Now if you want to add an extra family room to your home without having to pay through the nose, then converting your garage into a functional living space is ideal. You’ll be adding around 600 square feet at least, plus you’ll spend a lot less compared to building an additional room. The only bad news is that obviously you won't be able to park your car in the garage any longer.
The Costs Involved with Such a Project
Since the garage already has walls, a foundation, and a roof, it is not going to cost as much as a new addition. Depending on the features you want, you’re looking at anywhere from $20k to $50k if it is a two car garage. If you want to add a bathroom, that will likely set you back another $15k-plus.
The task of converting the garage involves:
>Raising the height of the floor to add insulation over the concrete. >You’ll want to add an insulated ceiling and walls. >Space will need to have cooling and heating, which can be diverted from the primary system in the home or by adding one. >Electrical systems will need to be upgraded for more load. >The wall between the garage and the main home will have to be removed. >Windows and doors will have to be added.
Hire a Builder
Ideally, you will want to hire an experienced builder to take care of all the tasks involved with converting your garage into a living space. He will also design the layout of the new space and will take your input into consideration during the building process. The only thing you need to make sure of is to hire someone who is licensed and insured, and who has taken on and completed similar projects successfully in the past.
What are the Downsides?
Like all decisions in life that have an upside, there are some probable downsides, and the same goes with transforming your garage into a living space. Depending on where you live, parking your car outside may be a bigger problem than just a more frequent wash. If you live along the Sun Belt, it will be exposed to the elements which lead to premature aging. If you’re on the Snow Belt, then parking outside will complicate things as you’ll find it difficult to get the driveway plowed after several feet of snow.
Parking the car outside will also increase the risk of your vehicle being broken into or outright stolen if these crimes are common in your area. Then there are some densely populated municipalities that require houses to have a given number of parking spots on the street. So, if you don’t have a spot, then parking on the street may be difficult. Finally, you’ll have to put up with losing storage space for tools and out-of-season clothes.
Changing your garage into a living space is a big decision which isn’t easy to reverse. So, you’d want to think and discuss it with the family before starting.
About the Author:
Ran K. is an experienced handyman who’s been working for Elite Garage Door of Tacoma for 10 years. When he’s not fixing garage doors, he likes to share his repairment ideas and knowledge with others.