The DOs and DON’Ts to Convert Garage to Living Space
When buying a new home you might be looking to have more space for your family members to spend time and one solution may be to convert a garage to living space.
Adding space by converting a garage to living space is a good option for those that do not utilize their garage often.
Converting a seldom used garage can be a great way to add more living space to your home because it uses an already constructed structure. Consequently, you will not have to build new structures to your home.
Here are some DOs and DON’Ts to think about before tackling this major home improvement project.
Think About Function
The first step to convert a garage to living space is to consider the function of the living space. Converting a garage to living space such as a space for another family member to live in means having to set up a bathroom and possible kitchen options.
Converting a garage to living space for other functions such as a children’s playroom or a home office could mean considering other construction options. Figuring out the function of your additional living space can help you figure out the legal and zoning issues you will encounter when applying for a permit for construction.
Get A Permit To Convert Garage To Living Space
The type of permit you need will depend on the type of structure you plan on creating. You must also consider plans for plumbing, electrical, and insulation. Obtaining a permit to convert a garage to living space is essential for making sure your project is done legally and safely.
In order to convert garage to living space successfully, your structure must be considered either guest quarters or an accessory dwelling unit.
Guest quarters are living spaces that do not have a kitchen but can include a bathroom and a wet bar. This space is not meant for long-term rental but can just be used for temporary guests or as another bedroom space for family members.
In contrast, an accessory dwelling unit is basically a studio apartment. It should have insulated hurricane garage door, bathroom, and kitchen.
Create A Budget
Setting up a budget to convert your garage to living space can help make sure you do not end up spending more than you need to. A budget will also help ensure you are able to include all the features that you must include legally.
Creating plumbing to a structure without any will probably be quite expensive and so will be installing insulation to help regulate temperatures in the space. Figuring out how much these essentials cost, can give you an idea of what other additions you can afford such as the type of lighting and decor options you will have.
Alt-text: Converting a garage to living space is a major home project with pros and cons.
Forget To Consider Storage And Parking Loss
It is inevitable that to convert a garage to living space you will lose storage space and parking space. Consider your current living habits such as how much you actually use your garage on an everyday basis.
If you know your garage is an essential storage space for you, this project might not be the best way to add space. One option is to convert the garage to living space but then erect a separate smaller storage shed in your yard. This can give you the living space you want but also keep some storage space.
Additionally, if you are the type to tuck your car away into the garage every night, converting a garage to living space will take away that essential protection to your car. Putting up a carport or tent might help to provide that protection for your car that you desire.
Go With The First Contractor
Just as you should with any major home improvement project, shopping around for a contractor should be handled carefully and you should research your options.
To convert a garage to living space is a huge, major home improvement project. It is essential that you work with a contractor to keep your project safe and successful.
Collect recommendations from friends and family but make sure to meet with each contractor to discuss the project and your budget. You will also want to take a look at their previous work.
Assume It Will Add Value
Many homeowners assume that adding more space by converting a garage to living space will automatically add value to your home. However, this might not necessarily be the case.
If you plan on selling your home in the future, you should consider that not every buyer will consider this a valuable addition. Some buyers might favor a home that has a garage over additional living space.
Convert Garage to Living Space Successfully
While converting a garage to living space might seem like a simple project, it is actually a large home improvement project. Those thinking to convert a garage to living space should consider several DOs and DON’Ts to make sure their project is successful.