Yes, you can turn a garage into a living space. However, you have to do some conversion to make the space habitable. The first step is to get permits from your local authority because of most of the local authorities need authorization before remodeling work begins. In states like California, senate bill 1069 allowed garage conversions after the housing crisis and more residents have now converted their garages into living spaces.
The process of conversion and turning a garage into a living space will take some time and money. You need to work on the garage to introduce windows, do some insulation and also control humidity.
Essential Tips Before you Turn a Garage into A Living Space
What kind of living space do you want?
You can turn your garage into an extra bedroom, a studio apartment or even a one-bedroom apartment. A one-car garage can be converted into a bedroom or a studio apartment. A two-car garage is big enough to fit a small one bedroom. Once you determine the kind of living space, you want, you can start the design planning for maximum utilisation of the space.
Cost of converting the garage into a living space (budget)
It is essential to work with a budget. You need to have a rough idea of how much it will cost you to convert a garage into a living space. The cost will depend on the size of the garage, fixtures and also several rooms that your intent to get from the garage. Check the cost of a garage conversion:
|One-car garage||$ 4000 to $ 25000|
|Two-car garage||$ 18000 to $ 50000|
|Average cost of bedroom conversion||$ 10000 to $ 12000|
|Hard wood floor||$ 10.5 per square foot|
|Carpet and floor padding||$ 35 per square foot|
|Interior wall||$ 1700 per wall|
|Cost of hiring professionals||$ 2000|
Install standard walls
When converting a garage into a living space, avoid anything fancy for the walls. Use the standard drywall or other drywall alternatives to make the space beautiful. You can also use concrete or veneer plaster for the construction. In case you feel like going an extra mile, consider installing a brick wall. A brick wall looks good even without paint, and it is durable. Walls are essential in case you want to divide the garage into several rooms. Make sure that the wall is durable and has a neutral look.
Bring natural lighting into the garage is essential to make the living space appealing. Make sure that you bring natural light by using windows. The cost of windows might be high considering that you might have to cut through the wall, but the process is worth it. Installing windows in strategic places of the garage can help you to save lighting cost. Apart from fitting windows, doors with glasses can also be helpful for the garage. A good ceiling light will also help in adding light to the garage. You can get lighting in different sizes and shapes depending on your preference.
Garage flooring can make the living space comfortable. It is always advisable to get flooring that will enhance the appearance and also enhance functionality. Wooden flooring is a good option for garage living, although you need to be ready for regular polishing.
In case you are not ready to do the whole flooring, consider installing carpet of interlocking mats. Space will look beautiful, and it will be functional. When using a carpet or interlocking mats, you can later convert the floor to whatever you like in future. Garage flooring options are limitless.
Leave the garage door alone
The garage door can be a big challenge when trying to do a conversion. Many people are tempted to replace the garage with a wall, but that is not a good idea. In case you are planning to sell the house in future, the new owner might need the garage door back.
Instead of replacing the garage door, do some insulation and seal it properly. It is still safe to remain with a garage door even after garage conversion. More so you will save a lot of costs if you leave the garage door as it is.
You might need to do some plumbing work in the garage. In case you want to convert it an apartment you will need a sink and toilet in the garage. At this point, you will be forced to hire a plumber.
Plumbing work might be the most expensive thing that you have to do during the garage conversion. With plumbing work, it is impossible to do it yourself. You need to hire a plumber to help you with installing the right plumbing system in your garage.
Ventilation and humidity control
Dampness in the garage might be a problem when you finally decide to convert it into a living area. It is essential to learn how to control humidity in the garage. For proper humidity control, make sure that you have ducts in the space to get rid of the moist air.
You might also want to buy an HVAC system that will help you to introduce fresh air in the room and get rid of moist air. Make sure that your floor is as dry as possible so that you can avoid the accumulation of moisture in the room.
Interior design is important in giving the garage a complete look. When it comes to interior design, make sure that you keep things simple and neutral. In case you are planning to rent the house, then a neutral looking space will attract more potential renters.
It is also advisable to make sure that the interior design of the garage goes in line with the rest of the house. Keep the theme as consistent as possible so that you can achieve a harmonious design for the rest of the house. In case you are planning to sell the house, the consistency of the design will be very beneficial.
Do you think a garage conversion is worth it? Would you convert your garage into a living space? Share your thoughts and comments.