Many people think the purpose of a garage functions only as a place to park a car and store items outside the home without any need to organize or redesign. However, what if you no longer need the space to house these items anymore because you need more space in your home? Or perhaps you are looking to increase your home's value because you are looking to sell or rent it? A garage can have a multipurpose functionality after thoughtful planning, which can add value to your home if it is set up for success. 

A garage remodel may be a good option for you if it is possible to access plumbing. Planning for plumbing codes and systems is essential if you are looking to convert the garage into another living space with a bathroom or kitchen. It is also vital to consider if there are enough street parking and storage in the home already since replacing an empty garage will take away that value. It wouldn't be worth the investment to lose extra space in a home if there are no alternative options to replace them.  Finally, consider heating and cooling in your budget. It would be ideal if your current system can support another room; if not, you may need to consider purchasing an independent system that will help the garage.  

If you haven’t considered these options yet, then getting a detailed site plan may be helpful for you before proceeding forward. These plans can give you all the information you need but will set you up for success when applying for building permits and redoing your landscape (which may include your garage).

If you have considered these options already, then converting your empty garage into some more may be worthwhile!  Continue reading to learn more about what to do with an empty garage.

Related: Basic, Medium, or Detailed - Which Site Plan Is Right For You?

Maximize Storage Space


Empty garage with only a  red car

The most simple change that you can do with an empty garage is to create a more stylish interior design to accommodate the diversity of different items. One way to achieve this design is by using high-quality storage systems to keep sports equipment, tools, craft supplies, bulk items off the floor. Building a storage system that maintains a clear floor surface will visually provide more space in the garage. Below are some suggestions of how to maximize storage space. 

Garage Walls 


Garage wall panel

There are many options to choose how to design your storage system. There is an option to include wall panels that provide grooves or holes where you can add shelves, storage bins, or hooks. This is a beneficial feature since it allows you to rearrange how your items are hung up. Also, there are so many different shelving designs that you can add, which will provide a more aesthetic appeal.  

Another option to maximize space is to use ceiling storage systems. These systems tend to have open corners so you can remove and replace items with ease. With items stored near the ceiling, you can quickly achieve a more clean and finished look by opening up more floor space. 

Related: How to Get a Custom Quote for Your 3-D Rendering Project

Garage Door


Pink Garage Door

Your storage system isn’t limited to the walls of the garage. The garage door can also be utilized. There are storage racks made for the back of the garage door to store small items such as fishing rods, brooms, hoes, and rakes.

Floor Storage Cabinets 

Depending on your garage's size, investing in floor storage cabinets may be an appropriate option! Although storage cabinets take up floor space, finding the right size of the storage unit could fit your needs to maximize space in your garage.  

3D Floor Plan 

There are many different ways to organize storage in your garages. However, it is sometimes difficult to determine if you will like the storage system once installed. To visualize your choices before purchasing items, a great solution is to request a 3D floor plan. This option allows you to play with space and offer multiple viewing options to see if your vision of the area matches the storage system you selected. 

Related: How a Floor Plan in 3D Can Help You Organize a Space with a Loft 


Redesign and Upgrade

Perhaps you are seeking a completely new vision in utilizing your empty garage space. There are many options for you to convert your garage into a new living space. Some possible ideas are building an entertainment space, creating a home gym, constructing a guest room, or home office. Below describes what you may need to thoroughly plan, organize, and budget for each upgraded space for an empty garage.

Entertainment Space 

Entertainment Studio

Whether it is creating an at-home movie theatre or music studio, you always want to make sure your walls are insulated, soundproof, and have the right amount of electrical outlets to accommodate different lighting, temperature, and sound systems. By having a site plan that includes electrical wiring, you can better prepare to see if you need an electrical permit before making drastic changes in your garage. In terms of cost, the price ranges from $20,000 to $50,000, depending on how many new changes are willing to include. You can always reach out to MySitePlan’s design team to help get a custom quote based on what your planning needs. 

