These days, more space is often needed for families, but it’s also hard to come by at an affordable price. It’s no longer as easy as moving to a home with more square footage, at least not with interest rates in their current state. Out of this problem is where inventive solutions like garage conversions are born.
With a garage conversion, you can stay right where you are, adding square footage to your already existing structure! With infinite options in both finish and design, you can create a space that works for your family and at a price that beats the cost of a move or normal home addition.
If you’re looking at converting a garage, but you’re not sure where to start, you’re in the right place. Stick around and find out everything you need to know from start to finish, including some alternative ideas if you’re not yet ready for a project of this size.
What are the benefits of converting a garage into a bedroom or living space?
If you’re wondering whether or not converting your garage into a bedroom or living space is worth it, consider the benefits below. There’s more than enough to give you confidence in starting your project!
- Creates More Space: The most obvious benefit of a garage conversion is all the added space. No more room sharing or lack of space for guests!
- Preserves Your Lot: Building an addition out takes up precious outdoor space you don’t want to lose. You save your pretty grassy areas with conversions.
- Cost-effective: Less costly than a full-on addition, a garage conversion gives you just as much space at a far more affordable cost.
- Versatile Use: Converting your garage to a bedroom now doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Transform it into a gym, game room, and the like in the future.
- Partial Conversion Option: You don’t have to lose all your normal garage space. A partial conversion can be done, offering the best of both worlds.
What are the downsides of converting a garage into a bedroom or living space?
While, in most cases, the benefits of a garage-to-bedroom conversion far outweigh the downsides, there are still some noteworthy concerns to keep in mind before breaking ground on your project.
- Loss of Parking: It goes without saying that you’ll lose parking spaces, which for some homeowners isn’t a huge deal. For others with small driveways or neighborhoods with strict street parking rules, it can be more of an issue.
- Loss of Storage: Some homeowners rely heavily on their garage space, not just for parking but for storing items. You lose a lot of seasonal and recreational storage by converting a garage into a bedroom.
- Weather Exposure: It’s nice to be able to pull into the garage when it’s raining or snowing. Garages also protect cars from the elements. Both you and your vehicle will sacrifice protection from weather if a conversion is done.
- Needs Permitting: There are plenty of home projects that can get around required permitting, but garage conversions aren’t one of them. Even if you do the work yourself, it needs to be done with a permit to avoid serious consequences.
- Insurance Changes: With such a large amount of added living space comes extra liability. Don’t count on your insurance bill to stay the same after you’ve added the square footage to your policy.
What are the costs of converting a garage into a bedroom?
One of the main considerations with any project, especially one this big, is the cost. Your budget will determine everything from the contractor you can hire to the materials you can use, so it’s important to know where you stand with regard to spending power.
The average garage-to-bedroom conversion will cost you around $130,000, with final costs varying based on materials, of course. Here are some elements to remember in your budget that make up the biggest chunk of costs for your conversion:
- Basic interior finishing materials (drywall, millwork, paint, etc.).
- HVAC rerouting through existing units or a portable AC unit.
- Electrical additions for custom lighting, fixtures, and outlet access.
- Plumbing, if you plan to include a bathroom, sink, kitchenette, etc.
- Flooring and flooring materials to include raised flooring material.
- Baseboards and trim throughout.
- Storage and cabinetry for toiletries, kitchenware, linens, and the like.
- Sealing materials for garage door cracks for an airtight finish.
- Window and exterior door additions.
- Possible adjustment in ceiling height.
What is the process for converting a garage into a bedroom?
It can be nerve-wracking to jump into a large home project without knowing exactly what you’re getting into. With the process explained, though, you can begin your project certain of what to expect, knowing when things are on track and when adjustments need to be made. That said, to start, think about what you want the end result to be.
Make a list of your ideas, budget, must-haves, and areas you may be able to be more flexible. Next, you’ll want to get a structural engineer involved while your plans are being drawn up. They’ll ensure everything is structurally sound, working with an architect that’ll be sure everything is up to code prior to submitting plans to your local departments.
Now it’s time to pick your contractor. This is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your project, so be sure to vet them fully. They set the tempo and produce the final result of everything. Get a few bids, check reviews, and go from there! Once you’ve nailed down a contractor, you can finalize the plans and timeline with them.
