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Tips to Turn a Garage Into a Living Space

For most homeowners, the garage is little more than a storage area - a repository where junk and seasonal items lay dormant until they're needed again. However, there's no reason for a garage to be such a cluttered mess. In fact, with the proper planning and development, you can convert a garage into a decent living space.

Whether you're expanding your family or want to make your garage more hospitable to guests, here are the top tips for making your garage more livable.

Know Your Zoning Laws

Since the garage is part of your home, you may assume that any renovations are fully legal as long as you don't alter the foundation or size of the property. However, depending on where you live, you may have to consider specific zoning laws. These laws dictate elements like building codes, which you must comply with when converting a garage into a living area.

That said, if you're mostly just going to clear it out and have some extra furniture in the garage, zoning shouldn't be an issue. However, if you want to add plumbing, fixtures, or other renovation elements, you should check with your county zoning office first to be safe.

Consider Flooring Options

Since garages are meant to house vehicles, they come with sturdy concrete floors. Unfortunately, concrete is terrible for insulation as it can sap heat from the rest of the room and make it harder to control the interior temperature. So, one of the best ways to make your garage more livable is to update the flooring.

Typically, the best options are carpeting or vinyl flooring that can adhere to the concrete directly. Otherwise, you'll have to lay a substrate down if you want to install hardwood or tile flooring. Both of these options can be appealing, but they're also expensive.

A Bathroom or No Bathroom?

Installing a bathroom is one of the best ways to make a garage more livable. While you have to consider the plumbing and electrical needs (as well as zoning laws), the investment can be more than worth it. Plus, when reselling the house, you can ask for more money since you'll have an extra bedroom and bathroom on the listing.

Consider Resale Value

Some buyers may appreciate a converted garage, while others might want somewhere to store their cars. If you're doing a "quick and dirty" renovation, you may need to tear it up when planning to put the house for sale. However, if you go all-out and perform significant renovations, you may be able to increase your home's resale value substantially, meaning you can recoup most of your investment.

DIY vs. Professional Renovation

As a rule, DIY renovations are ideal for installing fixtures or performing relatively simple flooring projects. So, when deciding to convert your garage, you want to consider how much of the original foundation will stay and how much you will change. Also, do some DIY renovations to get a sense of what's possible, then call in the pros once you've made a final decision.

Overall, you want to avoid messing with your home's plumbing or electrical system yourself and try to avoid anything that could damage the foundation or structural supports.

Move Into Your Dream House With Help From Us!

Renovating a garage is a lot of work, but what if you could move into a bigger home with more living space? Then, if you're ready to make the change, let us help you move! We'll take care of the details so you can get settled much faster!