51 garage conversion ideas to convert your living space

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Susan Meyer

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Susan is a licensed insurance agent and has worked as a writer and editor for over 10 years across a number of industries. She has worked at The Zebr…

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Creative ways to upcycle your garage

If you’re thinking about converting your garage into a living space, the most difficult part of the process might be deciding how you’d like to use it. A garage provides a mostly blank slate for customization. There are many possibilities for remodeling, whether you opt for a personal choice like a game room or yoga studio, or an extra addition like a spare bathroom or bedroom.

After you decide what you want out of your new living space and you make sure it's covered under your home insurance policy, you’ll need to take note of any local regulations that require you to obtain a permit for conversion. Many garages lack proper ventilation and insulation to act as a comfortable living space, and most aren’t set up for plumbing, gas and electricity, which require their own permits.

In order to make the right choice about your remodel, we’ve compiled a thorough list of 51 garage conversion ideas to provide you with plenty of inspiration. You can also jump to the visuals at the end of this list that explore different conversion options. Either way, by finishing out a garage into more usable living space, you'll be able to comfortably spread beyond your current space while adding value to your home and having some fun in the process.[1] 

Set up a cozy garage bedroom


Source: HDR Remodeling, Inc.

A spare bedroom or a second primary bedroom suite can improve the functionality of your home and lead to happier guests who are tired of crashing on the couch. Use these ideas for inspiration on your garage conversion project.

1. Soundproof the walls and door

Soundproofing is critical, especially if your renovated garage bedroom faces a nearby street or alley. No one wants to be woken up by traffic noise.

2. Build a layered tray ceiling

Tray ceilings have an elevated center panel that adds a dramatic silhouette to your remodeled bedroom. Integrated recessed lighting with a dimmer switch can relax the mood.

3. Wire your ceiling for fiber optic lighting

Fiber optic lighting is a unique touch that will make you forget you ever had a garage. This luxurious addition provides an air of escapism with the illusion of a starry night sky.

4. Create separate spaces for relaxation

Your new garage bedroom is likely large enough for more than just a bed. Divide the room into segmented areas like a sleeping space, a reading or sitting nook, and a meditation corner.

Construct your dream garage kitchen


Source: HDR Remodeling, Inc.

While a minor kitchen remodel might add more value to your home, a converted kitchen can be designed specifically to fit your family’s needs. Better yet, if your existing kitchen borders the garage on an interior wall, you can remove the wall and expand the kitchen. Keep these ideas in mind if you’re thinking of remodeling this space into your dream chef’s kitchen.

5. Plan a layout that works for you

Most kitchen activity takes place in the triangle between the sink, the stove and the fridge.[2] You can take the time to plan a layout that fits your flow before your renovation.

6. Add lots of natural light with skylights

If your current kitchen is small or dark, a new garage kitchen allows you the chance to start from scratch. Open up the ceiling with multiple skylights to let ample natural light into your space.

7. Dream big and incorporate the features you want

If your existing garage is large enough, now is the time to splurge on the appliances and features you’ve always wanted but could never fit in your kitchen. Just be sure to always keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

8. Get creative with outdoor space

Since you’ll no longer be driving cars through this space, get clever with incorporating the outdoors into your new kitchen. A compost heap can provide you with fertilizer to grow your herbs right outside your new garage-style kitchen doors.

Make space for a garage office


Source: HDR Remodeling, Inc.

If your home office setup has you feeling cramped and claustrophobic, it might be a good idea to transform your garage into an office. A renovation project like this allows you to organize your home office as you see fit, creating workstations for different family members or various types of projects.  

9. Control electronics with smart home technology

Creating a smart home office allows you to plan for the future of working from home. Features like smart lighting or an intelligent air purifier can help you work more efficiently.

10. Create separate work areas for different projects

Just like switching between sitting and standing can improve your work productivity, so can moving to a new location to perform a new task — even if it’s just across the room. A garage office makes it easier to separate your work life from your home life, despite being on the same property.

11. Enhance your Wi-Fi signal

If your garage is a long way from your Internet modem, install signal-enhancing devices to ensure your connection stays strong during video calls. Use a VPN to limit cybersecurity risks.