At that point, they’ll begin obtaining the proper permitting, and submitting your final plans to the proper entities. Meanwhile, contractors will likely begin purchasing the building materials so that right when everything is approved, they can begin working.
After everything is approved and work begins, you’ll be in contact with your contractor often, receiving updates on the project and possible modifications that need to be made. Once the project is completed, you’ll want to walk through to be sure everything is done as it should be, asking questions and requesting fixes as necessary.
A final inspection will likely need to be done by the city or county, depending on your local rules and regulations. Once that’s completed and the work passes inspection, the permit will officially close, and you can begin enjoying your new conversion!
How to Find the Best General Contractor for Your Garage Bedroom Project
You want to make sure you have a contractor that’s qualified for the job. Nothing’s worse than inexperience delaying or even ruining your project. It’s for that reason you want to be meticulous in choosing your contractor. It’s always a good idea to start with recommendations. Who do you know that’s had great success with a contractor?
It’s also imperative you check their credentials. Do they have the proper licensing and permits? Also, consider the type of projects they generally take on. Are they experienced in garage conversions into living spaces? Try searching for a contractor that specializes in the work you’re looking to do.
You’ll also have to consider your budget. Some contractors may not fit into your budget. Likewise, you’ll need to get bids for your conversion from each contractor you interview. A breakdown of project expenses may make the decision for you if some bids are far higher than others.
Why choose Structura Remodeling to convert your garage?
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, Structura Remodeling should be your go-to contractor. You may be asking yourself why you should choose Structura Remodeling for your project. There’s no shortage of contractors to choose from, so what sets Structura apart? Here are more than enough reasons to make Structura your number-one choice:
- They have over 16 years of experience in the construction industry, with the owner being a third-generation contractor.
- Their team is made up of the most qualified individuals in the field, between designers and craftsmen, you’re working with the best in the business.
- They operate each project via a comprehensive process, starting with your vision, to full estimates, home design, and the like.
- The company is extremely detail oriented, making your dreams come to life down to every cabinet pull and color. With the help of 3D renderings and project planning, you can be sure your vision will come to fruition.
- The level of professionalism on-site is unparalleled. The team works to keep their workspace clean while taking care of surrounding job site elements like pets, family schedules, and possessions.
- Structura Remodeling truly cares about the customer’s experience and the end result, so much so that they always aim for 100% satisfaction with each customer.
- If all of these combined haven’t convinced you, let the reviews speak for themselves! Countless happy customers have rave reviews for Structura Remodeling!
8 Ideas and Tips for Converting a Garage into a Bedroom in Los Angeles
With a project of this size, it can be easy to miss some elements that’ll maximize your project. Consider these ideas and tips as you plan your garage conversion.
- Design Separate Spaces: When you’re planning your conversion, think about your overall design. It doesn’t have to be a straightforward, boxy space. You can place walls in certain spaces to make for separation between a bedroom and living room, or even half walls to break up the space.
- Add Ceiling Accents: The use of ceiling accents can go a long way in making your garage conversion feel like less of an addition and more of a custom remodel. You could create a tray ceiling for some dimension, add on some beams for a more rustic feel, or simply add crown molding for a sleek yet finished look.
- Create Natural Light: Nothing kills a space like a lack of natural light. Of course, it’s hard to come by in a normal garage structure, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. The easiest way to gain natural light in your conversion would be the addition of windows, though skylights could be an option as well.
- Two-Story Conversion: If you have the space, you can think well beyond the ground level of your garage for the conversion. You can create a two-story conversion using your attic as a second living space, or if there’s no attic, you can build up too. With that amount of space, you can add in a full apartment!
- Create Extra Storage: It’s no secret that most people use their garages as storage for items used less frequently. With a conversion, you’ll lose a lot of your storage capacity, which can pose a major problem for some families. Before your conversion, brainstorm storage ideas, whether that’s in your home, the attic, or offsite storage.
- Consider Covered Parking: Having garage space to park vehicles is a must for some people. A garage conversion doesn’t have to mean your car is left to the elements, though. Consider purchasing a covered carport if the thought of parking your car completely outside concerns you.
