A garage conversion can be one of the easiest and most affordable ways to add living space to a home without having to incur the cost of a new room addition. The foundation, walls and roof are already in place. In many houses, a well-planned garage conversion can create a new family room, game room, additional bedrooms or serve as a mother-in-law suite that blend seamlessly with the existing house. The process should begin with a careful assessment of the plans for the home remodeling project . Contact a local company in your area that does garage conversions. They should be able to guide you through the process and make it relatively simple to get an estimate of cost associated with the garage conversion.
There are some drawbacks to consider before converting a garage into living space:
The wiring for the new living space could not be sufficient to pass code. Consult with the city building department and a contractor before making any changes. Building permits will most definitely need to be pulled for a garage conversion. Check for insulation in the exterior walls of the the existing garage. You can cut out a small hole in the sheetrock to see if there is in fact insulation on the exterior walls. If there is not insulation in the walls or attic, it will be probably be required by code. Converting a garage can be a great way to add square footage to your home, but it could not appeal to everyone when it comes time to sell your home. For some home buyers, a garage is an absolute must. Air conditioning will also need to be addressed. Most garages in the San Antonio area are in the area of 20′-0″ x 20′-0″ or 400 square feet. A good rule of thumb when determining how many tons you will need for cool a home is 400-500 square feet per ton. (example for a 20′-0″ x 20′-0″ new garage conversion, you will need to add a 1 ton air conditioner. Other possibilities are window units or portable air conditioners. Plumbing will also need to be considered. If you planning on adding a restroom or sink, then you will require new plumbing. If a utility room is nearby, you might be able to tap into existing water lines. A plumber will be needed to locate any existing sewer lines.
The biggest question facing most garage conversions is what to do about the garage door. Once the door is removed, the resulting space needs to be filled in so that it both blends in with the rest of the house. Check with your Home Owner’s Association to see what the requirements are when making changes to the front exterior of your house. Rhino Design Build often consults with many clients in San Antonio that are considering converting their garage into living space. The front of the house is obviously the first thing you see, so you want to use the same building materials as the rest of the house. If you choose to remove the garage doors, you can replace them with a set of French doors or windows. You may choose to leave the garage doors and have them secured from the inside while framing a new wall to conceal them from the inside. “ Danny Garcia, owner of Rhino Design Build in San Antonio, Texas.