From Garage to Bedroom (Or Whatever You Want!) – The Basics on Converting

Converting a garage is neither easy, nor is it cheap.  It simply might be easier and cheaper than any other options for adding space to your place when you need it.  With that in mind, this article is by no means a detailed guide on how to convert a garage, but it does help you consider some of the details that are needed for this type of home improvement.

Garage to Bedroom Conversion

What this article is, is a guide to the basic ideas behind garage conversion, in order to give you a better idea of what it takes if you decide to undertake the project in your home.
Building Codes
Something people often don’t think about, it might not even be possible to legally convert your garage.  You’ll have to check the building code that applies to your home to know whether or not a conversion is in the cards.
The Garage Door
If you just move the cars out and move stuff in, you’ll mostly end up very hot in the summer, very cold in the winter and with a “room” that fools no one into thinking it’s not a garage. For a true conversion, the door has to go. This involves not only taking the actual door off, but all the supporting mechanisms and machinery, then adding a wall.
The Floor
You might think, “Hey, it’s already got a floor!” Well, yes, but notice how your garage is lower than the rest of your house. That’s not just so the car can roll in easily, it’s because the floor in the rest of your home is insulated.  Garage floors are almost always bare concrete, and you’ll need to install a raised floor with insulation in it if you’re going to exist comfortably in the garage.
More Insulation, Plus the Rest of the Wall
Speaking of insulation, notice how the walls in your garage aren’t the same as the rest of your house?  That’s because there was really no need to insulate them when it wasn’t a living area.  You’ll need to add a second insulated layer of wall to what’s already there.  This means buying and installing the insulation, possibly adding some support and studs for drywall.
Electricity and Lights
More than likely, your garage doesn’t have all that many outlets or lights in it. Once again, this isn’t going to be great for extended use.  When you add a new layer of wall, you’ll have to move the electric outlets into it, and more than likely you’ll have to add a new circuit, such as a 20-amp, to support the additional power usage.  You may even want new areas hardwired for lights and new outlets.
Windows and Doors
A big room with no windows and the door that the garage originally had probably isn’t going to be very inviting.  And yes, adding a window where there was none is about as easy as you’d think it’d be, though it can absolutely turn a room from an obvious converted garage into a true part of the home.
The Dreaded Plumbing
If the new room needs plumbing, such as for a bathroom or kitchen area, things are going to get messy.  Plumbing is neither easy nor cheap to add, mostly due to the need for drainage, and just about the only break you can catch here is if your garage was connected to or very near a utility room you don’t really need.
The Cost
So, what’ll all this cost you? Probably somewhere between $15,000-50,000.  If you add a bathroom you’ll have to tack on quite a bit more.  If you’re really handy (and have a lot of free time), you could maybe reduce that to around $7000.  But if you’re that good, you probably don’t need this article to tell you what to do.  It’s not a cheap project, but if you build an actual addition to your house, you’ll need to do everything listed in this article, plus a whole lot more.
If you decide to go for it, all of us at Prestige Painting wish you the best of luck in what’s sure to be a difficult yet ultimately rewarding endeavor.
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