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Garage Conversions-The Ultimate How To Guide

Garage Conversions: The Ultimate How To Guide

Creating a livable space by transforming a garage is a great option for homeowners. It’s a great home improvement if your garage is more of a dumping ground for unwanted items than a location to store your vehicle. Converting a garage usually takes less time than building an addition, costs less money, and doesn’t require building permits. Further, the room can serve several functions, including but not limited to those of a living room, kitchen, or restroom, or those of a home office, gym, or theater.

Designing a garage conversion that flows well with the rest of your home is essential. Knowledge of the procedures involved in converting a garage and of the specialists and contractors to choose are also crucial. To help you plan your garage conversion project, we’ve included all the information you’ll need, including a breakdown of the prices involved.

What Is Garage Conversion?

Converting your garage into a habitable room is what is meant by the term “garage conversion.” There are several approaches to this. Some homeowners opt to add a fully functional apartment onto their property, complete with its own door, kitchen, and bathroom. A garage accessory dwelling unit (ADU) can function as a guest home or an additional rental unit. Some people even build entire houses around their garages! Your demands and goals will determine the best garage conversion for you. 

How much does a garage conversion cost?

The bottom line must always be considered when thinking about converting a garage. We consider that the estimated cost provided by many garage conversion guidelines is somewhat deceptive. The true value of knowing what factors will have the greatest impact on the total cost of a garage conversion is more than the difference in the price per pound. 

Types of Garage Conversion:

Many variables affect how much money you’ll need to convert your garage. Waterproofing and insulation are prerequisites for any garage conversion, but the final price tag may vary depending on the garage’s new purpose. A bedroom, on the other hand, needs very few supplementary fixtures beyond the bed and dresser to be considered a successful conversion.

Exterior garage conversion

Converting a garage into a habitable space may need obtaining building permits if any structural changes are made to the original garage. A majority of the money you’ll spend on planning approval will go toward paying an architect to make blueprints and submit an application. It might be highly expensive to submit many applications if your chances of approval are low.  

Costs for converting a listed garage

You will need listed building approval if you own a historically significant home. This includes making changes to the garage as well as the rest of the property. Listed approval requires highly detailed pre-planning guidance, including the hiring of architects, structural engineers, and building surveyors to assist with the application and produce papers such a Design and Access statement. 

Converting a garage into a habitable space: Some advice

A bit extra room is something that may be used by anybody. When planning a home’s layout, it’s easy to lose sight of the garage in favor of the kitchen, the master bedroom, or the completed basement.

Adding a garage is one option, but turning the garage into usable space is a much more cost-effective method to increase your home’s square footage. Because the basic framework is already in place, turning it into an interior space just requires the addition of walls, flooring, and other finishing touches.

Do Your Homework on Zoning

The legalities of transforming a garage into habitable space are crucial. The proliferation of short-term rentals has led to stricter regulations regarding the conversion of garages into living space in some areas.

Local regulations for converting garages into living quarters should be researched even if you have no intention of sharing or renting out your newly converted garage. When garage parking spaces are lost, it is often necessary to compensate by adding sufficient off-street parking.

Modify Your Financial Goals

The cost of converting a garage into a legal, usable area will always be high. Think of it as an alternative way of adding on to your home at a lower cost. A professionally constructed garage conversion might cost anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000.

Elevate Garage Floor

Some garages have floors that are 18 inches lower than the rest of the home. The garage floor should be elevated to the same level as the rest of the floor in the house using a raised or sleeper system for safety and aesthetic reasons.

Conceal Essential Features

The garage serves as the nerve center of your home, housing the water heater, furnace, and laundry machine. It might be troublesome and expensive to relocate these services, so it’s best to conceal them by constructing closets or inside walls.

Enlarge the Entryway

By enlarging the doorway between the home and the garage, you may facilitate easier movement between the two buildings. If the house’s footprint permits, you may create the impression of a larger space by installing a stronger beam over the door’s header and expanding its width by half.

Create Covered Parking

Do you adore your car? Then you’ll be horrified to see it out on the open driveway, exposed to the elements (snow, rain, sun, and pine sap). Make sure your automobile is safe by constructing a carport. Make sure there is an outside charging station for EVs.

Boost Your Curb Appeal

The exterior appearance of the converted garage is often overlooked in favor of the inside. One benefit of hiring an architect is that they may assist you make the garage match the rest of the house’s façade. Depending on the dimensions of the garage door opening, this may necessitate major adjustments to the fascia of the home.

Insulate the Garage Door

Leaving the garage door in place is another option for hiding the transformation of the garage. The garage door may be raised on occasion, allowing for a more casual and airy connection between the inside and outside. Invest in a new, insulated garage door if you decide to go this way.

Driveway Walls: A Separating Element

Driveways that end in nothing but a blank wall immediately raise suspicions of garage conversion. If you do away with the garage door, you’ll need to adjust the driveway’s end point.

Remove any remaining bricks or concrete to create a planting bed for your plants and flowers. This separation is just wide enough to distinguish the driveway from the garage.

Add Extra Space for Storing

Stuff in a garage usually gets rid of when new residents come in. The garage will no longer provide nearly as much storage space as before. Make do with a dry shed on a concrete slab as a substitute. Alternately, you may hire a storage unit and relocate your bulky stuff there.

Modifications That Will Make Your Garage Usable

Even if you can’t afford or postpone a full-scale remodeling of your garage, there are still ways to improve its livability. Build an outside space that may serve as a tavern, wine bar, workshop, or just a place to hang out with friends and neighbors.

