Garage To Living Room Conversion

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Do I Need Building Consent For The Conversion Work

Garage Conversion To Living Space | Cost Breakdown $$$

A garage is a Class 10a building and is considered a non-habitable structure as set out in the Building Code of Australia . Converting a garage to a habitable room is a reclassification to Class 1a and will therefore require a Development Application and Approval from your local Council before commencement of any work.

How Do You Ventilate A Garage Conversion

Home ventilation is vital for a garage conversion, otherwise you’re just building a box that’s going to sweat.” says Mike Taylor from Taylor + Co Architects. Installing an openable window is an easy way to purge ventilation. The opening should have an area of at least 1:20 of the floor area of the room it serves, whereas bathroom windows can be any openable size. Trickle vents should also be incorporated into the window framework to provide background ventilation.

If your garage already has air bricks, these should not be covered up. Be mindful of Building Regulations regarding ventilation if converting a garage to include a bathroom, kitchen or utility room, as you’ll likely need an extractor unit to ensure moist air can be removed from the room. You’ll find all the information you need about ventilation in Building Regulations Part F.

Can A Garage Conversion Add Value To My Home

Ultimately, itll come down to the finish of the space and if its a useful addition to the home. A gratuitous room that is only useful for you right now may not add much value to potential buyers whereas something like a utility room could potentially add value to your home when it comes to selling.

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Cost To Finish A Garage

The cost to finish a garage is often less than the cost of a remodel, coming in at an average of about $5,000. Finishes should factor high on your list of materials before you begin your garage conversion.

The answers to the following questions will go far in determining your budget. Low-end finishes will save you big bucks at the time of renovation, but high-end finishes will help recoup your ROI when it comes time to sell.

  • Will you use tile or vinyl flooring?

  • Will countertops be composite or granite?

  • Drywall or paneling?

  • Wood cabinetry, veneer, or aluminum?

How Much Value Does A Garage Conversion Add

Pin by Rachel McQuerry on IDEAS (With images)

The value your garage conversion adds to your home depends on one thing: Do you live in an area where parking is a priority?

In many areas, converting a garage into a bedroom can add $5,000 or more in value to your home. However, if you live in an area where parking your car is prevalent, your home could lose value by converting your garage.

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What Will Be Needed In Your New Living Space

Although your garage was functional for the space it was originally intended, there will be several changes you will likely need for your newly habitable area.

1.Electrical. You will need receptacles that now meet electrical code requirements for your area. That will usually mean a receptacle for every 6 of useable wall space. You will also need adequate lighting. You may need to upgrade your electrical panel or install an auxiliary panel in order to accommodate your new electrical needs.

2.Windows. Your garage may or may not have windows and some municipalities will require windows to be of a certain size in a habitable area to provide natural light and air movement. Check your local by-laws to find out whats required in your area.

3.Ceiling. You will need a ceiling height minimum of 7 6. This usually isnt a problem with most garages but some of the older homes will have a short ceiling height. If you have a really high ceiling in your garage, you may want to lower the ceiling to create attic storage and save on heating.

4.Heating. You will want to heat the space if you live in an area that has cold weather during a few months of the year. You will need to extend the central heating or install baseboard heaters or fan driven wall heaters.

6.Insulation. You will need to insulate the walls and ceiling.

Do Garage Conversions Need Windows

Garages don’t always open onto hallways, and if this is the case for your build, you may be required to install a window that acts as a fire escape route under Building Regulations. This window is subject to certain criteria, including its height from the floor, how it opens and the size of the openable section:

  • Width and height no less than 450mm
  • Maximum 1100mm from the floor level
  • Openable area of 0.33m2 at the bottom of the window
  • Generally side hung windows are required

If your garage conversion opens directly onto a hallway providing a direct protected route to an external door, or has access to the exterior from within the garage, the window won’t be required.

Bear in mind, windows within garage conversions under Permitted Development are largely only allowed in the section replacing the garage door. Any new windows added to the side of your home may require a planning application.

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Zoning And Legal Issues

Changing space meant for vehicles into habitable, safe, and a conditioned living space invokes legal and zoning issues. Each garage must go through a significant legal transformation when it becomes a habitable and new conditioned space.

One determiner used by some municipalities is whether or not adequate provisions are being made to replace the parking stalls eliminated from the garage.

The transformation from a garage to a conditioned space requires the garage to meet technical and legal standards that were not required when the area only housed vehicles or acted as a storage area. On top of that, most municipalities’ building codes require a range of permits for the activities associated with this conversion: erecting or moving walls running water supply or drainage running sewer line adding windows installing a full electrical system.

