Converting a Garage into Additional Living Space

Home Builder with 3R's Construction & Remodeling 190818

Have you outgrown the available living space in your house? Perhaps you'd like an entertainment room or game room, but your home doesn't work for such things. Perhaps you want a guest room, a kid's room, or a home office so you can take care of family concerns and work at the same time. Simply said, this additional area doesn't work with your current floor layout.

This is the time when you could convert your garage into more living space. One major benefit of a garage conversion is that you may add extra space to your home in an unobtrusive, quick, and affordable manner.

An extensive remodeling project, a garage conversion entails raising the floor, insulating the walls, adding heating, cooling, and ventilation, as well as modernizing the doors and windows. However, this home renovation project will probably be much less expensive than starting from scratch to add on to your house.

Let's examine the advantages of converting your garage. These helpful hints will help you get ready for a garage conversion.

Garage Conversion can Increase the Value of Your Home

Will Converting Your Garage Add Value to Your Home?

A garage conversion could significantly increase the value of your house, according to MSN Real Estate. In fact, even with a smaller garage, if you live in a neighborhood with plenty of off-street parking, the value of your property may rise by 6 percent or more.

Your home's worth will increase in part based on how well the conversion goes and the kind of rooms you add. The good news is that you can often anticipate recouping 80% of the remodeling costs in the value of your house.

Costs of a Garage Conversion

Costs of a Garage Conversion

A garage conversion typically costs about half as much as starting from scratch to develop a room expansion. According to experts, depending on where you live and the kind of rooms you install into your garage, converting your garage will cost anywhere between $200 and $500 per square foot.

Be mindful that adding plumbing, HVAC, and electrical work to a garage conversion can quickly drive up the cost. The plumbing costs are frequently the most obvious.

Be ready for a large amount of new plumbing if you want to convert your garage into a usable place where you can cook, take a shower, and use the restroom.

The majority of garages have some kind of electrical wiring, which reduces electrical costs. However, it probably needs to be upgraded. The cost of adding breakers to meet your power needs will be one significant expense. Most garages just have one circuit for the lights. For bare-bones living arrangements, at least one more 20-amp circuit should be added.

Making your garage door into a solid wall is an additional cost of a garage conversion. Typically, a garage door does a terrible job of keeping heat inside during the winter and outside during the summer.

Among the additional cost considerations are the following:

  • Insulation
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Heating and cooling the new living space
  • Ceiling and security 

The regulations that used to make it challenging to obtain a garage conversion permit in Salem, Oregon have recently altered. The new regulations have made it easier than ever to implement this well-liked feature.

8 Tips for Preparing for Your Garage Conversion

1) Look into Zoning

Your garage conversion could succeed or fail depending on the law. Due to the surge in popularity of house sharing, garage permits have recently become more challenging to get in some places.

To convert a car into a livable area, you must research the regulations in your neighborhood. If you do not want to share or rent out your renovated garage, it will save you time and be much simpler to obtain the required licenses. To make up for the lost garage parking spaces, you might need to offer enough off-street parking.

2) Be Aware of Permits & Laws 

Obtaining a building permit is the only prerequisite for a garage conversion. The cost will vary based on where you live and the scope of your garage remodeling job, and is typically handled by your contractor.

You will need a building permit as well as documentation proving your property is expanding by square feet of residential space. According to Andrew Brown, a real estate advisor from Keller Williams Realty in Massachusetts, if you live in a region with high property taxes, you may have just raised your taxable square footage.

Conceal Area of Your Garage During a Remodel

3) Conceal Functional Areas in Your Garage

The garage serves as the hub for many household activities. These include, for instance:

  • Laundry room
  • Furnace 
  • Water heater

And these are but a few of the items typically seen in a garage.

Moving these services might be difficult and expensive. A excellent solution is to construct inside walls or closets to conceal them.

4) Create Covered Parking

Do you take special care to maintain the state of your car and are concerned about potential harm from harsh weather? Then you'll want to construct a carport to safeguard your vehicle.

Widen Garage Access Door when Remodeling

6) Install an Insulated Garage Door

Taking the garage conversion in the opposite direction and leaving the garage door in place is another strategy for hiding it. One benefit of doing this is that you can occasionally open the garage door to let fresh air into the living area. When a game or pool room is added, we frequently observe this. If you choose to do this, you should install an insulated garage door in place of the current one.

7) Create a Driveway Separation 

You don't want your driveway to end at a blank wall for both visual and functional reasons. Adjust the driveway so that it ends just short of the garage if you decide to replace your garage door.

Create a planting bed for flowers or shrubs to add some beauty to the area. You'll need to either remove the brick or break up the final few feet of concrete to accomplish this. This tiny gap between the driveway and the garage offers a welcome visual diversion.

Remodel Home Garage - Enhance Exterior Appeal

8) Enhance Exterior Appeal

If you choose to work with an architect for your garage conversion, they may help you integrate it with the façade of your home. To match the wall that encloses the entrance for the garage door, this could need drastically altering the appearance of the house.

Look to 3Rs Construction & Remodeling in Salem, Oregon for Your Next Home Addition

When planning a home remodel, there are numerous choices to be taken, as we are aware at 3Rs Construction & Remodeling. We will guide you through the process. It's crucial to understand what items are on your "must have" list and what your budget will allow.

3Rs will make your new addition appear as though it was always meant to be a part of your house, from design to finishing touches. We take care in mixing sheetrock textures, paint colors, and appropriate lighting utilizing time-tested methods. Even those unfinished basements, garages, and attics can be transformed into functional living areas.

Give us a call at (503) 363-1059 so that we can begin working on your new home addition right away!

Comments (5)

John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Duane West very good detailed report converting a garage into additional living space.

Feb 08, 2023 08:13 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

This is an interesting topic that you bring up Duane. I know some people have to do the extra living space conversion. I personally not a fan of converting a garage to living space with the possible exception of building a detached garage and have the additional living space connected to the main home. People need a place to park their nice cars, golf clubs, bicycles, workbench and tools not to mention general storage. It is a detraction in value to have a home without a garage, I think especially when thinking of the next buyer of a home. Thanks for your good input in your blog. Jeff

Feb 08, 2023 09:48 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Duane - thinking outside the box can lead to many mind-expanding experiences.  A garage conversion is just one of those possibilities.  A brainstorming of ideas can lead to more.  Your post helps make that possible.  

Feb 09, 2023 05:35 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
Feb 19, 2023 04:35 AM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Excellent Information. Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day and a blessed weekend.

Mar 18, 2023 05:03 PM