Great ideas for your garage playroom

Converting a Garage to a Playroom

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How to Convert a Garage to a Playroom

Do any of the readers have any advice on converting a garage into a playroom? We are hoping to do the work ourselves, of course for as little as possible. We have two girls that are two and four. We live in Charleston, SC, so we have no basement, but we need to get the toys out of the bedrooms and have the girls sleep in one room. Any information is appreciated.
Paula H

Plan First!

Planning for future use now could really save time/money down the road. Plenty of outlets, as well as cabling for phone/audio- video/computer can be a godsend.

Something I wish had been done when the previous owner converted my garage to a room is include a wall of storage cabinets/closets (do you currently store more than just a car in your garage? Where's it all gonna go now?). A portion of my original garage was framed in to be a small storage room (accessed from outside, bummer), and a laundry room as well (this just happened to be located where the old hookups were in the garage - no plumbing change).

Add plenty of windows. Garages are notoriously dark, and nobody wants to play in a dark room. Be sure to insulate, insulate, insulate! Consider a pull-down ladder to access attic for storage if this is a separate space.

You might also like: DIY backyard play area tips

Get permits if required. At least where I am, if you go to sell and there aren't permits on file for renovations done since the last change of ownership, somebody's gonna pay! (usually you)

Consider uses and plan materials accordingly. For instance, are there certain materials for flooring/wall coverings that will make arts&crafts cleanups easier?

Our Experience

We converted our one car garage to a playroom and we also live in Charleston, SC. We did it ourselves except for the carpet installation. We care for our 3 grandchildren aged 6 months to 4 years and needed a place to contain them while at our home. We wanted to be able to convert it back to a garage at some point in the future. Here are the things we did to the garage.

  1. Insulated and paneled the walls with a white-ish colored paneling.
  2. Hooked a child's gate around the steps into the kitchen to keep the little ones from climbing the steps as we keep the kitchen door open.
  3. Installed ceiling fan, shop/fluorescent lighting.
  4. Installed one air duct for temperature control from main thermostat.
  5. Installed thickest carpet pad available and low pile industrial carpet of grayish color to not show dirt.
  6. Our washing machine and dryer are in the garage, so we installed a half wall to keep the children from getting to them.
  7. Purchased new air tight garage door and hung an insulated drapery with the rubber backing on a rod to make it look like a room. This drapery is opened each day to allow in sunlight through the windows.

This is all except for decorations. I think most people forget the air duct. It really is easier than you think.
Kelly H.

Painted Flooring

Someone asked about tips for turning a garage into a playroom. Our garage floor is hopelessly cracked, but we have a basement we recently converted and maybe the tips are interchangable.

For the past 2 years we didn't use the basement because water would come in when it rained. Last summer my husband built a makeshift french drain by digging a trench about 6" wide and 8"deep across the front of the house and out to the street. He made sure it sloped slightly to the street and lined the bottom with gravel. Then he placed a plastic pipe with holes throughout inside and covered with more gravel and dirt. Since then we have had no water in the basement!

Next we mopped the floor with bleach. At some point in time the floor was tile, but now it is just concrete with whatever that stuff is that you lay down tile with stuck all over it. We decided the cheapest, easiest and safest thing to do was to paint the floor (in case water ever comes in again).

We bought 1 gallon of deep red garage floor paint and 1 pint each of black, gray and pink garage floor paint. First we took the gray paint and painted a grid on the floor following the lines left by the old tile and let it dry overnight. Next we taped off a grid over these lines and painted red over that. We let this dry for several hours and then took a sponge and dabbled on the black and pink. After removing the tape we have what looks like large red tiles all over our floor! It is absolutely beautiful and everyone loves it!

The paint cost us about $60, it took less than 2 days and we have enough paint left to do it again if we need to. In 3 months of hard play it still looks great! We have used some throw rugs to make the floor a little "warmer." I would highly recommed this to anyone needing a garage/basement floor idea!
Patricia O.

Readers' tips for turning a garage into a family room

We Did a Kitchen

To the family that would like to convert their garage to a playroom, it's really a great idea. My husband and I converted our garage into a big country kitchen. We took out the garage door, framed out the space and put in a big bay window (the biggest expense) but worth it. Then its just a matter of insulating the walls,choosing a floor, and some lighting, if you can do the work yourselves thats half the battle. Just think what it would cost to build out or up on your home, that always more costly because most communities would need blueprints (also expensive).Anyway hope these tips help. Go for it!
Anna B.

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