If your garage is nothing more than a place to store stuff you barely use anymore, it will probably be better if you convert that space into something else. You could turn it into an extra bedroom, an office, a gym or even as a playroom for your kids. Compared to actually extending your home outwards or upwards, converting your garage is relatively less expensive. However, there are certain things you need to keep in mind should you decide to convert your garage.
Is your garage suitable for conversion?
Always consider the kind of garage that you currently have and see if it’s suitable for conversion. If you have a single garage, your home can get an additional 150 square feet of floor space. A double garage, on the other hand, can add about 300 square feet of floor space.
Determine how you really want to convert your garage
Before hammering nails or contacting builders, you need to be sure first how you want the garage to be converted. Do you intend to make it as an extension to the house? Then plan it in a way that will make it look like a part of the house and not detract from it. Aside from the options previously mentioned, you can also convert your garage into a library, a new rec room, an extra bathroom or even a granny flat if you have elderly relatives living with you, so think hard about what you want to do with your garage before finalising everything.
See if you need a permit for converting your garage
In most states and territories, converting a garage or any other non-habitable space into a habitable room requires the approval of the local council, as it wants to make sure that the work you’re planning to do will meet the Building Code Australia (BCA) standards for dwellings. Of course, you will have to provide the council with preliminary and final plans to get approval for converting your garage.
Plumbing, electrical and air conditioning systems
Garages are supposedly for cars, so it’s highly likely that when you had it built, it had no plumbing, electrical and cooling/heating systems. If this is the case, then you will have to get everything installed, and that means major groundwork laying that will see your entire garage stripped. To lay the necessary groundwork, you will need to hire a professional plumber, electrician and HVAC specialist.
Consider the cost
We stated earlier that converting your garage is less expensive than actually building an extension from scratch, but if you add up all the costs, it’s possible that the project is going to be more expensive than you expected. To convert your garage into a habitable place with electricity, plumbing and air conditioning, you can expect to spend anywhere between $10,000 to $15,000. Then again, considering the amount of extra living space you’re about to get from converting your garage, the estimated cost is well worth it.
If you’re pushing through with converting your garage, it will certainly be better to have professional renovators do the job to make sure everything will be done the way you want it.