Makeover Time: Is a Garage Bar in Your Future?

Are you looking for a better way to use your garage? Perhaps you’ve been dreaming of the perfect man cave or family room. Want a space to hang out, have fun, and enjoy any number of hobbies?

It could be time to consider adding a garage bar. This space offers a lot more potential than you expect. For starters, you can create any finished space that you desire, including all the finishing touches and fun additions that you could imagine.

Plus, it can be a lot of fun to do a garage makeover. You won’t have to worry about living in the mess or trying to get around the project because it’s a garage, so it’s ok if it’s out of use for a minute. This can be a fun DIY project that gives you a space to create lifelong memories.

In the article below, we’ve compiled a three-step process that will help you create the perfect garage bar, no matter what you have in mind.

Enjoy your new space and play games with your friends!

Play pool and darts with your friends in your newly transformed garage! Image from Unsplash.

Step 1 – Time for a design plan

What do you have in mind? What can you afford to spend?

The end result that you have in mind will affect the renovation that you choose. You may want some simple upgrades that are more affordable, or you may want to create an elaborate custom design because you’ve got a little extra money to spend. In either case, you need to make sure that you’ve got a budget in place.

When you’re doing a full renovation, you’ll invest more time and there will be a lot more preparation required. Remember, too, that if you’re creating an additional living space, you’ll want to think about proper insulation, heating and cooling, and other creature comforts.

Even when you’re on a budget, you can do a lot to create the impression of a “brand new” room without spending a fortune. For starters, even a coat of paint can completely change the look and feel of the space.

And if you’re handy, why not consider doing some of the work yourself? DIY can save you money, but it does take some time and patience on your part. You’ll have to decide what’s best.

Have a plan for your garage transformation.

A budget and a plan will help you feel much more prepared for your garage improvement plan. Image from Unsplash.

*IMPORTANT: If you’re doing anything with electrical, plumbing, etc., you’ll want to make sure that you employ professionals with proper training, permits, and insurance. Otherwise, you could cause serious mishaps or even create safety risks that will cost even more to fix.

Tips and ideas to help your budget

To help yourself determine just how extensive this renovation will be, consider the space you have available and what you have to spend. Start by thinking about what you want and researching your needs. Consider asking friends and family what they’ve done with their own spaces or check out other examples of garage bars to get ideas.

The Internet is another great resource. For example, check out this list of 50 other existing man caves on Pinterest. You can find inspiration elsewhere, online, too.

Regardless of where you turn for inspiration, you’ll find plenty to love online. From game rooms to sports dens and even family-friendly spaces, there are plenty of projects and you’re sure to find one that appeals to you.

Step 2 – Prep to save time


Garages are notorious for becoming the dumping ground for clothes, sports equipment, donations, old paint cans, tools, etc. – it can pile up quickly.

The first thing that you need to do is pull everything out of the garage. This will make it easier to clean but it will also help you weed through things you don’t use. Not only will you declutter, but you’ll also have more space for your garage bar, or whatever you decide to do with the space.

Now, onto deep cleaning. If your garage is finished, clean shelving, the refrigerator, etc. Remove all the dust and mold from any surfaces, including the garage walls. Then, you can sweep and clean the floors.

Speaking of floors, what about those oil, paint, and rust stains? No worries! There’s a great article from Gilmour, a leading company in watering, gardening, and cleaning. They’ll show you great tips and tricks for cleaning concrete and keeping your garage floor in great shape.


Regardless of the finish level of your garage, you’ll want to check the insulation. Creating a living space should be comfortable—no insulation means you’ll be freezing or layering up when you shouldn’t have to. Check all doors, windows, and other cracks where air could infiltrate and cause drafts or make the space cooler.

Depending on whether your garage is attached or detached, you’ll need a varying level and type of insulation. This is measured by the R-value, which is representative of thermal resistance. Be sure to pay attention here and choose the right insulation for your space. The higher R-value insulation has, the better it will do to protect your space.

You’ll also have your choice of materials:

  • Fiberglass
  • Blown-in cellulose
  • Rigid foam
  • Spray foam
  • Etc.

You can learn everything that you need to know about each type when you check out this website. Not only will you create a comfortable space, but you’ll also save energy!

Garage door

This full-view garage door is a California, 18' x 8', Black aluminum frame, Clear glass.

Picture yourself in this beautiful space, looking out through the all-glass California garage door to see your backyard. Take special note of the stylish black aluminum frame.

The garage door is the fourth wall of your garage. R-value can help you choose a good garage door, but you will also want to consider maintenance, style and color, windows, and other features, etc. That way, you get the ideal door for all of your needs.

Design and windows

Looking to boost your curb appeal? A new garage door can definitely do the trick. Depending on the style of your door, of course, you’ll get different levels of thermal resistance and protection.

All-glass garage doors are trending right now, thanks to popular design and businesses like restaurants and bars that are using these doors as easy-open patio spaces. It’s also great for spaces that lack natural light. Worried about privacy? Tempered glass is an option, too!

