Convert your Garage Into a Living Space; Things to Consider

When space becomes an issue, homeowners can get desperate to find ways that can be useful for carving space out of nothing. If things are getting really crowded and you need more space in your home, a good option is to convert your garage into living space.

While the costs do vary, depending on your specific plans and locations, a garage remodel will typically cost you half of what you would have to spend for making a home addition from scratch (creating a new building). Permits and legal issues are usually at a minimum, except in rare cases. Nonetheless, there are several things you need to consider before you take on a project like this.When you decide to convert garage to an apartment or any other living space, you will need to raise the floor (unless you decide to acid station the floor), insulate the walls, add cooling, heating and ventilation systems and update windows and doors. Before you start a garage makeover, it is essential to consider all these aspects. 

When is it a good idea to convert your garage to a living space?

garage to a living space

It is certainly better to convert your garage into a living space rather than building a new extension, but whether it is the right option or not depends on several factors. Let’s take a look at some: 

  • The garage door can be easily replaced. Can you incorporate an additional entrance where the overhead door for the garage used to be? This factor should be considered if you plan to convert the garage to an apartment because a separate door will be required. Otherwise, you can convert it into a different space and blend the door in such a way that it doesn’t look like a garage.
  • You can deal with cooling and heating. First, you should check if an additional room will be supported by your HVAC system as this can keep costs down. In this way, the ventilation can also cover your garage. Otherwise, the system needs to be updated, or a new one has to be added in, and you have to ensure it is affordable.
  • Is plumbing possible? If you plan to convert your garage into a room, then plumbing is not necessary, but if you are after an apartment, you will require plumbing because a kitchenette and bathroom have to be added. Putting in plumbing lines, especially drainage, can be quite costly.
  • Is there is adequate storage and parking available? If you convert garage to living space, you will eliminate your storage and parking permanently. You need to make sure you have an alternative option for storing your things and parking your vehicle.

Do you need a permit for converting your garage?

Rarely, is the good news. But as you are changing the way space is to be used, building permits may be required, but this also depends on the location. You need to get in touch with the Zoning Department in your city for additional information. It is always best to be sure. 

If a permit is required, a proposed floor plan has to be developed, and you need an architect for this purpose. The permit ensures that your plan is per local ordinances and building codes for living spaces. These codes dictate the number of entrances and exits, windows, outlets, the height of the ceiling and more. The cost of garage conversion permits varies, but the average is usually between $1,000 and $1,500.

If a permit was needed, an inspection would also be conducted at the end of renovation to ensure all requirements have been met.

Most conversions do not need to deal with the authorities as long as it is attached to the house.

What types of living spaces can we create?

types of living spaces

You decide. Convert your garage to a living space, and it can be anything you want. As long as any needed building code requirements are met, you can convert the garage into an apartment or even a single room. 

It can be a playroom, office, family room, art studio, bedroom or even a studio apartment. The only restrictions you have to deal with when converting your garage are those imposed by your budget or local regulations.

Does garage conversion boost your home’s value?

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As long as you convert garage to a room or anything else properly, i.e. following all building codes and requirements, your home’s value will increase. This value depends on how seamless the conversion turns out to be and the kind of room you build. In most cases, 80% of the cost of the project is recouped in terms of an increase in home value. The only way it can have a negative impact on your home’s value is if it creates a parking issue (you might not have anywhere to park afterward), or is done without all legal requirements or eliminates necessary storage space.

How much will a garage conversion cost?

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The cost of garage conversion will vary because it is completely dependent on what you are converting your garage into. On average, the cost can fall anywhere between $6,000 and $19,000, but again, this is subjective. The cost can be affected by several factors, such as the size of your garage, the amount of professional assistance you require and the type of room you decide to make. 

You can turn your garage into a simple living space or bedroom for as little as $5,000, but the cost of the project can go as high as $25,000 if you require plumbing for a kitchen or bathroom. The cost of garage conversion also includes the cost of insulation, windows, wall framing, electrical wiring and ducks and vents.

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Don’t forget the cost of renting a dumpster for waste removal.

While these are certainly important factors that will have an impact on your decision to convert your garage to a living space, it is also recommended that you consult with professionals

Talking to contractors and other professionals will help you determine whether a garage conversion is the best way for to you accomplish your goals of adding space to your home. This decision should not be made without taking into account the effect it would have on your home’s safety and value in the long term.

With that said, if you have alternatives for storage and parking, converting your garage into a room or even an apartment for rent is an excellent idea, not just for additional space, but also boosting your income.

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A lifestyle screen installed by Garageworks can help you enjoy your garage space open to the outdoors without the downside of leaving your door wide open.