Here in California, transforming your garage into usable living space is often a great idea. Depending on where you live, lot sizes may be small. And, your existing dwelling may already take up a significant portion of your lot. Convert your garage into a living area, though, and you can enjoy more space with what you already have.
Just like any other remodeling project, garage conversions take a great deal of thought and planning. Today, we’ll walk you through some of the benefits, key factors to consider, and how to find the best remodeling company to do the job.
Benefits of Transforming Your Garage Into a Bedroom or Accessory Dwelling Unit
If you’re looking to expand your square footage by transforming your garage into living space, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is what type of space you want.
An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) typically includes a bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchen or kitchenette, and a separate entrance. This can function as a guest house, in-law apartment, or even be rented out if allowed by your local municipality.
As you might expect, creating an ADU involves more complex plans as well as additional cost due to everything that’s included.
In contrast, transforming your garage into a bedroom is a little simpler. Of course, building permits are still required and the new space must be built to code. The expense is typically less than an accessory dwelling unit, however.
With either option, transforming your garage comes with two key benefits:
- Maximize your existing square footage – If you live in an area where lot sizes are small, you may not have the option for a room addition onto your home. Converting your garage into livable space allows you to maximize the square footage you already have.
- Additional living quarters – Do you have children that only live with you part of the year such as when they’re home from college? How about frequent overnight guests? In either case, transforming your garage into a bedroom can be the perfect solution for extra space when needed.
Lastly, if you decide to convert your garage into an ADU, you may also have additional income opportunities if you’re allowed to rent out the space.
5 Important Factors to Consider When Transforming Your Garage Into Usable Living Space
Once you’ve decided what type of living space you’d like to convert your garage into, there’s more planning to be done. Here are some critical points to think about when transforming your garage into living quarters:
- Natural Light – Most garages are equipped with a few windows at best. While that works fine for a space that’s used for housing vehicles and other items, it’s not ideal for living space. In addition to needing windows for natural light and fresh air, some building codes may require a certain number of windows per square footage.
- Walls and Insulation – Many garages are not insulated and of course, they also have large doors. When transforming your garage into living space, those doors will need to be replaced by walls or fully insulated if kept. Also, existing walls will need to be insulated for comfort and then finished with sheetrock or other finish materials.
- Artificial Lighting and Electrical Outlets – Even with the proper number and spacing of windows, your converted garage will need overhead lights, lamps, and outlets for other electronics. Local building codes may dictate how many outlets are required as well as the distance between them.
- HVAC Requirements – Transforming your garage into living space means paying attention to personal comfort, too. But man existing garages are not already equipped with heating or cooling units. For your converted space, a separate HVAC system may need to be installed. Or, the existing system from the main house may be able to be extended to the garage.
- Alternative Parking and Storage – Since you will no longer have a garage for housing your vehicle or storing other items, where will these things be kept instead? Your choices may be limited by local building codes but some homeowners choose to install carports or storage sheds to meet their needs.
How to Find the Best Contractor in Orange County to Convert Your Garage Into Additional Living Space
The process for finding the ideal contractor for your garage conversion project is much the same as for any other remodeling venture. First, we recommend that you talk to family, friends, or neighbors. If any of them have had personal, recent experience with a general contractor that they love, this is a great start. Firsthand knowledge of the pros and cons of working with a particular remodeling company is valuable information you can use to your advantage.
Once you’ve exhausted your personal connections, do some further research. Online resources such as Houzz often showcase remodeling companies that do work in your local area. Once you discover a few companies you’re interested in, read their online reviews or watch video testimonials from previous clients. Or, ask the company for references and talk to them yourself.
At Sea Pointe Design & Remodel, we’ve been meeting the remodeling needs of Orange County homeowners for almost 40 years. And, we’ve done a wide variety of projects including kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, laundry room makeovers, garage conversions, and more.
Take a look at the quality of our work by browsing through our online portfolio of completed projects. Or, register for one of our upcoming remodeling webinars to learn helpful remodeling tips from the pros.
Then, when you’re ready to start planning your own remodeling project, simply give us a call at (949) 861-3400 or fill out the form below to schedule your complimentary design consultation.