• Using Garages for Social Gatherings

    May 5, 2015 | Blog
  • The first spaces you think of when planning a get-together might be your living room or, basement party room, or even your backyard or deck. But have you considered your garage for an epic social gathering? With a few modifications, you can expand your living space and create a great casual party environment for family and friends.

    Before converting your garage, there are a some considerations:

    1. Parking: your garage is likely your primary parking location. So if you’re going to interrupt that use, even temporarily, you should make sure there is ample parking for your household and your guests. Lack of available parking is not only inconvenient but can frustrate enough that people decline your party invitation.
    2. Neighbors: be considerate of your neighbors. Will your party space (and the parking changes) cause them parking issues too? Are residences so close that your garage party might spill out onto their properties (or just feel like it)? Are your garage and garage door insulated enough to keep noise levels down? Will noise bother neighbors with the garage door open? The best scenario is that your neighbors are part of your social gathering and the event is fun for all—so the only flashing lights are from your DJ’s display and not on top of police cars busting you for disturbing the peace!
    3. Ordinances: it’s wise to understand your city ordinances and/or neighborhood association rules before hosting any parties at your home. But it’s especially important to know your municipality’s rules before making modifications to your home and whether permits are required for the work.

    Once you’ve dealt with considerations and cleared the way for your garage repurpose, you can get started with your transformation.

    Prepare the Space

    Clear out your garage, clean everything up, and add some fresh paint. A festive color will liven up the space, or a dark solid color can be a canvas for a nightclub atmosphere. Also consider applying an epoxy coating made especially for garage floors—it will make the floor more attractive but also more durable, both for hosting gatherings and stowing your car.

    Bring the Outdoors Inside

    Your garage has the largest opening to the outdoors of any room in your home. But a wide open garage door lets bugs, pests, heat, and prying eyes in. To enhance the space and make it great for parties and get-togethers, install a screen system. Your garage will be a much more comfortable extension of your home, and motorized retractable screen systems are a convenient option that enhance your living and recreation areas.

    Create a Wall of Sound

    Install a sound system with discreet speakers that fill the space but take up little room. Choose a flexible system that can accommodate wifi-based streaming, phones and MP3 players, and even vinyl for a retro party. If speakers will be installed near doors or windows (or will be used both inside and outside), weather resistance adds flexibility and peace of mind for those sudden rainshowers.

    Take it to a new level with a TV, a couple microphones, an internet connection, and some fun lighting for late night Karaoke marathons!

    Set the Table

    Invest in folding chairs and tables you can set up quickly and stow out of the way when your garage is in use as… a garage. If you have ceiling clearance, consider finishing off an overhead crawl space to maximize storage space. Reserve one folding table for a food buffet and set up guest seating with space for dancing the night away under a disco ball and festive decorations!

    After these basics are in place, add to the decor with artwork, throw rugs, and design accents that work year-round or highlight a special occasion or holiday. These final touches are easy to add on the day of the event since the basics are all in place.

    If you like to entertain but feel limited on space, expanding the usefulness of your garage is a great option. With a few additions and decorations, your garage won’t feel like an overflow room, but instead the go-to location for social gatherings in your neighborhood!