Whether bedrooms, flex space, or an upstairs play room, finishing off living space over your garage is inexpensive square footage that makes your home live larger. But it takes careful attention to make sure this space is comfortable year-round.
Properly insulating this space requires extra air-sealing measures to keep these rooms comfortable. That means lots and lots of caulking joints during construction to prevent air leakage, plus as much insulation as you can get. Expanding foam insulating sealant in the exterior walls, roof/attic cavity, and between the floor and garage ceiling is an excellent choice. In cold climates, insulating the garage walls and insulated garage doors are important.
If your feet are warm, chances are you’ll feel warm all over, but the opposite is also true. And few things at home are more dreaded than climbing out of a warm bed and stepping onto cold floors! Hard surface flooring will be uncomfortably cold in these spaces (unless you choose a radiant floor heating system) so most people prefer carpeting. Here a premium, thicker pad will help keep the room warmer.
Energy efficient, Low-E of course! Other options available include double-panes, gas fills, heat-absorbing tints, insulated, low-emissivity coatings, and reflective coatings. Even the type of window frame and style of window play a factor in energy efficiency, heating, and cooling. And, you don’t have to compromise style for functionality! Don’t forget that window coverings also help with energy efficiency. (source: energy.gov)
Heating and Cooling
Talk with the heating and cooling contractor and ask their advice for keeping the area over the garage warm. Inquire about a zoned heating system–it may be a little more money, but rooms that are uncomfortably cold are no bargain.
Likewise, keeping the space cool in the warmer months is also an important factor. While a garage typically does not have a heating/cooling system installed, the heat that collects in your garage in the summertime rises to the room above, which can make the room quite uncomfortable. Again, talk with your contractor for installation; and, if you’re dealing with an existing area over the garage, check out duct-free heating and cooling products.
The Kincaid (plan #6710) shown at right is a great example of how utilizing 354 unfinished square feet makes your home live larger. And, the best part is, you can make the space over the garage anything you choose!
Search our plans by choosing two-story and Bonus Room feature.