There are many reasons why you might need an extra room in your house. Maybe you need a home office, want to create a fun rec room for your family to enjoy, need to add more space for a family member to live, or have always wanted to have a home fitness center. Whatever your plans may be, one way to get the extra space you need without moving to a new home is by converting a non-traditional living area into a more functional space.
Basement and attic conversions have become very popular home renovation projects in recent years, as have garage conversions. Converting your garage can add a lot of enjoyment to your home, but like any major home renovation project, it has its pros and cons.
Easier and Less Expensive Than Moving or Building an Addition
One of the best things about converting your garage is that you get extra space to work with in a way that’s relatively fast, unobtrusive, and inexpensive. Properly converting a garage is hardly fast or cheap, though; having the job done right can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars and may take weeks to complete. You’ll need to do things like add insulation, make sure the garage has a way to be heated, adjust the electrical system to make sure it can handle the extra demand, add windows and doors, just to name a few, which can all add up quickly.
But the good news is that converting a garage is still faster and much less expensive than buying a new home or building an addition on your home would be. Since you’re working with an existing structure, you don’t have to do things like pour new foundation or build new walls. And converting a detached garage isn’t going to interfere with your ability to live comfortably inside your house while the work is being done. If you have an attached garage, you might be able to remove the wall between the garage and your house to create a much larger space, although that would be more disruptive to the rest of your home.
Loss of Storage
The biggest disadvantage to converting your garage is that you’ll be losing a big source of storage space. Not only will you have to find another place to park your car, you’ll need to find a place to store things like your lawn mower, yard tools, bikes, and other things you don’t typically store inside the house.
Of course, how much of a disadvantage this is depends on how much stuff you keep in your garage, whether or not you have other storage options available to you, and if you’re okay with leaving your car parked outside. If you don’t typically keep much in your garage anyway or also have a shed in your yard, this might not be too much of an issue. But if leaving your car parked outside would be a problem, maybe converting your basement or attic would be better options to look into.
Might Make Your Home Hard to Sell
Whether or not converting your garage is a good idea can depend on whether you’re planning to stay in your home or want to sell soon. If you have no plans to move anytime in the near future, converting your garage into a more livable space can certainly add a great deal of personal enjoyment to your home. But if you’re thinking of selling your home and moving within the next few years, you might want to skip this project.
Since many home buyers look for homes with garages specifically because they want a place to park their car and store things, a permanently converted garage could be a major deal breaker for many people who are interested in your home. However, if you don’t see yourself staying in your home much longer but you absolutely need the extra space, look for ways to convert the space without making permanent changes. That way, you’ll get the additional space you need and it can easily be turned back into a regular garage if need be.