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January 3, 2018

The garage is an unused space that can allow you to bring in more income or attract more tenants. Converting it into another bedroom, for example, can add 20 percent to the value of your property, and converting the space into another living room or office can increase the value up to 10 percent, estimates Virgin Money.

Whether you’re you need tips for a complete garage conversion, or just want some organizational ideas and inspiration, we have eight of the best ideas for your rental garage.

Turn the Garage into Another Living Space
Your garage doesn’t have to look like a garage. A few rugs and some well-placed furniture can turn a utilitarian space into a cozy new area to read a good book or hang with friends. You might have to be creative with the space, as most garages are long and narrow and don’t forget to keep the décor bright and fun if there aren’t many windows.

Matthew Hague, author of “Great Spaces: Five Garage Conversions to Swoon Over”, interviewed a couple who use their garage as a living room. They describe their converted garage as “a relaxing space for dinner, drinks, and, when no one is around, mid-afternoon naps on the giant plush sofa.” That will sound great in your new rental ad.

Organize the Garage into Six Distinct Zones
If you don’t want to do a total renovation, find ways to simply make better use of the space, like improving organization. A little bit can go a long way, especially in the garage, where everything that doesn’t have a home gets tossed.

In “Six Garage Zones for Maximum Organization”, Easy Garage Storage suggests dividing your garage into six zones.

  • Zone one, or the zone closest to the door, should be for transitional items, like jackets, umbrellas, and keys.
  • Zone two should be for everyday items, zone three for long, thin storage (think rakes and shovels).
  • Zone four is the best zone for large items.
  • Zone five should be for frequently used items, like bikes or golf club.s
  • Zone six should be a workspace.

Create a Home Office

Working from home doesn’t have to be a drag, especially if you turn your old garage into a chic home office. Install large whiteboards (or simply lean them against the wall) to brighten up the space, and to give yourself a way to express your thoughts.

A desk or two, along with some additional storage (think shelving) and a few brightly colored chairs will appeal to tenants that are considering working from home; if you don’t want to leave this furniture for tenants, use it simply to stage the space for ad photos. It can even be marketed as a multi-use space, for families who want a play space for kids or need an area for their teen to hang out.

Install a Glass Garage Door
If you’re looking for something that falls somewhere between complete overhaul and simple organization, this is it. “Make a virtue of the space’s former function and install an up-and-over glazed door that hints at the room’s former life”, says Stefan Gheorge, owner and founder of Homedit.com.

Replacing your door with glass opens up the space, as well, making it feel bigger than it actually is. If you want to DIY the project, check out this tutorial from Do It Yourself, which will serve as a great resource to use while you’re working on the installation. Once you’ve installed your door, the possibilities are endless. The room could be used as a patio or even an art studio. Your tenants’ imaginations can run wild.  

Note: This article credits the image to an architecture firm, which has since taken down the image. The architecture firm is Image Credit 2.

Paint the Walls
A fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into any area of a home, and your garage is no exception. “A lighter garage wall paint color will reflect light better, but you also have to be mindful that a lighter shade will more easily reveal dirt and grime” according to 4 Simple Guidelines for Choosing Garage Paint Colors. The article recommends colors like:

  • Gray
  • Beige
  • Tan

These shades will give more design flexibility, and won’t be as difficult to maintain as white.

Install New Flooring

Flooring can make a space feel finished and homey, even if it still serves as a garage. When choosing new garage flooring, you want something that’s as durable as it is attractive. Epoxy flooring is one of the best ways to achieve this look. “Besides looking nice, the hardened and thick application that you get from epoxy creates a coating that is very durable and resilient to impacts, chipping, chemicals, stains, and surface abrasion. You don’t have to panic about damaging the floor if you drop a wrench or a bicycle falls over,” according to experts at All Garage Floors.

You can choose to install epoxy yourself, or a professional can do it for you. Professional-grade epoxy installations often have warrantees of nearly 15 years, which may make it worth the extra spend.

Add an Extra Bedroom

Whether you simply want to add a new bedroom or you rent out each room in the home, rather than the entire property, this is a great way  to make better use of an old garage. But how do you get started? “How to Turn a Garage into a Bedroom” breaks down the process into six easy steps.

With an interest in converted and unique spaces, this will be a big winner for finding new tenants. You may even be able to raise the rent. Don’t forget about zoning regulations, which may restrict the number of bedrooms you can have.

Move Storage to the Ceiling
Moving your clutter to the ceiling is a great way to maximize available space in this area. Better yet, a sliding ceiling storage system is a simple DIY project that you can do in just one afternoon. Use this comprehensive tutorial from Family Handy Man for setting up the system. All you need to do is order some reinforced plastic totes and you can get started.  

Author Bio: Jessica Thiefels has been writing and editing for more than 10 years and is now a professional freelancer and consultant. She's worked with a variety of real estate clients, and has written for Forbes, Inman, House Hunt Network, Homes.com and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07.

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