Convert Your Garage To A Living Area And Leave The Garage Doors Intact

Turning your garage into an additional living space is typically cheaper than adding an extension to your home, and many people who do this type of conversion leave their garage doors in place. They like the industrial vibe it lends to the project as well as the potential for opening up their space to the outside.

If you decide to leave your garage doors intact when you convert your garage to a living space, there are a few tips you should keep in mind. Read more and take a look at these ideas:

1. Insulate and decorate your garage doors.

While you may want the industrial look of a garage door, you definitely don't want to compromise your heating or cooling efforts with icy drafts or hot air. To avoid that, you need to insulate your garage doors.

If you need the cheapest option, you can glue on batt insulation. That typically costs about 30 cents per square foot. However, it is not the most attractive option.

Instead, for about 63 cents per square feet, you can buy foam board insulation. So that it looks nice, look for vinyl backed foam board and choose a sleek color like black, or if you prefer a metallic finish, you can use aluminum backed foam board.

2. Add windows to your garage door.

To increase the light in your converted garage, consider adding windows to your garage door. If your door features square or rectangular panels, you can cut some of them out and replace them with window panes. That keeps the design integrity of the original door intact.

Alternatively, if you prefer, you can put windows into one of the vertical panels running along your garage door. Most people choose the third or fourth row from the bottom for their windows.

If you do the work yourself, however, keep an eye on how much weight the windows add to your garage door. If you add more than 5 percent of the door's existing weight, you will need to have a professional come out and adjust the tension of the springs supporting your garage door.

3. Explore alternative styles of garage doors.

If your existing garage door has reached the end of its lifespan, you don't necessarily have to replace it with the same type of overhead door. Overhead doors with automatic openers are ideal if you are driving in and out of the garage every day, but if you are converting it to a living space, you may want to consider other styles of garage doors.

For example, carriage house doors look like large French doors, and they swing open. They allow you to open your living area to the outside, and they add a classic flair to your home.

Alternatively, you can stay with the style of the overhead door, but opt for a completely different material. For example, give your home a modern flair by adding a glass panel folding overhead door.

4. Add a screen door.

Whether you stick with your overhead door or replace it with carriage style doors, you should consider adding a screen door. That way, you can open your garage door, let in the light and wave to the neighbors, but you don't have to worry about being eaten by mosquitoes or bothered by flies.

There are overhead screen doors that, when open, stow just beneath your garage door. However, you can leave your garage door open and bring the screen down. These wood framed screens can even be fitted with a small access door in their center so you can walk in and out.

Alternatively, you can find screens that hang down over your garage door opening much like a set of curtains. These screens hang with grommets over a small rail, and they typically consist of two large panels, each covering half of your garage door opening.

They feature weights on the bottom that keep them firmly near the ground, and in the middle they have magnets to hold the sides together so that they don't flap open. When you are not using these screens, you pull them to the side like curtains.