Related: What To Include In Your Site Plan

Guest Room 

Small bedroom with two windows

Converting a garage into a guest room will significantly increase your home's value, primarily if your house is located in a highly populated city with limited surrounding housing like San Francisco or New York. If you eventually would like to sell or rent out your home, gaining an extra room will increase the amount of living space footage and attract renters seeking a 1-bedroom living environment. Before proceeding with this room revision idea, you want to make sure it is legal in your area and that you have the right permit that meets your house or building codes to convert a garage. If you are considering adding a bathroom or sink, you want to research what plumbing permits are necessary. MySitePlan can help you determine your county’s permit requirements by creating a site plan with the right information. The estimated budget can cost from $3,000 to $30,000. Remember, you can always contact MySitePlan to discuss with a planner to create a custom site plan and costs.

Curious about how to legally prepare, plan, and organize how to convert a garage into a master bedroom? Check out MySitePlan’s master bedroom garage conversion for detailed steps! 

Home Office or Gym

Room with windows and doors

Converting your empty garage to a home office or gym can be as minimal as adding new furniture while maintaining the same garage structure or complex as adding new windows, doors, flooring, and heating/cooling systems. Depending on your garage design, you may want to add a separate entry to add a more private entrance instead of walking from the inside of the main house. Typically garages do not have excellent ventilation, but adding in windows brings in more natural light and makes the room larger. All selling qualities for individuals may be seeking a gym or workspace. Creating a 2D floor plan can help you make the right decision to find the right positionings of windows and modify accordingly before making any construction changes. 

Related: A Quickstart Guide to Your Custom Site Plan

Additional Ideas

Below are some other ideas of what you can do with an empty garage space: 

  • Art Studio
  • Playroom 
  • Mudroom 
  • Additional Kitchen
  • In-Law Unit


Overall there are many different things you can do with an empty garage that suits your needs, costs, and interests. Even though there is a lot of diversity in changing your garage, all of these ideas need thorough design plans and the proper permits. Remember, a garage is a strong selling point for many buyers; however, depending on your home's purpose, converting it into an additional room can increase the value based on location. You still have to consider parking, storage, zoning laws, and market values to make sure converting your garage is the right investment choice. Luckily, with MySitePlan you can save in advance while ensuring you are covering all of your legal bases.  

Learn more about all the services you can include to make your home ideas come true! Check out MySitePlan’s additional services! 

Question Answer
What are the initial steps to consider before remodeling a garage into a living space? Prior to remodeling a garage into a living space, it's important to assess your current parking and storage needs to ensure these won't be negatively impacted. Additionally, verify that your existing HVAC system can accommodate another room or consider an independent system. A detailed site plan is also recommended to facilitate building permits and landscape redesign.
How can I ensure my garage conversion complies with local building codes? To ensure compliance with local building codes when converting your garage, you should obtain a detailed site plan that reflects current regulations. Consulting with professionals like MySitePlan can also help you acquire the necessary permits and meet any specific plumbing, electrical, or structural requirements.
What considerations should be made for ventilation when converting a garage? When converting a garage, especially into a home office or gym, improving ventilation is crucial. Consider adding windows to enhance natural light and airflow. Ensuring adequate ventilation will make the space more comfortable and compliant with building codes that may require a certain amount of air exchange.
Are there creative ways to maintain storage while converting a garage? Yes, even with a conversion, you can maintain storage by utilizing space-efficient solutions like overhead ceiling storage systems, wall-mounted panels with hooks and shelves, and possibly storage racks on the back of the garage door. These options help keep the floor clear and the garage organized.
How can I visually plan my garage conversion before committing to changes? To visually plan your garage conversion, consider requesting a 3D floor plan. This allows you to experiment with different layouts and storage solutions in a virtual environment, helping you visualize the end result before making any physical changes. MySitePlan offers services that can provide these visual planning tools.