With fewer homes for sale today than in the last 40 years, the USAs facing an unprecedented housing shortage.

So, if you’re looking for more space in your home, the solution isn’t as simple as buying a larger property. 

A garage conversion could be the answer to your space issues, especially if your garage is in less-than-desirable condition.

It’s a useful alteration for housing family members that might experience difficulties finding somewhere to stay. It’s also great for accommodating children that have outgrown sharing with their siblings. 

These are the things you need to know before embarking on this type of project. 

Benefits of Converting Your Garage

In many cases, adding extra floor space to the livable area of your house can increase its value. You could also earn an extra income renting out your extra room to a tenant, or use it as a guest cottage for visitors.

Having an extra room gives you space for that private home office, hobby room, or man cave you’ve always wanted.

While a garage conversion might seem easier and cheaper than building an ADU, this isn’t always the case.

What’s Involved in Converting Your Garage?

Some municipalities don’t allow garage conversions, so check with yours before you get your hopes up. 

If you’re allowed to proceed, you’re likely to encounter a host of red tape and need several building permits before you start your alteration. That’s because you’re converting a space intended for inanimate objects into a place of human habitation.

Other rules and regulations include:

  • Ensuring your windows take up at least 5½ square feet of your total garage space
  • Maintaining a ceiling height of at least 7½ feet so you might have to raise the ceiling or lower the floor
  • Installing at least one wall-mounted light switch
  • Plumbing and sewage requirements if you’re installing a bathroom

You’ll need to upgrade your heating and cooling system to maintain 70°F in your garage and install insulation too. If your garage is below your house, you must look into waterproofing and drainage too.

Removing your garage door and replacing it with a wall is a costly undertaking. 

Drawbacks of a Garage Conversion

The most obvious downside of these construction projects is that you’ll lose all the handy storage space in your garage. If you only have one garage, you’ll also have to park your car outside.

If you live in an area with an extreme climate, you might damage your car by leaving it outdoors in very hot or cold weather. You could also devalue your home since many prospective buyers want the convenience of a garage.  

In these cases, it’s a better idea to consider garage repairs or splash out on a garage upgrade that will make it into a better space for your needs. 

Other Space Saving Ideas

Is a garage conversion a little out of your home improvement league? You can add value and space to your property in other ways.

Perhaps it’s time to declutter and rearrange your interiors instead?

Explore our website for more excellent tips on how to make the most of the space you’ve got.