How to Convert Your Garage to Living Space

A garage conversion can add value to your property as well as additional living space to your home. We take a look at what to consider when converting your garage

A well-thought out garage conversion can add as much as 10% to the value of your home. If you would be wise enough, you would know what to do with your steel garage door after your conversion. Expect to pay between £5,000 and £8,000 for converting the average single garage, making it one of the most cost effective ways to improve your property’s resale value.  An additional benefit is increased living space without incurring the costs and inconveniences of moving house. You can seek for the help of any garage door repair services in Kansas, Nevada or even in Arizona.

Design and Space Planning

At five metres long by two and a half metres wide, the internal space of most garages is longer and thinner than most rooms in a house. To achieve a more natural shape, consider using stud or block walling to convert the garage into two rooms, typically a toilet, shower or storeroom.

Consider also how you plan to use the rooms, and either make some drawings yourself or get some made.

Insulation and Damp-Proofing

Insulation:

In pitched roofs, go for two layers of 150mm glass fibre quilt, one between the joists, another over as usual.

Flat roofs tend to need one layer between of rigid PUR insulation board and another below — the space in between flat roof joists however can’t be entirely filled. A 50mm air gap must be left above for ventilation. The second layer underneath will drop the ceiling height a bit. Typically 150mm deep flat roof joists will receive 100mm of PUR insulation between the joists and 50mm beneath them.

As with floors, if the ceiling height is an issue (due to smaller than 150mm deep joists allowing less insulation between) multi-foil laminate insulants can help reduce the thickness of the under layer.

Damp-proofing: The concrete floor may or may not have been cast over a damp-proof membrane (DPM). In recent decades, integral garages would normally have included a DPM and certainly the walls would have a damp-proof course (DPC). But without plaster and screed finishing to conceal them, the two elements would not meet as they would in the house. Protecting the concrete floor with a polythene or paint-on DPM and dressing it up under your new finishing to the DPC layer will ensure that damp is not a problem.

Plumbing and Wiring

Make a thorough survey of the plumbing and wiring in the house and garage. Any wall you plan to pierce for doorways or windows needs special attention. Locate the main outflows for water, and, if you plan to install a toilet, the soil outflow.

Check the garage for wiring in the walls and ceiling. Rewiring the garage for lights and electric radiators will place additional strain on the household mains, which is fused at 100 amps. An additional mains supply can be installed, with the cost varying from £500 to £20,000. This will also require the installation of a separate consumer unit.

Otherwise, locate the garage on the current consumer unit. If it doesn’t have its own miniature circuit breaker (MCB), consider replacing the consumer unit or upgrading it. If the garage is to be another habitable room in your house, its own MCB is probably enough. Consider adding at least one new 20-amp circuit.

Wiring to a detached garage can be run through an underground conduit. If it is to be a separate dwelling, a new connection may be required, depending on likely power usage; consult an electrician.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some practical information that can be useful to you for all your renovation projects, from a simple change of counter to the expansion of your house.

BATHROOM

Here are some renovation tips that can make a difference:

-To stay within a reasonable budget, respect water arrivals and evacuations (expensive plumbing costs).

-A new floor followed by a bit of paint and voila!

-Changing the handles on furniture can rejuvenate it. If the budget allows it, change its doors without touching the cabinets.

-Refresh your accessories (soap dish, trash can, towel handler, candles etc.)

-The lighting makes all the difference! (Hint: add a dimmer)

-Be creative: want something you’ve never had? Do something you’ve never done! Add a bright color (on walls or in your accessories), a mirror on the wall above the bath, beautiful frames, etc.

KITCHEN

Here are some questions, answers and tips that will guide you in the right direction and help you save some time.

  1. Make a list

Why do you want to renovate your kitchen? Want more storage? Modernize the style? What elements would you change : cabinets, countertops, appliances, flooring, backsplash ? Do you want to add an island (central unit)? Make a list of everything you want to renovate in order of importance. Thus, if along the process you need to eliminate some options to stay within your budget, you can eliminate those from the bottom of your list!

  1. Budget

This is the basis of everything. It will let you know what you will be able to achieve on your list and allows you to determine the amount that will be allocated to each task. Ex: $ 7,000 for kitchen cabinets, $ 2,500 for household, $ 400 for paint, etc. (It’s possible that you don’t know the cost of some of the work, please refer to the 3rd paragraph.) Remember to allocate 80% of the original budget for the entire project. This way, if changes or unforeseen should occur, you can stay within your budget.

Getting a plan and a quote allows you to avoid wasted time and costly changes. With a plan created by a kitchen designer, coordination of job shifts is set in advance which greatly reduces time and expenses. The money invested in a plan and an estimate is never lost because you can avoid costly surprises and changes that may affect your budget.

  1. Materials

Be ready: shop for your materials (furniture, fixtures, colors, etc.) by flipping through magazines such as DécorMag, JeDécore. This will help you avoid making choices in a hurry and will ensure you a look you’ll love.

  1. What to provide

Obtaining a permit from the city (each city has different criteria)

Space for the installation of a temporary kitchen

The ability to move elsewhere if you need to achieve major renovations

Inform your neighbours of future work (noise, waste container, etc.)