An additional space may be required for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you're in need of a dedicated work place, a playroom for the kids, some more square footage, or a home gym. Gaining extra space without having to relocate is possible through the adaptation of a non-standard room for residential use.
Converting a basement, attic, or garage is a common project for homeowners. Converting your garage has both benefits and drawbacks, just like any other big home improvement project.
When living quarters are cramped, homeowners try to find creative solutions for making more room. There are lots of garage conversions in pricey, densely populated locations. In this day and age of Airbnb and other short-term rental websites, a converted garage can be a great source of income for a homeowner who wants to stay in their own home while still covering their monthly expenses.
Converting a garage is a common do-it-yourself project for homeowners. A garage conversion may seem like a natural choice when there are no structural walls in the way. There are significant drawbacks to a garage conversion that should be thought through beforehand. Check out our range of garage renovations here.
Benefits of converting a garage to living space
Adding square footage to your home doesn't have to include tearing down your garage. Garage additions are another option for those in need of extra storage area. If you have a tiny yard but enjoy spending time outside, an addition may not be the best choice.
An unused garage can be put to good use in a variety of ways. Parking won't be an issue if you have a driveway or designated parking spaces.
Your garage is an existing structure, which is a plus when planning a renovation. A home addition is more expensive and time-consuming because it necessitates the construction of new floors, walls, and ceilings. Converting your garage into liveable space may be possible if you're handy with construction, but it will increase your budget.
It's possible that a garage conversion could increase the value of your home if you live in a space-constrained area. The proceeds from the sale, or a home equity loan or line of credit, will benefit from this.
Drawbacks of converting a garage to living space
While converting a garage might add square footage to your home, it does come at the expense of storage. Equipment includes not just tools and sporting gear, but also your vehicle.
Let's pretend you don't have a garage or driveway. Converting a garage into living space is a bad idea if there is a shortage of parking spaces nearby.
Even if you have a driveway or a parking area in front of your house, you might still want to bring your car inside, where it is out of the weather and where it won't be quite as cold to start on 14-degree days. To make more room in your garage for your car, you may want to consider transforming your unfinished basement into a living space.
The value of your property may rise if you add new living space inside, but fall if you remove storage areas. Make sure to talk to a local real estate professional before making any conversion investments.
You may want to consider building an addition to your house instead of a garage if you have a sizable lot and the financial means to sacrifice some of it.
Pros and Cons of Garage Conversions
Remodeling an existing basement is less of a hassle than transforming a garage into liveable space, but it still takes careful planning. It's difficult to make a mistake when remodelling a basement from a gloomy, unusable area into a bright, functional one.
A garage is an exception to this rule. For example, if you want to turn a garage into a bedroom, you can do it by removing the garage door and enclosing the area above it. At most, it's fair to say that the worth of these two transactions is equivalent. The worst-case scenario is that you reduce the value of your home.
In addition, there's a lot more to it than meets the eye when transforming a garage. Garage conversion is a popular DIY project, but many homeowners have the false impression that it just requires cosmetic changes like new flooring and lighting in order to complete the job. Quite the opposite, transforming a garage is a massive undertaking that requires a lot of money, time, and effort and is comparable to, if not more so than, building an entirely new room onto your home.
Zoning and Legal Issues
Altering a vehicle's interior to become a comfortable, secure, air-conditioned home involves questions of law and zoning. Changes to the law are required when a garage is converted into a living space with the addition of heating and air conditioning.
When deciding whether or not to rebuild garage parking spots, some governments take this into account.
When a garage is converted into a climate-controlled facility, it must adhere to technical and legal requirements that were not in place when the space was used just for parking cars or storing items. Wall construction, plumbing, electrical wiring, relocating or changing plumbing fixtures, and installing windows all typically necessitate permissions from the local municipality.
The proliferation of Airbnb and similar short-term rental platforms has prompted many local governments to scrutinise garage conversions, regardless of whether or not they will be used as rental units.
Easier and Less Expensive Than Moving or Building an Addition
Adding a room above the garage is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to expand your living quarters. A proper garage conversion might take weeks and cost tens of thousands of dollars. Expenses can mount quickly if you decide to upgrade things like insulation, heat the garage, modify the electrical system to accommodate the increased demand, and instal new windows and doors.
Converting a garage saves time and money compared to building a new house from the ground up. When renovating an existing structure, there is no need to lay a new concrete slab or construct brand-new walls. You can continue living in your house while having the garage converted. A wall can be removed from an attached garage to make it bigger, but this will cause disruption in the rest of the house.
Loss of Storage
The loss of such a large quantity of spare storage space is the major negative of converting your garage. You'll need to find a new spot to park the car, but you'll also need a place to keep the mowers, garden tools, bikes, and other goods that aren't normally stored inside the house.
