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How to Convert Garages into Bedrooms

Updated February 21, 2017

Floorspace in a garage area can be more valuable as living space. As your family grows, you can turn an existing garage into one or more bedrooms. Later, you can build a free-standing carport or a detached garage to protect your cars. Building bedrooms in garage space should be more cost-effective than building from scratch.

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  1. Design a floor plan for one or two new bedrooms that will include a bathroom and closet space. One option to offer privacy in the new area is to design a hallway leading to the bedrooms. This will be needed if your garage is near your kitchen. Sketch walls, windows, light fixtures and electrical sockets into the plan. Figure out your source of heat and allow space for vents or wiring in your plans.

  2. Begin to build the area into liveable space by enclosing the exterior garage door space. Save or sell the garage doors. Knock out areas to accommodate new windows, if needed. Once the garage space is enclosed from the elements, frame all interior walls and install electrical wiring and fibreglass insulation between studs.

  3. Create space for plumbing and pipes, if you are building a bathroom. You will need a jackhammer to break through an existing concrete floor. Place the bathroom near an interior wall that presently carries pipes. Or, create an interior wall to hide pipes and drains.

  4. Install light fixtures and all electrical plugs and outlets. Attach drywall to the ceiling rafters and over all framework around the walls. Finish the drywall with joint compound, sanding and painting. Use flat or semi-glass paint. Connect to a heat source through new venting. Or, install an electric heater on the exterior wall of each bedroom.

  5. Install wooden flooring in the new bedroom areas. Call in a pest control company to help you pretreat for termites in the event you are laying wood over concrete. Place the commode, shower and sink vanity. Caulk as needed. Install baseboards, moulding and trim work in the finished areas.

  6. Tip

    Try to allow at least nine feet by 12 feet of living space for each bedroom. To create two bedrooms in the garage area, place a hallway across one end of the space. Place the bedroom doors to swing inward from the hallway. Don't forget to add closet space in your floor plans for each bedroom. A closet should be at least two feet deep by four feet in length. It's a good idea to place an overhead light in each closet.


    Don't forget to insulate with rolled fibreglass insulation above the garage area. The room will be extremely hot or cold without it, depending on the time of year. If there is attic space over a garage, you can have insulation blown into the space. If there is no pitched roof above the garage for adding insulation, you will need to staple it between rafters before you cover with drywall.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wooden flooring
  • Tile
  • Drywall
  • Joint compound
  • Paint
  • Brushes and rollers
  • Lumber
  • Electrical wiring
  • Light fixtures
  • Rented jackhammer

About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.

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