1-Car Garage-Turned-Family-Room

converted one car garage


Today I am excited to reveal our converted garage. We turned our 1-car garage into a family room. This room is really still a work in progress but I can’t wait to share it any longer. We live in a small, 1200 sq.- ft house. The downstairs consists of just an eat-in kitchen, an average size living room, and an attached one car garage. We debated many years on whether to sacrifice the garage in order to expand our living space. By debated, I mean I kept telling my husband, John, that we should and he kept saying no. Ten years later, I finally wore him down.

I would say from start to finish this project took us about 2 years or more. We worked on it as time/budget allowed. I will break the process down in steps.

 1. Add a window.

The first thing we did was add a double window to the south wall. Johns cousin, Robert, who happens to be an amazing carpenter by trade, installed this for us. We purchased the window at Home Depot, and it cost around $400. This is a picture of the room in progress, we had the window but hadn’t installed it yet.

Gar Before window

2. Add heating vents.

Our furnace and hot water heater happen to be in the room next to the garage so we just tapped into that and ran the venting from there. The room really doesn’t warm up like the rest of the house but with the electric fireplace on it gets very comfortable.

 3. Sheet rock, insulate, add outlets.

Next  John had to re-sheet rock and add insulation. Johns brother, Paul, helped out a lot with this. This was probably the most time-consuming and messy part.

4. Add lighting.

John, Paul and Ringo Robert added recessed lights above.

5. Build up sub floor, install flooring.

Before we could lay our flooring,  we had to build up the floor with a sub floor to make it level. Once Robert built it up, John and Paul laid our wood floor. The floor is laminate, by Hampton Bay* and we bought it at Home Depot. It was on sale for only $.99 a square foot! I am so happy with these floors.

6. Add wall over existing garage door.

Robert covered the wall where the garage door is by building it out. I had a clear vision of what I wanted this to look like in the end. I showed Robert many inspiration pictures I had saved. I knew I wanted the center bumped out to add a fireplace,  really making that the focal point. We purchased the electric fireplace and TV around this time so we could make them a custom fit in the bump out area. John added the outlets for the fireplace and the TV we planned to hang above.

converted garage room


converting a garage to a room

We did have some problem areas to deal with. We had an exposed electrical box on the left wall and a weird little door on the right wall, as you can see in the above photos. We obviously would still need  to access these so Robert came up with a plan. He bumped out each of these areas and added flush doors that we just press on to open.

7. Added planks (shiplap) for architectural interest.

Once Robert built the wall, John added planks using 1 X 4’s for architectural interest. This is another project I’ve always wanted John to do. It turned out to be pretty simple for him. He finished this project easily in a day. You can read how to install shiplap here.

adding a custom built electric fireplace

how to add a custom electric fireplace surround

8. Added a mantle.

Once the planks were up Robert constructed our mantel. He made the mantel at his house & brought it over to install.

converting a garage into a room

building a custom mantel and electric fireplace

We eventually plan to add shelves on either side of the fireplace, in the recessed areas. Sorry, these pictures are so fuzzy but I snapped these in my pre-blogging days.

converting a one car garage into a living room


garage before


converted garage after


garage conversion

The walls in the picture above are still bare, I haven’t found anything I love to put there yet. The coffee table/bench is pulled from my daughter’s room for now until I find something better. The chairs above are from Wayfair and I highly recommend them. The sofa (fabric color is parchment) and rug are from Pottery Barn.

More Garage pics


The pictures on either side of the TV are from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I was originally planning on putting mirrors there to reflect the light from the windows on the opposite wall but when I saw these I knew they were perfect. Not only in color, but they list all the Jersey Shore beach towns that we’ve grown up around.

garage room


The chairs shown above are just pulled from my kitchen for now. I have plans to update those. I am thinking about something like these from Arhaus, with a rustic coffee table to tie them in.

x back chair


I also plan on adding something in the corner to the right of the table, possibly a floor lamp or a tall plant, very undecided on that as of now.

converted garage space

diy curtains


I made the no-sew curtains myself, the fabric is from onlinefabricstore.net. The cabinet on the left is from Joss and Main. The bar cart to the right is actually my husband’s old tool cart that had always been in the garage, so I repurposed it for a bar cart.

Garage Maps

The world map above the cart, I bought on eBay for $20 and framed it using inexpensive frames from Wal-Mart. The basket next to the sofa is from Pottery Barn.

