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Make your dream garage renovation happen with Dreamspace

The garage is a fantastic space to renovate. Read this to know how.
garage renovation conversion
image credit: Tim Cuppett Architects

A garage renovation is one of the most sought after residential projects in recent years. It is one of the easiest ways to add value to your property and create more space in your home. A garage renovation is also the best way to utilise the space that you already have and often neglect. 

Here, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about renovating your humble garage and what you should do when you decide to move forward with this type of home renovation project.

garage renovation conversion to office
Image credit: Architect Your Home

Kinds of garage renovation projects

Your garage renovation project could be simple or complex, depending on what you want to do with the space. Here are several ideas to help you get started: 

Garage makeover

A garage makeover is usually not complicated and might involve a few trades, depending on what you need to fix. 

garage renovation conversion to office
Image credit: IKEA

Here’s a checklist for a humble garage makeover: 

Decluttering – This is the first thing to do especially when your garage has been your family’s dumping ground for years. Pull everything out and decide on the items that you want to keep, sell, donate, and throw away. Once done, organise the items that you want to keep inside opaque containers and label everything clearly.

Image credit: Garage Living USA

Checking for construction issues – Your garage might have existing moisture issues and cracks that need fixing. Take note of these problems and address them later on.

Garage door replacement – Got an old and rusty garage door? Take it down and replace a new one! Replacing the garage door instantly gives your home a facelift. It is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to boost the value of your property.

garage doors
Image credit: WA Roller Doors

Cleaning the walls and floor – Your garage has accumulated a lot of dust, dirt, and grime over the years. Grab your mops and scrubbing pads and degrease every inch inside the garage. Use industry grade soap and power wash the walls to remove all the crud. Once done, open the area and leave to dry.

Painting the walls and floor – Give your garage a fresh new look when you apply a fresh coat of paint on the walls and floor. Apply a liberal amount of clear topcoat or clear sealant to strengthen the paint.

Installing stylish and practical storage solutions – Your garage is still the best place to store the items you need a few times a year. Keep everything organised and accessible when you install storage systems that suit your space (e.g. full cabinets, wall-mounted rods, overhead racks, bins, pegboards, shelves, tool chests, jumbo hooks, hanging racks, metal shelves, etc.). Organise your garage so it’s easy to find what you need and to keep your garage in tip top shape.

garage renovation
Image credit: Organized Living USA

Make your humble garage a useful and multipurpose space with a simple garage makeover. 

If you want to turn your garage into something more, consider converting this space into a liveable space.

garage renovation conversion to mudroom
Image credit: Beachlets

Garage conversion

A garage conversion turns an underutilised garage into a useful space that can increase your property’s value. The possibilities are endless; your garage can become any of the following:

  • Home office
  • Home gym
  • Studio
  • Workshop
  • Home theatre / cinema
  • Family room
  • Mancave
  • Rumpus room
  • Playroom
  • Teenager’s retreat
  • Home library
  • Guest bedroom with ensuite
  • Attached granny flat or a fully self-contained area with a living room, bedroom, bathroom, dining area, and kitchenette of its own
garage renovation
Image credit: IKEA

A garage conversion is a complex project and you need to consult with designers and garage conversion specialists to come up with unique designs and to make the process efficient. Take these design elements into consideration in the process: 

☐ Indoor lighting – More than the design, achieving the perfect lighting inside your garage is the most crucial part of this kind of project. To brighten up an underlit garage, consider installing a layered lighting scheme suitable to the space you plan to build. Have a combination of bright and dimmable lights; both are practical and aesthetic. When possible, conduct a minor demolition to build a window, so the morning sunshine brightens the space.

garage renovation bedroom conversion
Image credit: Designer Mark Lewis

Indoor temperature – Garages often get too cold and too hot inside, depending on the weather/climate. That being said, maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature inside the garage is crucial if you want to convert it into a habitable space. To do this, make sure that the space is properly insulated. Improve the indoor temperature when you install innovative indoor climate and temperature control systems. These make the space more comfortable by artificially cooling and heating the space based on your preferences. Opt for the more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly model of these appliances as well.

Indoor air quality – Garages get stuffy; having operable windows and vents aid in natural ventilation. Habitable spaces feel more comfortable when there’s a steady flow of clean air coming in and improving the air quality indoors.

garage renovation, living room conversion
Image credit: Interior designer Kerrie Kelly, HGTV

Utilities particularly electrical and plumbing lines – Converting the garage into a habitable space means having a new electrical and plumbing plan for the space. Ensure proper wiring and outlet placements as well as water flow and drainage. 

☐ Garage door – Dealing with and modifying the garage door is crucial when you decide to transform your garage into a liveable space. Does your project require you to build a wall that masks this area, or does it require a simple garage door restoration or replacement? Work with a design professional who specialises in garage conversion projects to clear these important details from the onset.

garage renovation conversion
Image credit: Architects Brown + Davis

Garage walls, floor, and ceiling – Renovating the garage so it follows the BCA standards is a must in garage conversion projects. Ensure that the walls, floor, and ceiling have no moisture issues and are well insulated. Make sure that you have enough ceiling height and the floors are level. Lastly, finish the walls, ceiling, and floor like you would finish the other interior rooms of the house. 

A garage conversion project is a great way to maximise your property, from extending your liveable space for your growing family to having a space that generates rental income. If you are living with your extended family in your forever home, this is a smart renovation project to consider.

Planning a garage conversion? Get a free quote.

garage renovation, granny flat conversion
Image credit: IM Interior

Garage extension

If your home is situated in a larger block and you are in need of a bigger parking space and storage, consider extending your garage. 

One way to extend your garage is to build a carport in front or beside it. A carport and a garage makes sense together, especially when your family has two or more cars and a few more vehicles to store such as bikes, motorcycles, boats, kayaks, etc. 

carport garage renovation
Image credit: Shields Buildings UK

Another way is to enlarge the garage so it accommodates all your storage and parking needs. 

Either way, a garage extension is best done as a part of a major façade facelift. It might require a new garage door, a new exterior paint, and a roof renovation.

carport garage renovation
Image credit: Ricardo DeAratanha, Los Angeles Times

Carport renovation and conversion

In some instances, an old carport attached to the home or garage is converted into an outdoor living space. Some designs match the main house, others stand out and become a feature of its own.

garage renovation
Image credit: Designer Karin Montgomery Spath

Planning permissions and building permits for garage renovation projects

Major garage renovation projects in Australia often require planning permissions, so inform your local council before converting your garage into a liveable space. Your local council’s job is to double check and ensure that your project is compliant with the Building Code of Australia (BCA), fulfills the requirements of indoor spaces, safe for the occupants, and structurally sound. 

Getting council approval is more efficient when you engage certified town planners during the council submission process. Sign up to Dreamspace to connect with these professionals and lodge your plans as soon as you complete all documents required.

Interested in any of the garage renovation projects above? Get a quote here.

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