play instruments and you lack a room for the same. Are you one of those people who want to listen to music at high volume but cannot find a place to do so? The wooden garage could be your best bet at the same.
Do you play in a band? For a long time, people have practiced band music in wooden garages, and this practice will not die down any time soon. Instead of looking for venues where you can jam together, why not use what is readily available?

Pet Area
Pets also need some space of their own as this helps them calm their anxieties and you could provide such a venue in the form of a wooden garage. Here, you can groom your pets while equipping them with playthings to keep them occupied. They can also use the space to relax when things get too busy in the main house. Studies show that giving pets some time to cool off reduces the occurrence of accidents indoors and this could work great for you. Also, if your kids love playing with pets and cannot get enough room to do so in the house, they can use the pet area for this.

Baking
If you like playing about with recipes and creating desserts, you could use your wooden garage as a kitchen. When you are outside, it is effortless to get creative with designs as well as with the ingredients, and the results could surprise you. All you need to do is design the room in a way that your equipment fits, and you will be well on your way to exploring your love for baked goods. It also provides you with the opportunity to make some profits over time if you choose to sell your products.

Sewing
You can work on sewing projects from the comfort of your wooden garage, and the great thing about it is that you would not need to dig into your pocket to indulge in your hobby. Whenever you feel like sewing, all you need to do is pop into the shed and work on a design.

Art Studio
Having adequate light and air opens up the mind, and when working on art, there is something about being at one with nature that helps the creativity come streaming in. Turning your wooden garage into an art studio is a sure way to give your content new direction, and you will appreciate the results of the change.

Gym
For people who love working out, you can use the wooden garage as your gym by having equipment in the space. The fresh air in the outdoors will give you that extra boost of energy you need to meet your goals.

When it comes to making a wooden garage a place for leisure, the above examples are but a few of the options available to you. You can do much more once you get your creative juices flowing.