The goal of improving your home is one you can approach from different angles. You can go big or small with your modifications and a garage conversion probably falls somewhere in the middle.
Converting your garage may not be the first thing that came to mind when you were trying to come up with ways to improve your home. That is understandable. The garage is a part of the home many of us tend to overlook. Many homeowners may not even think you can convert it into a living space.
In this article, we will talk about the different reasons why converting your garage into a living space could make a lot of sense. We will also highlight the factors homeowners must consider before they push forward with a garage conversion.
Stay tuned to learn more about an important home renovation project.
The Reasons Why You Should Convert Your Garage
To get the ball rolling, let’s discuss how converting your garage into a living space can be beneficial to you. Consider them carefully as you ponder your decision.
You Can Comfortably Accommodate Your Growing Family
There is a good chance that you are considering converting your garage because you need to accommodate your growing family. The home you purchased years before may now be too small because your kids are older and need their own rooms. Transforming your garage can provide a solution to that problem.
Moving to a bigger home can be expensive. On top of that, you and your family will also need to adjust to your new neighborhood.
You can avoid all the problems brought about by moving if you decide to convert your garage.
Fewer Limitations Are Imposed on Garage Conversions
Building an accessory dwelling unit is one way to alleviate the lack of living space on your property. However, you may need to meet several requirements before starting work on that project. You may need to wait a while before work can begin on that project.
The accessory dwelling unit can still prove to be worth it, but you may not have the time to wait for it. Getting a garage conversion project approved may be easier.
California towns that previously banned those conversions have since eased their stance. Chances are you will not run into problems on that end.
The limitations on garage conversions are also fairly reasonable. This document highlights the garage conversion requirements for San Diego residents. As you will see, they are easy to meet as long as your garage is not encroaching on public property.
Transforming your garage is likely less of a hassle compared to building an accessory dwelling unit. That alone is reason enough for many people to favor the conversion option.
You Do Not Need Additional Space for Building
Always be mindful of how much room you have to work with before planning any new project. The last thing you want is to pour time and resources into planning only to find out that you do not have the space for it.
Space is an important consideration for accessory dwelling units. Do you have enough space on your property to accommodate that new structure? Are you potentially interfering with property or supply lines by building it?
Those are some of the questions you need to answer if you want a new structure built on your property. You will not need to worry as much about them if you are opting to convert your garage instead.
Simply use the space available in your garage to create the room you need.
Converting a Garage Can Be Done Quickly
Major construction projects are expensive. They also tend to take a lot of time. That could be a real issue for you.
If there is an urgent need for additional living space, building an accessory dwelling unit may no longer be a feasible option for you. You should look into renovating your garage instead.
Your converted garage probably will not be ready overnight, but it also will not take weeks or months to complete. No one inside your household will need to be uncomfortable for a prolonged period of time.
Save Money by Opting for the Conversion
Homeowners should also consider repurposing their garage because it could be the more cost-effective option.
Building a new structure on your property will cost a lot of money. You can hire a designer and build a company to cut your costs considerably, but the project will still be expensive. There is no way to avoid that completely if you are building a new dwelling unit.
Garage conversions are not cheap, but they are still more affordable relative to home additions. Paying someone to redesign that area may not be necessary if it already offers a decent amount of space.
Increase Your Home’s Value
Lastly, you should consider converting your garage into a living space because doing so can increase home value.
Many buyers like having that extra room. The buyers can repurpose that room as they see fit, and they like having that option.
Attract more buyers by transforming your garage. With so many people interested in your listing, you could also up your asking price and turn a larger profit.
Common Thoughts Why People Don’t Convert Their Garage
Repurposing your garage could turn out to be a beneficial move on your part for the reasons we have laid out above. However, there are still potential drawbacks to it as well.
We have detailed the potential reasons why converting your garage may not be the right move for you to make. Keep them in mind as you go through your decision-making process.
Garage Space Is Too Valuable
What is the number one reason why you should not remodel your garage? It is the fact that you are losing garage space.
A driveway can serve as your de facto parking lot. Keep your cars there when they are not in use, and they should be fine.
