Work With Your Garage
One of the most common mistakes to make when dreaming up the perfect man-cave is forgetting an important point: You need to work with your garage, not against it.
Your garage is unlike any other room in the house. Lighting, plumbing and electricity are all things that could be missing from its original design. Other choices like your type of garage door can also impact the security and insulation of your garage.
By staying aware of these limitations, you can use them in your favour to overcome the challenges of your garage in interesting and creative ways.
When planning your man-cave, space is at a premium. The size of a typical garage is quite small and will only be able to fit the essentials, especially when considering space for a car.
Cleaning up and decluttering your garage is the first step in finding space. This means throwing out or selling old and disused items and finding better ways of storing essentials.
Once you’ve cleaned up, a little clever thinking can make more space. Ceilings, for example, can be fitted for hanging storage, which can be done between joists that are already installed. Putting up storage racks along the wall is another good idea and makes use of space above the floor.
One of the biggest decisions to make is whether you’ll still park in the garage. This decision is different for everyone and will depend on your type of car, availability of outside parking and need for weather protection.
Plan Your Man-Cave
Once you’ve found out the limits of what you can work with, it’s time to start making plans. Don’t go overboard, but make a list of all the essentials that you’re looking for, along with a rough estimate of costs.
Draw out a basic floor plan. If you’re planning to install a home theatre system, where will the TV go? How will it be wired? Following each step of the plan in your imagination will help you find problems and save you a lot of time and money before putting it into action.
Remember to leave some space behind for storage or other excess stuff in case your needs change in future. Depending on your home, the garage may be the only place for these things.
Know Your Limits
Make sure you start with the right tools for smaller jobs in the garage such as drilling. Don’t try to do any work that you’re unsure of, because if anything goes wrong it will only slow things down and end up costing you more overall.
If you aren’t an experienced handyman, make sure to leave the dangerous stuff to an expert. There are many licensed contractors who are experienced in outfitting electrical work to garages and will have done similar projects. While it may be slightly more expensive, it means you’ll get the job done properly, legally and without any risk to your health.
Insulate Your Garage
Insulation is essential for turning your garage into a livable space and will protect you in both hot and cold weather. Insulating properly can also soundproof your garage, meaning you can play your music as loud as you want, or turn up the sound system when watching movies.
Carpets, rugs and rubber tiles all insulate your floor well and can add a certain style to the garage. Smaller, moveable options are generally better, as they can be shifted, replaced or removed if necessary. The garage door is a big culprit for letting in cold and should be properly insulated. Garage insulation can be retrofitted, but will only work on panel and not roller doors.
Converting your garage into a man-cave can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding projects you ever undertake. Enjoy the experience and celebrate with your friends when it’s done.
This piece was written by Daniel Defendi, who recommends Pinnacle Garage Doors in Perth. You can catch Daniel on Google+ to discuss this piece.