Replace It With A Small House

Garage Converted into AMAZING Modern Living Space – Tiny Home Tour

If the idea of using the actual existing garage presents too many limitations, theres also the option to take down the garage and use the site for something else. Given that the area would be very small, if you want to build a house here it would have to have more than one floor and a cleverly-designed floor plan in order to be properly functional. You can check out the project done by studio Tikari Works which tackles exactly this idea.

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Custom Kitchen Garage Conversion

Even as a garage this period building would have enormous charm, with its gabled roof and mini clock tower, but we have to say that this custom kitchen really takes the space to the next level. Designed by deVOL Kitchens, the clean monochrome palette and restrained design creates a bright and airy space for cooking, eating and living. We love the Crittall French doors too!

How Can I Make My Garage Livable

To make your garage livable, at a minimum, you need to insulate the walls, add in legally required egress windows, install flooring, put up drywall, and add in air conditioning and heating. If you intend to use the space as a bedroom, office, bathroom, or kitchen, you will need to consider additional electrical and plumbing needs.

Hire a Garage Remodeling Contractor Today

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How Much Does A Diy Garage Conversion Cost

The average cost of a garage conversion is between $6,000 and $19,000, according to HomeAdvisor.

The total cost will depend on the size of your garage, the type of room you are constructing and the amount of professional contracting assistance you need. A garage can be turned into a simple bedroom or living space for as little as $5,000, but if you require plumbing for a bathroom or kitchen, the project can cost closer to $25,000.

Renovation Element
$415, average cost for a 20 yard dumpster rental

Should I Buy Insurance Before Converting My Garage

Converting a Garage Into a Living Space: Your Family vs. Your Car ...

In some instances, existing home cover might not spread to outbuildings, so this is especially important if youre planning on building a detached garage conversion that is separate from your propertys existing structure.

Further to this, you can get additional conversion insurance to cover you while the work is being carried out at your property. This can save you in the event of any accidents during the work, or if any of the contractors equipment is stolen.

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Do You Need Planning Permission

Under the National Construction Code, a garage is classed as a non-habitable structure or Class 10a building. A dwelling space must be a Class 1a habitable area.

To convert your garage, youll need it to be reclassified from a 10a to a 1a building. This will require development approval from your local council.

If your property is a strata title unit or townhouse, you will almost certainly need permission from the owners corporation to alter the garage. Check your corporations by laws or get in touch with your strata manager to be sure. Generally, anything that alters the usage or external appearance of your unit, even if its on your lot, will need permission.

Underestimating The Work Involved

When youâre converting a garage into a room, itâs common to underestimate the work involved. While the process is less complex than building from scratch in many cases â and less costly too â there are many steps involved.

Typically, garages donât inherently meet the same building standards that living spaces have to cover. You may need to raise the floor, thicken the walls for insulation, run electrical, update the ventilation, extend your heating and cooling system, update the windows or doors, and more.

Itâs crucial to take into account every step you need to take to meet local building codes. Otherwise, your attempt to turn a garage into a room wonât pass the inspection.

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How Much Value Will A Garage Conversion Add

Increasing your homes usable floor area will likely boost its cash value, and a garage conversion can add as much as 15% according to estate agent Portico, but you need to consider the individual circumstances of your home.

Does your home really need extra room? Do you have a drive to park on, or is there copious amounts of on-road parking? What is the price ceiling in your area? These factors will affect how attractive your home is to potential buyers and may affect the overall amount that converting a garage adds to the value of your home.

converted a detached garage into a new bedroom, joined to the existing house with this angular extension design.

Make Room For Crafting

FULL COST BREAKDOWN $$$ – Watch This Before Converting your Garage into Living Space!!

When your hobby needs a designated space , turn to the garage. Pegboard, complete with shelves and bins for storage, is hung above the desk to keep the table surface uncluttered and ready for crafting. Comfy beanbags give kiddos a spot to relax, read and chat while you put your hot glue gun to work.

See More Photos: Before and After: A Garage Makeover the Whole Family Can Enjoy

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Ensuring The Professional Is The Right Fit

First and foremost, you must ask for a written quote. This will help you avoid any cowboy traders, and will also give you some stability in knowing exactly what a contractor is offering you, under what timeframes, and for what price.

Having a verbal agreement with someone is not enough when it comes to big sums of money like those involved in garage conversions, so its always best to get everything in writing to negate any of these issues.

