Are you considering enclosing your garage? Converting your garage into a living space can be an excellent way to add extra square footage to your home, at a cost that can be less than building a new addition. There are many conversion ideas available and depending on what you’re looking for, there are plenty of ways to expand. When it comes to a double garage, you have the opportunity to either convert the entire space or just part of it. This gives you more options if you don’t need an entire room or if budget is a concern.
Before you start the project, there are several important factors to consider. Here are seven of them:
- Building Permits
Before you start your garage conversion project, you need to check with your local building department to see if you need a building permit. Depending on the scope of the project, you may need to get a permit. It’s important to follow all local building codes and regulations to avoid any legal issues. A building permit is required to ensure that the converted space meets building codes, zoning ordinances, and safety standards. The permit process may also require an inspection by a building inspector to ensure that the construction is safe and up to code.
Garages are usually not insulated, so you need to ensure that the walls, ceilings, and floors are insulated to keep the interior comfortable. Insulation can help regulate the temperature, save energy, and reduce noise from outside. This is especially important in Austin and Central Texas, where summer temperatures frequently exceed 100 degrees! When insulating a garage, you need to use the appropriate R-value insulation. On Call Home Services can help you determine the best type and amount of insulation for your conversion project.
- HVAC System
Garages typically do not have heating and cooling systems, so you will need to install an HVAC system to make your new living space comfortable. You will need to determine the best way to route the ductwork to the new living space. A properly designed HVAC system will provide a comfortable living space that meets energy efficiency standards. Consider the energy efficiency of the HVAC system and its impact on your utility bills.
- Electrical Wiring
You will need to add electrical wiring to your garage to power lights, outlets, and appliances. You may need to upgrade your electrical panel to support the additional load from the new living space. When adding electrical wiring to a converted garage, it’s important to follow local building codes and safety standards. On Call Home Services’ experienced electricians can determine the appropriate wiring and electrical panel upgrades needed for your conversion project.
If you plan to add a bathroom or kitchen to your garage conversion project, you will need to add plumbing. Plumbing can be more complicated than electrical wiring and may require a professional plumber. The plumbing system in a converted garage must meet local building codes and safety standards to ensure safe and reliable operation. Consult with a licensed plumber to determine the appropriate plumbing system design and installation needed for your conversion project, or call us and we’ll handle it for you!
- Structural Changes
Converting a garage into a living space may require structural changes, such as removing the garage door and framing a wall. You will need to consult with a structural engineer or contractor to ensure that your conversion plans are safe and feasible. Structural changes to a converted garage must meet local building codes and safety standards to ensure safe and reliable operation. On Call Home Services can help you find a structural engineer to determine the appropriate structural design and construction needed for your conversion project.
- Home Value
Consider the impact that converting your garage will have on your home’s value. While you may gain additional living space, you will lose the garage, which can be a desirable feature for some buyers. Consult with a real estate agent or appraiser to determine how the conversion will affect your home’s value. Converting a garage can add value to your home if it’s done properly and meets local building codes and safety standards. However, it’s important to consider the potential impact on your home’s resale value before starting the conversion project.
In conclusion, converting your garage into a living space can be an exciting project that can add extra living space to your home. However, there are several factors to consider before you begin the project. Be sure to follow all local building codes and regulations, insulate your space, install an HVAC system, add electrical wiring and plumbing, consider structural changes, and assess the impact on your home’s value. With careful planning and execution, your new living space can be a comfortable and valuable addition to your home. On Call Home Services can help you with all of your garage remodel needs, including planning and recommendations on layout and materials. Contact us today to get started on your Austin-area garage remodel project!