One of the most underutilized spaces in people’s homes is the garage. Even if you’ve got a car, in most cases, it’s standing in the driveway, ready to be driven out at a moment’s notice. This leaves a lot of space that is usually used to store items of all sorts and quickly turn into a hoarder’s den straight out of an interior designers’ worst nightmares.

The garage industry insiders are pointing towards the trend of people going away from using these spaces in their original intended way. Specialists from A1 garage door service unanimously agree that most of the garage door units they ship nowadays end up in rooms that have been completely remodeled and don’t resemble a traditional garage in any way, shape, or form.

If you live in a free-standing home with a garage, it’s inevitable that sooner or later, it won’t have enough space to fit a car. Most of them turn into storage space within the first year of residence, and the clutter gets even worse over time. One way to prevent this from happening is simply using the garage as a place to keep your car, but it isn’t always the most practical solution, despite the fact that it’s literally the original purpose of this space.

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Another, more exciting avenue you could explore is carrying out a total garage makeover, turning the space into a room that you could make actual use of. Don’t fall into the trap that is cluttering it up with useless items you’re going to throw away in a couple of years anyway!

Check out these cool ideas for repurposing your garage that doesn’t require you to break the bank in the process. Keep in mind that the estimated cost summaries consist of only the bare necessities, such as renovation and handiwork costs — all other expenditures depend on the size of your budget and your own vision.

The Ultimate Man Cave

The most challenging part of this operation is to get your wife to sign off on it. She might not like that idea and probably has some other concepts for utilizing the garage space and might not agree to turn it into a temple dedicated towards brutish entertainment or booze and pot-fueled “bro nights.”

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Once you get the lady of the house to agree to you doing whatever you want with the garage, you’ll soon realize that turning the place into the ultimate man cave doesn’t necessarily require excessive expenditures. Most guys already own a bunch of objects and devices that would suit such a room but are gathering dust in the attic (or, ironically, the garage). If you do all of the work by yourself, you’ll also save a ton of cash that you’d otherwise spend on handymen who would do the work for you.

The first step towards turning your garage into the entertainment room of your dreams is cleaning it all up. That means having to take all of the clutter and items out of there and dispose of or make use of them in one way or another. The simplest and most effective method of doing so is organizing a yard sale once you determine what is useful to you and what you can get rid of. Another benefit of this solution is that you’re going to make some money you could use to buy stuff to populate your man cave, such as video game consoles, liquor cabinets, and decorations.

After you clean up space, you should repaint the walls and consider reinventing the floor. Most garage floors are grey and concrete — not the most inviting look, even by typical guy standards. Carpeting or covering it with wooden floors might be associated with considerable costs. The median size of a garage is around 250 square feet, and with carpeting costs usually starting at $1 per square foot for the cheapest material possible, your floor might just turn out to be the most expensive to take care of, at around $300 total cost, excluding the installation cost (you’re a big boy, you can handle that yourself).

Finally, you’ll be able to start filling up the room with furniture, entertainment gadgets, and other stuff to customize your man cave. If you’re looking to cut costs even further, look around on Craigslist and various Facebook groups for free furniture. People give stuff away all the time, from couches to cupboards — with a little bit of luck, you’ll be able to complete the project without spending a penny on furniture!

Total Estimated Cost:

$300 (floor renovation) + $120 (garage wall painting) = $420

Unleash Your Inner Fitness Freak

Gym equipment is freakishly expensive, especially when it comes to multi-purpose machinery, treadmills, and various other pieces. If you’re working with a tight budget, chances are you might not be able to complete the project with store-bought equipment, no matter how hard you look. Fortunately, you don’t actually need to purchase overpriced, heavy-duty machinery to turn your garage into a home gym.

If you’re going for a grungy, rugged type of atmosphere, you can achieve it with minimal costs. The most fundamental difference between building a gym and a man cave is the fact that you don’t really need to do anything to the floor and walls. This room is not supposed to look good — it’s meant to be a home gym where you leave your blood, sweat, and tears after a heavy workout. There is no need for decoration unless you’re the type of person who likes to look at posters with inspirational messages while exercising. The only problem you’ll need to take care of in that department is completely emptying the garage.

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As for equipment, the absolutely essential pieces include kettlebells, a pull-up bar, and gym rings. This setup allows you to work on most of your body parts while keeping it cost-effective. Kettlebells are necessary because they are incredibly versatile and allow for exercising various muscle groups. A pull-up bar is actually a cheap alternative to cable pulling machines, as the two tend to work on similar body parts, except the fact that you won’t need to take out a loan to afford a pull-up bar. As for gym rings, they’re great for bodyweight workouts, very inexpensive, and easy to install. There is no replacement for leg exercise equipment, but you don’t need an item to work on your legs — there are plenty of equipment-free leg workouts that will be more than enough to keep your legs strong.

Total Estimated Cost:

$40 (pull-up bar) + $130 (basic kettlebell set) + $30 (gym rings) = $200

Multi-purpose Room

Not big on working out? The wifey says there are already too many kids in the house, and she doesn’t want to add another one by turning the garage into a man cave? No problem! One of the most popular options of remodeling a garage is turning it into a large, multi-purpose space.

The possibilities are endless with this one, but the general idea is to keep a lot of free space for storage while utilizing the leftover area for other uses. Create your very own workshop with a proper tool bench that will be the envy of all your buddies on one end of the garage, or create a magical playroom for the kids. You could also embrace the idea of a garage being used for storage and organize it properly. Add a couple of cupboards, a wall hanger, and make it into a proper storage facility. All ideas are valid, as long as you make good use of the garage and enrich your home with a new, useful area.

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It’s impossible to estimate the cost of a multi-purpose room — it can range anywhere from two hundred to two thousand dollars, and if you simply create it using items that you already own, you could pull it off without spending any money at all!

The Bottom Line

Don’t let your garage become a nightmarish landscape of random stuff lying around on the floor! No home comes without a garage, and if it’s already there and you don’t use it to store your car, you might as well make something out of the space. A man cave and home gym are only a couple of ideas that could add some flair to your home, but there are plenty of other things you could do with the garage. The sky’s the limit, and with a bit of creativity and enough space, you might even turn it into

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Maciej Grzymkowski – an avid traveler with a particular affinity for Southeast Asia. I believe in the do-it-yourself approach when it comes to the handiwork and fixing things up around the house. The major focus of my writing is helping people improve their manual skills and increase their knowledge of proper safety practices.

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