How to convert your garage into living space with easeIf you’re crunched for space, a garage conversion can be the ideal way to gain more living space without getting into expensive additions that you don’t have room to add. Garage conversions work well for home offices, home businesses, rental units, entertainment rooms, or anything else you’re imagining. If you’ve been mulling over turning your glorified storage shed into a cool room you’ll actually use, here’s how to convert your garage into living space with ease.

First, Dream Big

There are so many ways to convert your garage that you need to have vision of how you’re going to execute this. A one-car garage is too small to serve many purposes, so you’ll need to prioritize what it’s going to be converted to. Spend time browsing design blogs and home decor magazines to get an idea of what your options are. Once you’ve narrowed down what appeals to you and chosen your style of garage conversion, move forward.

Budget for Your Garage Conversion

Garage conversions may be cheaper than home additions, but they are not inexpensive. It can cost $20,000 to $50,000 to convert a two-car garage into a living space. If you want to add a bathroom, that means tying the space into existing home plumbing lines and that can add $15,000 to $25,000 to the cost.

As you budget, prepare yourself for the reality of having the garage converted. This home renovation often takes 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the complexity of the project. This means 4 to 6 weeks of workers coming in and out of your home, generating dust and construction debris, and making a lot of noise. Any type of home renovation can add stress to your life and alter your daily routine. You’ll have an easier go of it if you can plan ahead.

Find Professional Help 

A garage conversion is not a good DIY project, so ask friends and family if they can recommend architects. Not only will professional help prevent you from going crazy converting your garage, architects have the necessary knowledge (and licensing) to do the job correctly. They’ll also be aware of your town’s zoning and planning regulations and can develop plans to convert the garage into a living space while steering clear of local regulations.

If you ever want to sell your home down the road, an architect’s services will also help the garage conversion look well-done and not hodgepodge. Too many of the current garage conversions on the real estate market look like they were slapped together by weekend warriors reading DIY how-to guides. As a result, potential home buyers are turned off. When you’ve gotten professional help to develop an integrated family room, rental unit, or home office, you’ll succeed in adding real value to the home.

Build the Garage Conversion

Once you have the vision, the plans, and the permits, it’s time to find a local contractor who can execute your garage conversion. Your architect can often recommend qualified contractors with whom they have a good working relationship.

The contractors should be able to insulate the garage, lay down flooring, execute wiring and plumbing (if needed), add windows and doors if you want the space to feel more like an addition and less like a garage conversion, put up walls, and perform any finish work you want.

When done well, a garage conversion will increase the value of your home and increase your comfort living in the space. At Prime Draft Studio, we regularly develop garage conversion plans for our clients. We’d be happy to talk more with you about what to expect in the process and how to do this home renovation right. Contact us today with any questions.


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