5 Mistakes to Avoid when Turning a Garage into a Living Space 5 Mistakes to Avoid when Turning a Garage into a Living Space

Though undertaking a garage remodeling project can be exciting, this doesn’t mean that it should be taken lightly. In order to create a useful space that is fit to be lived in, you should ensure that you follow the correct procedure to get it right first time.


Don’t assume that because you are converting an existing space rather than erecting a new building that you will not require permission. Local authorities are often concerned with the use of a building as well as its external construction so they may need to grant permission. Depending on the zoning area you are in, you should obtain a permit before beginning any remodeling work to ensure that the result complies with building regulations.

Work Required

By only planning some basic decoration as part of the garage remodeling process, you will be doing the eventual occupant a great disservice. Be aware that the needs of a car are very different to the needs of a human being. For example, after parking your car and leaving the garage, you will not be in a position to notice the amount of noise the space experiences from the street and the adjoining house. Ensure that you take this into account and incorporate the need for insulation in your design to take care of this as well as for heat retention.

Fully consider all the amenities that will be required to make the garage more convenient as a living space. If there is only an existing electricity supply to the garage, you must recognize the extent of work required to put a gas and/or water supply in place. Do not overlook the need for lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation and drainage.   


Treat your garage remodeling project the same way that you would any type of building work that takes place in the main part of your home. Research contractors thoroughly to obtain confirmation that they have experience of doing the job and obtain quotes from several potential options. Check their credentials and references as well as looking at physical examples of their previous work.


During the garage remodeling process, think about the intended use of the living space and use this as a guide to help you decide on a suitable floor plan. Think about the existing access point to the garage and whether any separate ones are required to make things more convenient. A floor plan which incorporates the measurements of the room will also be useful for planning where to place furniture and whether there is enough room for the items you want. This step is especially relevant if you intend to also use the converted space for storage.     


Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the garage remodeling process is a simple one. If you don’t have any experience in the building trade or lack the confidence to undertake the work yourself, engage a contractor to do the work. Be aware that it may take a significant amount of time to complete the work so you should bear in mind any disruption to your home and your life.

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