Oftentimes in a home remodel, the garage may be an afterthought. Before you realize it, the place designed mainly to store your cars and tools has become a clearinghouse for overflow. Lately, however, the garage has been doing some growing up, recently receiving recognition from the New York Times as the “final frontier in home renovation.”

Owners are discovering that the room surrounding their four-wheeled investments has as much potential to reflect lifestyle, personality and character as the rest of the house;  a garage remodel becoming a chance to not just showcase their cars but an opportunity to create a warm, inviting hangout area and/or auto-centric entertainment spot.

“The showroom garage is becoming one of those amenities that the high-end buyer is looking for,” said Mitchell Cal for MansionGlobal.com. “For many buyers, the garage is just as important as the kitchen or living room. They want a space that is just as beautiful as the main living areas of the home.” Architect Paul Maki concurs, indicating that the typical garage redo features radiant in-floor heating, a concrete or epoxy floor, sheetrock walls with wood or metal wainscoting, custom cabinetry, a high-end door and decorative lighting.

THE BASICS

Let’s just get it out there: the showroom garage will be pretty much man cave central. Start the process with the most obvious things for your Florida space: extending your house HVAC system into the garage for effective air conditioning and humidity control. Decoist recommends that properly upgrading the walls is also essential, not just for climate control but acoustics as well. Go for a good insulation and add a dry wall on top of it all to keep the Florida heat at bay. Since insulation extends to the ceiling and the garage door, you might want to plug any cracks and crevices to more securely seal the area.

While you’re at it, a floor upgrade from the concrete slab is also a good idea. A good non-slip interlocking floor tile can instantly offer your garage a showroom look, whether you go traditional checkered-style or a single color.

WIRE IT UP

Since you’re creating a space where you’ll be spending a solid chunk of time, no doubt you’ll be bringing your electronics with you. As you plan out your garage remodel, take into account additional electrical wiring and Wi-Fi capabilities. Outlets in key places are always a good thing, and proper wall placement for your giant TV and the sound system to go with it are all essential elements. Also, since typically garages are largely devoid of windows and the door will remain closed most of the time, your choice of artificial lighting makes all the difference in creating the specific ambience you’re going for. Factor the wiring for lights, into this plan. While you’re at it, air-conditioned/heated flooring is also an option. Hard to imagine, but Florida does indeed have its few days where a heated floor would come in handy!

To top off your modern wired garage, consider upgrading your door opener technology to a smart garage door opener. These puppies are typically Wi-Fi- enabled and can be operated via your smartphone. Check your garage door’s status from anywhere in the world. Receive alerts whenever its opened or closed, lock and unlock it, switch on the lights, set the garage temperature and more. From anywhere on your phone! It’s a blast living in the future, isn’t it?

DÉCOR IDEAS

Now here’s the real fun part: outfitting your space. Alongside high-quality garage cabinetry for storage organization, consider utilizing a high ceiling to fit a vehicle onto a hydraulic car lift for optimal use of space as well as display of your prized possessions. From there, sky’s the limit with options like a bar, pool table, car-themed signs (both on the wall and embedded in the floor), humidor for the cigar aficionado, workout and hobby areas.

We’d love to talk about ideas for your garage remodel! With close to 20 years of remodeling and construction experience, J. Sweet Construction offers an educated viewpoint with honesty and integrity every time.