How To Turn Garage Into Living Space

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A Space For Work And Play

Garage Converted into AMAZING Modern Living Space – Tiny Home Tour

This old, concrete garage has been lovingly transformed by owner into the perfect home office and studio for both work and play. The project took Mark a few months to complete, during which time he stripped the interior, clad the walls with timber, painted the exposed beams on the ceiling and laid some new flooring. Now a tranquil and cosy space for working and relaxing, it’s the ultimate garage hideaway.

Do I Need An Architect For A Garage Conversion

Youâre itching for some extra space in the garage and ready to get going with your conversion project. So, do you need to consult an architect before you begin? While itâs a smart idea, itâs not essential. Hiring an architect can be expensive, and you may be able to consult with your homeâs builder or an engineer instead.

Will A Flat Garage Roof Need Replacing

If, on inspection, you see that water is lying in pools on the flat roof, then this has the potential to cause problems in the new space beneath. The roof will need repairing and the underlying fabric of the structure checking for damage.

Occasionally it is necessary to replace the entire roof. This is sometimes a welcome discovery swapping a flat roof for a pitched design can help tie the new space in with the rest of the house, aesthetically, although you may require planning permission to do so.

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Select The Right Kind Of Flooring

Most garages have concrete or cement floors, neither of which is ideal for a comfortable living space. As such, you will need to choose a durable flooring option for your converted garage. This can include linoleum, carpet, hardwood, laminate, or tile depending on your preferences and how you plan to use your new bonus room.

Is It Hard To Convert A Garage Into A Living Space

Garage Conversion

Converting a garage into a functional, comfortable, and attractive living space isnt easy, but depending on how extensive the renovation is, some experienced DIY home improvement enthusiasts will have what it takes to get the job done. For most people, however, hiring professionals to transform a typical 600-square-foot, two-car garage is the best way to go.

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What Does It Cost To Convert A Garage Into A Room

  • Garage conversions can cost from $5,000 USD to over $20,000 USD. While converting a garage is definitely cheaper than building a new addition to your home, its still a bit pricey to bring everything up to code. Most garages are built without the proper insulation, heating, and electrical systems, so youll need to make quite a few updates before you can use them as living spaces.XResearch source
  • Renovating your basement or finishing your attic might be an easier, more cost-effective renovation if youre looking for extra space.
  • How Much Does It Cost To Turn A Garage Into Living Space

    The cost depends on the complexity of the conversion, region of the country, and the interior finishes you select. On average, youll pay $10,00020,000, or more. A simple conversion, such as a living room, would be on the lower end, while any project that requires plumbing and appliances will cost considerably more. Cost also increases with higher-end finishesflooring, tiling, and windows. If adding a bathroom, youll pay an average cost of $10,00015,000.

    You can save money by doing some of the work yourself. Depending on your DIY skills, you can handle the demolition work, install insulation, lay down flooring, and paint the interior.

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    Garage Converted To Living Room Design

    Before you discredit the idea, its worth thinking about how you currently use your garage space. Is it a place to store everything that doesnt fit elsewhere in the home, or is it used for its purpose to house your car, or other fitting items?

    If you consider your garage a valuable part of your home as it is, then this might not be for you. However, if youre open minded and can visualize how the space could work to integrate with the rest of your home, its worth considering. When you look at the costs of extending your home, the prices of a garage conversion are not to be snubbed at

    Before you go ahead and convert the space. Think about the following:

    How will you use your new space? What are your plans for this new interior?

    Firstly, youll need to think about how youd like to use the additional space. Will the room be used separately from the rest of the house, and be most appropriate as an office or study? Or does the garage adjoin the kitchen and therefore the main benefit of the conversion would be to increase the square footage of your kitchen?

    You will also want to consider your garage size and whether it is large enough to accommodate your desired layout.

    Pinning down the answers to these questions will help you to figure out the extent of work required. Will you need to knock down any interior walls to adjoin the space? Or perhaps increase the floor height so it sits seamlessly with the rest of your home? Maybe the ceilings will need heightening?

    Plan For Additional Utilities

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

    Most garages, especially attached garages, are wired for electricity to some degree but generally not in a way that mirrors a conventional living space. For example, if you plan to convert your finished garage into a video game room, additional outlets and wiring may be required. This is also true if you plan to add a bathroom, sink, washer, or anything else that may require a water line.

    Running water lines and enhancing wiring can be costly, so its best to plan this ahead before starting the renovation process. These kinds of tasks are best left to the professionals, so youll want to include licensed plumbers and electricians in your budget.

