Easy Garage Ideas for Creating the Ultimate Dual-Duty Space

Updated: Mar. 04, 2024

Family Handyman has been improving garages for decades. This year, we found a family overdue for a garage makeover. Their simple desire to clean up the garage led to a unique conversion that extended their living space while still leaving space for cars. It was a big transformation, but the projects were easy.

Hidden StorageMedia CabinetFloor CoatingAdditional OutletsHeating/CoolingFolding Workbench

The Dempseys—JD, Heather, sons Donavan and Jack, and their puppy, Joe Louis—have lived in their home for 14 years but had never given their garage any TLC. “It was kind of a mess, just a place to keep things,” says Heather. “When we first started the project, all I wanted was to declutter and clean up. Now it’s a great space to hang out with friends and family and entertain more often.” The following DIY projects can help you upgrade your garage into a multipurpose space, too:

Add an Attic Lift

installing an attic lift in garageFamily Handyman

We installed an electric attic lift for additional hidden storage space. That made moving out-of-season gear into the attic safe and effortless—and opened up lots of floor space. Aside from careful positioning and adjustments, the installation was quick and simple. Get the full how-to plans for this project.

Watch this video to learn more details about installing a storage lift like this yourself:

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Build a Basic Media Cabinet

tv cabinet in garageFamily Handyman

This idea could be as simple as hanging a TV on the wall. But we wanted to protect all the electronics from sawdust and stray basketballs, so we built a giant cabinet. Don’t be fooled by the size; it’s big, but construction was basic. Get the full plans for this impressive media cabinet.

Livable Floor Coating

garage floor coatingFamily Handyman

Concrete floors are bland and hard to keep clean. Our solution was an epoxy floor coating. More than any other project, this stunning floor transformed the garage into an inviting living space. Learn how to apply an epoxy floor coating with this step-by-step guide.

Add Garage Outlets

add garage outletsFamily Handyman

Installing surface-mounted raceway is the slickest way to add lighting or outlets in a finished garage—even if you’re already a master at running conduit or fishing wire. Like conduit, it eliminates the need to tear into walls or ceilings. Unlike conduit, it doesn’t require special tools or materials. A raceway system typically begins at an existing outlet. From there, it can run anywhere: up, down, around corners or in multiple directions at once. Get the full how-to for installing more garage outlets yourself.

Install a Ductless Heating & Cooling System

installing mini-split heating and cooling system in garageFamily Handyman

We added ductless mini-split heating/cooling in the Dempsey’s garage for year-round comfort. If you’re intimidated by this HVAC project, don’t be. Supplying the power took creative planning, but the rest was amazingly easy. See how it was done here.

Watch this video to learn more about what installing a mini-split system entails, so you can do it yourself:

Workbench That Stows

Folding Mobile Workbench 4Folding Mobile Workbench

If you need a work surface in your garage, but don’t have enough space for a permanent workbench, build one that folds up and rolls away! Get the full plans and watch a video tutorial for how to build this inexpensive folding mobile workbench.

If your garage is an unusable space in colder climates, consider purchasing a garage heater.

Next, check out our favorite garage door paint ideas and garage flooring ideas.