We’ve seen so many people making necessary changes because of the pandemic. Many have been homeschooling and needed extra space for studying. Some have also been working from home and needed a quiet area; and others needed a retreat to get away from it all. In most instances, there just wasn’t enough room to go around, and the garage starting to look like prime real estate.
Fortunately, your garage can offer some very usable space which can no longer be ignored. In this blog, we’ll offer some ideas that have worked for our customers and may be of interest to you as well.
Visualizing the garage as part of the home
When homeowners searched for more usable space, the garage offered an undeniable opportunity. There was no need to build an addition or give up precious living space in the home. In many cases, changing the garage usage had more pros than cons, and was generally an easy, affordable modification.
There were some considerations such as space, lighting, heat and air conditioning. For some homeowners, there was more than adequate space which could be transformed into a great setting for an office, recreation or entertainment center. If lighting was inadequate, it could be easily upgraded. Some garages in the north country are already heated, so there’s no problem there. For unheated garages, temporary heat could be added. Fans or window air conditioning units could be used in the warmer months.
Getting beyond those basic hurdles, the garage started looking even more appealing. Our customers knew the basics of what they would need for an office or entertaining space to meet covid standards. We were able to help our customers visualize the transformation and, suddenly, we could see genuine smiles with some of the stress dissipating.
Preparing a garage to enhance your living space
Some garages have walls and ceilings that are already finished. In these cases, we clean, prep and paint the walls in a color or color combination that will lend joy to the area. You could do this too. Many of you will already know which colors make you happy and add an uplifting source of serenity. Sometimes, it’s not as easy to imagine what it will look like, especially with the lighting. For our clients who need help bringing it all together, we offer free color consultations.
Many garages have not yet been finished, and these projects can be completed quickly and affordably. Most often, we see garages that have sheetrock on the walls and fire tape over the joint seams. The fire-tape only situation indicates that it is fire-resistant and meets the minimum standard requirements. This fire-resistant feature helps slow down a fire and is therefore required by most inspectors.
To finish the fire-taped walls and make them “paint ready,” we apply two or three more coats of drywall compound (mud) on all the screw-heads and seams. Quite often, the paper-tape may need to be cut out and replaced (depending on the age of the taping).
As professional painters, we are well aware that sheetrock yellows over time. For that reason, we often apply a sealer prior to painting to help with any staining bleed-through. We can finish the taping and mudding, and sand it to bring it to a paint-ready condition and, of course, for those who need it, we can also paint the walls. Ceilings can be managed in the same manner if desired.
Repurposed garages that bring peace of mind
We’ve seen lovely results when turning a garage into a much-needed office space. We talk with the homeowner to understand what is needed and help them configure the space to a bright, quiet setting where work gets done. If lighting and electrical outlets need to be upgraded, we partner with an electrician who can make this happen quickly. It’s amazing how rapidly you can be back in business with a few minor upgrades in the garage.
Another favorite for our customers has been the retreat or entertainment hub. The pandemic has made it a bit more challenging to get together with neighbors, extended family and friends. We’ve seen garages step up to meet this need in fashion. It was a great time to clean the garage and donate items no longer in use. Then, it was definitely time to prepare a cheery space for distance seating, games, meals and fun conversations.
If you have time and inclination for projects like this, we hope you have fun with it and enjoy the results! Or, if you need help with your project, we can finish, prep and paint your garage quickly and professionally, so you’ll have a clean, fresh space that will help you cope with this covid season and beyond. We’ve seen many configurations and can help you with ideas if you’re not sure how to best use your garage to reduce the stress and increase the joy.
We hope this blog has helped you envision something wonderful for your garage space. Feel free to share this article with friends who might also like some inspiration. Be well! Be happy!