A Quick Guide to Converting Your Garages into Living Spaces

If your garage has become an idle space over the years, collecting dust and old furniture that you no longer need,

then perhaps it is best that you consider some garage conversion floor plans. Converting your garage offers you unlimited potential to put this space to use for more effective purposes such as a home office, a gym, playrooms, a kitchen, or virtually anything that you can think of and come up with. So if all of this has got you interested then here is a short guide to get you started:

Know the Local Jurisdiction and Permits

We are living in a civilized society where laws, regulations, and legal bindings govern our actions. This is why it is absolutely essential that you understand the importance of building codes and that you are living in a residential zone. Here you would be required to determine if a garage conversion into an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) is possible on your property. This will include your home address, APN (Assessor’s parcel number), lot size, and zone designation (typically identified with an “R” followed by a number). An MF zoning code means multi-family and this means you cannot build an ADU. Fees for permits under some municipalities can cost you around $6,000 to $15,000.

Identify Your Goals

As a homeowner, it is penultimate to the success of this project that you are able to define your goals clearly as it will make decision-making all the more easier down the road. Knowing what you want and being shrewd about the end goal or vision that you have in mind is best. This will also help the contractor understand all the necessities that you require and all the various functionalities or features you want to include once the task has been finished.

Obtain Cost and Make a Budget

The first thing you need to do is know how much this project will cost, nevertheless, you will be saving tons of money since you wouldn’t be required to lay new foundations or erect new walls. Plus, your garage may even have plumbing and power already which will further reduce the cost. Therefore you can expect to pay $6,000 to $19,000 depending on the size, your construction needs, and the professional assistance you require. However by any means, if you heavily plan to construct new structures then that could easily take your cost up by $70,000 to $100,000. 

Speak With Professionals and Get to Know Them

If you think this is a DIY (do-it-yourself) job then chances are that you might end up with a subpar result which would only make you frown more. Hence it is best that you do your research and start shortlisting service providers who specifically are experts in converting garages into living spaces. Make sure that you read their customer reviews, visit their website, look at the portfolio of their work, and certify their dependability and reliability before placing them a call. The more options you have the better, so take your time and don’t be hasty so that you end up working with only the best the market has to offer.

Cutting Down the Cost of Garage Conversion

While it can be quite tempting to cut corners on a hefty project like this, however, it is best to remember that your home will probably be the largest investment you’ll make in your lifetime. Hence, it is best that you consider staying within the existing building envelope since tearing down load-bearing walls will make your cost skyrocket.

Moreover, you can find used appliances online to occupy your new living space such on Craigslist and you can also check your local Habitat for Humanity Resell shop. Furthermore, with more general contracting bids you can carefully review the scope of work as well as everything else that is included in their services.

Lastly, you can always do some of the finishing work yourself. Like a paint job for the interior walls can quickly become a fun-filled activity for the entire family and that way you can also go about making lasting memories with your loved ones. Here you are simply trading cost with the time and effort you put into it.

Benefits of Garage Conversions

  • Add extra functionality to your homes like bathrooms, extended kitchens, and so much more.
  • Gaining an extra room without building an extension from scratch.
  • Many garage conversions don’t end up requiring planning permissions.
  • Tons of tailor-made conversion ideas for everything you need for your home.
  • Wonderful idea for seniors so that you can live with them and let them age in place.

Final Word

I will like to conclude this post by saying that your garage conversion could add up to 20% more value to your home and not only that but you also gain an extra living space that is less prone to planning problems. Moreover, if you are lucky and have a double garage, then you can also choose between converting only one of them and retaining the other one, or using both of them as per your liking. Cheers and all the best for your future endeavors!

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