Inevitably, the quantity of stuff you keep in your garage, the availability of other storage choices, and your feelings about leaving your car in the driveway will all play a role in determining how much of a problem this is. If you don't store a lot of stuff in your garage to begin with, or if you have another shed in the yard, this may not be a big deal.
If you have trouble leaving your automobile parked in the driveway, you may want to consider turning your basement or attic into a habitable space instead.
Hitch Property Constructions has the biggest range of the garage renovations Melbourne. Check it out here.
Might Make Your Home Hard to Sell
Whether you intend to stay in the house or sell it will determine whether or not you should convert the garage. Converting your garage into a more pleasant space can be a good idea if you're not in any rush to sell your house. Don't bother with this renovation if you're planning to sell and relocate shortly.
Potential buyers who need a place to park their car and keep their belongings may be put off by a home with a garage that has been permanently converted. Don't make any major alterations to your home if you don't intend to stay there for a long time. There will be additional room, and it can always be converted back into a garage if that becomes necessary.
Basics of Converting a Garage to Living Space
- Windows: Install a sufficient number of windows to let in daylight and fresh air. This may be 5 1/2 square feet or a certain fraction of the garage area in various jurisdictions.
Maintain a ceiling height of at least 7 and a half feet. If you are also increasing the height of the floors, this may prove difficult.
- Heat: Keep the house at a constant 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Electric baseboard or fan-driven wall heaters are two examples of retrofit heating alternatives that can be added to an existing central heating system.
- Invest in at least one light switch for the walls. All garages must comply with the electrical code and have one of these switches installed.
Install new or relocate existing wall outlets such that they are spaced a minimum required distance apart. In general, no extension chord should be longer than 6 feet.
How to Make a Garage Conversion a Comfortable Space
Insulate the Walls
There is typically no insulation in garage walls or ceilings. Putting up insulation requires the removal of dry wall if it has already been installed. Traditional fibreglass roll insulation, rock wool, and sprayed foam insulation are all viable options for wall insulation. It is recommended that you cover the ceiling with fibreglass batts.
Raise the Floor Height
Typically, garages are built at a lower elevation than the adjacent homes. Installing sleepers to raise the flooring above the concrete garage floor is optional but can improve the aesthetics of your property.
Install Floor Covering
Adding sleepers to the floor to make it taller won't eliminate the need for flooring of some kind. Luxury vinyl plank flooring, engineered hardwood, laminate flooring, and tile flooring are all good options for refinishing floors in converted garages.
Install New Drywall or Finish Existing Drywall
As a rule, garage walls are erected without any sort of finish. You can reuse the existing drywall if the walls are insulated, but you should improve the finish to bring it up to code.
Replace or Insulate the Garage Door
Does it make more sense to get rid of the garage door and build a wall in its place, or to leave it where it is? If you plan to keep the door, you may want to think about adding insulation to it. This is a crucial topic that needs answering before you can move forwards with converting the garage into a habitable place.
Hide Unsightly Areas
The water heater, the furnace, the laundry room, and the storage room are all places that shouldn't be on display, so it's a good idea to build non-load-bearing walls around them.
Questions to Ask Before a Garage Makeover
Before pulling off your garage door and turning your garage into living space, you should ask yourself a few questions to be sure it's the best decision for your home.
When is Converting Garage to a Room a Good Option?
If you need more room to live in your house but don't want to tear it down and build something new, consider turning your garage into a new room.
Is a Permit Required to Convert a Garage?
Because you are changing the intended purpose of the room, you will likely need to secure building permits, the specifics of which may vary depending on your location. To find out if your garage conversion plans require a special permit from the city, contact the Zoning Office in your area. When submitting a building permit application, it is conceivable that you will be asked to provide a floor plan designed in collaboration with an architect.
Getting the appropriate permits will guarantee that your home is built to code and in accordance with all local ordinances. Local building rules may specify the bare minimum for a room's number of windows, the number of exits and entrances, the ceiling height, the number of outlets, and other features. Depending on the circumstances, a request for a waiver may be warranted if you are unable to meet any of these standards.
The average cost of getting a permit to convert a garage is between $1,000 and $1,500. Planning for additional costs is prudent if you anticipate the requirement for a variance.
You should know that converting your garage could be prohibited by local legislation or the rules of your homeowners' organisation. It's possible that the city itself will impose such conditions.
If you need a permit to renovate your space, then once you're done, an inspector will come by to make sure everything is in order with the zoning and building codes.
What Type of Room Can a Garage Become?
Any number of customizations can be made in your project. As long as you meet all the criteria of the building code, you can turn your remodelled garage into whatever kind of living area you like. Converting a garage into a single room may be easier than constructing an apartment from scratch, but the former will likely present more obstacles than the latter. This is because the zoning of your land will dictate how difficult it is to accomplish certain goals.
Does Converting a Garage Add Value to Your Home?
In order to boost the value of your home, you should convert your garage into liveable space after acquiring the required licences and following all applicable building rules. Both the type of room built and the quality of the conversion affect the property's market value.