12. Install built-in storage

Use the available wall space in your transformed garage to install built-in storage. You can purchase storage units to install or have new ones designed for a custom look.[3] 

Consider adding a bathroom to the garage


A garage conversion provides the perfect opportunity to add an extra bathroom to your home, whether that’s a quaint half bath or an expansive bathroom retreat. If you decide to include a bathroom in your garage renovation project, it’s important to create a waterproof seal and ensure that you have an open peril homeowners insurance policy to cover water damage.

13. Add floor heaters

Garages typically have smooth concrete floors that make flooring installation easier. Consider a heater to warm your toes in the winter, in case this room gets colder than the rest of your home.

14. Build a large wet room

Wet rooms are open shower setups with floor drains that create the illusion that the shower takes up the whole room. They can fit into spaces of different sizes and shapes.

15. Install a soaking tub

If a garden tub is your preference for escaping the rest of the world, be sure to make space for one in your remodeling project. Installing a corner tub can save a little space for other bathroom features.

16. Add a convenient half bath

A half bath is a less costly addition than a full bathroom. You could also include a half bath along with any type of conversion you plan to make (except, of course, a full bathroom).

Create a comfortable garage living room


Source: HDR Remodeling, Inc.

You can never have enough spaces in your home to sit and relax. If you’re still thinking about ways to turn your existing garage into something new, consider a new living room or a second family room. A remodel provides a blank slate for you to create your ideal relaxation den. Take inspiration from these ideas for a new living room.

17. Sink into a conversation pit

Once relegated to living rooms of the ‘60s and ‘70s, conversation pits are back in style. Build a subfloor around the perimeter of your garage to elevate it, creating a sunken pit in the center that you can fill with bean bags or a comfy sectional couch.

18. Add faux beams to the ceiling

Beams and trusses make a ceiling look rustic and cozy. Install faux beams across the ceiling of your new living room to transform the space into an architectural delight.

19. Install Belgian-style steel and glass doors

Garage doors don’t need to open vertically, especially if you’re not using the space as car storage. Replace overhead doors with glass and steel French doors that let in ample light.

20. Hook up an electric fireplace and add a mantel installation

If your idea of home is where the hearth is, you can install an electric fireplace with a faux mantel to create the illusion of a roaring fire without the danger (even though homeowners insurance usually covers fire damage).

Start your own garage gym


Many Americans work from home, but fewer have access to gyms where they can work out at home. If your anxiety levels spike at the thought of heading to the nearest gym, convert your garage into a gym to focus on your health and improve your home wellness. Let these ideas get the ball rolling on ways to up your home fitness game.

21. Set up a mirrored wall

Mirrors help you concentrate on proper workout form and avoid injury. Installing a mirrored wall in your remodeled gym can help you avoid becoming one of 450,000 people with serious exercise-related injuries each year.[4]

22. Lay down rubber tile flooring

Rubber absorbs shock and can ease the strain on your knees from high-impact workouts. Rubber floors also protect the concrete underneath from damage caused by dropped weights.

23. Go a couple of rounds in your own boxing ring

A regulation boxing ring is usually at least a 16-foot square. If you’re working with a two-car garage or larger, you should have ample room for a boxing setup that’ll make the local gym rats jealous.

24. Find your zen in a garage yoga studio

Yoga was a common hobby for Americans during quarantine, but its popularity is perennial. All you need for a yoga studio is the flooring mentioned above and a mirrored wall to keep your downward dog in check.

Hunker down in a game room


A game room is a true luxury that deserves a special location in the home. If your garage doesn’t get used often, perhaps it's the perfect place to create a gamer’s hideaway. There isn’t a guideline or a standard for game rooms, so let your imagination run wild. You can incorporate one or more of these ideas to get started.

25. Install a wet bar with draft

This fun feature can liven up your game room and create a new entertaining spot in your home. Even though the wet bar setup is in your former garage, remember you should never mix alcohol with vehicle operation.

26. Host a game night in your home arcade

A billiards table, pinball machines, a dartboard and more can transform your garage into a game room without a single renovation. However, adding insulation and ventilation will make this space more comfortable for hanging out with friends and family.

