If you own your home, realizing you don't have enough space for your family can seem like a nightmare. So how do you turn your garage into a room? How will you have as much as 600 square feet of additional living space?
Moving is a huge hassle, and building an addition from scratch is a costly and time-consuming project.
In this helpful guide, we will give you information on what to consider before you start your garage conversion.
We will discuss the potential costs and questions to ask before you get started. Also the potential pros and cons of the project to help you make your decision.
Here's a cool video showing how you can turn your garage into a room that is amazing:
One of the most popular questions homeowners ask before even contemplating turning their garage into a room is about the expected costs.
Since space is already an existing part of your home, expensive construction elements like pouring the foundation, erecting walls, and roofing the room have already been completed.
Most garage conversions cost less than half of what you would spend to build a new additional space of similar size.
How much your specific construction project costs will vary depending on the features you want to include, the materials you use, and the area in which you live.
Expect to spend between $20,000 and $50,000 to build it out. Also, if you want to add a bathroom or kitchen, add in $15,000 to $20,00 for each room.
Every home improvement project takes time, and your typical garage conversion will take four to six weeks to complete.
During that time, these are the common things that you or a contractor will need to do.
You’ll need to run septic or sewer lines, as well as water lines to accommodate these features.
These are just the basic steps. Next, we will address several frequently asked questions to give you a better idea of the scope of the project.
Although your garage already exists as part of the structure of your home, that doesn’t mean that you can begin construction immediately.
You’ll want to contact your local municipality’s permit office to see if you need to obtain permission to make changes.
A reputable contractor will likely assist you with this step, and they will draw up the plans and fill out the paperwork for you.
Any construction work done without appropriate permits can be a headache for new owners, and could also change how you price your home when it goes on the market.
Depending on where you live, there may also be zoning laws that dictate how you’ll need to construct the space. You may be required to follow regulations on heating and cooling. You can also build an alternate location to park your car.
If you’re considering building out a studio-style apartment and renting the space, the city may have restrictions on how many people are allowed to live there.
Check out the website or call the building department to ensure you understand all of the rules and regulations before you start your project.
The most common concern about garage conversions is that they won’t look natural when they’re finished.
Although there are hundreds of examples of people who have turned their garage into a room and done it poorly, it is possible to do it right and create a place that will look like it was always part of the living space.
The key is to transform the space completely and to remove all of the evidence that it used to be a garage in the process.
Taking steps like covering the opening where the garage door used to be and installing new windows that match the aesthetic of the rest of your house will make it look like the room was part of the original design.
It’s helpful to hire an expert to ensure you get it right. An experienced architect can recommend design elements and will add around 5% in total costs to your project.
This commonly asked question is a difficult one to answer because it depends on the housing market and trends in your area.
For some, adding an additional room, receiving space, or living space to the floorplan of your home will significantly increase the value.
However, in some areas, having a garage and the storage space that it provides is an in-demand feature and removing yours could negatively impact the value of your home.
Before you begin your project, spend time looking at the other houses in your neighborhood. Do your neighbors have garages or carports? Is street parking allowed where you live?
Where do people store their lawn equipment or tools?
You may also want to contact a local realtor to ask about buying trends where you live.
They will be able to tell you if garages are an item on the “must have” list for their clients. Also, they can tell if eliminating yours could impact your ability to sell down the road.
One of the most significant drawbacks to a garage conversion is the question of what to do with the items that you currently have in the space. For most homeowners, the top concern is their car.
First determine if you are able to park somewhere else on your property, or if you’re legally able to park in the street where you live.
Next, consider if eliminating garage parking will have a negative impact on your life. For example, if you live in a snowy area, will you be able to shovel your car out during a heavy snowfall and you need to get to work?
You’ll also want to think about what you will do with any other items that you’re storing in your garage.
Things like lawn equipment and tools may need to be protected from the elements. Thus it will be important to have another location on your property they can go.
Renting a storage unit is an option that many homeowners consider. Another option is building a shed or carport to give owners access to the additional storage space they need.
There are reasons to turn your garage into a room, but few drawbacks to contemplate before making your final decision.
Although the project is a cost-effective solution if you need more living space. Also, it could add long-term resale value to your home. Thus you need to make concessions to your lifestyle to make it happen.
The most prominent drawback is that you’re giving up an indoor parking space for your vehicle. As we mentioned above, that doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker if you have an alternate location to park.
However, the other side of the argument is that you lose out on your weather-protected parking. This means your car will be exposed to all of the elements all of the time.
If you live in a hot, sunny climate, this could cause premature aging to your vehicle. Also, if you’re in a cold area of the country, that means exposure to salt and snow.
In addition, if hail frequents your neighborhood, you won’t have a covered place to keep your car safe.
Regardless of where you live, cars parked outside are more likely to be broken into or vandalized. Keeping your car locked and installing an alarm system may help deter these types of crimes.
Indeed, exposed vehicles will always be more likely targets.
Finally, if you live in a densely populated area, parking could be a problem. Some municipalities don’t allow street parking.
Also, there may be an ordinance that requires your home to have a designated number of off-street parking spots.
Be sure to check on zoning and permit laws in your area before eliminating your garage to avoid issues.
In addition to losing covered parking, you’ll also lose the additional storage for outdoor items like lawn equipment.
Before you begin the project, take inventory of what you have currently and look for alternate solutions.
If you can find places to relocate these items, then a garage conversion may be the perfect choice for you.
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