Garages are meant to protect your car from the elements, but many homeowners find a better use for this part of their home. Whether you need more space for your growing family, you want to accommodate your aging parents, welcome occasional guests or you simply need more space in your home, take a look at our tips for converting your garage to a living space.
Living space ideas
A double-car garage is a real treasure for families that need more space than they have at the moment. One of the benefits of having it is that you can turn half the space into a living area and still keep the other half to store your car. Or, you can flip the entire area and get a decent unit.
The only question is – what sort of living space to choose?
- home office – the number of people working remotely is getting bigger by the day, and the chances are that many of them will choose to work from home even after the current pandemic is over and things start getting back to normal. Why would your car have its designated space under your roof, while you make a living from the improvised office in the corner of your bedroom? After the flip is done, treat yourself to some nice desk accessories and a fancy table lamp to make your work more enjoyable.
- playroom – families with children can never have too much space in their home, so every addition is valuable. Converting your garage to a living space can be a good option if your little ones do not have a room where they can play or do their hobbies. Speaking of hobbies, this can also be a nice rec room or a gym.
- granny flat – nursing homes and assisted living options are way too pricey and not many families can afford their services for their beloved ones. Incorporating a granny flat into your living space might be exactly what your family needs. Again, your garage is a good starting point for this adaptation. For your parents, moving to a new house can be done stress-free since they know they will be safe and taken care of in your home.
- renting unit – you wouldn’t be the first one to make your double-car garage the source of your income. Even though you will have to get permits and pay fees for such a conversion, the rent will soon fill in the gap in your budget left by remodeling.
Practical tips for the conversion
Now, let’s take a look at the scope of works you need to be prepared for in order to do this flip.
A decent living space cannot be imagined without natural light. That is why putting windows should be the first thing to do when remodeling a garage. Since the lighting in our home affects our emotions you also need to be careful about choosing artificial light sources. Don’t leave this for the end of your project. Sure you can buy table, wall, or floor lamps after the renovation is done, but the main sources of light will have to be determined in advance so that the electrical works can be done in a timely manner.
Get the plumbing and electrical right
Since you are basically making living space from scratch here, you will have to deal with electrical installations and water pipes. But before you do, you should know that there are some cities or counties that forbid putting a kitchen in your additional unit such as this one. Adding a bathroom is possible, but be prepared for a great expenditure.
Deal with the walls
Converting your garage to a living space will not be as easy as you might think. Even though new paint on the walls can do wonders this area of your home will need a bit more than that. Always ask for a professional opinion when putting up or taking down walls inside your home. You will need some serious construction work in your garage too to make it safe and practical.
Installing heating and cooling systems
Your garage is probably not insulated like the rest of your home, so you might even have to raise the existing floor to add the necessary protection from humidity. Only after that part is taken care of should you deal with heating and cooling systems. If necessary, you can contact professionals to help you chose the best option for your garage.
Change the garage door
A living space needs to have a proper entry. Instead of a garage door, you will have to put fully insulated walls and install the exterior door. If you were not able to put as many windows as you wished to, you can compensate by choosing an entry door model with sidelight and transom. That will additionally lighten a dark room and make it appear bigger and more open.
Provide a security system for your new room
Flipping your garage might be one of the best home improvements ideas but if it is not done the way it should, it can turn into a nightmare. Make sure that every step you take is in accordance with the local codes, building regulations, and fire safety. And don’t forget to include this new space in your security system.
Decorate the new living space
If you really want your former garage to look and feel like a comfortable living area, you will have to do some decorating. Mirrors will add a new dimension to your new room or apartment, so don’t forget to shop for those. You will also need some fine home lamps to make the space more inviting and create an overall warm atmosphere. If you are transforming your garage into a guest room or a granny flat, don’t forget to accessorize it with wall art and some bedside lamps.
Good luck with your garage transformation and we hope you enjoy the addition to your living space.