Few DIY projects are as alluring as turning your garage into a new room to hang out in, yet many homeowners are hesitant to embark on this project because they’re unsure of the pros and cons of turning your garage into a room. Blindly walking into a construction project without having done your homework ahead of time is a surefire way to waste huge sums of money while potentially injuring yourself, not to the fact that you risk having the entire project come crashing down on you – literally.
Is it worth converting your garage into a new room, and if so, how should you go about doing it safely? Here are the pros and cons of turning your garage into a room for relaxation or entertainment.
What are your goals?
The first thing you should be asking yourself as you evaluate this project is what you intend to get out of it – if you want to take a garage that is presently unsuitable for human habitation and turn it into a comfortable room not dissimilar to any other in your house, you need to understand that this is no small project and will require an extensive commitment on your part. This isn’t to say that the project is unworthy of your time, attention, and money, but rather that many homeowners walk into a garage renovation project with inaccurate expectations which inevitably come back to haunt them.
You should understand that turning a garage into a habitable living space suitable for human relaxation is no small feat, and many entail some legal wrangling; local zoning regulations, for instance, may demand that your garage come equipped with certain fixtures if it’s going to host human life. Always be sure to read up on your local zoning laws, and perhaps even consult your neighborhood homeowners association if you have one, to avoid encountering any legal hazards in the midst of construction. After you’ve established your goals and guaranteed your legal wellbeing, you can begin analyzing the pros and cons of turning your garage into a rec room.
If you want your garage to be comfortable, this project you’re about to embark on will require many expenses and plenty of hard work. Insulation, air conditioning, and heating will be needed, for instance, and you’ll likely want to install new drywall and finishing unless you want your new room to have the lackluster appearance of an outdoors garage forever.
Perhaps the largest question you’ll confront is what to do with your garage door; these mechanical behemoths aren’t always easy to remove, so determine well ahead of time if you intend to keep or remove the garage door as you convert the building into a habitable room. Be careful operating with garage door springs, as they can be dangerous – as always, it’s worthwhile to read up on garage door systems before tinkering with them if you value your safety.
Be on the lookout for common mistakes
For many homeowners, converting their garage into a room is really veiled way of saying they’re turning their garage into a new mancave. This is because the garage is often the natural environment of the male in many propertied-relationships, and historical trends and cultural norms have evidently turned the garage and basement into the two most “man-caveable” areas of any given abode. If you’re looking to turn your garage into a mancave, understand that this isn’t necessarily the same thing as turning it into a fully-fledged room; mancaves aren’t always permanently habitable, for instance, sometimes instead being used temporarily for quick games or storage without ever being intended for long-term use.
Mancaves are fun and challenging to build, but it’s important that you understand not all converted garages are mancaves, and not all mancaves were once garages. If you understand this, your vision for your newly-renovated room will be much more precise and accurate from the very get-go. Furthermore, many people make alterations to their garage without considering all of the consequences they may face. How, for instance, do you intend to store your present or future vehicles without a garage? If this is a question you’re confronting only after renovations have begun, you’ve made a sore mistake.
Nevertheless, turning some garages into a new room can be a wondrous way to bolster the value of your house while expanding your living space and giving yourself additional entertainment opportunities when hosting guests. Some converted garages have become lovely bars, for instance, whereas others have become kid-friendly areas where your little ones can study or play safely while still enjoying some distance from mom and dad in the main house. Reviewing some common remodeling pictures is a great way to brainstorm some conversion ideas if you’re struggling to figure out what your garage is yearning to become.
You’ll likely save money
The biggest benefit to converting your garage into a new room is that you’ll likely save money; converting a pre-existing structure into a habitable area is easier and less costly than building a new structure from the ground up, after all. Furthermore, you’ll likely retain your valuable yard space, which can be filled with lovely grass, plans, or gardens instead of concrete foundations and plastered walls. On the other hand, however, converting your garage into a room comes at the expense of valuable storage and parking space, so ensure that your primary dwelling and driveway are sufficient for your storage and transit needs before making this big decision.
Furthermore, shoddy construction projects don’t always bolster the value of your home, and if you’re an amateur when it comes to renovation you could make simple mistakes that lead you to go over your budget. Remember that caution and expertise is always needed for an endeavor of this sort, so don’t be afraid to hire a professional to turn your garage into a room on your behalf. Before long, you’ll doubtlessly come to see that many people renovate their garages into habitable areas to reap the rewards of having a new entertainment space despite the challenges involved in creating it.