More and more homeowners are using their garages as extensions of their living space: as children's play areas, workshops, hobby areas, laundry rooms and more. As the activity in the garage increases, so does the need to maintain a constant, comfortable temperature in this space.
For the attic, walls and crawl space you can use the same techniques outlined in our article on home insulation to increase the comfort level in your extended living space. But, there is one more, often overlooked, space in your garage where you can increase insulation value and energy efficiency - the garage door.
Look for a door with:
Good insulating qualities. Look for a door with an R-value of at least 3 in moderate to temperate climates. In harsher climates go up to an R-value of 10.
Weather seals between the sections. The seal may be designed into the mating surfaces of the panels or it may be in the form of gasket material that compresses when the door is closed.
A bottom seal/threshold. If the door doesn't come with a bottom seal standard, you can always add one to keep drafts and rain out.
If you have a garage-workshop, get the highest R-value you can in the door to make heating and cooling your work space easier.
For an additional bedroom, hobby room, office or den, it may better to add a room without adding on. This book shows how to turn little-used areas into extra living space. Every step of the project is covered, from basic construction techniques to finishing advice.