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    Garage Conversion Not An Option Check Out These Alternatives

    If parking or zoning restrictions mean a garage conversion isnt a feasible way to give yourself some additional living space, consider a different renovation to add a room to your home.

    Options include:

    • A basement remodel.Youre still working with an existing structure, so youll still save money. However, converting your basement will mean potentially giving up even more storage space than converting your garage.
    • An attic conversion. If zoning or building codes prevent you from converting your garage, check out your attic. There, youll have the ability to add ceiling height if needed while still saving money by working in an existing space.

    How To Find A Garage

    Many general contractors can handle a garage conversion. A few companies actually specialize in garage conversions, and will handle the entire process for you, including designing the space and obtaining the necessary permits.

    Theres a lot to consider when turning a garage into living space, and most homeowners are happy when an experienced builder takes the time to explain those details at the very beginning of the project, Veron explains.

    When looking for a company that would help convert our very drab garage to a comfortable, cool, man cave/theater room, we found Edison Home Improvement, notes Yelper DJ M. of Encinitas, California. Our project manager was there every step of the way, with suggestions or changes we made. Any issues that arose were taken care of immediately.

    To get a realistic idea of overall costs, request bids format least three different contractors. Be sure to include details of the work to be performed and materials used. That way, youll know youre comparing prices for the same job.

    Although it may be time-consuming to gather all this information, its the best way to ensure the success of your project, Danny Lipford says.

    Also, find out how long the project will take. A simple conversion, such as a family room, can be completed in 24 weeks. Transforming a garage into an apartment with kitchen and bath, however, might take two months or longer.

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    Large And Luxurious Bathroom

    This stylish bathroom by Petit Suite is part of a 158-square-foot garage conversion in Ontario, Canada. The designer has created a plush room for relaxation and the luxurious retreat even has enough space for a sizable bathtub and even a washing machine. It couldn’t look further from a dusty, cold garage!

    What Plumbing Does A Garage Conversion Need

    Ideas For Turning A Garage Into A Living Space

    A garage conversion can make the perfect ground floor bathroom or shower room you’ll need to talk your plans through early on with your builder as new services will need to be planned in at an early stage.

    This depends on what you plan on using your garage conversion for.

    A survey should be carried out to locate the main outflows for water . Consider how far the garage is from the mains and waste pipes of the main house. The further the distance, the more digging pipes will add to your project’s cost.

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    Do You Need Permits For Garage

    Before you get too excited about transforming your garage into living space, check with your towns building department. It may not even be allowed. Like other home-remodeling projects, a garage conversion can be rejected for any number of reasons:

    • It violates your towns local zoning regulations.

    • Your homeowners association rules doesnt allow garage conversions.

    • Your home has a septic tank and youre converting the garage to a bedroom or apartment, causing plumbing issues. Permission could be denied unless you expand the septic system, usually at a huge expense.

    If youre allowed to convert the garage, get the necessary paperwork to apply for a building permit. That may include forms from the building department, zoning board, health department, and perhaps even an inland wetlands department. Youll also need to apply for separate permits for the plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems.

    Dont skimp on any of these, Lipford warns. Work done without proper permits can be a liability when its time to sell your home.

    Municipalities usually charge a building-permit application fee based on a percentage of the overall cost of the project. For example, the fee might be $10 per $1,000 of cost. So if the conversion costs $15,000, the application fee would be $150.

    What Are Garage Fire Door Regulations

    You must consider fire safety and the regs under Building Regulations Part B when it comes to your garage conversion project.

    Attached garage conversions are usually accessed by a hallway door, providing a safe means of escape to outside, but if you can only enter this new room from another room, it defines it as an inner room, explains building control officer Paul Hymers.

    Because a fire in the outer room could prevent your escape, the inner room will need an alternative escape route. That could be a door or window and so the role is often performed by the one replacing the garage doors at the front. Escape windows have minimum criteria. If you inner room is a kitchen, en suite, cloakroom WC or bathroom then it doesnt need an alternative exit.

    In partial conversions, where only part of the garage is being used as habitable space, the wall separating the two should be fire-rated to 30 minutes.

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    Does A Garage Conversion Add Value

    For the most part, experts agree that converting your garage into living space does not add value to your home. This isnt always the case it depends on where you live. And if youre planning to sell your home within three to five years, a garage conversion is usually not a good idea. If you live in an area where garages are desirable , it can actually lower your homes value.

    Andrew Brown, a real estate consultant from Keller Williams Realty in Massachusetts, suggests studying your neighborhood. Do most of your neighbors have garages? If so, this means garages are highly desirable in your neighborhood, and you affect your resale value by removing it and limit your buyer pool compared to the average seller, says Williams.

