How to Convert Your Garage into a Cool Livable Space

People often do all sorts of things to create more space in their homes, e.g building more storage rooms or creating multipurpose rooms. However, many people often ignore one important part of the house with a lot of space, and that is the unused garage. If you have a garage in your home that's unused, consider converting it into a more useful part of the home.

A garage can be converted into a home gym, a home office, a mudroom, spare bedroom, or kid playroom among others. However, there are several considerations to make before you begin the project and they include the following.

Safety Considerations

Safety is always a top priority on every job site, especially ones close to your home. Create a safety zone around the garage so that children, pets, neighbors, and guests know to stay away. Get a well-stocked safety kit that would include safety glasses, gloves, ear muffs, dusk masks, respirators, and proper workwear made from durable materials. Don’t forget hard hats and steel toe work boots. There are work boots made especially for women and ones made for men, so ensure you get the right specifications for everyone working on the site.

Lastly, even when you’re remodeling your garage using the DIY method, there are certain permit jobs that need to be left to professionals. This includes electrical jobs, structural alterations, HVAC, and plumbing. So make sure your budget covers the cost of hiring a few professionals who can do the job safely.

Cost of Converting a Garage

The cost of converting a garage depends on several factors, the chief of which is whether you're going to be hiring an architect to oversee the project or if you’re going the DIY route. 

Choosing to convert your garage yourself as a DIY project would involve working side-by-side with a tradesperson or contractor to build your dream. This option does not cost as much as the alternative which requires hiring a professional architect to design the entire conversion and hiring construction experts to do the entire work.

Garage conversions are never cheap; however, they’re much cheaper than building a whole new addition to the home. According to Forbes Advisor, it could cost anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 to convert a garage using the non-DIY method.

Check Zoning Regulations

Converting a garage is more than just hiring a contractor or architect. It’s very important to research the local regulations for garage conversions in your city. Some regions may prohibit residents from transforming car spaces into living spaces. Others might permit, provided you have sufficient off-street parking to replace the lost garage space. Also, if you share your home with tenants or ever plan on sharing or renting out your home then it may be difficult to get a garage conversion permit. So before you invest any money into this project, make sure you look into all the legalities.

Features that Make Your Garage Livable

To make your garage livable, there are fun and stylish elements you must install to make the space more like home. Some of these elements are extremely important. They include:

Windows: Garages typically do not come with windows so to make your space more livable, you would need to create space for a window or two.

Waterproofing: Most garages are not as thoroughly waterproofed as living spaces. This is because garages are designed to store vehicles and equipment; this means they do not fully resist water penetration. So waterproofing is very essential when converting a garage to a living space. Waterproofing your garage for conversion must be done carefully, thoroughly, and with the best waterproofing materials because any mistake could compromise the entire project. You don't want water leaking into your space after it’s been fully set up.

Lighting: The already existing lighting in your garage might not be sufficient for living, so you’ll need to add one or two more lights and switches to make the space brighter.

Drywall and Insulation: You might need to add basic drywall to your garage for insulation purposes because garages are typically built with no drywall and no insulation. Sometimes garages have drywalls that are just hung up with no sort of sanding, painting, or finishing. If your garage already has drywall, you may need to have it uninstalled, insulated, and then reinstalled and finished. Conventional forms of insulation for your new walls include rock wool, sprayed foam conventional fiberglass roll insulation.

Ceiling: The ceiling height must at least be 7.5 feet if you want to make your garage a living space. So take note of this especially if you have plans to raise your garage floor. The ceiling would also have to be insulated. Fiberglass batts are great materials for ceiling insulation.

Other features you may want to install to create the perfect living space in your garage include heating, power outlets, Ethernet cables, Wi-Fi, and storage space.

What to Do With Your Converted Garage

Once you have converted your garage into a cozy space, there are several things you could do with this space. They include:

Kids Playroom

If you have more than two kids in your home, you’ll find that there’s ever hardly enough space for them to play indoors, yet you may not want them playing outdoors at certain times of the day. Having a kid-friendly playroom in your garage guarantees a safe space for children to spend time while closely supervised by adults.

Home Office

You can use your garage as a home office where you can work away from distractions from other family members.

Home Gym

If you love working out, you could set up your renovated garage with a couple of gym equipment and spend some minutes there working out daily.

Guest Room

If your renovated garage is now well-insulated and pest-free, you may put a bed in there and have your overnight guests spend the night in the cozy space.

 

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