What to do with a garage that you hardly use? One of our staff came up with a brilliant approach when she opted to convert her garage into a safe play space for her kids. With an active two-year-old son, and a baby daughter on the way, she decided that a conversion project would offer the entire family some amazing benefits.
We decided to learn more about her decision-making process as well as what it took to make the switch from garage to play space to show our readers how easily they can do the same. And the best part is that it could all be tackled in just a few short days.
Why opt to make the garage into a play space?
I guess the most obvious answer is “why not?” After all, we had two garage spaces and could use one to park cars while leaving the other empty. Instead of letting it become a catch all for junk or a waste of useable space, we decided it would be great to convert.
When we then asked ourselves “convert it into what?” and a playroom became the easiest answer. We have a backyard that our son uses to play, but it backs to the street and we often had soccer balls rolling out of the yard and into a dangerous area. We also live in a region with heavier winters, so our garage answered two needs – it was totally protected and spacious enough for kicking around a ball, and it kept everyone out of the winter cold.
What varieties of paint did you use on the concrete walls?
This was an easy choice. We opted for Behr premium Concrete & Garage Floor Paint (though there are many other equally reputable brands) because we could have it tinted to any hues we wanted and count on it to withstand the conditions. Just visit your big box or local hardware supplier and ask about concrete or garage floor paints.
Does the garage keep you warm all winter?
Yes, but it required some thought and planning. Though we had never struggled with really cold temperatures in the garage, we did make sure the door was a good fit to the region. It is a Cambridge door that features thermal resistance of R‑16. It is highly insulated and retains all of the heat inside. We also have a heating system for the space for bitter winter days or nights.
Is a garage door opener/remote in reach of your children?
For now, we have disconnected the garage door opener from the door. Though the kids can’t reach the openers, we decided to opt for safety. There are wall buttons, but they are out of reach and won’t open the door if tapped by the kids…or a ball!
Where did you get the storage and other gear for your playroom? (Floor mats, toys…)
In a word: IKEA. There is an overabundance of storage products, along with those limitless Pinterest “hacks” to consider. Affordable, flexible and easy to build, they were a no brainer for our space.
For flooring options, we invested in those fun puzzle floor mats. They are available at some of the big box stores like Walmart and Home Depot, but school supply vendors, Toys R Us, Canadian Tires and even online options like Amazon make them available. We also decorated with wall stickers purchased from DeSerres, a Canadian Arts and Crafts store, but if you are in the United States, Michaels and other crafts vendors have wall stickers too. These brighten the space and give it that distinctive “play room” feel.
Did you like this project idea? If so, share your thoughts with us! Also, consider sharing this article with family or friends to get their feedback and ideas too.