While researching your trader, get hold of their previous experience to see if the kind of work theyve already completed suits what you want doing at your property. Similarly, seeking out their references and any associated photos or videos of their past work is a good way to verify their claims with some verbatim comments from customers.

Finally, your contractor must have the appropriate insurance to cover themselves, their team and you while theyre at work. If someone doesnt have insurance, do not agree to work with them, as you could be liable for damages.

Not Doing Enough Research Before Hiring A Contractor

While this isnât just true for changing a garage into living space, as it applies to any work by professionals done on your home, itâs crucial to do plenty of research before you hire a contractor. Verify that they have the right kind of experience, are properly licensed and bonded, and that their reputation is rock solid.

Converting a garage into a bedroom, office, or any kind of living space is a big undertaking, requiring many steps. Above all, you want to choose a contractor that will do it right, on time, and on budget.

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The Build Quality Of Your Garage

Not all garages can be converted some are old, shoddily built and could be asbestos ridden. However, if yours was professionally built in the last 25 years, is made of brick or block and is structurally sound, theres a good chance you could convert it with very little fuss. Start by getting advice from a surveyor at the Building Control department of your local council.

Are Garage Conversions Legal In California

Garage Conversion

For California residents, as long as the garage is habitable space, it is legal to live in. California allows residents to convert their garages into livable spaces for more housing opportunities.

And as with many cities, you must obtain the proper permits and meet the specific requirements before converting or living in your garage.

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What Are Garage Conversion Insulation Requirements

If you want your garage conversion be a comfortable space to spend time in you will need to ensure it is properly insulated. If the garage is integrated, it’s likely to have been built to the same standard as the rest of the house in terms of its thermal performance, but this is not always the case. The garage’s construction will inevitably dictate the work required.

Adding external insulation is not usually recommended as, although it minimises the impact that extra insulation will have on internal spaces, it can cause issues externally with wall thicknesses.

The simplest method is to use insulated plasterboard, fixed to timber battens that are protected by a strip of damp proof course placed between batten and wall. Alternatively, insulation can be placed between battens, before a fireproof plasterboard is fixed to them.

Good insulation will not only insure your garage conversion is comfortable but is also a requirement of building regulations.

Insulating a roof typically becomes a consideration in detached and attached garages with no room above.


Floor insulation is always absent in a garage and including some in the conversion should be part of the project, whenever its possible.

Garage floors are often lower than the house floor and so adding a damp proof membrane , insulation and a new screed, along with your final floor covering, is a good method for how to level a floor up to that of the rest of your house.

Bright Living Room And Study Area

Here’s another stylish example of adding a mezzanine floor into the eaves of a double garage. This multifunctional study and lounge area features fitted furniture to create a practical and stylish living space. The Juliette balcony and skylights ensure the new room is flooded with light. Again, with any project like this involving structural amendments it is advisable to consult a structural engineer and architect and the project may be subject to approval.

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Will You Need To Install New Utilities

According to Harper, running new plumbing and electrical lines can be more straightforward with a garage conversion rather than an addition, but if youre adding a bathroom or kitchen, the project will require special permits. Uyars garage luckily had a full bathroom in it, so they only needed to move it, not get approval for an entire new one.

A kitchen will also need gas lines, and any space will need proper heating and cooling ducts, as most garages are not connected to a homes HVAC system. Installing ducts and vents can cost up to $2,000. Along with that, proper insulation is needed to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Sleeping Loft Garage Conversion In Santa Barbra

How to Convert a Garage to Living Space | Garage Conversion Video Tour

We all need a special place where we can find our peace and unleash our creativity. This splendid loft has almost everything you need: a sleeping area, a small kitchen and bathroom, huge barn doors with a rustic charm and a beautiful climbing plant that will bring freshness to this space. Such a lovely setting would make you dream about an endless summer..

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Loss Of Storage And Parking

Much of what is currently stored in your garage could go into a new shed, the basement, or attic, or be sold at a garage sale. To protect your vehicle from the elements, consider building a carport. If your property is large enough, you might even consider building a new detached garage while converting the old attached garage to valuable living space.

Tips On Garage Conversion Into A Living Space

Everyone could use a little more space in their home. Looking in all directionsaddition in back, another floor on top or finished basement belowone area off to the side often gets ignored: the garage.

Installing a garage is one thing, but converting a garage into living space is one of the less expensive ways to add a large amount of room to your home. Since the outer structure is already built, conversion is a matter of creating walls, flooring and other elements that define an indoor space.

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