27. Perfect your stroke with a putting green or virtual tee box

There’s no need to take your clubs out to the golf course if you have your very own putting green or tee box right at home. These features can cost thousands of dollars, so budget appropriately before calling “fore” on a virtual tee box.

28. Create a showcase for your collectibles

Glass walls are perfect for partitioning your space to display your prized collectibles. Just be sure to insure your treasures with personal property coverage. 

Set up for movie night in a garage home theater


With many movies premiering on streaming apps, now’s the perfect time to set up a home theater for you and your family to enjoy. This project requires some electrical work and light carpentry, but it can be accomplished on a relatively low budget. Hopefully these ideas inspire you to create your own screening room at home.

29. Hang a projector

Projectors require flat, white surfaces to display high-quality video. You might not even need to buy a screen to go with your projector if your space has a large, blank wall.

30. Use risers to add stadium seating

It’s not uncommon for a garage floor to be lower than the floor in your home. Use this to your advantage by installing stadium seating for a true theater experience.

31. Incorporate surround sound

No true theater experience is complete without surround sound. If you want to avoid wiring the entire room for surround sound, you can use Bluetooth speakers instead. Also consider soundproofing the room in the first place, as you may need to add ticker insulation or other soundproofing materials to help keep the rest of the house quiet (and your neighbors happy!).

32. Block any sources of outside light

If your garage has any windows, be sure to keep them covered with a blackout curtain or similar window covering. You can also have any windows removed, though doing so limits how you can use this new room in the future.[5]

Build out your ideal garage laundry room


Washer and dryer hookups in the garage are a decades-old phenomenon. That doesn’t mean they’re perfect, however. The best laundry rooms should serve all your washing and drying needs while making it easier and more enjoyable for you to do your laundry. Look to these ideas for some new laundry room inspiration.

33. Add an extra washer and dryer

If your family’s needs outpace the capacity of one washer and dryer, build out your garage with a second set of utility hookups. The time you save doing laundry will make the conversion all the more worth it.

34. Include a family-size folding station

An island or another large, flat surface is a space for you to separate and fold your laundry right out of the dryer. You can customize the height of the surface to reduce strain on your back from bending over.

35. Make space for a clothesline

Your large garage laundry room has plenty of space to hang-dry your clothes. Install a retractable cord spanning the width of the space to cut back on utility costs from running the dryer. You can use a dehumidifier or open the garage doors if you live in a dry climate.


Hide away in your artist’s garage studio

Art is a beneficial addition to any home. It reduces stress, inspires creativity and even increases empathy. These are all reasons to purchase art for your home, or better yet, transform your garage into your very own art studio. Take note of these ideas to create a studio that suits your artistic endeavors, whatever they may be.

36. Install a clear-paneled garage door

Let plenty of light into your remodeled studio with a clear-paneled overhead door. Not only will this option brighten up your space, but it will also erase the boundary between your studio and the outdoors for some natural inspiration.

37. Purchase focused track lighting

Rather than recessed lighting that creates a more ambient look, install track lighting in your studio to put your art into focus.

38. Create a mural wall

If your entire family likes to flex their creative muscles, save one blank wall in your converted studio to use as a mural wall. This activity can spark joy and create a one-of-a-kind artwork that’s part of your home.

39. Segment off space for a dark room

If your artistic hobbies include photography, this renovation project provides an opportunity to create a special space to do just that. Block out any windows to create the darkroom you’ve always wanted.


Convert a detached garage guesthouse


Source: HDR Remodeling, Inc.

If your garage is detached from the house, you can make it into a dreamy guesthouse that allows your guests to enjoy a little “me” time. Depending on local regulations, you might even be able to rent out your transformed guesthouse through a service like Airbnb.

40. Install a doorbell

Your detached suite will feel more private and serene to your guests with a doorbell to announce visitors. Opt for a smart doorbell with a camera for a more secure option.

41. Add a kitchenette

A kitchenette in your guest suite is a practical addition that doesn’t require a gas hookup. A refrigerator, hot plate and microwave give your guests a place to snack without raiding your pantry.

42. Get creative with bed placement

A small detached garage shouldn’t limit you from your dream of a guesthouse. Add a Murphy bed to stow in the wall, or purchase a lofted bed if your ceiling height permits. Either one will free up floor space for your guests.