Here are some more before and after photos so you can see how far we’ve come with this project.

garage before

converted garage after

diy fireplace mantel

The walls are painted White Dove, the trim & the mantel are Bright White and the ceiling is Manchester Tan, all Benjamin Moore.

Now that the room is done, John is really happy we did it. We made some sacrifices, such as giving up that space for storage, we sold our treadmill that we no longer have room for, and got rid of our second refrigerator. But the added square feet of living space is well worth it.

What do you think? Is a converted garage worth giving up storage space for more living space? Leave a comment and let me know.

You can see updated photos of this space here.

*This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure here.


How to convert your garage into usable living space!



  1. Roxanne, It looks AMAZING. You did a beautiful job and I am sure you’re all enjoying the use of all that extra space! O absolutely LOVE the bar cart! Congrats! The site is beautiful as well! ~Alyson

  2. Looks awesome. When are the Beatles coming over? Rather see the Stones. lol

  3. Roxanne, You know I love all of your ideas. You are so creative I’m jealous but very talented indeed! This room is so great with all your unique touches. Everyone who has a garage would rather have this than storage so I totally agree with all you’ve done and glad John broke down finally. Enjoy your room!

  4. Roxanne,

    I absolutely love your design inspiration and your blog is fantastic!
    Keep up the great work 🙂


  5. This is really impressive! You’d never guess the space used to be a garage! I love the hardwood floors you chose–they’re beautiful!

    1. Thanks so much Carrie! You would never know those aren’t real hardwood floors, I’m very happy with them. 🙂

  6. Did you build a ceiling to cover up the garage door rails? Looks great!!

    1. Thanks, Elle. No, we didn’t build the ceiling up. We took the rails down and then just patched those areas.

  7. What did you do to the outside of the garage ? We are converting our garage too but no sure about the outside.

    1. We built the wall on the inside right over the garage door, so from the outside it still looks like a garage.

  8. I can’t tell you how fabulous I think this is, wow, what a fabulous job, a credit to you, well worth it..

    1. Janette, thank you!! 🙂

  9. sylvia11770 says:

    LOVE what you did with the place!!!! Really impressed with the bumped out wall and the interior design touches which utilized what you had and re-purposed so elegantly. I’m sure that your family will enjoy this area for many years to come.

    1. Thank you Sylvia. 🙂

    2. You didn’t say what the cost was, can you provide the total expense?

      1. Sam Hawkins says:

        I too am curious about this. We are looking to do something VERY similar to this and I wanted to know a round about number for the final project. Thanks in advance!

  10. I love your makeover! Gorgeous ! I was hoping to see some pictures of the doorway leading into the room. This a project I have done in my own home!

    1. Hi Cindy, I didn’t post pictures of the doorway because it’s still the original garage door. We intend to replace it with a french door eventually. It’s on the list of things we haven’t gotten around to yet. I’d love to see pictures of your garage!

  11. This is just magnificent! I could feel myself getting a little more excited with every photo ( probably the way you did when each step was completed lol )
    Adding the fire place was brilliant – you’ve certainly increased the value in your home with this makeover – just love it!
    Coming by from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia where we were featured – I’m the Kitchen makeover 🙂

    1. Thanks, Suzan for the sweet comments! I noticed your kitchen makeover and I LOVE it!

  12. My husband and I have been discussing doing something similar with our one car garage. Now you’ve given me something to show him so he’ll be even more convinced that this is space we really need! Yours turned out absolutely fantastic – really beautiful. All I can say is you rocked it, Roxanne!

  13. What?! Craziness! I never would have guessed it used to be a garage! Wonderful job, friend! Love this transformation! Thanks so much for linking up at Get Your DIY On!

    ~Abby =)

    1. Abby, thanks for stopping by & for the kind words!

  14. JaneEllen says:

    You and your hubs/friends/helpers all deserve a great big BRAVO, Incredible what you turned a one car garage into. I’d sure say heck ya, give up that storage. One thing about garages, they end up having everything just kinda thrown into them. Maybe not all but too many. Much better use of that space. I love it as I’m sure your family does. Great job. Happy week

  15. Hello! Love your new space, we are actually in the process, well thinking of doing the same thing, one question: Did you guys need a permit from the city? to do this??? I hear different stories of people saying you do, you don’t…any help will be appreciated. thank You so much!

  16. Love this remodel! I was wondering what you did with the electrical box?

  17. Looks great! We are interested in doing this to our garage. Curious what it looks like from the exterior. Could you post a picture of the outside?

