Man‑cave, personal entertainment center, or a wish come true – no matter what you call it, having a home theater in your garage sounds pretty awesome, especially if your garage is otherwise underused.
However, setting up a garage home theater requires planning in order to get the results you want. Here’s what you need to do so it goes off without a hitch.
Clear Out Space in Your Garage
Garages are often used for storing things other than cars, like firewood, old appliances, or power tools. If you’re going to set up a home theater, make sure that all of those items and knick‑knacks you may have lying around there are taken care of first.
Make it Livable With Lighting, Heating, and Insulation
Since your garage was probably built to house your car, making it fit for other activities is the most time‑consuming stage of building your home theater. You need to add ducts to connect it to the house’s heating and cooling system, and also add insulation to maintain a steady temperature once the heating setup is in place. Finally, you’ll need more than just that single lightbulb that’s already there for a truly cinematic experience.
This means that you’ll have to do the following:
- Contact your local government to make sure you get all of the required licenses and permits before you start; make sure you also look into local noise regulations.
- Ensure your current furnace can handle the stress of heating up an additional room; if not, you may need to upgrade to a larger furnace first.
- Contact an electrician to ensure that your garage meets all of the electrical requirements to run a screen and a sound system, or to install any electrical systems to meet those requirements.
A contractor can help you with these tasks, as well as with understanding what tools and equipment you need to convert your garage into a home theater.
In particular, you’ll need:
- Vapor barriers — they ensure that outside moisture doesn’t seep into your new space
- Fiberglass insulation — this will keep your heating costs down and help maintain the temperature
- Caulking or foam sealant — this will close up any gaps around doors, windows, pipes, and wiring
- Steel ducts — they will connect the garage to your heating system
- Drywall – this will be the surface for your paint; a double layer of drywall also helps reduce noise leakage
Getting this equipment is particularly important when it comes to repurposing the garage door – since it’s often the thinnest part of the garage’s exterior and is meant to move, you’ll need extra insulation around it to ensure that it doesn’t let heat or sound escape.
Add the Finishing Touches
Once you’ve done the construction work necessary for your garage home theater, you can do the fun work of personalizing it. Choose a color like dark grey or maroon to give the walls a classic movie‑house feel and a thick carpet for comfort and added insulation.
Once those are in place, you’ll need to buy furniture for everyone to sit. Couches are fine, but you can also buy individual plush seats to make the room look even more authentic.
And, of course, you’ll actually need your theater screen and speaker system! Taking into account your city’s rules around noise, get the highest sound and display quality you can. Go the extra mile and also hook up your video game system, too – it’s the perfect addition for a place built to entertain.
An insulated garage door is a must for an immersive and comfortable home theater experience. If you’re thinking about upgrading, check out some of our available models!