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How to Convert Your Garage into a Living Space with Exterior Medics

Jul 25, 2019 12:40:00 PM

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It's time. You need more space. But you've spent a lot of time making your house a home, and you're not ready to move.  With a complete garage conversion, you can gain additional living space without having to move. Here's what you need to do.

Decide on the function of the room.

Do you want your new garage to be a workshop? A new bedroom? An extension of your existing living space? Some garages operate as full-scale studio apartments. Other garages function as bars and recreational areas. You're only limited by your imagination; you can turn a garage into absolutely anything.

Deciding on function is first. You'll need to know where you want outlets placed, what type of fixtures will need to be installed, and whether plumbing will have to be moved in. 

Document your goals, needs, and wants before contacting a contractor.

Your contractor will need to know exactly what you want before they start drawing up the space. Make a list of the things that you want in the room, such as built-in shelving. Make sure to distinguish things that you absolutely want from things you need so your contractor can give you a low and top-level quote for the project.

Measure and empty your garage so you have a better idea of the space that you have to work with. There may be some things that are unrealistic to do, such as building a studio apartment in a one-car garage. There may also be more space than you think!

Start the Process of Converting Your Garage

Once you've figured out exactly what you want to do, the process of converting your garage can begin. Often, you may need to stay somewhere outside of your home while this is going on, as the construction will be significant.

Plan to:

  • Replace the garage door and drywall with fully insulated walls. 
  • Raise the floors to match the rest of your home’s foundation. Garages, by law, need to be lower than the rest of the foundation, so your contractors will raise the floor accordingly.
  • Rewire the electricity based on your needs. Some garages already have substantial electrical connections, so this may not be as significant as you think. But if you're building additional internal walls or dividers, you may need to run more power. You may also need to install different types of outlets if you're modifying the plumbing. 
  • Add windows and doors. It's a rule that many rooms need to have a certain number of doors or windows. Bedrooms, in particular, have to open up to the outside: otherwise it's a fire hazard. 
  • Install flooring, paint, add trim, and do other finishing work. This finishing work will be done by the contractor to your specifications, so you should decide what you want in advance. 
  • Make changes to adjacent rooms for this conversion. The areas between your garage and your home may need to be opened up, which can be complex depending on which areas of your home are load bearing. If the wall between your garage and your home isn't load bearing, you may be able to remove some of it. 

That's a lot of work to take on alone! But your contractors will handle all of that for you. If you need a garage conversion service in Maryland or Virginia, then look no further. Contact Exterior Medics to get started.