Garage conversions are the best way to enhance a living space. There are many things you can do with it; you can create a new home office, make the kitchen a little bigger, build an extra small bedroom, just use your imagination.
If your garage is large enough, you can further make it a secondary dwelling and then rent it out for some extra bucks. Although garage conversions are a good investment, like other house remodeling projects, you must plan your conversion carefully.
Below are some crucial tips to consider before planning a garage conversion in 2020.
#1. The Cost
With everything considered, the cost of a garage conversion is usually cheaper compared to building an additional space inside your home— there is no heavy construction change involved.
Depending on your location’s building codes, an addition to the home may require a costly foundation building. If your garage is up-to-code already, it will be easier to avoid such expenses.
As there’s no additional cost, you can use the saved money to improve the interior design, plumbing, and electricity to create a new, cozy living room.
You may face some trouble while turning a garage into your new living space, especially if the garage space requires plumbing. It’s easy to supply water to the garage, but drainage is often problematic. Consult a plumber to determine your best and safest available options. Remember, extra plumbing lines are usually the highest cost in any garage conversion project.
That said, the room does not fundamentally require plumbing— it is simply a nifty choice for people thinking of it as a ”Granny flat”.
If the garage is attached to your house, you can redirect your existing heating or cooling system to work on that small extra space. Alternatively, independent systems are a viable option.
For example, you can try supplying heat through an electric baseboard or gas space heater. Any room air conditioner will handle warm temperatures effortlessly. Also, consider adding insulation to your walls, ceiling, and floor prior to deciding how you’ll heat or cool the space.
While you’re at it, check out some radiant floor heating systems; they can be installed on your concrete slab easily.
Do you want to boost the electrical use in the converted space? If so, adding a 20-amp circuit will come in handy.
Most garages boast a single lighting circuit, but rooms usually need more electrical service than that. It may require some extra circuits if your plan is to use appliances in the converted area.
Keep in mind that if you are converting a separated garage into a room, it’s easier to fish additional wiring directly from your house via underground conduits. Just consult with an expert for more comprehensive guidance and to avoid accidents.
#5. Garage Walls
Normally, garage walls are individual course brickwork that may or may not match the building regulations for moisture and insulation. This can be fixed by implementing internal stud wall insulation. You can aid insulation comfortably on the inside.
Additionally, you can incorporate partitions to set up an extra space or two using curtains or a sliding or folding wall.
#6. Garage Structure
You need to make sure that your garage is safe and structurally fit to be converted into a living room. To do this, you can hire a professional remodeler to check your house entirely. If it isn’t structurally adequate, don’t panic. There are still options for a suitable garage conversion; you’ll have to put in some extra work.
#7. Replacing Doors
There’s a good chance you have a poor garage door. If it needs a replacement, you’ll eventually have to consider new foundations. That said, you have several different options to go with. For starters, you can place lintels set just below the ground level, which will bear on your existing foundations.
Try measuring your garage’s ceiling height. Determine whether or not it matches the ceiling height of your main room. Now, this isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but will rather ensure what should be considered to convert your garage into a fully functional room.
Adding windows can make your converted room feel more comfortable and practical, like a true living room— not so much a garage conversion. If your garage is facing the garden, consider replacing one of the walls with a floor-to-ceiling window so it looks more spacious.
#10. Room Layout
You need to ask yourself why you are planning a garage conversion. It will guide you in determining the best floor plan for the new living room.
Measure your existing accent point head to toe and see if a separated point could make it a whole lot easier for everyone.
When creating a floor plan, keep your living room’s measurements in mind to identify where to put your furniture and other important items. You may want to use a particular area of your converted space for storage, which is why you need to consider this step.
Garage Conversion Tips for the Aging Family:
- Check out universal design— the design and composition of a certain environment that can be utilized and accessed easily by everyone— regardless of age or disability.
- Reduce thresholds. Sometimes, it is harder to cross thresholds even half an inch high when on a walker
- Keep your floor and countertop color in relatively high contrast
- Make doorways wider to support all-size wheelchairs
- Avoid shiny high gloss surfaces
As you can see, a garage conversion can be a fruitful way to add more space to your house.
You can add about 10% to the value of your house and gain additional living space that is less prone to drawing complications. Moreover, if you have a double garage, you can convert only half the space, meaning you’ll obtain an extra living room and continue to use your parking space.
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