One of the smartest ways to add living space to your home is through converting the garage.
If your garage is attached to the house, you can transform it into a living space quickly and affordable. A well-planned garage conversion will help you create a new room that blends with the existing house and might be adapted to serve many different purposes.
Most of the time, attached garages make for ideal locations for expanded kitchens, offices or family rooms, but with a little bit of planning they can easily serve as extra rooms you can rent out to gain some additional cash.
Here are 8 things you should consider when turning your garage into living space.
If your garage is attached to the house, you may be able to extend the existing heating and cooling systems into the new space. If that is not an option, have a look at independent systems. For example, you can supply heat by electric baseboards woodstoves or gas space heaters. A room air conditioner will be able to handle warm weather very well. Remember to add insulation to your floor, walls, and ceiling before deciding how you will be heating or cooling the space.
An interesting option is a radiant floor heating system – it’s relatively easy to install on an existing concrete slab.
Do you expect to increase the electrical usage in the converted space? If so, you should add at least one new 20 amp circuit. Many garages have a single lighting circuit, and most rooms require more electrical service than that. It may take several extra circuits if your converted space is to be used as a room with appliances. Remember that if you are turning a detached garage to a living space, you can run extra wiring from the house through an underground conduit.
Please be sure to ask a professional for assistance and do it properly so you meet the council’s regulations and also avoid any accidents.
If you’re planning to convert your garage into a room that needs plumbing, prepare for some trouble. Supplying water to the garage is easy, but drainage might be problematic. Consult a plumber to see what your options are. Don’t forget that extra plumbing lines are often the most considerable expense in the garage conversion project.
At the end of the day, the space doesn’t need to have plumbing, it’s just an option for those thinking ” Granny flat”.
4. Building regulations approval
Just because you are converting an existing space rather than constructing a new building, it doesn’t mean that you will not need a permit. The use of the building and its external constructions may be of interest to the local authorities, so you need to ask them first. It depends on the area you’re in, but be sure to check whether you need to obtain a permit before beginning any remodelling work.
Adding windows will make the new space feel more like a real room rather than a conversion. If your garage faces the garden, it’s enough to replace one wall with a floor-to-ceiling window or folding sliding door to make it seem more spacious. New windows usually don’t need planning permission, but they need to be double glazed and energy-efficient to be approved by building control.
6. Garage walls
Garage walls are usually single course brickwork that might not meet building regulations for moisture and insulation. You can solve this problem by adding an interior insulated stud wall. Inside, you can comfortably accommodate insulation and services.
You can also add partitions to create other rooms by using curtains or installing folding/ sliding walls.
7. Replacing doors
The garage door may need to be replaced with a new one. And that may mean that you’ll need new foundations. However, you can choose from several different options. For example, you can have lintels set just below the ground level that will bear on the existing foundations.
8. Room layout
When remodelling your garage into a room, focus on the intended use of the living space. It will guide you to decide the floor plan for your room. For example, consider the existing access point to the garage and whether any separate access points could make it more convenient for you. A floor plan should include the measurements of the room to help you plan where to place furniture and items you need. If you want to use a part of the converted garage space for storage, you need to take that step.
Follow these 8 tips when converting the garage to ensure its done successfully and efficiently.