    Another expert, Cristina Miguelez, a remodeling specialist from says, Youll need to consider the fact that removing a garage from your property may lower your propertys value and your ability to sell it.

    However, if square footage is highly valued in your area, converting your garage into living space could increase your property value, giving you a boost when youre ready to sell. And if you are in your forever home and youre not concerned about your homes value, converting your garage to living space may be a viable option.

    How Much Does It Cost To Convert A Garage Into An Apartment

    Garage Conversion To Living Space | Cost Breakdown $$$

    Generally, you can expect a garage conversion to cost between $120,000-180,000 if youre in a major metropolitan area.

    Cost varies based on geographic location.

    In addition to the hard costs, which would be your construction costs there will be soft costs associated with your project which would include things like design fees, permits, title 24 calculations. See a sample budget below.

    Garage Conversion Costs:

    • Design Fees : $8,000-$13,000
    • Builders Risk Insurance: $2,000
    • Title 24 : $250

    Hard Costs:

    • Appliances that are not included: $2,000-$4,000

    Fees & Permits:

    Is that more expensive than you were anticipating? Youre not alone. Not only do people dramatically underestimate the cost of a garage conversion theres a ton of incorrect information circulating the internet! lists a garage conversion from $5,986 $19,163.

    Wait. What?

    Where are they getting these numbers from? I think the disconnect is people adding flooring, some drywall, and throwing a couch in. This does not increase property value and cannot be used as a habitable living space.

    Weve helped hundreds of homeowners legally convert their garages into rentable apartments, allowing them to bring in passive rental income and maximize their property. We can help you too!

    Check your address here to get connected to an ADU Agent. We can evaluate your property, help you compare general contractor bids, connect you to vetted ADU professionals, and much more.

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    A Conversion With Kerb Appeal

    This double garage conversion feels like a real home thanks to a few carefully selected details. Bachelorette Pad Flip gave the exterior a monochrome makeover in collaboration with Home Depot. Decaying garage doors were replaced with energy-efficient, black patio doors and new crisp white siding, while a black and white striped awning imparts plenty of kerb appeal.

    Does Converting A Garage Add Value To Your Home

    As long as a garage conversion is done correctly, with permits and obeying building codes, it will add value to your home. The value itself depends on how seamless the conversion is and the type of room you build.

    Typically, you can expect to recoup about 80 percent of the project cost in home value.

    A garage remodel can be detrimental to your home value if:

    • Your neighborhood requires covered parking or limits street parking. If lacking a garage will make parking complicated, it will lower your sale price.
    • The project is completed illegally or without permits. While permits may seem like a hassle upfront, they will help to increase the projects value in the long run.
    • The project eliminates necessary storage. If your home is already short on storage, removing the garage will only exacerbate the problem and potentially lower the sale price.

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    Does The Garage Count Towards The Square Footage Of A House

    If youre planning on selling your home, you may be unsure about whats being counted towards its square footage during the appraisal process. Unfinished garages dont count towards the total square footage of a house as they arent livable spaces. However, if your finished garage meets the requirements of having finished walls and flooring, climate control, and accessibility, it can count towards the total square footage measurement. If you choose to hire a professional to finish your garage, theyll obtain the proper permits for your project. Keep in mind that building permits are usually issued by the county you live in, so be sure to check with your city or town in case there are additional requirements.

    Produce Drawings Of The Garage Conversion

    Turn a garage into a living space

    The building department will have to approve your project. Your application for a permit will include at least 2 drawings in most communities.

    A site plan: This drawing is also called a plot plan. It shows the big picture of your propertys footprint. It has the outline of your home and garage, driveway, adjoining streets and other major features such as a sidewalk or permanent shed.

    The cost of a site plan starts at about $100 when purchased from a site like ours that specializes in them. You can get essentially the same drawing from an architect for multiple times the cost.

    A floorplan: This drawing shows how space within the garage will be allocated. Depending on how picky your local building department is, the floorplan will have to show the position of new walls and doors, wall thicknesses, insulation R-value, utilities, and other details.

    A cross section or elevation : This is the view from the side, as if viewing the garage conversion without walls. It shows wall and door heights, window locations and similar details.

    Many building code departments accept hand-drawn floorplans and cross sections as long as they are accurate and clear. If not, the contractor should be able to supply these drawings using software designed for the purpose.

    This garage conversion information package given to homeowners in Beaverton, OR shows examples of these drawings.

    Finalize your Budget and the Plan

    The information above should give you a very good ballpark idea of your costs.

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