Converting a garage into additional living space is a popular way of expanding a home’s total square footage. However, before you begin, be sure to check these items to ensure a successful project.
The very first things you need to research when considering converting a garage are your local regulations. When doing this kind of remodeling, you will most likely need a building permit, though this does, depending on what you are planning to do. If you belong to a homeowner’s association, you should also check into any rules that might affect your planned project.
Also, be sure to find out how your conversion may affect your property taxes. If you are adding living space, those taxes will probably go up.
If you’re losing garage space, you need to consider where you’ll be parking your cars once it’s gone. Will you be parking in your driveway? On the street? If you don’t have alternative covered parking already available, you might add a carport or even a detached garage to protect your vehicles from the weather. Consider these possibilities when planning your budget.
Consider what’s going to happen with your garage door. If it’s removed, you’ll need to fill in that space. Options include replacing it with large bay windows or patio doors. You could also frame a new wall and cover the exterior with siding matching the rest of the house.
Most residential garages have concrete floors. However, this is probably not what you want if you’re converting the garage for a different purpose. Putting down new flooring is a common step.
While you have many different flooring options and your choice will depend on how you plan to use the new space, epoxy flooring is a common choice. Epoxy is a resin mixed with a hardener that creates a smooth surface across your floor. It’s both attractive and durable, which means it will work in most spaces. Additionally If you’re planning to turn your garage into a workout room or a workshop, epoxy can stand up to the extra weight it will face. It will also be resilient against any spilled chemicals, liquids, or other contaminants you might spill.
Look for quality epoxy flooring products with fast curing properties. If you can get the floor applied in one day, you’ll be able to move on to the other parts more quickly.
You want the new space to be comfortable. That may mean that you need to expand your existing heating and cooling system. However, if that’s not workable, you can add an independent climate control system for your former garage. In either case, add insulation to be sure the system works efficiently. Most garages are not well insulated.
Depending on the purpose of the new space, you may be adding plumbing. This might be the most expensive part of your garage conversion. Consult with a professional plumber to get an idea of what you can do and how much it might cost. If you have a laundry room connected to the garage, or laundry hookups in the garage itself, you may be able to add a bathroom.
Taking these factors into consideration while planning to add more space through a garage conversion can keep your project on track from the beginning.