When you find you need more space such as an office, bedroom, or a bigger living room, many people will want to convert their garage into a living space. Converting the garage is one of the most cost effective ways to get more living space. There are already walls, a foundation and a roof in place, however there are some considerations you will want to resolve to make sure your garage conversion goes smoothly. My General Contractor will share what to know about garage conversions and how to properly prepare.
Can You Leave the Garage Door in a Garage Conversion?
One of the first challenges to overcome when converting a garage is the large opening for the garage door. You will need to have the garage door and it’s operating system completely removed. The next step is considering what to do with the opening. You can wall it off or make it a creative piece. The opening for the garage door can be built out as a bay window, a door that leads to a patio, or extend the garage out and make it another room. Before you simply wall off the garage door opening, consider your possibilities and get creative. You may find you will enjoy your garage conversion much more!
Do You have to Raise the Floor in a Garage Conversion?
In a garage the floor is an un-insulated concrete slab and often drops a few inches lower than the rest of the home’s floors. A garage floor is usually lower than the rest of the foundation so water can naturally drain out. Many people will wash their vehicle or do projects where water may be present inside the garage. When converting the garage you may want to raise the floor so that it is level with the rest of the home. If you do not choose this option, at least look into providing insulation for the floors.
Heating & Cooling for Converted Garage
Most garages will not have any heating or cooling system running into the garage. At most, some garages may use a portable cooling or heating device. If you will want to convert the garage into some kind of living space, you will need to figure out the best way to connect and add ductwork into the garage. This could also affect the HVAC system where you may even need to increase the size of your heating and cooling units. Another option is investing in a ductless heating and cooling unit which will save you more money.
How Hard is it to Add Electrical & Plumbing to a Garage?
Most garages will have some plumbing and often adequate electrical wiring that makes it easy to add lights and other electrical fixtures. Depending on how you plan to convert your garage, you may need to add more plumbing and wiring to your electrical system. Both major plumbing and electrical systems may require a permit and a licensed electrical and plumbing service. One of the more expensive systems to add will be the plumbing. If the project requires plumbing and electrical work, make sure you are properly prepared.