For most homeowners, a garage is a place to store cars and tools, or to act as a “bin” for anything that is not currently in your home. However, with a little imagination and extra preparation, it is possible to turn a garage into a usable space for far more than just storage. And if you want to add a little extra living space, upgrading an unused garage into a bonus room is a great option to maximize your home’s square footage.
While converting your garage into living space may seem like an easy project for most home improvement, there are plenty of heavy lifting tasks, including insulating the walls, weathering doors and windows, updating the flooring, and other upgrades to make it a livable one To make space. Here’s what you need to know to convert your garage into a practical, yet stylish addition.
Start with a plan
Before you begin, make sure you understand the scope of your project, your budget, and the steps you need to take to ensure that your renovation meets or exceeds your expectations. First and foremost, creating a plan is an essential step in any home renovation. Before you call a contractor or buy insulation to install yourself at the hardware store, you need to make a plan to establish:
- How much money do you have to spend renovating your garage?
- How to plan the use of space after the garage renovation is complete
- What utilities you’d like to include in your bonus room, such as running water or electricity that may not yet be there
- If Building permit are required in your area
- A schedule for project completion
- Potential contracting resources to support planning and implementation
Clear the room
Before you can jump right into completing a garage, you need to remove all items and find alternative storage options. Items that you want to put back in your garage after the renovation is complete will also need to be temporarily relocated. Depending on how you are currently using your garage space, this can be a quick task or drag on for days. So plan your renovation plan accordingly.
Insulate the walls
Most garages are designed for the storage of cars, the main purpose of course being to protect them from the elements rather than keeping temperatures at a comfortable level. However, if you want to use the area as additional living space, Insulate your garage should be a priority to accommodate temperature fluctuations.
This can be a challenging task, especially for those new to insulating and finishing walls. Hence, hiring a professional contractor can help resolve any installation concerns. A professional can determine the best insulation for your proposed space and ensure that the insulation is installed correctly.
Weathering doors and windows
Since temperature control in standard garages, doors and windows is rarely a priority, they are usually not weathered like a house. However, if your finished garage is to double as a workshop or hobby area, weatherproof doors and windows can help save energy all year round. In addition, if you live in an area with fluctuating temperatures, such as Ottawa, ON, it prevents unpleasant cold or damp air from entering the room.
The weathering required for your garage space depends on the current construction – for example, not all garages have windows or additional doors – so a contractor can be of valuable help in identifying needs and implementing effective plans. This can be as simple as adding extra insulation around openings or as complex as completely replacing doors and windows with more suitable alternatives.
Plan for additional utilities
Most garages, especially attached garages, have some degree of power, but generally not to mirror a traditional living space. If you want televisions, video game systems, stereos, or kitchen rooms in your finished garage, additional electrical outlets and cables may be required. This is true even if you plan on adding a bathroom, sink, washing machine, or anything else that might require a plumbing.
Running water pipes and improving wiring can be costly, so it is best to plan ahead before starting the renovation. It’s best to leave these types of tasks to the professionals, so be sure to include licensed plumbers and electricians in your budget.
Finish walls and ceilings
Once the insulation is in place, finishing the walls and ceilings will help bring the space together. This step transforms your garage from a cold and functional space into something comfortable and enjoyable. This generally involves applying a layer of drywall before any wall or ceiling treatment. Again, a contractor can be an asset, making sure your walls and ceilings are code-correct and ready for things like a wall-mounted television or hanging lights.
Choose the right flooring
Most garages have concrete or cement floors, neither of which are ideal for comfortable living space. Hence, you need to choose durable flooring for your converted garage. This could include linoleum, carpet, hardwood, laminate, or tile, depending on your preferences and the planned use of your new one Bonus space.
Install smoke alarm
Every living area requires smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms by law. These safety measures are designed to save lives, so make sure this little detail isn’t overlooked as you complete your renovation.
Adjustments to garage entrances
Whether you want to leave your garage door intact, seal the entrance, or replace it with another door is up to you, but your choice should reflect the intentions for your new bonus room as well as climatic considerations. Weathering a garage door can be a challenge, so homeowners in cold climates should consider other alternatives.
Those who live in places with warmer climates, such as Austin, TX, may choose to leave a garage door in place to let in fresh air and the option of adding a patio or outdoor area.
How much does it cost to convert a garage into living space?
If you are planning to sell your home with your garage completed, consider weighing the cost of your renovation against the resale value of your home. A garage renovation is usually enough $ 5,955 – $ 22,800 or more, depending on the number of extras you attach to the project.
Does finishing a garage add value to your home?
If you want to increase yours House value Before you sell your garage, you should familiarize yourself with yours local real estate agent to see which DIY enthusiasts are popular in your area. A skilled real estate agent can bring their knowledge and understanding of market trends in the neighborhood to help you make decisions, especially if you live in an area where finished garages are not common. If finished garages turn out to be uncommon for buyers in your area, this may act as the impetus to get the buyer to choose your home for sale over others nearby.
Does the garage count towards the square footage of a house?
If you are planning to sell your home you may not be sure what counts towards it Square footage during the review process. Unfinished garages do not count towards the total area of a house because they are not habitable spaces. However, if your finished garage meets the requirements for finished walls and floors, air conditioning and accessibility, it can count towards the total square meter measurement. If you choose to hire a professional to complete your garage, they will receive the appropriate permits for your project. Keep in mind that building permits are usually issued by the county where you live. So check with your city or municipality if there are additional requirements.