The garage is one of the most useful areas of a home. It is extra square footage typically attached directly to the home, and is a blank canvas for any homeowner. While most use the garage as a space for cars, tools, and other items that require storage, many are interested in converting the extra square footage to a useable bedroom, office, studio, or entertaining space.
While it can seem like a fairly straightforward idea to convert the space, there are many factors that should be considered before undertaking the project. What once seemed like an affordable, quick project can turn into an unexpectedly huge undertaking.
Here are five things to consider:
Because most Utah new homes for sale have attached garages, many home buyers desire to utilize that space effectively. For those who want to transform the space into a livable area, the first thing to consider is the garage door. Because garage doors are not completely sealed, in order to have an efficient space completely closed off from the elements, you might need to replace the garage door. Framing the space with drywall can be pricier than you might expect, thus it is important to factor that cost into the conversion.
Typically, garage floorings are concrete. Also, many garage floors are slightly sloped, either in the direction of a floor drain, or in the direction of the garage door. If the slope is not too uncomfortable or noticeable, it is not a big deal. However, if it bothers you, it will probably need to be leveled.
Unless previously installed, garages do not come with a thermostat or any ventilation for air conditioning and heating, which can leave the space uncomfortable depending upon the current weather. While some houses have the ability to extend the existing heating and cooling systems into the garage without too much construction, some garages might not be as lucky. In the event you have to install a new system, consider purchasing a window AC unit and a floor heater to save money. Additionally, in order to keep the area as energy efficient as possible, look to add insulation to the walls before covering with drywall.
If the space is only being used as an office, plumbing may not be an issue. However, if you are looking to convert the space into an apartment or separate living quarters, adding plumbing to the space can be a huge headache. Plumbers will be able to give you options and estimates about what to do and how expensive it will be. If your home has a bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room next to the garage, adding plumbing to the garage will be much easier.
Lastly, you may need to add circuits and outlets in your garage if you intend to increase the electrical usage in the garage. This is especially important if you intend to use the space as a rental unit.
Before starting the garage renovation, consider these things first.