You’re looking for more space in your house, and you’ve started to think that perhaps a garage conversion is the best way to go. This isn’t your only option, but if you don’t use your garage often for parking cars, transforming it into part of the living space is attractive. After all, a large part of the work of a room addition is already done: walls, ceiling, foundation, and in most cases it’s already attached to the house.
However, before you go grab a bunch of tools and see what you can do with the space, we recommend you take some time to think about just what you want to do with the garage. We also recommend you work with a skilled contractor who has done more than one room addition in LA county—preferably several hundred of them! Below are some things to consider as you get ready to change the garage into part of the living space.
You’ll lose some storage and parking
What are you currently doing with the garage? We’re certain it’s not just sitting empty! Plan for where all the stored items in the garage are going to go. For example, if you have a garden shed, this may work for storage. Or you may move items to the attic.
And then there’s the cars. You can make the garage conversion into one part of a bigger project on your property, such as adding a covered carport. Another idea is to create a detached, smaller garage for the cars.
What to do about the garage door?
Here’s one of the big considerations for converting the garage. The garage door is going to be removed and replaced with—what? It doesn’t have to be a solid wall. This may be a great spot to put in large windows. Some homeowners take this opportunity to create a new patio out of the old driveway and use the garage door as space to place large doors. Maybe you want to create an entirely new entrance to your house.
The plumbing and electricity
Although a garage comes with many of the basics of a room addition already cared for, the plumbing usually isn’t in place. Putting in the plumbing necessary for the room (and this depends on the room’s function) is usually the trickiest part of the conversion—and a major reason why you want a building contractor who handles every step of the process, from the design to the plumbing. You’ll almost certainly need more wiring for the new space as well, which is another job you’ll be glad you have a contractor for.
Heating and cooling
Because of temperatures in Los Angeles, thick insulation for a converted garage isn’t as important as it would be in colder climates. But it still needs to be considered. If you have a central heating and cooling system, providing comfort to a new space can be tricky. We often recommend having a ductless mini split installed for the new space, since it won’t interfere with the rest of the HVAC system.
To find out more about converting your garage, give us a call!