- Disguise the Necessities: In the planning process, talk to your contractor about disguising areas you’d typically find in a garage. For example, a washer and dryer and a water heater. Adding doors or closets to these spaces will preserve the overall aesthetic of the room, keeping them out of sight and mind!
- Hide the Garage Door: One of the main concerns in a garage conversion is what to do about the garage door. While labor intensive, it’s really a straightforward ordeal. The door will be completely removed and an exterior wall with windows will be added to give it an original, seamless look.
Can’t convert your garage into a room? Check out these Alternatives!
Some people love the idea of a garage conversion but can’t take the loss of garage space. If you prefer to use your garage traditionally, that doesn’t mean you can’t create another bedroom or living space on your property. There are alternatives! Take a look at the ideas below for options.
- ADU: An accessory dwelling unit is a second living space on the same property as the main home. These can be either attached or detached from the home and usually offer a private bathroom and cooking space as well.
- Shed: One of the newer trends on the market, converting a shed into a living space presents a fully customizable option. As long as you have the space on your lot, a shed gives you a nearby living space to make your own.
- Second Story Addition: Though a more expensive project, you could add a second story to your home to gain the needed square footage. This could be a full second story or just a new room over the garage.
- Porch or Patio Conversion: If you’ve got a large porch or patio you don’t use much, you can use that as your conversion space. Closing in the existing structure is certainly a cheaper option than an addition requiring a foundation.
- Basement Conversion: A large space in your already existing structure, finishing your basement is a great alternative. It usually presents a larger space than you’d get with a garage, too, so you can often add more than just a room.
- Attic Conversion: A space often forgotten, attics offer an existing structure that can be finished to create a new living area. With access to the home’s electrical, it could be easier than you think!
Is a permit required to convert your garage?
In all likelihood, you live in an area that requires certain codes to be followed for a garage conversion. Every state and county is different, so you’ll have to investigate the requirements. You’ll likely need to obtain permits for both planning and building, followed by an inspection when the project reaches completion.
If that sounds intimidating, no worries! The burden of obtaining proper permitting usually falls on the contractors, making them the responsible party. This is why it’s so important to choose an experienced contractor so all your work is done legally. If you choose to do the work yourself, check with your local entities first.
Does converting a garage into a bedroom add value to your home?
If you’re converting a garage in a home you don’t plan to stay in, it’s natural to wonder how this project will affect your home’s value. Luckily, you can rest assured that it will increase the value of your home! Sure, it can be a deterrent to some potential homebuyers who prefer to use their garages traditionally, but that’s not always the case.
Some will see the extra square footage and be fine with sacrificing a traditional garage space. Regardless, you can bank on the project as a solid ROI. It’s important you make sure the work is done by the book, though. For this project to increase the value of your home, it needs to have been done legally and properly.
Will converting my garage affect my home’s curb appeal?
If it’s done right, you won’t have to worry about the conversion negatively affecting your home’s curb appeal. After the exterior wall is constructed, the main concern is its cohesiveness. You don’t want your conversion to appear obvious, so you’ll want to take extra measures to make it blend. Be sure you can match paints, sidings, bricks, and the like with the existing style. Adding windows will also help it to appear as though it was all original.
What are the options for financing my conversion?
Cash isn’t always an option for every homeowner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t move forward with your garage-to-bedroom conversion; there are plenty of other options! For starters, you can use a credit card if you have a high enough limit. You could also ask friends or family for a personal loan if you’re comfortable with that type of arrangement.
Taking out the equity from your home, if you’ve lived in the home long enough, is also a solid choice. You can do this through a home equity line of credit, where you can take money from the equity amount as needed for the project. There are also many banks that offer renovation loans as an option for larger projects.
Garages are the perfect place to convert to a bedroom or living space. You can customize the space as you’d like without the costs incurred by a full-on addition. You can also preserve some of the space while still adding a bedroom if you’d like. The possibilities are endless!
Do these conversion ideas have you ready to make the switch? We’re ready to assist! Get a FREE garage conversion consultation in the Los Angeles area! Call Structura Remodeling at 1-800-922-4613 or schedule a free consultation here:
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