As we seek to make the most of every square foot of our home, the humble garage is becoming a place of endless potential. From mancaves and kids’ playrooms to home offices, the garage has so many possibilities.
Chamberlain spoke to Leigh McDonald from , a leading renovations and garage conversions company. Leigh shared some expert know-how about transforming your garage into a new and more versatile space.
Unlocking your garage’s potential
Homes.co.nz data showed that since the pre-1990s, when the size of median new-build sections was 731sq m, the size of available bare land in Auckland in particular has shrunk in recent years. In 2017 it dipped to just 499sq m – a trend that’s also reflected nationwide with sections shrinking by 146sq m in the last three decades to 617sq m in 2017.
Leigh says that as new builds get smaller, space is at a premium and each room or zone in the home has to offer families more bang for their buck.
“Transforming your garage can offer a more cost-effective solution rather than extending your current house and can allow you to create a multi-purpose space for the whole family,” says Leigh.
“Movie theatres, children’s playrooms, fitness studios and home offices are all popular garage conversion choices.”
Smart technology has become an all-encompassing and seamless way to connect you to your home.
“Having your garage connected to the internet and adding smart devices is a great way to maximise the way you use a space. Whether you’re having a garage movie night, following a DIY tutorial or checking out some gym videos,” says Leigh.
Security is important too. A great place to start your garage technology upgrade is with Chamberlain’s range of garage door openers. Most of our range is compatible with myQ technology, which lets you monitor and control your garage door opener and accessories from anywhere.
With myQ, you’ll have peace of mind that your garage is secure, so no more making extra trips home to check if you closed the garage door!
Where to spend and where to save
The garage can be a blank canvas for you to create your dream space, but you need to consider what features you’ll use the most. Do you need lighting? A sound system for a movie or gaming room? Insulation? Make sure you’ve considered everything you’ll need to create the space you’re after.
Leigh says that the best way to get value from your garage conversion is to consider the elements you can do yourself, and know where you should bring in an expert.
“Renovating or converting the garage yourself can be more cost-effective, but you do need to have some know-how! While some aspects of a garage transformation can be done independently, such as insulation and flooring, anything related to structure or load where construction may take place should be carried out by a licensed tradesperson.”
If you are considering selling your home in the future, a professional garage conversion could also give your home the edge on auction day.
“Whether it’s a home gym, yoga studio or teen hangout, a professionally converted garage will attract more buyers,” says Leigh.
Getting the right approvals
It’s always important to make sure that any work undertaken in the home or garage is compliant with building standards and council permissions. This is especially important if you plan to convert your garage into a living space such as a living room or bedroom.
“Different councils will require specific permits to extend the living space of the home into the garage, so be sure to check that your plans are compliant,” says Leigh.
The garage has limitless potential to create that desired space! For homeowners looking for a way to elevate their home or increase its value, upgrading the garage from a simple storage space is a great place to begin.
For more garage improvement ideas or to browse Chamberlain’s range of garage door openers and accessories, visit our website or call 0800 653 667.