With no driveway available, you may not keep your vehicle on your property. You will need a garage to house your vehicle.
Creating that additional living space sounds enticing, but is it worth what you are potentially giving up? Are you okay with no longer having your vehicle on your property or possibly not having any car at all?
Your specific situation will dictate your answers to those questions. They should also influence your decision regarding the potential garage conversion.
Loss of Storage and Utility Space
Garages are primarily for storing vehicles, but that is not their only purpose.
For example, garages often double as storage areas for many households. People use them to store old furniture, childhood mementos, and other random items. Instead of paying for an expensive storage locker, you can use your garage.
Storing old items in your garage also means you have easy access to them. If you ever need to retrieve them for whatever reason, they are still right there on your property. It is hard to beat having access to such a convenient storage space.
Losing all of that in exchange for living space may be a good trade-off for some, but that may not be the case for your household.
No More Hobby Space
Beyond serving as a storage room for vehicles and random items, a garage can also be a workshop. People keep all of their power tools in there and start building all kinds of items.
The garage works well for that purpose because it is separate from the home. Hobbyists can concentrate better while they are in there.
You will lose your home workshop if you transform your garage. That may not seem like a big deal, but it could be the deciding factor for some homeowners.
The Factors to Consider Before Converting Your Garage
After weighing the pros and cons of converting your garage, you may have decided to proceed with that project. It is great that you have decided, but there are still some things you need to consider before you get started.
The Cost of Garage Conversion
The biggest factor to consider in any garage conversion project is the cost. The final cost of the project will depend largely on the current status of your garage.
For instance, your garage may not have any windows currently. According to Home Advisor, installing a new window will cost around $300 to $1,200. That is only the cost for a single window.
When you consider other basic additions such as outlets and insulation, the cost can easily climb to over $1,000. Decorating that new room may also tack on thousands of additional dollars to the final bill.
The cost of converting your garage may be more affordable compared to a full-blown addition but it is still pricey. Make sure you have your finances in order before moving ahead with that conversion.
The Comfort Level of Your Garage
Next up, you want to take a closer look at how comfortable your garage is. Can it be used as a comfortable living space?
Since many of us do not build our garages with plans to use them as living spaces, we do not pay much attention to how comfortable they are. You may not have invested too much in using the right materials or carving out room for people to rest in.
Furthermore, some basic features in any living space may also be missing in your current garage. Those may include wiring, pieces of furniture, and even flooring.
You can address those issues during renovation, but they will inevitably cause your expenses to rise. At that point, the cost of repurposing your garage may be as expensive as renovating your home. One can argue that renovating your home is the right move in that scenario.
The Appearance of the Converted Garage
Cost and comfort are important to consider when transforming your garage. However, they may not be the only things that matter to you.
Understandably, whoever’s staying in that room will want it to at least look presentable. Modifying the appearance of the garage is also possible during conversion, but there may be a limit to how good it can look.
That new room may not look as good as the other ones found in your home. You will need have to live with that.
You also need to consider how the new room will look from the outside. Does it mesh well with the rest of your home, or does it stand out like a sore thumb?
The converted garage is supposed to be an asset to your property. It will not be looked at that way if it turns out ugly. If anything, it may cost the overall value of your property to drop.
The Garage Door
One more thing you want to consider before repurposing your garage is the door. You must figure out what you want to do with it.
Removing the garage door is an option, but that will force you to make other changes. Most homeowners prefer not to retain the garage door during remodeling. They do not want it messing with the appearance of the new room, so they get rid of it.
With the garage door removed, you will need to fill out that space somehow.
Consider replacing the garage door with a new wall to finish the new room properly. You can also place a more conventional door where the garage door used to be. Take the time to pick out a secure door because it will be easy to access.
Converting your garage is one of the best ways to free up living space on your property. Repurposing a garage is less of a hassle compared to building a new accessory dwelling unit. On top of that, they are also cost-effective projects that can increase property value.
Are you interested in converting your garage and turning it into a new space? We at Eco Minded Solutions can help you complete that project. Get in touch with us today so we can start working on transforming that part of your home.
Ready to Learn More? Book a FREE Consultation NowSchedule a Consultation