Things to Consider Before Converting your Garage

If your home is feeling a bit cramped, the idea of adding more living space by transforming your garage may seem ideal.  After all, it has to be cheaper than buying a new home or building an addition. Before you start turning your garage into a living space, here are some things to consider.

To convert your garage into a livable space, there are basic things that you will need to do, just for starters.  You will need to:

  • Install insulation and a moisture barrier underneath the floor
  • Insulate the walls and ceiling, if they aren’t already
  • Add an HVAC unit
  • Add electrical units and make sure they can handle the additional load
  • Get rid of the garage door and put in an insulated stud wall
  • Add additional windows and doors, if needed
  • Add plumbing for a bathroom and a kitchen should you turn your space into a studio apartment

Check with your city and figure out what permits you will need to start building.  The city will want to know if you plan on renting the space out, where you will park your car, etc., so make sure you have a plan in mind.  Most of these laws can be located on the city’s website, or you can go find out in person. Draw up the plans for the remodel and take them to city hall for approval.  For this kind of job, it’s recommended that you hire a reputable contractor who will know the laws and be able to handle the permits for you.

One thing to consider is the future value of your home.  If you have plans on one day selling the home, not having a garage could be a deal breaker for a lot of home buyers.  Contacting a realtor who is familiar with the market in your area would be a good person to reach out to to find out how the conversion would affect the sale of your home.

If you currently park your car in your garage, think about where you will park your car once the conversion is complete.  In some neighborhoods, parking on the street could be dangerous, as it could get hit by another car, or be more susceptible to being broken into.  

The biggest thing about converting a garage is to do it in a way that will make it appear that it was never a garage, and was always apart of the home.  Pay attention to the details not only inside your home, but the architectural details outside of the home. Think about what you will do with your driveway now that it won’t lead into the home.  

A garage conversion can certainly give your family more room, but keep in mind that to do it, it’s important to do it right.

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