Perhaps the easiest way to add on to your home is to convert your garage to a room. A standard two-car garage can provide more than 400 square feet of livable space. However, a complete conversion may require redoing major household systems and acquiring permits to comply with local regulations. Fortunately, there are ways you can use your garage space with fewer hassles.
If your commute to and from the gym lasts longer than your workout, it may be time to bring the gym home. Create your own workout space in the garage. Depending on the equipment you use, half the garage may be plenty. Cover the whole garage floor with epoxy or lay down some rubber tiles on just the half you will use to exercise. Install a garage door screen so you can have proper ventilation during your workout. The screen should be a simple weekend do it yourself project. Once the floor and door are done, just move in a piece of cardio equipment, a bench and some free weights and set aside a corner for cool-down stretching. Then let the workouts begin.
Perhaps your dining room is too small for your extended family to sit down together at holidays, or you love to host potluck dinners in inclement weather. Your garage can make an ideal place to gather. With a garage screen, you can let in fresh air and sunshine while protecting against pests; on breezy days, the screen will cut down on wind and prevent debris from ruining your party. You probably already have a refrigerator in the garage, so add a dry bar along one wall and keep folding tables and chairs on hand. Your garage can likely seat up to 20 people comfortably and still have enough room to set up a buffet and cocktail station.
Originally, the man cave was supposed to be in a basement. No basement? Convert the garage. Get the concrete floor polished and sealed, then insulate the walls and hang drywall. Replace your current roll-up door with a stylish wood or glass option, or at least insulate it to help maintain a comfortable inside temperature. Hang a ceiling fan and replace the fluorescent lighting with full-spectrum bulbs in chic industrial fixtures. Install cabinets along a side wall so you have plenty of storage with no clutter; add shelves to create an entertainment center that will accommodate a large-screen TV. Bring in a keg-sized refrigerator and the most comfortable reclining couch you can find.
You suddenly find yourself working from home more than you ever thought you would. You need a dedicated office space but you do not have a spare bedroom. A garage office can be a roomy, attractive option. Again, a sealed concrete floor, insulated walls, proper lighting and a stylish garage door provide a clean slate that you can outfit as necessary. Add area rugs for warmth. Bring proper office furniture including a large computer desk and comfortable office chair. A bookshelf can store office essentials and some framed family photos. Add potted plants and you will be ready to get to work.