Looking for more space? The answer could already be part of your home.
Converting a garage into a comfortable, livable space is easier than you think. Not only that, but this home project offers a lower price tag than building an addition. It’s the perfect solution if you are running out of space and there’s no other option. Here are some of the things you can do with your cold, damp, junkyard of a garage:
- Extra living room. The perfect spot for growing children to relax, watch tv, and play video games.
- Extra bedroom. A luxurious alternative to sleeping on the couch—guests will love their privacy.
- Kitchen extension (if it’s next to your kitchen). Now you can finally have that big kitchen of your dreams.
- Office. A secluded area far away from noise will be much appreciated.
- Home movie theater. Install a huge flat screen TV, quality speakers, and lounge furniture.
- Playroom. Pool tables, video games, board games, and more for family and friends.
- Home gym. Install mirrors, gym equipment, and even a small shower. Finally, get rid of that membership.
But before you go ahead and roll out a new carpet in your new living space, certain details must be met. Here are a few of our suggestions to get started in order to make you garage conversion a success:
1. Consult a building inspector
Make sure your new room meets city codes. See if your municipality has garage conversion regulations or standards. Otherwise, you could face fines over $1,000 in penalties. Just take your floor plans to a city planning office and get feedback. It’s better to do this crucial step up front.
2. Work with professionals
The key is to work with the right architect, contractor, electrician, etc. These guys know all about building codes, safety standards, and your type of project through and through. Professionals should understand what will and will not work for you, keeping your best interests at heart.
3. Insulation and comfort
Garages aren’t meant to be cozy. Without insulation, they’re hot in the summer and cold in the winter. If your garage walls offer insulation already, then you’re ahead of the game. If not, you’ll have to outfit the walls with stud framing with insulation in between. Furthermore, you should consider if your HVAC system can handle the extra space. If not, you’ll have to install another system. Alternatively, you could install baseboard heaters, window air conditioners, radiant floor heating, and even mini-split heaters/air conditioners. This new space needs to be as comfortable as possible, no matter what time of year it is.
If your garage floor is just a concrete slab, you’re in luck. You have a lot of flooring options available like tile, hardwood, and carpet. However, before any of this happens, the floor needs a moisture barrier application, patching, and cleaning. You’ll forget about the unforgiving, cold concrete floor in no time.
If a wet bar, kitchen, bathroom, or sink comes to mind when you think of your new garage, you’ll need a great contractor or highly rated plumber. For running water, supply and drain lines will need to be installed in the concrete. You should pay attention and address this feature of your project first.
Renovating and finishing your garage into a needed living space will not only increase your home’s resale value but also increase your quality of life. Expect a more affordable solution with fewer hurdles compared to an addition. While it won’t be easy, following our tips will ensure a more successful garage conversion project for you and your family.