Converting your garage to a spare room can be a good move in the right situations. If having a garage is not adding any particular resale value or convenience to your home, consider what benefits the space might provide to you in a different form. Converting a garage to an additional room can give you anything from a spare bedroom to rent out to an extra space for your family to enjoy.
Check your local regulations and find out what types of permits and permissions you need to turn your garage into a spare room. These are different in every city, so always check before you build.
Decide what you want the purpose of the room to be. Some ideas for garage conversions include a spare bedroom, a rental suite, a utility room or a recreational room.
Get plans drawn up based on your decision for the purpose of the new room.
Apply for building permission and permits based on your plans.
Start with essential services. Have a qualified electrician and plumber come into your property and install or adapt any existing wiring and plumbing to meet the needs of the new room.
Address the roof. Building codes may require you to have rafters closer together in living space than in a garage, for example. Add insulation if the space is going to be used as living space.
Build a floor in your garage. Most garage floors are simply a concrete slab. Build a raised floor on wood to provide warmth and insulation.
Insulate the walls. Garage walls often do not have insulation up to the same standards as houses. Again, building codes may impact the level you have to go to with insulating the walls.
Decide what to do with the door. In many garage conversions, a garage door is no longer a practical access. You may need to have a builder come in and build a wall where the garage door previously existed. This may include a new door for outside access if another does not exist, or a solid wall if you have other access to the garage.
Almost any community requires a permit to convert a garage to liveable space. Never skip the step of checking with the building authorities in your area before embarking on a garage conversion.
Tips and warnings
- Almost any community requires a permit to convert a garage to liveable space. Never skip the step of checking with the building authorities in your area before embarking on a garage conversion.