5 Mistakes to Avoid When Turning a Garage Into a Living Space

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Although undertaking a garage remodeling project can be exciting, it should not be taken lightly. In order to create a useful space that is fit to be lived in, you must follow the correct procedure. Proper planning saves you time, money, and energy. Use the list below to streamline the process.

1. Not Obtaining a Permit

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Don’t assume that because you are converting an existing space rather than erecting a new building that you will not require a permit. Local authorities are often concerned with the use of a building as well as its external construction. 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.

2. Not Thinking the Job Through

Image the end result before you begin. Aesthetics is only one factor in a garage remodel. You will also need to think about the space in a different way. What used to be storage for your cars and tools is now a room that is an extension of the home. Spend some time in the space and pay attention to road noise and sounds of the neighborhood. Based on this, incorporate the need for insulation in your design. While this will help with heat retention, also consider whether you will need space heaters or other heat sources in the room.

Fully consider all the amenities that will be required to make the garage more convenient as a living space. Will you need running water? Access to additional electrical sources? Remember to evaluate the need for natural and artificial lighting, temperature control, ventilation, and drainage.

3. Not Hiring the Right Contractor

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 verify that they have experience in this type of work and obtain quotes from several potential candidates. Check their credentials and references as well as looking at physical examples of their previous work.

4. Not Planning a Functional Layout

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During the garage remodeling process, think about the intended use of the living space. 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.

5. Assuming the Project Is Easy

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 anticipate a disruption to your home during the transition.