Should You Convert Your Garage Into A Room?
There are several questions you need to answer when you are deciding whether converting your garage into a room is a good idea or not. It is a big job and includes raising the floor, insulation, adding ventilation, heating, cooling and updating doors and windows.
Considerations When Converting a Garage Into a Room
When you decide that you need more living space in your home, converting your garage to an additional room is an attractive choice. The costs depend on your location and plans, but when you convert a garage, it costs about half the price of adding an additional room to your home from scratch. Read on to find the questions to ask yourself in your determination of a garage conversion.
When is Converting a Garage to a Room a Good Idea?
If you want to add additional living space to your house without starting from scratch, then a garage conversion can be a good option.
Is The Garage Door Easy to Replace for Your Space?
Your new living space will need patio doors or an additional entrance where the existing garage door is located. If you aren’t sure if you can blend this into your home’s current exterior so that it matches and doesn’t look like an afterthought, then you might just create a wall in the garage door area so it doesn’t look like it used to be a garage. You could then just have a walk in door in the wall where the garage door was located.
Is Heating and Cooling in Your Budget?
You can keep your costs down if you find out if your current HVAC system will support your additional room. If so, you only need to add the ventilation ducts to cover the garage area. If not, you may need to update your HVAC or purchase an additional independent system to provide your heating and cooling needs in your new room.
Is Plumbing Necessary?
If you are planning to turn your garage into an in-law suite or apartment, are you planning on a bathroom or a small kitchenette? You should start with contacting a plumber so they can guide you in adding plumbing lines and drainage, which can actually be the most expensive part of a garage conversion and this could actually put it outside of your budget.
Do you Have Adequate Parking and Storage Elsewhere?
When you convert your garage into a room, it means you are permanently eliminating your parking and storage space. Turning your garage into needed extra space may not be worth the investment if you need to purchase a large shed to store things in outside or if you have unreliable parking.
Do You Need a Permit to Convert Your Garage?
You will most likely need building permits for your conversion project because you are changing the way the space will be used. This varies by your exact location. Contact your city’s zoning department for more information on how to apply for garage conversion permits. You may need an architect to provide floor plans for the zoning department. Permits ensure that your plans meet local ordinance and building codes for living spaces. It can dictate how many windows you need in a space and the number of entrances and exits, the height of the ceiling and the number of electrical outlets needed. Some city ordinances or homeowner associations require a certain amount of covered parking that may prevent you from your conversion. If a permit is required, you will need an inspection at the end of the renovation project to make certain that you have met all building codes and zoning requirements.
What Type of a Room Can A Garage Become?
Your living space is totally customizable; however, it’s more costly to make an independent living space, like an apartment than it is to convert your garage into a single room. Some of the most popular garage conversions are a playroom, art studio, home office, family room, bedroom or a studio apartment or in law suite.
Does a Garage Conversion Add Value to Your Home?
If done correctly with the permits and obeying the building codes, converting your garage into a room will add value to your home. You can expect to recoup around 80 percent of the project cost in your home value. There are some cases in which it doesn’t add value to your home though. If lacking a garage for parking and there is limited space in your neighborhood it will lower your sale price. If you didn’t get permits or just did the conversion illegally, it will lower your sale price of your home. If you have little other storage when you remove the garage it will also potentially lower the sale price.
Alternatives to Garage Conversion
If parking or zoning restrictions mean that your garage conversion isn’t feasible to get more living space you have a few other options. You can do a basement remodel or an attic conversion and save the cost associated with an entire addition, just as with a garage conversion.
It’s best to go through this checklist when determining if it’s a good idea to convert your garage into more living space. Make certain you ask yourself all the pertinent questions before you start so you won’t end up with a halfway done project without the funds in your budget to proceed.