Before you get started however, you’ll need to think about the structural and decorative changes you’ll be making to the garage.
The conversion will involve a number of steps that can vary depending on what you want to achieve. You’ll probably need to raise the floor height, add insulation, and have plumbing and electricity connected.
Raise floor height
Raising the floor height allows you to add insulation under the floor and to keep water out of the interior. Garage floors can be much lower than the house of the floor, and the concrete could be cracked or damaged. When it comes to flooring, you can build a wood-framed floor, a concrete floor, a topping slab,cork, or some other option.
The everyday entry point for the kids’ room could be the door from your house, but you might want to retain the original garage doorway and dress it up in some way as a decorative wall. Alternatively, you can install glass windows or doors for a light-filled space that opens out to the front garden.
You could also remove the partitioning wall between your garage and house for an open floor plan. For a simple option, you can retain the original garage door if it offers adequate insulation, and add manual heating or cooling if required. An alternative is to close off the garage entry point completely by installing fully insulated stud walls.
Fully insulating walls and ceiling
Insulation keeps the space cool in summer and warm in winter. This is particularly important because garages usually lack it, so you’ll probably want to add some extra insulation on the walls and ceilings to keep the kids happy regardless of the weather.
Heating and cooling
Heating and cooling can be important during the coldest and hotter months of the year. You could have the new kids’ room connected to your central heating and cooling systems, or you can opt for independent or even plug-in heaters and air conditioning units.
You might need to have an electrical service upgrade conducted since usage is likely to be more intensive with the new kids’ room. Consider the usage you’re likely to have, including computing, gaming, lighting, and heating and cooling. Speak to a professional electrician about whether you need an upgrade.
Your old garage is not likely to have any windows in it already, so you’ll probably want to install several or allow natural light and ventilation. You can add windows to existing walls or even awning-style windows to the garage door itself. Consider the angle of your garage and the amount of sunlight each exterior wall receives. If there are external shading elements such as shrubs and trees, consider these as well. Skylights are another excellent way to bring in more natural light and air.
Other elements to add
Once you have the basics complete, you’ll want to furnish the space and add games, books, and fun elements to transform it into a real kids’ room. Involve the kids and get their feedback on how they’d like it to look and what games and toys they’d like to have in their room.
- Shelving – Whether these are bookshelves or floating shelves, having plenty of shelving allows you to keep the space tidy and filled with great items such as books, puzzles, toys, and board games.
- Furniture – Furnish the space with plenty of comfortable seating such as a fluffy sofa, beanbags, and chairs. Your kids will also need some tables, whether these are desks, coffee tables, or table-and-chair sets for young kids.
- Lighting – Some lighting will brighten the space when the sun goes down and add warmth. Use overhead lights, desktop lamps, wall sconces, floor lamps, or a combination of your favourite lighting options.
- Paint – You could keep the walls covered in neutral tones or choose some colourful, fun shades for the kids. Some kids’ playrooms feature walls with cartoon animals, plants, and other decorative art.
- Carpeting – Some soft carpeting makes the space cosy and warm, so you could add wall-to-wall carpeting, along with colourful rugs.
- Toys and games – A kids’ room wouldn’t be a kids’ room without some toys and games, so add some puzzles, board games, jigsaw puzzles, soft toys, construction toys, and other games that your kids will enjoy.
- Storage – Keep everything tidy by adding a few storage containers that can be easily slid under tables and desks after everything is packed away.
- Posters – Have your kids choose some posters to put up in their new playroom.
Things to consider before you commit
Transforming a garage into a playroom suitable for kids is not to be done on the cheap; nevertheless, it can end up costing you half what it might for a completely new extension. Additionally, keep in mind you’ll no longer have access to a covered, weather-proof storage area for your car and other items such as lawn mowers and gardening tools. There may be other cheaper options such as buying a shed for your backyard and repurposing it as a playroom. Remember, you might need to obtain permission from your council if you’re making major changes to your property.
Reuse your space
If you have some unused garage space in your house, why not turn it into a vibrant new kids’ room for the children? With a little creativity and planning, you can transform an old garage into a fun, comfortable space for the little and big kids in your family.