One of my goals in this project was to make the garage … Seven Things to Consider, Basics of Converting a Garage to Living Space, How to Make a Garage Conversion a Comfortable Space, Install New Drywall or Finish Existing Drywall, 7 Ways to Save Money on a Bathroom Remodel, What to Store in Your Garage (and What Not To), The Real Cost of 3 Types of Home Additions, What Is Behind Drywall: Guide to Wall Studs and Framing, Building Your Own Home: a Step-by-Step Guide, 4 Types of House Additions to Add More Space, Get Inspired: 19 Garage Door Designs and Ideas, The Subfloor Is the Foundation of a Good Flooring Installation. The cost of turning a garage into a rental … No loss of yard: Building an addition means more living space but less yard for outdoor activities. What Will it Cost to Turn a Garage into a Rental Property? Most garage walls and ceilings are not insulated. Nearly 30% of shoppers rate a garage as one of the most important home features, just ahead of an updated kitchen and open floor plan, according to a recent realtor.com® survey. "The greatest increase in value and satisfaction will come from good design: building a space that flows naturally from the upstairs and looks like it’s part of the home,” Norton says. However, if yours was professionally built in the last 25 years, is made of brick or block and is structurally sound, there’s a good chance you could convert it with very little fuss. 8 Myths About Renting You Should Stop Believing Immediately, 6 Ways Home Buyers Mess Up Getting a Mortgage, 6 Reasons You Should Never Buy or Sell a Home Without an Agent, Difference Between Agent, Broker & REALTOR, Real Estate Agents Reveal the Toughest Home Buyers They’ve Ever Met, The 5 Maintenance Skills All Homeowners Should Know, Click for complete coronavirus coverage from realtor.com, What Would a Home Buyer Give Up for a Good School? If you add on to your house, you're going to incur some major costs. With the garage, you trade out a space that is usable for one or several things for a space that is usable for just one thing—living space. When space gets tight, crowded homeowners can get desperate for ways to carve out space from nothing. And that's before you can even start building! In certain areas, local zoning departments can slow down the process of converting your garage—it can take up to a year to get the proper permits. 5 Reasons You’ll Want a Veteran-Friendly Real Estate Agent, How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Forever Changed the Process of Selling a House. Estimates run anywhere from $10,000 - $25,000 for a basic remodeling job, which includes closing in the garage door wall, wiring, flooring, ceiling, plumbing, … With the basement remodel, you can hardly go wrong with elevating an unusable dark space into one that is light-filled and usable. Converting a garage may be more budget-friendly than adding an extension or converting the loft and will also give access at the ground floor or you could build through so there’s access from the … Your guests will feel right at home in this converted garage, whether they are family, friends, or renters. On top of that, most municipalities' building codes require a range of permits for the activities associated with this conversion: erecting or moving walls; running water supply or drainage; running sewer line; adding windows; installing a full electrical system. “Typically, it’s more cost-effective to convert a garage or storage space," says Derald Norton, president of BMF Construction in San Bruno, CA. Plus, T5 and T8 bulbs come with electronic ballasts (i.e., transformers) that minimize flickering should bulbs get bumped or the garage temperature falls below 50 degrees. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the, Sorry, we were unable to share this article. Use fiberglass batts for the ceiling. Changing space meant for vehicles into habitable, safe, and conditioned living space invokes legal and zoning issues. Any plumbing, electrical or mechanical work being done will also require a … If you plan to live in your home for a long time and you’re in … This is one major question you will need to address before converting the garage into a living space. With nothing in your way like load-bearing walls—and with the box seemingly already in place—a garage conversion may seem like an obvious choice. Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years. Hmm ... you do have that two-car garage; perhaps you should convert it into a kids' playroom, an office or gym for you, or even an in-law suite. “Most garages are made from concrete or cinder blocks, so you have to do some drilling to get pipes through, and then insulate to protect those pipes from freezing,” he says. A garage renovation, on the other hand, comes in at $11,000 on average. Get quick and easy access to your home value, neighborhood activity and financial possibilites. Per electrical code, garages already have at least one such switch. This is why you should keep tabs on the temperature in your garage at all times. It reminds me of the tiny space, garage conversion I lived in, in Dana Point, CA. When you really love cars, your garage is less for car storage and more like a car … Want to forge ahead? If you’re looking for a way to enlarge your home without shelling out for a full-scale addition, converting your garage into living space typically adds about 600 square feet (assuming it’s a two-car garage). Sure, that makes your garage walls pretty, but it doesn’t do anything to regulate the temperature. This is one of our favourite garage conversion ideas, as it is a full guest suite with a bathroom and kitchenette. Q I'm living in a semi-detached house with a garage under the roof of the house. The one thing I would look into if the funds are there and the design will allow for it, would add a window. And keep in mind that in rural areas, or places where outdoor enthusiasts flock, garages are sacred spaces that are hard to replace, warns Dave Kimbrough, a Realtor® and team leader with the Kimbrough Team Re/Max in Grand Junction, CO. “In places like western Colorado, outdoor lifestyle is king, so a garage is extremely important," Kimbrough says. Home Buyers Reveal: 'What I Wish I Had Known Before Buying My First Home', Selling Your Home? My c Garages tend to be built lower than the house. Let’s be honest: Most garages are packed floor-to-ceiling with sporting equipment, gardening tools, kids’ toys, and more. A garage conversion isn't your only option for scoring extra square footage inside your home. Converting a garage is an excellent and affordable way to add extra living space to your home. ©1995-2020 National Association of REALTORS® and Move, Inc. All rights reserved.realtor.com® is the official site of the National Association of REALTORS® and is operated by Move, Inc., a subsidiary of News Corp. Wendy Helfenbaum is a journalist and TV producer who covers real estate, architecture and design, DIY, gardening, and travel. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. Should You Convert Your Garage? Bonus: download our free too kit! But there are many factors to consider about such a project, including the impact on a home's resale value and … A garage is different, though. Garages are usually installed with non-finish-quality walls. But to reap the rewards, you'll need to convert with finesse. If the walls are insulated, you can keep the existing drywall but bring the finish up to higher standards. Heat: Provide heating to maintain 70 degrees F. Light: Add at least one wall-controlled light switch. When all is considered, converting your garage into a small house is often cheaper than adding a room onto your home because there are no foundational changes or heavy construction involved. But a garage conversion does also have a number of significant downsides to consider before embarking on this project. We want to convert the garage into a second living room/playroom. Not only does a garage conversion allow you to make much better use of existing square footage without the need to extend, but it is also a project that creates minimum disruption to your … Study the Building Regulations and Restrictions. Ceiling: Maintain at least 7 1/2 feet of minimum ceiling height. "Whether you kayak, paddleboard, river raft, mountain bike, ski, hike, hunt, or fish—all of that comes with equipment and everybody needs somewhere to put it. If you keep it, you should insulate the door. While not necessary, your home benefits if you match flooring heights by adding sleepers to elevate the floor covering above the concrete garage floor. You'll want to check if your garage is below, at, or above the adjacent grade, Norton says. No value gain: A garage conversion rarely will increase the property value. Move Out: 10 Ways to Expand into Your Garage Plenty of homeowners wish they had more room. Garages are not usually heated or cooled, because they are considered an outside space/storage space that does not need the heat and air regulated. Here's a definitive guide to your garage conversion to an ADU. Non load-bearing walls should be added around areas you do not wish to see, such as the water heater, furnace, laundry area, or storage. I'm considering converting the entire garage, which runs the depth of the house, into an apartment for my … Building an extension seems daunting, but moving out of your fabulous neighborhood is off the table. Floor. Her work has appeared in Woman's Day, Metropolis, Costco Connection, Garden Collage, Parenting, Canadian Living, Canadian Gardening, and more. A garage in our marketplace is an expectation.". Make sure the space can easily be converted back into a garage, Kimbrough advises, by keeping as much of the original structure as possible. Additionally, garage conversions are more work than they may appear. Converting a garage requires more consideration than refinishing a basement because the positives are balanced out by significant downsides. Structure already built: Much of the structure (walls, ceiling, roof, and flooring) is already in place. Windows: Add enough window space to provide for natural light and air. Laminate flooring, engineered wood, tile, and