  18. The makeover is absolutely stunning! I think it was well worth all the hard work you put into making it happen. I don’t think I’d miss the storage space at all. Enjoy!

  19. We are considering converting our attached one car garage in our small 1200 square foot Houston home. My only question is what does the outside look like? Did you keep everything looking the same out there?

    1. Yes, outside looks the same as before, we didn’t change that.

  20. I love , love, love it. We are getting ready to turn our garage into a living room. Yours gave me lots of great ideas. Ty for sharing It with us.

  21. It looks great. Can you tell me the approximate cost of conversion?

  22. We are thinking about converting our one car garage as well and would like to leave the door. Did the county allow you to get a permit with leaving the door?

    1. Yes they did, we added windows to the opposite wall. These rules differ from county to county and about a year after we did ours, they changed the rules in my town and other neighbors were not allowed to do so.

  23. Gilmer Gal says:

    This looks great! And I love the coffee table! Did you make it??

  24. lois black says:

    So very clever!!!! I lo
    ve what you have accomplished. You are very talented!!!!

    1. Thank you so much Lois!

  25. Love this so much we are actually using your design to create our own conversion. We are opening our existing LR into this room with a step down neat the fireplace wall. I was wondering the dementions or your mantel? And what you used as the surround for the fireplace? We have to have ours off the floor a bit more because we are doing carpet, but seem to be confused with what is in between the fireplace and the actual mantel?

  26. Alyssa Salinas says:

    It looks gorgeous! I am contemplating starting a project like this myself, can I ask how much approximately how much the entire project cost, minus the furniture?

    1. I’m going to say you can expect to pay around $7,000 if you are hiring out, less if you are handy and can do some of it yourselves.

  27. Hello Roxanne!

    Quick question, how did you guys take down the garage brackets/motor and still secure the door behind the drywall?

    1. Wondering the same thing as well….. Like what is the garage door on – did he have to switch out the bracket?

  28. Hi Roxanne,

    I loved the conversion.
    I am building a house in Sydney Australia, where i will have to construct double garage (council requirement) and later i am planning to convert one garage into living room.
    Can you let me know the dimensions of the garage you have converted ?
    and what advise you can give so i can incorporate in my construction plan

  29. Hello! I love this transformation! We are preparing to do something similar and are challenged with what to do with the outside of the garage to make it blend in with our brick home. Do you have any pictures of the outside of the conversion?

    1. Hi Nakia, we didn’t change the outside at all, it still looks like a garage from the street. I thought with the driveway there it would look odd to do anything else.

  30. What did you do to the outside where the garage door was?
    We are buying a house that the garage was converted but don’t like what they did to the outside.
    So looking for ideas

    1. We left the garage door as it was on the outside, we built a wall in between.

  31. What an amazing make over.
    We tend to use our garage for storage which is such a waste of valuable space.
    I’m currently renting & would love to set my car garage into a bedroom for my 2 teenage sons.

  32. Hello.!It looks Great. Did you remove all of the Tracks and the motor for the garage door and just left the door? Then built a wall in front if it? Did you consider Installing a side door just in case you wanted to have another means of egress? I may do the same type of remodel except i may add a door instead of a window.

    1. Yes, that is exactly what we did. We did consider a door rather than the windows, but there is an AC unit behind the house in that area. Good luck with your remodel!

      1. HI. We are currently doing the same thing to our third car GARAGE. I was wondering how you guys chose to seal the garage door begore framing the wall and dryWalling?

      2. Curious to know how you left the garage door if you took out the tracks since the door sits on the tracks. We’re about to do the same thing.

  33. Hi Roxanne,

    Did you ever install the french door into the hOuse, that you hAd mentioned at the BEGINNING of your post. We want to convert our one car garage into family room, small house really need the space! I was thinking of Putting a sliding barn door as entry into house, but french door sounds nice. Any pics of that?

  34. This is truly amazing! Loke most of the others I’m also looking to do a make over and this Is inspirational
    I just need for you and the hubs to come over !!! Lol!!
    My man has a problem with hammers 😏
    Enjioy your new space

    1. Correction like most of the others

  35. this is a beautiful conversion. I love the colors. What did you do with the storage items. I have contemplated a redo but I have no idea what to do for storage

  36. What a wonderful job you did. I love the way it looks. So comfortable. Congrats.

  37. Hi! I was just wondering what the outside looks like?!? Do you have any before and afters of that?

    1. Hi, we left the outside as it was. We covered it up from the inside so even though the door is still there, it isn’t functional.

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