A lot of homeowners shy away from a garage conversion because they fear it might decrease the value of their home. However, this type of remodel could actually increase that value in the long run—if done correctly.

Garages carry a lot of weight when it comes to the worth of a home. After all, most people would rather have shelter for their cars than more livable square footage. Some buyers won’t even look at a home if it lacks a decent garage. However, there are ways to convert this space without detracting from a buyer’s needs while maintaining your home’s value. Here’s how to increase your home’s value with a garage conversion:

Build up
If the design of your home allows, consider building an extra living space above the garage, like an apartment. Here you can have the best of both worlds: an intact parking garage and an opportunity for extra income. You can rent the room out or offer it as a comfortable place for your guests. Plus, when you go to sell, an extra bedroom will look extra enticing to buyers.

Take and replace
If you transform your garage into more living space, make sure whatever you take away you put back somewhere else. For instance, if your garage provided a lot of storage before the conversion, put a shed or other container on the property to hold these items. Also, you need to consider if this project will take away parking spaces. Street parking can be a pain, so ensuring there’s enough parking is key to retaining the value of your home.

Don’t cut corners
Garage conversions shouldn’t be DIY projects. They should be handled by experts and not by sub-par contractors, especially if plumbing and HVAC systems are needed. More often than not, these remodels are done by inexperienced homeowners or bargain professionals, leaving a poor excuse for a remodel. If you try to save a few bucks, you’ll pay in the long run. Furthermore, some homeowners don’t get the right permits for these types of transformations. This raises a red flag for buyers, as their banks might not allow them to finance a home with a non-permitted remodel. Keep it legal so you don’t run into this type of problem later on.

Great for older, smaller garages
If you have a backyard garage that barely fits a car as it is, converting it to a home office or lounge would be a great way to add value. This creates a private space that any homeowner can enjoy. Consider this option if your garage mainly holds junk.

Think about your current needs
Converting your garage into livable space could be very valuable to your family and its current needs. Adding some extra room for family activities like a movie room, playroom, lounge area, or multimedia center could add more enjoyment on a daily basis. Make the conversion work for your family right now, as you live in the home, without thinking about the future price tag. You can always convert the garage back to its previous form, especially if you don’t remove the door.

Garage conversions can definitely increase value to a home when done correctly. It should be approached thoughtfully with foresight from experienced professionals. Gauging what buyers will want from the home is a great place to start. Make sure the functions the garage provides are met elsewhere on the property, like a big driveway and storage unit. You should also consider your individual needs and how they can be met at the same time.

These projects can be tricky to navigate, but with the right guidance, you can have a successful conversion experience without losing a profit.