If you’ve decided that you want to make more of your garage by turning it into a more usable space, such as a guest room, gym, games room or bedroom, there are a few things to take into consideration, first.
To help your garage conversion go successfully and give you the space you desire, here are a few top tips and a little basic guidance:
What must you have for a successful garage conversion?
Experts say that generally speaking, a successful garage conversion must take the following factors into consideration:
Windows – for the newly converted space to be livable and usable, you’ll need plenty of natural light and access to fresh air, and this can only really be achieved with several windows and/or sliding or folding (or both) glass doors.
Heat – some heating options are to have an electric baseboard professionally installed, extending the original central heating ductwork or installing fan-driven wall heaters or electric baseboards. Either way, you’ll need to make sure the space is warm enough in the winter months, and you might also want to think about insulation.
Ceiling – ideally, you’ll want a minimum ceiling height of 7.5 feet, but you’ll need to think carefully about this, especially if you’re raising the height of the floor.
Lighting – most garages should have at least one well-controlled light switch, but if yours doesn’t, you’ll need to have one installed.
Power outlets –to achieve sufficient spacing standards, you’ll need to install new wall outlets, or change them, and no cord should be more than 6 feet away from the outlet.
Here are 6 ways to help ensure that your garage conversion is a success
- Have the walls insulated
Most garage don’t have insulated ceilings or walls, meaning that they become cold, damp spaces during the colder months. Talk to your contractor about having rockwool, fiberglass roll or sprayed foam insulation installed.
- Raise the height of the floor
Your garage likely has a floor that is lower than the rest of your home, and while it isn’t essential to bring it up to the same level, it does make the space feel more usable, and avoids the need for steps.
- Install floor covering
Even if you’ve raised the floor of your home, you’ll still need to cover it, and there are plenty of options for doing so, from laminate flooring to vinyl planks or tiles.
- Improve the finish on the walls
In most instances, a lot of attention hasn’t been paid to the walls of a garage, and if you want the space to be truly usable and livable, you’ll need to concentrate on adding a more professional finish to them.
- Replace the garage door, or insulate it
Some garage conversions can work perfectly well with the original door in place, but to make the space more usable and keep it a pleasant, ambient temperature, you should consider insulating the door. If replacing the door with a wall, make sure the wall is insulated.
- Cover or disguise any non-aesthetically appealing areas
If you’re going to add a furnace, water heater or storage area for example, and want these areas to be hidden from view, you can ask your contractor to add non load bearing walls around them.
By working with an experienced company who specialize in garage conversions and remodeling, you can ensure that your garage conversion is everything you’d hoped it would be, and that it remains on schedule and within budget, too.