Two Things You Must Factor In When Converting Your Garage Into Living Space
When searching around for extra living space, the garage can provide additional square footage for your family to expand into. However, converting a garage into usable living space involves more than moving the cars into the driveway and setting up a bed or some couches in the area. Here are two things you must factor in when renovating your garage into a comfortable place to sleep or hang out.
The Space Must Adhere to Building Codes
If you want to turn the garage into permanent addition to the home, rather than just a temporary space to house someone short term, then the area must be renovated so that it adheres to local building code. Most garages are fairly bare bones and can get away with being so, because the purpose is to house cars and other inanimate objects. Once the space is changed into a living area, however, it must be renovated so that it's considered habitable by local building inspectors; otherwise, you will be fined and suffer other consequences of violating local building codes.
This typically means insulating the space and ensuring it has access to heating and cooling. You may need to also install more electrical outlets and upgrade existing outlets to accommodate large loads (such as for a television) as well as add windows and doors.
It's important to research the building codes in your area and implement them when converting your garage to ensure it conforms to the standard. In addition to being fined, an illegal garage conversion can make it more difficult for you to sell your home when you're ready to move onto something else.
You Need to Find Alternative Areas to Park Your Vehicle
Converting a garage into a living area means you will be displacing your vehicles. This may not be a big deal if your driveway space is big enough to accommodate your cars or trucks. However, you may run into some issues if you have to park on the street because your garage is unusable. The road may not be large enough for vehicles to park on them. Another problem you may encounter is some cities require homes to have a minimum number of off-street parking spots and the garage counts as one.
In addition to finding a new home for your vehicles, you'll need to figure out where to put stuff you once had stored in the garage, such as lawn mowers, tools, and snow blowers. Be prepared to make renovations on other parts of the home or land to restore some of the benefits your garage provided. For instance, you may need to purchase and install a shed to house your home maintenance equipment.
Check out a site like NextDoorGarageApartments.com for more information about converting a garage into a livable space.