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Consider a garage makeover to add space in one's home design

November 01, 2013

Hardwood FloorsHomeowners who are looking for space that would make an ideal home office, a media and games center or guest quarters may find that extra room in an unlikely place - the garage. Whether it's a detached structure or attached to the home, a garage can be renovated to include the comforts of the home, including hardwood flooring like Anderson's Bryson Strip collection.

There are a number of room design considerations before embarking on a such a project. The first is installing electricity and WiFi to accommodate the technology needs of the modern home. Adding insulation and heating will make the space comfortable enough for year-round use, day and night. A mix of overhead and task lights will provide both illumination for the whole office and focused lighting at a desk or reading chair.

Depending on the climate in which they live, homeowners may not have to extend their home's heating system into an attached garage. It may pick up enough residual heat from the house and, offset by a free-standing electric heater or fireplace and comfortable flooring, that may be enough for everyday use.

Detached garages, often found behind homes built in the 1940's and 1950's, will likely need heating added. Even the smallest detached space can yield about 60 square feet of additional livable area.

New entrance
Along with utilities, a garage conversion has to address the elephant in the room, or in this case, the garage door opening and what to do with it. Some homeowners choose to keep the appearance of a garage by leaving the original doors, which preserves privacy and retains the residential home design,  according to Houzz.com.

Others redo the wall to allow for a traditional doorway and windows or install large glass panels to bring in natural light. Garages don't usually have big windows so the additional light exposure would be needed for the interior anyway. Window treatments inside the structure can block light and provide privacy as needed.

Making space
By retaining the garage's original height - the equivalent of a vaulted ceiling in a detached structure - will add to the spaciousness of the office. Installing floor-to-ceiling storage units and bookshelves on the lengthy walls will free up enough floor space to create an extra room with all the amenities that homeowners' choose to include in their project.

If they want this space for their home office, there should be able to comfortably fit a complete workstation with electronic support as well as a separate seating area.