As our families grow and change, we have growing needs for our home. We might start by just throwing a few things into the garage because we’ve run out of storage space in our basements. Next, we might organize the storage in our garage with a renovation so that everything has a place which is safe and secure from other items in our garage including vehicles which are parked inside the garage.
With older children or parents / in-laws who might need to live with us, we might even start to think of the garage as more than just a storage space. Is it a good idea to turn the garage into an additional room in the house?
Can a Garage Be a Room for All Seasons?
In the warmer months, the garage makes for a good place to do some gardening chores such as potting plants, preparing seedlings for the planting season and preparing bulbs for storage over the winter. Even when the weather is not quite ready for planting, it’s a great place for the gardener who is itching to get their hands into the soil to start tinkering around with the plants. For the handy person in the family, it’s a great place to do some of the creative and DIY projects around the home.
In the heart of winter, the garage is still not the most pleasant place for most of us. Even with a space heater and insulation, it’s difficult to keep the garage warm enough to be a full time living space. A few people still manage to use the room for hobbies even on some of the colder days of the year. However, without a full renovation and conversion of the garage into a permanent room of the house, it is difficult for the garage to be a pleasant living space in the winter.
If I Convert My Garage into a Room, will it Affect the Value of My Home?
The floor plan of the conversion is very important. Open concept living spaces can affect the value of a home by 25% so to make the overall living concept flow through to the additional room which the garage will become may require some professional design.
Renovating a detached garage into a guest room or in-law suite might be a great idea but you’ll need to be able to bring electricity,heating and plumbing into the detached garage if it’s not already available. As a finishing touch, a covered walkway between the detached living space and the main house as part of the living space plan would complete the vision and flow of the garage as a room of the house.
Of course, anything you do to convert the garage into a living space will need to meet codes. For instance, ceiling heights need to be able to be at least 7.5 feet tall. In addition, a renovation which will meet building codes is essential. The new room will need additional electrical outlets, insulation and drywall as well as vents to extend the heating and cooling into the additional space so that room temperature can easily be maintained. Typical windows found in a garage are usually sub par to the ones we find in the living spaces of the house so new windows, skylights and other sources of natural light to make the space enjoyable while protecting the space from drafts, cold and heat.
Leaving the Vehicles Parked in the Driveway vs. the Garage
By converting a garage into a permanent living space which meets the building codes of the other rooms of the house, it leaves the home without a space to park vehicles. Firstly, this may affect your home’s value. It may be alright in an area where there is plenty of parking on the streets or in the driveway. However, many home people are looking for garages so it can cause some home buyers to overlook your home when it comes time to sell it.
Remember not to overlook the fact that parking a vehicle inside a garage has many benefits. Firstly, it protects the vehicle from the weather which reduces the wear and tear of fluctuating weather and prolong the life of the vehicle while reducing maintenance and repairs. In the winter, it’s a lot easier on the vehicle to be started from the warmer garage area than the freezing outdoor temperatures and in the morning, there’s no need to brush off snow or scrape ice which makes the morning easier for people who need to drive to work.
Also, parking a vehicle inside the garage reduces the chances of theft or vandalism of the vehicle by making it more difficult for someone to break into the vehicle and drive off unnoticed.
The Value of Garages to Homeowners
When you do have a driveway, you’ll want snow removal equipment or possibly salt for the sidewalk in front. Along with these essentials to maintain your home’s driveways and walkways, the garage has become an essential space for storing decorations, garden tools, sports equipment and vehicle accessories such as antifreeze, windshield wipers, tires and vehicle racks. Turning the garage into an additional room means losing a large amount of storage space for the family’s many belongings.
If it’s absolutely essential to get more living space,converting the garage might be a good idea. For most people, a good garage renovation will help most families get much more out of the garage space so that it’s a more pleasant space with a lot of organized garage storage opportunities. If you’re looking for more storage, contact a garage renovation specialist. If you’re looking for an additional room for your home, you’ll want to contact an interior designer who can help you get the most out of your space as well as your real estate investment.