Should You Convert Your Garage?

You have been thinking about it for a few weeks now. You need more space in your house. Whether it’s a teenage son asking for his own room or you need space for a home office, the garage seems to be the likely star of this home extension project. Why the garage? Well, you don’t use it other than to store junk. The car just sits on the driveway anyway because you’re too lazy to get it inside the garage.

But before you go through with your plan, ask yourself some questions. First, is the garage safe? Can you get a  company that does garage door installation in Boise or wherever you live to remove the roll-up or replace it with a suitable door while making sure not to damage the foundation of the walls and ceiling? But that’s hardly the most difficult part about converting a garage. When it comes down to it, the legality of garage conversions might just stop you on your tracks.

What are the Legal Implications?

Depending on the zoning requirements in your area, you cannot convert a garage without permits and licenses from the government. Some homeowners have faced illegal garage conversion problems in the past. The garage was not meant for living, after all. If you are to convert it into a safe and habitable living space, you need to follow legal and technical standards that are not required when the area was initially built to house vehicles.

converting garage

At the very least, if you are to convert a garage, it should have windows, high ceiling, central heating ductwork, at least one wall-controlled light switch, and electrical wall outlets. You should also install insulation in the walls for when it gets hot or cold outside. If you plan to rent this space out, you have to make it comfortable for your tenant, as well.

Another thing you need to worry about is where to park your car. If you have a driveway, that’s good. You don’t have to worry about parking your car along the street. But if you only have a bit of space in front or at the back of your house, you will have trouble leaving your car in the streets. What happens when the city starts making a violation of side-street parking?

Will It Add Value to Your Property?

The short answer is yes, a converted garage will add value to your home. Who doesn’t want an extra room they can use as a guest room or home office? You’ll be surprised at how much you can sell your house with a converted garage. Remember that the main structure of the garage is already built. You’ll just add the drywall, insulation, flooring, and lights. You’ll spend less converting your garage than constructing another room.

While a converted garage adds value to your home, keep in mind to weigh the pros and cons first. Look at your neighborhood. Who will be your potential buyers in the future? If they are the kind of people who would want a protected parking space for their car, a converted garage may be more of a downside than a benefit.

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