If you wish you had an extra room in your property or desperately need the spare room, here is something for you to consider.
Ask yourself this question before you buy a new property or settle for the inconvenient space you have at the moment: do you have a garage you don’t use?
Because if you do, you may not need to look elsewhere just to get an extra room. You can convert your garage into an excellent extra room.
Converting your garage to an extra room is often a big project that requires a lot of modification. You might need to raise the floor, fit in a proper cooling or heating system, insulate the walls, add new doors, apply a fresh coat of paint, and more.
As you would expect, these modifications may cost you quite a lot. But if done right, it is worth it. So, if you are hoping to convert your garage into a room, you are in the right place. This article is a complete guide on how to turn your garage into a beautiful extra room. Let's get to it.
Is This Conversion a Good Idea?
Converting your garage into another living space is one option to consider provided the following:
Your garage door can easily be replaced.
Consider if the new room can allow a door or entrance where the garage door used to be. If this isn’t possible, ensure that you can create a new wall that can blend with your existing home exterior and one that won’t easily show that it used to be the garage.
You have the budget for heating and cooling.
You can eliminate this from your budget if your present HVAC system can support the new extra room. This means expanding the ventilation to reach the garage. Otherwise, you can update your system or obtain a different system to provide heating and cooling to the new space.
Plumbing is available.
If you plan to add a bathroom, you can start looking for a plumber to provide professional help in getting into the plumbing details of the additional room. You may need to add plumbing lines such as a drainage, which is a crucial part of your makeover.
Suitable storage and parking are available somewhere else.
Transforming your garage means giving up storage and parking space. Converting the garage into a new living space isn’t a worthy investment if you’ll lose essential storage space or if it means you’ll have inconvenient or unsafe parking.
Do You Need Planning Permission?
You most likely don't need it. However, it is essential to check with your local authority just to be on the safe side. But if you plan to convert the garage in a listed building or a conservation area, you need planning permission.
And sometimes, these planning permissions come with conditions. The conditions must have been pegged to the building or garage during its construction. So you have to apply to the local authority to remove the terms before you start your conversion.
Do You Need Building Regulations Approval?
Building regulations are there for a reason. You shouldn't trample on them while trying to convert your garage to an extra room. You have to adhere to these building regulations for the safety of the inhabitants of the house.
Usually, the regulations include thermal performance, ventilation, acoustics, and fire safety. You have to apply to your local building control department to get this approval.
They would carry out an inspection on the property to ensure that the conversion plans would not be going against any of the building regulations. After this, they give you the go-ahead with the conversion.
What Kinds Of Rooms Can You Convert Your Garage Into?
You probably already know what kind of room you want to convert your garage into. However, if you need more garage conversion ideas, here you go:
- Studio apartment
- Art studio
How Much Does Garage Conversion Cost?
Garage conversions often cost from $6000 to $20,000. The range is this wide because of the difference in garage sizes and modification needs.
You may want to convert your garage to a bedroom, which doesn't always require plumbing. And I may want to convert my garage into a kitchen or bathroom, which needs massive plumbing works.
Can You Do It Yourself?
That depends on how complex the conversion is, and how skilled you are at construction. However, if you can afford an architectural designer to give you professional ideas and inputs, you could employ them.
Professional builders can of course get the work done.
If you are on a tight budget and want to DIY the conversion, you may choose to go ahead with most of it yourself as long as you have enough construction skills. If you don't have any experience in construction, it is recommended that you call a professional instead.
The Construction Part of Your Garage Conversion
This section is the part where the builders get to work.
Raising the Floor Height And Installing Floor Covering
Many garages have floor levels that are lower than the floor levels of the other rooms on the property. While some might ignore this part of the garage conversion, it is a nice practice to raise the level of the garage floor.
After you raise the floor level, you need to add floor covering. Unlike raising the floor, this is very important. The popular floor coverings for garage conversions are engineered wood, luxury vinyl plank, lamination, and tiles.
Insulating the Garage Door
If you are keeping the door of the garage instead of building a new wall, you need to insulate the garage door.
Plumbing and Wiring
Plumbing and wiring are also essential parts of garage conversion. A lot of consideration goes into these parts of the conversion alone.
For example, if the garage already has some wiring in the walls or ceiling, you may need to ignore them and install new power mains. This is because the old mains supply that caters to the other rooms may not be able to sustain an extra room.
Also, if you are converting your garage to a bathroom or a toilet, you need to check the soil outflow of the garage. The same level of consideration to go into the plumbing.
Disadvantages of Garage Conversion
There are some disadvantages to consider when you are thinking of a garage conversion. Some of them are these:
1) You are converting a multifunctional space into a room that serves just one purpose. This might seem obvious to you, but take a moment to think about it.
An effect of this conversion is that you would need to park your car outside. Apart from having to wash your car frequently, the elements can lead to the quick aging of your vehicle. Also, your vehicle is exposed to other hazards.
In addition to that, you would have to find a new storage location for the stuff you kept in the garage. Remember that these items were there in the first place mostly because they weren't fit to be in the other rooms but at the same time, not fit to be disposed of.
Recreating space to keep these things could be a headache.
2) Garage conversion often costs a lot of money.
3) The process of getting permits and approvals may be slow and agonizing.
4) A property with a converted garage may not have increased value. This is because many people prefer garages in their homes.
Alternatives to Garage Conversions
Maybe now that you are thinking about it, you realize that a garage conversion is not as attractive as you thought. It’s okay.
There are alternatives to garage conversions such as basement conversion and attic conversion.