43. Make a private sleeping sanctuary

Hang curtains or install a sliding barn-style door to separate the bed from the rest of the space. This introduces a sense of privacy that will make your guests feel welcome and relaxed.

Bonus garage conversion ideas

In addition to the rooms above, there are countless ways to convert your garage into a space that brings you joy. We’ve listed some more ideas below for inspiration.

44. Kids’ playroom

Give the kids their own space to play and explore by creating a playroom. A climbing wall, reading nooks, homework stations and game tables are a few ideas to include.

45. Teen hangout

When the kids are older, they’ll appreciate having their own space to hang out in — even if they don’t admit that to you. Outfit your converted space with items like a TV, game console, mini fridge and comfy furniture.

46. Craft room

This idea works well in combination with a laundry room conversion, since neither takes up the space of a large garage. Opt for plenty of pegboard and shelving, and include a large island with storage for all kinds of crafts.

47. Split-level space

If your garage has high ceilings, create a split-level layout that separates the converted space into multiple sections.

48. Detached greenhouse

Your detached garage is an ideal location for a backyard greenhouse, with a few modifications. It also likely won’t require a building permit since a greenhouse isn’t considered a living space. However, you’ll want to double check with your local HOA board and zoning authorities to confirm.

49. Music studio

With a little noise insulation and some electrical wiring, your renovated garage can transform into a professional music studio. They require surprisingly little space at minimum, but a large music studio is a fun place to hang out and be creative with friends and family.

50. Cat palace

If your cats seem bored with their current digs, adding a cat palace in your renovated space will delight them with new realms to explore. Fill a climate-controlled, transformed garage with all kinds of accessories to keep your cats happy.

51. Dog run

A converted garage works well as a place for your dog to be comfortable anytime you’re away for a short while, or when inclement weather keeps them cooped up indoors. Make sure your space is climate-controlled and well-insulated for this remodel — and bring plenty of chew toys.

Making sure your garage conversion is covered

Your garage conversion should bring you joy and relieve your stress. A new living space is something to celebrate, so long as you don’t need your garage for car storage. Before you set out to tear down walls and install wiring, make sure you’re permitted to do so by your neighborhood and your city. The last thing you want is a costly legal battle over an illegal home addition.


Finding the right property insurance or other structures coverage to insure your garage transformation can bring you peace of mind through the conversion process. These renovations can be expensive; be sure to protect your investment in the long term so you and your family can enjoy it for many years to come.


How much does it cost to convert a garage into a room?

The cost of a conversion varies widely based on the scope of the project. A three-car garage will likely require more materials and will therefore be more expensive to convert than a single-car garage. Likewise, a kitchen remodel could cost several thousand dollars more than a bedroom. Most estimates place the average cost at around $12,000, including permits.

Do you need planning permission to turn a garage into a room?

You will most likely need a conversion permit to create a new living space. Depending on the type of conversion you’re planning, you could have to obtain permits for any plumbing, electrical work or gas hookups needed in your converted space. Keep in mind that not all cities and municipalities allow garage conversions, so be sure not to skip these steps.

How do I get a permit for a garage conversion?

Your local zoning department is the best resource to contact for information on conversion permits. These permits typically cost upwards of $1,000, and they may require you to consult with an architect to determine the feasibility of your renovation project.

What do I do with my driveway after a garage conversion?

There are many ways to repurpose your driveway after a garage conversion. If you have a vehicle, you could create covered parking now that your garage is a living space. You can also remove the concrete and plant a garden, or set up a kids’ play area.

Does my home insurance cover a garage conversion?

Your coverage depends on your homeowners insurance policy. Legal, authorized renovations and conversions are covered by many insurance policies, so make sure you consult a licensed insurance agent and speak with your local zoning department to answer your questions.[6]


Sources: Budget Dumpster | Moving

  1. How to increase home value. Home Guide

  2. This Is STILL the Best Way to Design a Kitchen. Architectural Digest

  3. How to Convert Your Garage into a Home Office. Garage Living

  4. Sports and recreational injuries. National Safety Council

  5. What to consider when converting a garage into a home theater. HGW Services

  6. What to Consider Before Converting Your Garage to a Living Space. Budget Dumpster