Jump to content


DIY temporary garage room conversion... I need help!!

Recommended Posts

We have been looking for a bigger rental for over a month now, and 90% the time no one even calls us back. That's before we even get a chance to get into rental history, our crappy credit, or our 7 wonderful kids... I know we're not ideal, but we're not even getting our foot in the door!! I am sooooooooooo frustrated :glare: Currently, I have the 4 yr old sleeping with me (which I don't mind), the 6 yr old sleeping in a cool step 2 huge castle toddler bed next to me (which I also don't mind), and the 8 yr old sleeping in my smallish walk-in closet :( Then I have the 15 yr old in her own room/toy room. She used to share with the 6 yr old till the 6 yr old started having really bad dreams at night. Plus my 13 yr old, comes and stays 3 times a year as well. Then I have the 17 yr old and 15 yr old boy in another room. The 14 yr old boy either crashes in the livingroom with dad, who has sleep apnea and snores too horrible for him to sleep with me, or he sleeps on the trundle in his 15 yr old sisters room :( This is definitely not ideal, and it's driving me crazy!! This was only supposed to be a temporary arrangement after our rental home got foreclosed on... but we have been here over a year now :glare:


So since we are getting the shaft on trying to find a rental house- which in our specific little town there is very few of. And the next town over is only a bit better, but more $$. Course it doesn't help they want 3x the amount of a MINIMUM $1150 rent on up just for monthly income to qualify.


But anyway, back before when I was pretty set on being a single mom, I was going to try and do a temporary conversion of our garage that way the 8 yr old and 14 yr old could take over the boys' room now. I have a duplex, and mostly we don't mind it, some of us even like it :confused: We like our neighbors, we have a little back yard, and so far we've made everything "fit". Whatever I do, it needs to temporarily seal off the garage door, which we don't use anyway, for bugs and heating/cooling. I don't think I can put up any walls, because whatever we do needs to be easy enough to take down when we do eventually move. I also need padding and some sort of indoor/outdoor carpet. I've never attempted anything like this before, so I am daunted and scared. The older boys who'd be out there, don't mind, but I do... I feel like a bad mom :( But they think it's cool. We'll still have all our boxes and storage on one side. The washer and dryer is out there too. We'd put up fans or heaters during the months needed to help out with that. And they'd have a TV and their gaming stuff out there.


So, first... am I bad mom? And second if anyone has done something like this before, can you give some ideas, pointers, etc???


Thank SO much!!! This has been a HUGE stress for me :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We just enclosed our garage for a game room. We unhooked the garage door, but left it up and all the equipment up as well. The person we hired to put up the wall put everything in with screws instead of nails so it would be easier to take down in a hurry if we needed to do so. The wall studs and such are not actually screwed into the ceiling, but he did make them fit snugly so they wouldn't be knocked or fall down. He put something along the bottom of the garage door to seal it, but I can't remember what exactly. Between the door and the new wall we put regular roll insulation. We also put regular insulation in the ceiling/attic area to make the room warmer. On the floor right now we just have an assortment of throw rugs. I plan on putting down thicker carpets or tugs once I have the money.


The biggest issue is heating and coolling of that space. Even with new insulation and such, with no vents that area is much colder than the rest of the house. My dad put in a special unit for that space but it uses so much energy we don't like to turn it on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah yes, we are living your dream right now. We bought our house 2 years ago with the intention of converting the garage. We used the garage as is for about a year and a half but it was too cold in the winter so we ended up putting in a removable and insulated wall this fall and it is much warmer.


The floor is covered with carpet remnants that I bought from yard sales as well as couple vinyl pieces. I know people that have found usable carpet in dumpster outside stores that sell flooring.


You can also paint the floor and just use area rugs. My friends were building a house and finished and lived in the garage first. They etched and stained the concrete and it looks amazing.


I wanted interior walls right away since the garage is not only bedroom but school room and sewing room, as well; but after a few months I've come to the conclusion that it's not that big of deal. It's a double car garage and the boys have a far corner and are quite happy.


The *plan* is to do everything the right way but ah........life moves so quickly and projects so slowly when you have 6 (or 7) kids.


DH did the work in one weekend. The walls we built are actually on the outside of the house in front of the actual metal garage doors. Actually, our friends (who also have 6 kids) did the EXACT same thing to their house this winter, too, lol.


The wall is framed like a regular wall with studs every few feet and fiberglass insulation. The garage stays MUCH warmer now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did this. We put in a wall the width of our garage and insulate it. I put down those thick foam pieces you see under exercise equipment. That has really made the floor much warmer than just rugs. Sam's club has the cheapest price. We have a space heater in there and it has been cold this winter, but if you had two space heaters you could survive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I put down those thick foam pieces you see under exercise equipment. That has really made the floor much warmer than just rugs. Sam's club has the cheapest price.


I have a friend who did this in her garage to make it an exercise room. The foam pieces she had locked together (think big puzzle pieces) so they could easily be made to fit any size space.