Although these less ambitious endeavors fall short of producing truly useable garage space, they do have the advantage of being simpler and cheaper to construct.

Make Space for Play Areas

When you have a two- or three-car garage, you may partition off one parking space by using a wall, mobile room divider, or curtain. Put up a workout area, do yoga, or set your shop here.

Epoxy flooring or mats should be installed

A garage floor’s imperfections, cracks, and oil and grease stains can be unsightly. A fresh epoxy coating on the garage floor may do wonders for the space in a matter of hours. Garage floors that are too oily for epoxy coating have another alternative in the form of ridged, interlocking floor tiles.

Construct an Outdoor Bar or Wine Garden

Maintain space for vehicles, but add a bar and some lounge seating on one side of the garage. Bars, beer taps, wine coolers, retro arcade games, and anything else is amusing may be found in these more relaxed settings.

Add Wi-Fi or an Ethernet Cable.

A garage isn’t a true man cave unless it has a screen for watching the game on Sunday or playing video games with buddies. Boosting your Wi-Fi signal to the garage using an amplifier can do just that. Another option is to run an Ethernet connection all the way to the garage so that you can connect your electronics immediately.

Include Some Drywall

It is not uncommon for garage walls to be constructed with neither insulation nor drywall. Insulating and drywalling the garage is a good idea even if you don’t plan to turn it into livable space. Drywall just requires hanging; no sanding, priming, or painting is required.

Is transforming a garage worthwhile?

Think about whether or not converting your garage is worthwhile before you do anything else. You should give some thought to the following before you commit time and money to this conversion:

  • When might you fit me in? – Converting a garage into livable space is not a quick weekend undertaking. The amount of time you spend on this will vary depending on the kind of conversion you’re doing. Converting a garage too quickly might lead to costly and time-consuming problems. You need to be honest with yourself about whether or not you can devote your leisure time and weekends to the project. 
  • Extremely laborious – Due to differences in construction, garages are not as easily converted as regular homes. They are basically just blockwork buildings with one skin. This means that you will need to install insulation, damp proofing, and electrical wiring to make them habitable before you can even begin to consider about immediate decorations and features. 
  • A garage conversion may be a fun home improvement job, but before you dive in, you should ask yourself if you’ll actually use the extra space. The expense of installing surround sound, projectors, speakers, lighting, and furnishings when transforming a garage into a screening room is only one example. Was it really worth the price and effort if it was only utilized once a year?   
  • Can you make room for me? Garages often look like good candidates for conversion projects since they collect all sorts of useless items like old tools, paint cans, and unwanted Christmas presents. The obvious solution is to clean out the garage and turn it into a usable space, but you need first consider what will become of the items now stored there. Anything of value that you wish to save should be moved to a safer location, such a shed or attic, before it is thrown away. You probably can’t spare the room if you don’t have anywhere to put your garage goods. 

Will I Need a Permit to Transform My Garage?

Permits may be necessary in order to verify that your garage conversion satisfies local building requirements once you’ve finished. For instance, many garages lack windows, which may be a need for your new home. Your garage may need to remain a carport if your community prohibits roofed or off-street parking structures.

Before commencing a project of this nature, it is a good idea to learn as much as possible about the local zoning and construction regulations. In other places, like California, you need permission before you start building anything. It is important to notify utility companies if renovations to a building’s electrical system or power lines are expected to cause interruptions in service.

Concerns You Should Have Answered Before Converting Your Garage

The following is a summary of the six most important factors to think about when converting a garage.

  • First, unlike the rest of the house, garages are not prewired or insulated for heating and cooling. If you’re thinking about converting your garage into an extra bedroom, you should think about how much more energy you’ll need to maintain the space comfortable year-round. Think about the costs of heating and cooling the new room, and be sure your HVAC system can handle it.
  • Plan for alternate parking arrangements for when your garage is no longer usable as a parking place. Some houses have enough driveway space, while others may need their residents to park on the street. Don’t forget that your car and other garaged possessions will have to find new homes if you lose your garage.
  • Thirdly, plumbing and electrical installations: If you plan on putting in new plumbing fixtures like sinks, toilets, or showers, you should consult with a plumber. The time and effort required to put in new electrical outlets or light fixtures is something else to think about. You should talk to an electrician and learn about your home’s present electrical setup. Extra wiring for a detached garage can be routed through a conduit in the ground from the main home.
  • Your garage in its current condition: Find out if your garage can be made into a habitable area. Garage flooring made of concrete, for instance, are often inappropriate for residential usage and may need to be dug. Think about the quantity of drywall you may need to add or the amount of natural light that will enter the space once it has been transformed. You might have to put up new walls if there are exposed wiring.
  • If you require permission to transform your garage into livable space, you’ll have to recruit the services of many experts, including electricians, architects, and contractors. It can be time-consuming and expensive.

Convert Your Garage Right Away!  

Adding square footage to your home without breaking the bank is possible with a garage conversion. Since a garage can be converted into so many different rooms (including a kitchen, living room, or den), it’s one of the most flexible renovations you can do. The majority of garages are large enough to contain a whole apartment, which may be used to generate additional money or serve as a temporary residence for visitors. Dreamprint Home Remodeling is here to assist you in achieving any and all of your home improvement objectives. Make your ideal garage conversion a reality by contacting us now!