Perhaps you live in a colder region, you may want to choose a garage door with fewer windows. Keep a couple for the light but get more panels than windows so you get better insulation. If you’re frustrated with condensation, add a dehumidifier to your garage to help dry things out a bit.

These garage doors are Princeton P-13 design, 9’x 7’, Desert Sand doors and overlays, Clear Panoramic windows.

Do you think you’ll get more from your garage by making it livable? If so, check out this Princeton P-13 garage door that features clear windows at the top. Choose the warm desert sand color for the panels to complete the look.


Granted, your garage door isn’t going to get as much use since the space is now for living, not parking. However, you’ll still want to make sure that you keep up with the maintenance of your garage door system, including all of its components.

For example, you could get an influx of cold air, water, and even debris and leaves in your garage when you have damaged weatherstripping. You need to fix this immediately to prevent moisture issues and other problems like rodents that you want to avoid at all costs.

You’ll find plenty of companies offering garage door maintenance services. These pros will check everything to ensure your door is working properly and that nothing is falling into disrepair.

Lighting and electricity

The lighting in your garage will help bring your project to life. It can define the space and create the ideal atmosphere for your intentions and enjoyment. For example, you may want to use darker lighting for a game room or home theater. You could also use windows for natural light to reduce your electricity costs.

Perhaps you’re worried that you don’t know enough about the lighting in your garage. No worries, because this article from Juniper, a US design and manufacturing company, can help you think about which lighting will be best for your project based on your end goals and use of the space.

As mentioned, you’ll want a warmer, dimmer light for relaxing or use in a home theater, while you will want to install brighter, direct lights for working or productivity.

Besides lighting, you’ll also want to make sure there are outlets on every wall. You’d always rather have too many than not enough in a room full of electronics, after all.

*IMPORTANT: In the event you live somewhere with extreme temperatures, you should consider putting heating and cooling systems in your new garage space. This can also help balance the humidity and create a more enjoyable living space.


Perhaps you are tired of that basic concrete floor. Fortunately, you’ll be happy to know there are tons of options out there to create the perfect floor, no matter what you have in mind. Check out this guide from Family Handyman that offers a a list of different alternatives for your flooring needs.

  • Sealant, paint, or stain designed for concrete
  • Roll-out mats
  • Flexible or rigid floor tiles
  • Epoxy finishes

Compare your budget to the costs and look at each flooring option’s pros and cons to help you decide how to proceed.

Step 3 – The most exciting part, decoration

And now it’s time to decorate. Get as creative as you want, adding fun features and other furnishings that will enhance the space.

  • Beverage bar

    Check out this guide to learn what options you have to create your own bar, as well as what materials and tools you’ll need. You don’t need to have a custom bar built and you certainly aren’t stuck doing it yourself. In the guide, there are solutions for budgets and needs of all sizes.

    Consider even adding a mini-fridge or a custom liquor cabinet to store beverages and give your guests conversation pieces, too.

  • Large, flat tv screen

    For those who are turning the garage into a sports cave, a premium HDTV or projection system will be a must-have. You’ll also want to invest in a premium sound system and limit ambient lighting so that images are clear.

    *IMPORTANT: Consider soundproofing if your garage is too close to another room in the house. You don’t want the whole house to hear the game, do you? You can even add another layer of drywall to help deaden sounds.

    Perhaps you are looking forward to spending hours binging your favorite shows—make sure that you choose comfortable seating for your new bar space. Being uncomfortable in your new space is not an option.

  • Games

    A garage bar isn’t complete without some darts, a pool table, or arcade games of some kind. You can even invest in a regulation poker or card table if you’d like. This will give you plenty of ways to enjoy your time in the space, and the same goes for your guests.

    Check local retail stores, online retailers, and even local people who might be selling their old garage or bar games to see what you can find.

Finish off your new garage living space with a brand-new garage door

Do you want your garage door to blend well with the rest of your space while remaining practical at the same time? Don’t hesitate to contact garage door specialists in your area who have done similar projects and understand your needs.

Because there is so much to choose from when you’re investing in a garage door, it’s not difficult to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, the experts at Charlie’s Overhead Door will help you make the ideal decision. Part of that includes dividing our selection of doors into 3 major styles:

This garage door is a California, 12' x 7', Black aluminum frame, Clear glass.

Do you like this look? This all-glass garage door is a California, 12' x 7', Black aluminum frame, Clear glass.

Make planning easier with FREE quotes for your garage door and system

Check out the Design Centre to get an idea of all the ways that you can customize your garage door. Ask about our free quote email, too, and how you can get yours. That will help you better plan your budget for the rest of the renovation and know what a good quality garage door is going to cost.

Ask the experts for assistance now

When you’re ready to get started or have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact Charlie's Overhead Door experts at 519-539-2988!

Our experts can help with everything from choosing doors to insulation, maintenance, and more, and can assist you every step of the way.

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