If sealing the garage door is not possible, could you put up a big, heavy curtain to cover it floor to ceiling? That would probably require an awesome deal on fabric, but maybe you could find an old theater curtain on Craigslist that could be cut down. A nice velvet or other lined drape would make it much cozier in the winter, and if you put it on rings, you could sweep it aside in spring to let the air in.


I don't think you're a bad mom for putting your kids in the garage. It sounds very resourceful to me!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there a window in the garage, or an outside door? I'd be concerned about egress. If there were a fire in the home, the kids wouldn't have a way out of that garage. That's why a room without two exits (door and window) is not considered a bedroom. So just please be super careful with space heaters. If your landlord finds out, you will likely be in trouble. I know mine won't allow anything like that because of the risk of fire and liability.


:grouphug: It's a tough spot you are in. I hope you find a good solution!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Am I misunderstanding -- sounds like you have 3 bedrooms right now plus the walk in closet... can you just set up triple/quad bunks in each kids' room and have a boys room, a girls room, and a mom/dad room? (And get earplugs and a loud fan for the snoring!!)


If that won't work and you *have* to do something in the garage, I would set up an indoor type tent/cubicle thing. But getting it safely ventilated heating/cooling system and making sure there is a safe exit case of fire would greatly concern me.


here are some cute ideas for multiple bunks:





http://www.vrbo.com/196470 (scroll to the bottom, there are two bunk rooms)

http://designdazzle.blogspot.com/2010/07/bunk-room-ideas.html (several cute ideas here!)

http://www.designtrackmind.com/2010/04/best-bunk-rooms-ever.html (saved the best for last!!)


I'm picturing a triple bunk on one side of the room and a single loft on the other side so there is space underneath for clothes/toy storage.


I just love bunk rooms and plan to have a girls one and a boys one someday for my grandkids! :)

Edited by RanchGirl
added one more link!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, just some additional information...


It's only a 1 car garage, so not that big, but that's good because it's less space to be cold. Plus one side is a shared wall, so it doesn't get as cold as it could.


Here in TX, for whatever reason, people usually don't use their garages. We NEVER have, and there is no oil stains, etc on the floor so I don't think the previous renters did either. Most people on our block, in our old subdivision, and even in my MIL's afflauent area have turned their garages into another living space. It's kind of weird because they leave the door open, but there the sit playing poker, having parties, watching TV, sitting at their desks... NEVER seen anything like it. I know they do it during the summer, and during the winter they just shut the door.


Now, based on that the landlady won't care. Everyone here does it, and as long as we pay our rent she really could care less. Also the garage door is useable, so if I didn't seal it off, it could be used in case of a fire, and there is a door to the house. There is also a vent to the outside near wear the dyer is.


This whole things is quite the endeavor for me. And until I really got into my head that moving should be best, I was happy as a clam in my small downsized place. When we moved from Reno we left EVERYTHING behind... we are *still* trying to recoup beds and basic essentials. So we are filling the home as we go, and that's ok. I know it's not ideal... but neither is the idea of renting when so many owners are facing foreclosure. I REALLY, really, really, don't want to go through that again. We can't face the cost of moving on a dime like that again. It was stressful, and I shed a lot of tears. Even renting a house now is a HUGE trust issue with me. Plus we have faced a lot of unemployment... the rent of our little duplex is something I feel "safe" in. Moving up to over the $1000 dollar mark, makes me wanna bite my nails. Currently hubby has a 2 yr contract with a major computer company. It *might* go perm after that, but we never know. He is now 6 months into that contract. If it's one thing I have learned is that you can never count on anything... always be prepared for the worst.


As for the kids all sharing... it's not really feasible. I have tossed around the idea, after seeing The Duggars. But my 2 youngest girls wouldn't dream of leaving mom's room right now, and that's ok by me :) The 14 yr old has some issues and needs to have a room that can be his when he needs to be separated. He plays well with the 8 yr old, but the older boys and him don't really get along, and he needs to be able to have a break from that if he needs to.


I apprecoate all the suggestions... we are still watching the rentals, but at this point I am so disheartened I hav given up. I know hubby is still calling, but to me it's like what's the point? They never call us, and I am pretty sure that's because they already have apps with back-ups on the properties, so why bother calling people back?? And that includes one JUST listed!! One thing is for sure, it may suck to sell a house right now, but RENTING is fiercely competitive and HELL :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many, many years ago my cousin built a room for himself in the basement of the rental house they were living in. He was one of 7 children and really wanted a space of his own. The walls were concrete and he could not put any kind of holes in them. I hope I can explain this so it makes sense but what he did was to frame out all four walls (with 2x4's I think) like you would building a house (so when connected together they were free-standing), put sheet rock on the inside and outside of each stud and insulation in between the panels (the basement was cold). He made the ceiling by attaching drop-ceiling type panels to thinner wood strips that stretched across the top. His "door" was just an opening covered by a curtain. He cut holes in the walls near the floor where there were existing electrical outlets in the basement and ran wires through the wall to those plugs (usually using an extension cord).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...