Tips for Converting a Garage Into a Living Space
When you think of your garage, the words “homey” and “cozy” don’t come to mind. But with a little work, you can turn most garages into new, separate rooms that are as comfortable as any other in the house. When you convert your garage, you add living space without losing yard space or investing time and money into building an addition. While every refurbishment project has its challenges and drawbacks, converting your garage Is easier than you think. Here are several tips for converting a garage into a living space.
Make Sure You Can Do It!
While there’s nothing wrong with setting up a few chairs and a TV set in the garage to watch the big game, making it a living space is something else. Check your town’s laws and codes to see if it’s permitted, and if you need a permit. Even still, garages are not intended to be bedrooms, living rooms, or the like. For one thing, they lack sufficient ventilation, security, and safety features. It’s not just a matter of buying a furniture set and moving in right away. See if it’s legal, and then consider the budget for making it possible. You may need to hire an architect to help redesign the place.
Garages are rarely insulated, which allows heat and cold to get in or escape. Install fiberglass or insulation board on the walls and consider an extra layer of drywall. Add fiberglass batting to the ceiling and seal that in as well. If you can, have your garage door removed and replaced with another wall. If the floor is a concrete slab, you may need to add a raised floor as well to stay cozy.
When considering our tips for converting a garage into a living space, don’t forget the need for natural light. Many garages don’t have windows, or at the most, just one. Depending on which ways the walls are facing, decide which ones would do best with windows. There’s also the issue of overhead and other lighting in the room. Talk to an electrician about rewiring the space, including outlets as well as lighting fixtures. If you’d like a shower or bathroom in the space, call a plumber to see if there’s any potential there.
One thing to remember is that when you gain a new room, you lose a space for your car and a bunch of other stuff. Where will it all go? If street parking suffices, that’s fine, but adding a carport to your driveway is an even better idea. When you convert the space, keep the idea of a close or loft space or even a second story in mind, so all the stuff currently in your garage doesn’t just end up inside, taking up space.
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