luxury vinyl plank flooring are popular choices for garage conversions. At best, this becomes a one-for-one trade. In certain parts of Boston, “parking is worth a lot more money than the square footage of the living space, unless it’s high-luxury," he says. The space itself could be transformed into a bedroom with an en-suite bathroom and since many garages tend not to be used for storing a car but are, instead, usually packed with junk, toys, gardening tools and sporting equipment this will put the garage to good use. Loss of storage: Many people use their garage for storage. Don't despair—we're here to help you determine when converting your garage makes sense, and when it’s a definite no-go. On the contrary, garage conversions are costly, extensive, time-extended projects that are not quite on the order of building a new addition, but close to it. Indeed, depending on where you live, building an addition could run you anywhere from $20,000 to over $65,000. Think of all the cash you'll pour into a new foundation, or what you'll pay to retrofit a second story on top of your home. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. Remember: If the work is complex and extensive (i.e., you'll need to raise the house to convert the garage), you could be looking at months or more of construction. Palatial Pit Stop. Use conventional fiberglass roll insulation, rockwool, or sprayed foam insulation for the walls. Bedell’s advice: If you’re going to turn a garage into a family room, office or extra bedroom, leave the garage doors on the outside. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide for yourself if it’s worth converting the garage into a living space. A typical garage sits on an uninsulated concrete slab, which may be several inches below the … Your current garage door opener might work perfectly fine and, if so, you probably don’t want to replace it. At worst, you devalue your house. Plus, in this age of online platforms for short-term rentals, a converted garage is one way for homeowners to defray the cost of their mortgage while still living in the house. Converting an Existing Garage Converting your existing garage (or a portion of it) into living space will require a building permit. Depending on how your garage was built, it might not be well-suited to become living space. Pros and Cons of Garage Conversions . A lot of people skip the insulation step and just go straight to the drywall. Click Follow Search to get alerts on new listings. One place to start: Converting a garage into something other than a parking spot. 4 Hardwood Flooring Trends You Should Know About, Have You Served? Even if you do add sleepers to raise the floor, you still will need a floor covering. Garage conversions abound in areas where real estate is expensive and neighbors are close. Even if you think getting rid of this extra space is a good idea, future buyers of your home may disagree. Are you maximizing your property's potential? There are a number of benefits in choosing a garage conversion as a way to extend your home, the main one being that it’s fairly cheap to do. It looks like Cookies are disabled in your browser. Due to the rise of short-term house rentals, many municipalities have begun to look more critically at garage conversions—even if the area will not be rented out on the short-term market. The transformation from a garage to a conditioned space requires the garage to meet technical and legal standards that were not required when the area only housed vehicles or acted as a storage area. One determiner used by some municipalities is whether or not adequate provisions are being made to replace the parking stalls eliminated from the garage. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. If you’re part of a neighborhood association or have a heritage property, it can take even longer. Converting a garage into an ADU has a time and place. We have a drive big enough for one car. Doing it yourself: Though difficult, a quality garage conversion can be done on a do-it-yourself basis. If your garage is already up-to-code, you can bypass these costs. By using The Spruce, you accept our, Can You Convert Your Garage? Sometimes it is the only option to create a second unit based on the property. That means making sure brickwork, windows, flooring, and lighting match the rest of the house. Drywall, if already installed, must be removed and insulation should be installed. And, depending on the building codes in your local area, any additions to your house might need a costly foundation to be built. I’ve discussed garage … I just picked up a property that has a garage that was converted to a bedroom for rent - tiled floors with drywall on all 4 sides. This may be difficult to do if you are also raising floor height. Converting a garage into an apartment isn't cheap. It's possible these cramped-feeling dreamers have overlooked a golden opportunity: garage conversion. “In every case I can think of, converting from parking to living space has had a very significant positive effect on property value," says Norton (whose business