Neighborhood Garage Door Service of Atlanta, GA has seen some interesting uses for garage space over our 20 years in the business. A space that had been relegated to being a giant junk drawer has started to take on a life of its own. Homeowners like you are finding all kinds of ways to utilize this chunk of their home’s footprint.
Today, we’re going to take a look at three such uses: home office, workout space, recording studio. Our focus is on converting the existing space. All three have certain elements in common, as well as their own unique needs.
Prepping for any uses for garage space
Many of the conversion projects you’ll do with your garage space start with making it livable. Your garage was designed to make your car comfortable, not you. So, we’ll start with some basics to get the area ready for people instead of vehicles, then we’ll look at specifics for each use case.
You’re going to build from the inside out. However, you need to think outside in. Go stand in your garage and imagine. Design the space as you see it in your mind. Then back up through the walls and into the systems needed to make that work.
Start right where you’re standing. Is the bare concrete floor the right thing for your new design? Probably not. You can completely redo the floor if the entire garage will be livable space. If you only plan to use a section of the garage, you may choose to just redo the flooring there instead of the whole space. Consider your specific use case to choose the right flooring option. We’ll cover this below.
So, you’re definitely going to want walls. Some garages have bare brick or studs, others have very minimal sheetrock. When converting your space, it’s time for something a little nicer. There’s several ways to customize your walls. At the least, you’ll want to put in studs and drywall to give you the versatility you need.
Your pick up truck doesn’t mind being overly hot or cold. You might have different feelings on the subject. So make sure you insulate those new walls you’re building out. If there is an attic space above your garage, you might consider putting in some blown insulation there.
Behind the walls and insulation, you’ve got your tubes: electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. At a minimum, you’re going to want more available outlets and lighting hook-ups. Your plumbing and/or HVAC needs will be determined by your specific use case.
Tweaks for specific uses
You know you’ll have to cover the basics above, but what about the details? Each type of living space you’ll be considering will need it’s own custom features. Let’s look at some, and how each can be tweaked for your use.
- Studio – Walls are going to be critical for your recording studio. You will need to be sure they are soundproof. This will not only influence the construction of the walls, but what you put on them, such as acoustic tiling.
- Gym – Mirrors are great for monitoring your form while exercising. Be sure to map out a space for a big mirror on one side of your garage. You may even decide to go big by making one entire wall mirrors!
- Office – For a home office, you’ll want something inviting. You want to feel comfortable and at ease to be productive. Choose a paint color that will fit the mood you’re going for.
- Studio – Lighting can be a big part of your studio use, especially if any of your recording is video based. Using track lighting will keep things easily adjustable for the future.
- Gym – You’ll probably want lots of lighting to go with your wall of mirrors. Natural lighting from overhead garage door windows can help as well.
- Office – Make sure to go with the right lighting for an office. Light that’s too bright can cause eye strain.
- Office & Studio – Plumbing probably won’t be needed much for a home studio or office.
- Gym – Water, water, water! Having a sink or water fountain at hand might be a good idea.
Heating and Air
- Studio – You have to be careful with HVAC in a recording studio as the noise can become an issue. Be sure any HVAC lines are well insulated and as far from your recording equipment as possible.
- Gym – You’re going to be working up a real sweat! Do you need a powerful A/C vent? Or do you prefer the heat to really feel the burn?
- Office – If you live in a moderate area, basic insulation may be enough to keep you comfortable. You could get away with a fan and space heater. Maybe even simply propping the interior door to steal a little heat or A/C may do the trick. If your region is subject to drastic temperatures, consider tying into the house’s HVAC.
- Studio – It’ll be more work, but it could be worth it to build up a false-floor with added acoustic insulation. At the least, you’ll want to have rugs or carpeting to keep down the echoes and harsh reverb.
- Gym – A concrete floor can be terrible on your body during a workout. You need flooring that will be shock absorbing, as well as providing traction. You could put down interlocking rubber mats. For a more durable, long-lasting option, consider an epoxy flooring.
- Office – Go with what you prefer on this one. Do you like being able to roll around in your office chair on hardwood? Maybe you like the business feel of a low-pile commercial carpet.
Time to upgrade
Any time you’re doing remodeling, it’s a good time to evaluate your garage door itself. Since you’re insulating the area, make sure you have a properly insulated door. If you’ve decided to go with natural lighting, you might consider upgrading to a door with windows. With all the new equipment in your garage, you need to be sure you have a secure door. Neighborhood Garage Door Service of Atlanta, Georgia is here to help you choose the best new garage door for your home. We can help you choose your door, order it, and install it. Give us a call today!