Converting a Garage into Additional Living Space
Have you outgrown your home's available living space? Maybe you want a game room or recreational area, but your house doesn't allow these activities. Perhaps you want a guest room, a kid's room, or a home office so you can work and tend to family matters. This extra space just doesn't fit into your current floor plan.
This is when it is a natural inclination to convert your garage into additional living space. One main advantage of a garage conversion is that you get extra space to work with in a way that is relatively fast, inexpensive, and unobtrusive.
A garage conversion is an ambitious remodeling project that includes raising the floor, insulating the walls, adding heating, cooling, and ventilation, as well as updating doors and windows. But this home improvement project is likely to be considerably cheaper than building an addition from scratch to your home.
Let's look at why converting your garage could benefit you. Here are some practical tips for preparing for a garage conversion.
3Rs Construction & Remodeling is here to help you remodel your garage and convert it to usable space. We are your trusted general contractor in Salem, Oregon.
Will Converting Your Garage Add Value to Your Home?
According to MSN Real Estate, a garage conversion could add a lot to your home's value. In fact, if you live in an area with ample space to park off the street, even with a smaller garage, your home's value might increase by 6 percent or more.
The value added to your home will be partially based on how seamless the conversion is and the type of rooms you build. The good news is that you can usually expect to recoup 80 percent of the remodeling costs in your home's value.
Costs of a Garage Conversion
Generally, a garage conversion will cost approximately half of what you would spend to build a room addition from scratch. The consensus among experts is that converting your garage will vary from $200.00 to $500 per square foot, depending on where you live and the type of rooms you add into your garage.
Be aware that plumbing, HVAC, and electrical work can quickly increase the expense of a garage conversion. The most noticeable cost is often the plumbing.
If you want to transform your garage into a livable space where you can shower, use the bathroom, and cook, be prepared for a significant amount of additional plumbing.
As for electrical costs, the majority of garages have some type of electrical wiring. However, it will probably require upgrading. One major expense will be adding breakers for your power requirements. Most garages have only one lighting circuit. You should add at minimum one more 20-amp circuit for basic living conditions.
An added expense associated with a garage conversion is converting your garage door into a solid wall. A garage door typically does a poor job keeping the heat in during the winter and out in the summer.
Among the additional cost considerations are the following:
- Heating and cooling the new living space
- Ceiling and security
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Salem has recently changed the rules that used to make it difficult to get a garage conversion permit. The new rules have paved the way to make this popular addition easier than ever.
8 Tips for Preparing for Your Garage Conversion
1) Look into Zoning
It is the legalities that have the potential to make or break your garage conversion. Garage permits – in some areas – have been more difficult to obtain recently due to the rise in the popularity of house sharing.
You will need to investigate requirements in your community for transforming vehicle space into a habitable space. It will save you time and make it much easier to secure the necessary permits if you don't plan on sharing or renting out your remodeled garage. However, you may have to provide sufficient off-street parking to replace the lost garage parking stalls.
2) Be Aware of Permits & Laws
The one requirement for a garage conversion is securing a building permit. This is usually handled by your contractor, and the cost will vary depending on where you live and the expense of your garage remodeling project.
In addition to a building permit, you will have to acknowledge that you are adding square feet of living space to your property. It is worth noting that if you reside in an area with high property taxes, you may have just increased your taxable square footage, according to Andrew Brown, a real estate consultant from Keller Williams Realty in Massachusetts.
3) Conceal Functional Areas in Your Garage
The garage is the focal point for numerous house functions. Examples of these functions are:
- Laundry room
- Water heater
And these are just some of the things found typically in a garage.
Moving these services can be challenging and costly. So, a good option is to hide them by building interior walls or closets.
4) Create Covered Parking
Are you particular about keeping your car in good condition – and don't want harsh weather to damage your vehicle potentially? Then you will want to protect your car by building a carport.
6) Install an Insulated Garage Door
Another way of disguising the garage conversion is to take it in the opposite direction – leave the garage door in place. One advantage of doing this is that you can periodically raise the garage door to open the living space to the outside. We see this a lot when adding a game or pool room. If you decide to do this, you'll want to replace the existing garage door with an insulated garage door.
7) Create a Driveway Separation
Both for aesthetic and practical reasons, you don't want your driveway leading into a blank wall. If you opt to replace your garage door, adjust the driveway so it stops just short of the garage.
Add some beauty to the area by making a planting bed for shrubs or flowers. To do this, you'll need to break up the last several feet of concrete or remove the brick. This narrow division provides a welcomed visual diversion between the driveway and the garage.
8) Enhance Exterior Appeal
If you decide to hire an architect for your garage conversion, they can assist you in blending in the garage conversion with the rest of your home's exterior. This could mean significantly changing the appearance of the house to match the wall that covers the garage door opening.
Look to 3Rs Construction & Remodeling for Your Next Home Addition
At 3Rs Construction & Remodeling, we know that many decisions must be made when planning a home remodel. 3Rs Construction & Remodeling will walk you through the process. Knowing what's on your must-have list and what your budget will allow is important.
From design to the finishing touches, 3Rs will make your new addition look like it was meant to be a part of your home. We take pride in using the time-proven techniques of blending sheetrock textures, paint colors, and proper lighting. We can even turn those unfinished attics, garages, and basements into practical living spaces.
Call us at (503) 363-1059, so we can get started on your new home addition today!