Ideas for Turning a Garage Into a Liveable Room

When your family begins to increase in size or a relative comes to live with you, you may find yourself looking for ways to expand your home. Converting a garage to a liveable room is often easier and less expensive than building an addition and allows you to utilise built-in extra space. While it may seem cold and drab, there are several ways to make your garage a warm, comfortable room that can be used for a variety of purposes.


When turning your garage into a liveable room, the first step is usually addressing the walls. If the walls are not already finished, they likely lack insulation. This means you have to install wall studs, drywall and insulating materials so that the room is not too draughty. Even if your garage has finished walls, check to make sure that there is adequate insulation. Blown-in insulation is the best option because it will not corrupt the rest of the wall.


Garages typically have cement floors that are cold, damp and unattractive. However, if you have a concrete slab surface in your garage, you can cover it with several flooring options. Carpeting is a possibility because it can add warmth, comfort and colour. Alternatively, install a floating wood floor to add a natural element that warms up the space. Before adding any type of flooring, clean the concrete of stains and repair any cracks. Install a vapour barrier to prevent moisture from damaging the flooring. You may also need to have the cement levelled as garage floors are often sloped to allow for better drainage.


Depending on how you plan to use the liveable space that you create in your garage, you may need to add plumbing. A kitchen or bathroom require pipes and plumbing hookups. If a contractor is finishing your garage, have him study the floor plan to determine the best way to route the new pipes. In some cases, you can simply cut into the existing floor. However, it may be necessary to elevate the floor so the pipes can be placed beneath it.

Doors and Windows

In a converted room, standard garage doors can ruin the look of the space. Replacing them with more decorative doors can improve the garage's appearance and brighten the room. French doors are an attractive option and allow plenty of natural light into the space. Sliding doors are another option. You can also install a bay window in the main garage door and add a smaller door in another spot. If your garage does not have windows, add a few to let natural light into the space.

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About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.