Today, homeowners need more space than ever to enjoy being at home. Some people have plenty of space within the walls of their homes, while others could use an extra room or two. Many of the latter are finding that space in the garage. Whether it’s a home gym, home office, or some other usable living space, the garage is fast becoming an important part of a home’s usable living space.
Before you begin planning how to use your garage for anything other than car storage, take a look at the considerations below.
Should You Do Away with Your Car Storage?
While many people are opting to park their vehicles outside in order to obtain more usable living space, the question remains: Should you do away with your car’s storage altogether?
If converting the entire garage into something other than a garage sounds drastic to you, perhaps turning just half of it into something else and still having one slot to park a car in makes more sense. This way, you’ll still have a garage plus bonus space to do with as you want.
The Cost of Converting a Garage
It’s hard to estimate the cost of converting a garage into usable living space because it depends on what you’re turning it into, the materials you use, etc. If you plan to turn it into an apartment, for instance, the cost will be higher because you’ll need to run plumbing and update the electrical. The best way to determine the cost of a garage conversion is to talk to a contractor who can give you an accurate estimate.
The Condition of the Garage
What kind of condition is your garage in? Is there a lot of stuff stored in the rafters? Before you can begin any type of conversion, you’ll need to clean out the space and determine the condition of the structure. Is the structure sound? Does the floor pitch to one side to allow for water runoff? These are all things you’ll need to consider and get creative about if you plan to turn your garage into an additional living space.
Permits and Zoning
Just because you’ve decided to turn your garage into something else doesn’t mean you’ll be able to. Zoning laws may prohibit the conversion you desire, so check with your contractor to find out if doing so is even possible.
Also, you’ll need to acquire the proper permits to make such a conversion, which could cost a pretty penny. Again, your contractor can help you with this.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Before you jump into such a complex project as converting a garage into something other than car storage, ask yourself these questions.
- How much will it improve my life?
- Should I rent it out once it’s finished?
- How will a conversion affect my property value?
Be honest with yourself and get the opinions of anyone else in the home who may benefit from converting the garage into a living space.