At some point, mtany homes find their attached single-car garage turned into a big storage closet. But there is so much more that can be done with that space if it is converted to livable space. Here’s what to consider for this type of remodeling project:
Form Follows Function
First, decide what the new function of the room will be. This will determine how it will look on the exterior and what will need to be added to the room. For instance, if you simply “white box” (add insulation, flooring and drywall) the space and later decide to add plumbing, you will have to tear out portions of what you did to add it. Have a clear plan of how the room will be used before designing and building it.
The type of room you want helps determine how to handle the large garage door opening. If it will become a dining area or craft room, a wall of floor to ceiling glass would be a bright and inviting idea. But if it’s to be a bedroom or home office, the opening can convert to wall with a window in it.
Most garage floors are a concrete slab on a lower level than your house floor. From decades of use it may also be cracked and sloped, so it is not a good idea to simply place new flooring directly over the concrete.
Building up a wood framed floor that’s level with the rest of the home is your best bet for two reasons. First, it will give you a level floor which helps with framing in new walls and windows. Second, the crawl space created between the original concrete slab and the new floor is where new utilities – like plumbing lines – are placed.
Point of Entry
Attached garages tend to open into the home at or near the kitchen. If you’re remodeling the garage to become a dining or family room, that original doorway can be an ideal point of entry. If the room will be more private in nature – like a yoga studio or bedroom – moving the entrance to a less public part of the home will be part of the design phase.
Heating & Cooling
Even a single-car garage is quite a bit of square footage that now needs conditioned air. Have your current HVAC system analyzed to see if it can handle heating and cooling an additional room. If it cannot, your options are to either up the size of your unit or add a separate HVAC system just for this room.
Extending your current HVAC line will also dictate where air vents and returns need to be placed in the room. This in turn influences the layout of the room.
There are hundreds of other details that go into remodeling a garage into livable space, and there are so many great options for what to turn the space into. If you’re looking to re-think your garage area, talk to us. We can come up with a design and budget to meet your needs!