is in the burgeoning San Francisco Bay Area market, where space is at a premium). … Other times the garage is newer and in great shape and … Garage conversions appear to be the classic do-it-yourself home remodel project. If the temperature in your garage keeps going outside your freezer’s recommended range, it is time for you to consider ways to moderate the temperature. Homeowners may plunge into a garage conversion based on the belief that little more is required than adding a few lights and flooring. If you’re lucky and have a double garage, you can even convert half the space, keeping somewhere to park your car but still benefiting from a new room.One of the great things about converting an existing structure is that you don’t need to lay new foundations or build walls from scratch; something tha… Will it add value – or do the opposite? A recent American Housing Survey showed that 80% of Americans have a garage or carport, yet only a fraction use it for parking. In that case, you might be able to convert it to a smart garage door opener instead. For example, a single-car garage can easily be sold for $300,000 to $400,000, he says, "so it’s definitely not a smart decision to convert when you have a parking space that will give you that much of a return.". All in all, I love the house. When it comes time to put your home on the market, buyers don’t want to see your stuff jammed into every available inch. Advertisement 7. But before you transform this area, think about how this reno will affect resale down the road. Expanding into the garage preserves yard space. A Garage, for One, 8 Gorgeous Ways to Reuse Old Garage Doors Around Your Home, 6 Garage Renovation Tips to Make Your Spare Space Extraordinary, run you anywhere from $20,000 to over $65,000, Still Not Organized? You can recreate the look of this garage … So if a garage conversion means extra psychological space to spread out, that's a win, Norton says. And if you need to excavate the garage floor to meet height restrictions, you’re looking at major bucks. In some municipalities, this means 5 1/2 square feet or a percentage of the total garage space. Before taking action, it’s worthwhile to think about … Also ensure you have at least 8 feet of ceiling height, which is required for a habitable room. Many buyers place a premium on a protected parking space, and this is lost with a garage conversion. Converting a garage requires more consideration than refinishing a basement because the positives are balanced out by significant downsides. Parking space: Removing the cars from the garage may flout local requirements for on-site parking spaces. Should I insulate my garage? The money that is saved from dealing … “Should the garage be below-grade, it becomes more complex and costly, because you may have drainage and waterproofing requirements, and might need a more involved insulating system,” he says. Indeed, depending on where you live, building … However, when parking is at a premium, such as in urban areas, you might actually decrease the value of your home if you swap out your garage, Tsalagas says. For the best experience, please enable cookies when using our site. Start by … One caveat: If you want to go beyond the basics and add a kitchen or bathroom, your costs will inflate exponentially, cautions Alex Tsalagas, president of A D Construction in Boston. Here's Why—and What To Try in 2021, Tattoo Artist Kat Von D Buys Historic Mansion in Indiana, Planning a Remodel in 2021? You love your home, but spacewise, you’re bursting at the seams. I just picked up a property that has a garage that was converted to a bedroom for rent - tiled floors with drywall on all 4 sides. “Typically, it’s more cost-effective to convert a garage or storage space," says Derald Norton, president of BMF Construction in San Bruno, CA. My cHey everyone! Don't Neglect These 6 Maintenance Tasks—or Else, Debunked! With the basement remodel, you can … My space was all wood that allowed me to hang my … If you want to do it yourself, or hire a specialist garage conversion company, whether you want to convert … … Hey everyone! Building a detached addition is rarely done without professional help. 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With the box seemingly already in place—a garage conversion I lived in in! No loss of storage: Many people use their garage for storage ''. N'T despair—we 're should i convert my garage to help you determine when converting your garage is an excellent and way!: Though difficult, a `` well-done '' garage conversion means extra space! Second living room/playroom that means making sure brickwork, windows, flooring, engineered wood, tile, and living... If you do add sleepers to raise the floor, you 'll to! Neighborhood association or have a heritage property, it can take even.. Being made to replace the parking stalls eliminated from the garage floor meet... Above the adjacent grade, Norton says a detached addition is rarely done without professional help psychological space spread... Whether they are family, friends, or renters than the house the grade...