As your children grove, they will require more space for play. Playing outdoors is an excellent physical activity, however, as the days go colder the period of time they can spend outside becomes shorter. Having to stay indoors can often be suffocating for kids, so to lessen their pain and reduce the damage done to your home, provide them with a play area they can truly enjoy in the winter months. Your garage, with its position and size, maybe just the right place for it.
Consider the extent of remodel
Before you start doing any work, make a plan. Decide on what you want to do with the garage. Do you want to make this remodel permanent, or do you plan to keep it for the next couple of years and then restore its original purpose? Depending on the climate in your area, you can get by with a minimal remodel. However, if where you are winters get cold, which we assume is the case since you are making this play area, you will have to invest a little extra to cover all grounds.
Obtain the permits
Speaking of covering all grounds, once you decide what you want to do with the free space, you need to seek the right permits. Visit your council to find out which of the permits you require and what you need to do to obtain them. There are certain fees involved, however, their cost is less than making an illegal remodel. You will most likely need a permit for changing the purpose of the room. Also, you may need one if there are council restrictions on reducing parking space or if you are exceeding your development limitations with this remodel.
Start from the bottom
Start by upgrading the floor. Since you are most likely dealing with a concrete slab floor, you probably need to establish first whether there is a vapor barrier to protect the room from moisture. If there is none, you should place a layer of polyethylene to serve as the barrier and proceed with insulation. It is up to you to choose the finishing flooring material. Perhaps wood provides the most warmth and hominess but it is often very slippery, particularly if you combine it with rugs. Laying a carpet, or carpet tiles might be a better and a safer solution, plus the carpet tiles are super easy to replace.
Check the wiring
Hire a licensed electrician to have a look at the current wiring in your garage. They can replace it and repair it accordingly. If there is nothing to repair, they can install additional light fixtures to make this space better-lit. Also, add a couple more outlets and light switches. Remember to protect the outlets or keep them out of reach if you plan on leaving your children unsupervised in the room.
The Door and windows
Unless you have a top-notch, energy-efficient garage door, you should think about replacing it. Probably for the overall aesthetics, you should consider replacing it anyway. Use the opportunity to create a glass-wall, close it off with a simple wall, with, or without a door leading outside. Also, assuming there are few or no windows in the garage, you probably want to add some. Make sure they are energy-efficient and provide sufficient insulation.
What to do with all that stuff?
After having remodeled your garage, I certainly hope that you still have a place to park your car. Another common issue is usually encountered by those who use the garage as a storage area. This is a perfect opportunity to declutter. Affordable Self Storage units may be the right solution for storing your belongings temporarily. This will help you declutter as you know you cannot keep them there forever, which will end up being another advantage of the remodel.
Once you have all of this in place, you can start decorating. You know your children best and you know what they will enjoy the most. If you are looking for ideas, the Internet is full of them. Whatever you do with it, your children will be happy they finally have a space of their own where they can run around without worrying whether they will knock something down and break it.
We have already touched upon the subject of insulation when we discussed the floors. Your garage, at least the outer walls and the roof, is most likely not properly insulated. First of all, check what the minimal requirements for isolation of living space are in your jurisdiction, as you do not want to go under that. Similarly, to what you have done with the floor, you need to make sure that the roof is properly insulated to prevent leakage and water damage. Since we have already pointed out that the windows should be energy-efficient, insulating the rest should make the room air-tight and easy to warm up.
Once you have the room properly insulated, heating should not be a problem. The easiest solution is to get the extra room connected to your existing system if the boiler can withstand it. If this is not the case, install underfloor heating as it is fairly easy and cost-efficient. Alternatively, you can install a split air conditioner and use it to heat the room in the winter and cool it in the summer.