In most circumstances, the resale value of your home will rise by about 80% of the cost of the renovation.
Looking for Melbourne garage renovations? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
How Much Does a DIY Garage Conversion Cost?
HomeAdvisor estimates that the average cost to convert a garage is around $19,000.
Your budget for this project will be established by a number of factors, including the square footage of your garage, the materials you choose for the new room, and the degree to which you need the assistance of licenced professionals. For as little as $5,000, a garage can be transformed into a liveable space with minimal plumbing needs; for as much as $25,000, the space can accommodate a full bathroom and kitchen.
You may be able to gain the extra living space you need by transforming your garage into a living area. In addition, this could make your house more valuable when the time comes to sell. However, before you take that step, you may want to investigate alternative means of expanding your home's usable space, such as finishing a basement or building an extension. That way, you can gain storage space without having to find a new home for your prized car.
There are many creative uses for a garage that is currently being underutilised. For individuals who require additional space, a garage extension may be the best solution. If you happen to reside in a space-restricted location, converting your garage might be a good investment. You might turn your unfinished basement into a living space if you don't have a garage. Converting a garage is a huge project that needs significant investment of time, money, and energy.
The worst thing that may happen is that the value of your home drops. Many municipalities have begun reviewing garage conversions as a result of the rise of Airbnb and comparable short-term rental websites. Converting a garage into an air-conditioned building involves meeting technical and legal standards that weren't in existence when the space was utilised solely for storing automobiles. The decision to convert the garage depends on whether you plan to live in the house long-term or sell it. If you intend to sell the house and move in the near future, you should put off this renovation.
There will be more space, and if the need arises, it can always be turned back into a garage. Upgrades like new insulation for the garage door or a smoother finish on the old drywall can add up quickly. Obtaining the necessary building permissions is highly recommended if the room's original function is going to be altered. If you obtain the necessary permissions, you can rest assured that your home will be constructed safely and in accordance with local building regulations. Any type of living space you can imagine can be created out of a garage, so long as it satisfies the requirements of the building code.
Typically, you may expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,500 for a garage conversion permit. Typically, a home's resale value will rise by around 80% of the cost of converting a garage. The national median price tag for transforming a garage is roughly $19,000. Converting a garage into a liveable room that requires no more than basic plumbing can be done for as low as $5,000.
- An additional space may be required for a variety of reasons.
- Benefits of converting a garage to living spaceAdding square footage to your home doesn't have to include tearing down your garage.
- It's possible that a garage conversion could increase the value of your home if you live in a space-constrained area.
- Converting a garage into living space is a bad idea if there is a shortage of parking spaces nearby.
- To make more room in your garage for your car, you may want to consider transforming your unfinished basement into a living space.
- You can continue living in your house while having the garage converted.
- The loss of such a large quantity of spare storage space is the major negative of converting your garage.
- Whether you intend to stay in the house or sell it will determine whether or not you should convert the garage.
- Converting your garage into a more pleasant space can be a good idea if you're not in any rush to sell your house.
- Invest in at least one light switch for the walls.
- Before pulling off your garage door and turning your garage into living space, you should ask yourself a few questions to be sure it's the best decision for your home.
- To find out if your garage conversion plans require a special permit from the city, contact the Zoning Office in your area.
- Getting the appropriate permits will guarantee that your home is built to code and in accordance with all local ordinances.
- The average cost of getting a permit to convert a garage is between $1,000 and $1,500.
- If you need a permit to renovate your space, then once you're done, an inspector will come by to make sure everything is in order with the zoning and building codes.
- As long as you meet all the criteria of the building code, you can turn your remodelled garage into whatever kind of living area you like.
- In order to boost the value of your home, you should convert your garage into liveable space after acquiring the required licences and following all applicable building rules.
- You may be able to gain the extra living space you need by transforming your garage into a living area.
FAQs About Garage
A garage conversion could add up to 20 per cent to the value of your home, while you'll gain valuable extra living space that's less prone to planning complications. So if the cost of the project is less than the extra value added to your property, this works out as a cost-effective way to add more space.
Garage conversion ideas include:
- Studio Apartment or In-law Suite.
- Art studio.
- Family room.
It is important to note that regardless of whether or not your garage conversion requires planning permission or not, you will definitely need to submit scaled architectural drawings to your local authority.
In general, garage conversions are seen as a pretty quick job to do – as long as the existing garage building is in good structural condition. You can expect a standard, single garage conversion to take roughly 3 – 6 weeks. That's the time it will take to turn it from a garage into a livable space.
Building regulations for garage conversions
- Be structurally sound.
- Have a damp-proof course.
- Include wall, floor and loft insulation so it is energy efficient.
- Have had all electrics safety tested.
- Be moisture proofed, with good ventilation.
- Have been fire-proofed and have escape routes.