Depending on your personality and interests, your garage can either be a place of invention, repair and creativity — or a graveyard for forgotten clothes, discarded hobbies and old junk. If you fall into the latter category, you’ve probably wondered what else you could be doing with that unused space. And rightfully so, because when it comes to how to convert a garage into a useful room, the sky’s the limit!
The benefits of converting a garage into a useful room are endless: you can improve your home’s looks, add more livable space, and even generate some profit from your property! But without the right amount of planning, funds and vision, garage conversions can be a nightmare.
That’s why we’re giving you a primer to your project, looking at the most important aspects of converting your humble car-port into the space of your dreams. So, without further ado, here are some steps for you to consider along the way.
Zoning and Permits
Converting your garage into an apartment generally means you will need a permit. Legal issues might come your way if this is not done properly. So, if you plan to make your garage into a living space, you must actually transform the space into something livable! This means you will need to include a certain amount of windows, doors, electricity, plumbing, and more.
Other factors to consider are adding a water supply, drainage, or changing walls. If you are planning to make significant changes, be sure to factor the permits into your cost and overall plan. Keep in mind the added cost of permits will increase the overall cost to your garage conversion plans by around $1,000-$1,500.
Depending on how you plan to use your new space, whether it is a man cave, art studio, home office, or guest apartment, you will want a few creature comforts! In most cases, you are going to want to opt to install windows to allow natural light and air flow. In addition, heat and air conditioning you can get as separate units or install permanently — just make sure to research what is the best fit for your garage conversion before you make your decision.
These days, you will need an outlet no matter how you plan to use the room. At least one outlet should already be in your garage, however you will very likely want more and maybe even to add a switch for the wall too! This way, your plans for lighting will illuminate the room as you first walk in.
Unlike the rest of your house, your garage probably doesn’t already have proper insulation. This is a necessary part of converting a garage into an apartment that will cost about $1 per square foot. You’ll likely need to remove the existing drywall to add insulation underneath and then go back in and add the drywall again.
For your insulation, you can use fiberglass roll, rockwool, or spray foam insulation. Keep in mind the ceiling and even the door might also need insulation too. For your door, consider whether you are planning to replace the traditional garage door with walls and a standard door or keep the existing door. If you decide to keep the original door, you will still need to insulate the door in addition to the walls.
Choosing a Contractor
For your time, money, and convenience, be sure to choose a contractor that fits your garage conversion plans. If you are on a tight schedule, you might opt for a contractor who can do all or most of the things you need. This could mean opting for a construction company that is familiar with all aspects of your job.
On the other hand, if you have a bit more time and are striving for perfection, it might be more beneficial in the long run to bring in a specialist for each task to make sure the job gets done exactly how you want it the first time around.
One more thing that you might have looked over is the floors! When deciding to convert a garage into a room, traditional garage flooring might not do the trick for you. You may consider hardwood or carpet as you would find in your home, or opt for something a bit more versatile. Waterproofing your garage floors is also a necessity to protect the space from mold and water damage. To save time, money and stress, you’re going to work with the experts, like WICR Waterproofing and Construction. WICR utilizes their vast expertise and decades of experience to deliver superior results, everytime.
Now that we have covered a bit of what to expect when deciding to convert your garage into a room, it is time to examine your space and figure out what works best for you. Happy building!
WICR Waterproofing & Decking is Southern California’s premier waterproofing and decking specialist covering Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. We are trained by all the major manufacturers of waterproofing systems so that we can install or repair any waterproofing project. Please visit us at www.WICRWaterproofing.com