Most people, children and adults alike, dream of having a room in their home dedicated to fun. Most of us don’t have a room to spare though. One way to solve this problem is to convert all or part of a garage into a game room!
Determine What You Have
Your first step will be to determine what you have to work with. Go spend some time in your garage. The most important thing to see is the size of the space. A multi-car garage will offer more space than you know what to do with, but one stall will be plenty. A single-car garage also offers plenty of space. Also make note of divisions in the floor plan such as raised areas. Get out your measuring tape and take notes about how much space you have to work with.
Now look around. Is there enough lighting? Most garages tend to have very little. If you’re planning to use your game room with the door open, then this may not matter too much. But if you’re dreaming of night funtime or want to keep the door closed, you may need to add to your lighting. Likewise, count your electrical outlets. If you’re planning to install a refrigerator, an entertainment system, or lamps for lighting, the number and placement of the outlets will be important.
Before you leave, also make a note of what spaces you are already using for storage, such as mechanic’s tools or holiday decorations. You can move these items elsewhere, like to a dedicated storage shed, or leave them where they are. Just make sure you know they’re there and plan accordingly.
Decide What You Want
Now for the fun part: deciding what you want in your new space! Popular choices include pool table, ping-pong table, entertainment and gaming systems, or a home bar. You’ll also want to think about furnishings such as couches, barstools, and a small table or two. Before you buy, measure your items (remember to include space around items like pool and ping pong tables for playing!). Use a sheet of graph paper to sketch a layout to make sure that everything you choose fits comfortably.
Decorating the space is another thing you may want to consider. It’s not necessary, but many people choose to finish the walls and add themed décor such as old road signs, license plates, a dartboard, and posters.
Renovating Your Garage
It’s time to work! It’s likely that your garage needs some work before it’s habitable. Most garages have cold hard concrete floors, bare framed walls with no insulation, and insufficient lighting. Before you get to installing anything new, give the whole place a good cleaning. Get the cobwebs out of the corners, recycle the old newspapers, and make sure to get any automotive fluids off of the floor!
Insulating your garage might be the most effective thing you can do to improve the space (and it adds value to your home equity). Make sure you learn about the process and follow the manufacturer’s directions, but in a nutshell, you’ll buy a few rolls of insulation and stuff them in the spaces between the studs in your garage walls. You can install drywall over the insulation to keep it securely in place and give yourself beautifully finished walls.
If you determined that you needed more light fixtures or electrical outlets, you can also take this opportunity to install them. Make sure to do this safely; if you’re unsure about it, call a professional electrician for help. Electrical wiring can be dangerous. And if you have enough plugs but not enough light, you can buy light fixtures that plug in, from floor lamps to hanging chandeliers.
Another improvement you may consider is flooring. At the very least, you’ll probably want an area rug to protect your feet from that harsh concrete floor. You can also install tiles, carpet, or even hardwood for a beautifully polished finished room.
The renovations are done and it’s time to set up for fun! Move in the biggest objects first – that would be your new bartop pool table, wet bar, or entertainment center. Fill in around them with seating for the comfort of you, your family, and your guests. Finally, accessorize. You’ll want a rack to hold pool cues or table tennis paddles, some tables to set drinks and snacks on, and maybe even some décor.
A garage game room, sometimes called a man cave, is a great addition to your home and your life. Who says you have to grow up when you become an adult? With a few simple renovations, you can convert your garage into the playroom of your dreams and get playing in no time.