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Garage Conversions

 

If you’re thinking about a new family room, master suite or a home theater, a garage conversion can meet your space requirements without the cost of an addition. A well-designed garage conversion is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to add desired space to your home.

Structurally, only a few modifications are needed – closing off the garage door opening and possibly opening up the wall between the house and the garage. Eliminating the need for new construction significantly reduces time delays and cost for the homeowner.

There are many innovative yet practical ways Post Oak Construction can transform your attached or freestanding garage. An attached garage’s proximity to the kitchen makes it a good candidate for conversion into a great room combining kitchen, dining and entertaining functions. While a free standing garage can become a home office or guest house.

What can your garage be converted to?

  • Home Office
  • Game Room or Poker Room
  • Den
  • Home Theatre
  • Guest Bedroom
  • Mother In Law Apartment
  • Exercise Room
  • Golf Simulator and Putting
  • Workshop

Things to consider when converting your garage into living space:

Garage Door - 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 and provides a useful service to the new living space. Possible options include installing a patio door or framing a new wall that includes a large window.

Floor - A typical garage sits on an un-insulated concrete slab, which may be several inches below the floor level inside the house. The slab may well be sloped toward the garage door or a floor drain. With these circumstances, you will want to consider filling the bottom of the garage door opening with a curb that will keep water out of the converted space and protect wall framing from moisture. You will also need to decide if the floor should be leveled.

Heating and Cooling - If the garage is attached to the house, you may be able to extend the existing heating and cooling system into the new space. If that is not possible, look into an independent system (heat can be supplied by electric baseboards, gas space heaters or woodstoves, for example, while a room air conditioner can handle warm weather). Add insulation to walls, floor and ceiling before deciding how to heat and cool the space.

Wiring - If you expect to substantially increase electrical usage in the converted space, consider adding at least one new 20-amp circuit. Wiring to a detached garage can be run through an underground conduit.

Plumbing - This can be the biggest headache of a garage conversion. Getting water supplied to the garage may be easy, but drainage could present major problems. Check with a plumber about your options. If you are lucky enough to have a laundry/utility room connecting the garage to the house, you might be able to turn it into a bathroom.

Loss of Storage and Parking - Much of what is currently stored in your garage could go into a new shed, the basement or attic, or be sold at a garage sale. To protect your vehicle from the elements, consider building a carport.

Blending In - Think hard about to make the exterior of the converted space look like it has always been a part of the house, rather than an afterthought. Try to match the siding, colors, window and door styles and the landscaping.

To some, a garage is seen as unused space that can be converted into the extra space needed for a growing family, or to provide a downstairs master bedroom or guest suite. Although most people believe it is easy to convert a garage into habitable space, when everything required is taken into consideration, it can be quite complex. First, the opening for the garage door must be built so that the exterior integrates into the existing structure, making it appear as if the new wall and windows had always been there. Then the interior must be finished to the same standard as the rest of the house: dry wall, new ceiling, and decoration. If utilities such as water heater, electrical distribution box, etc., are exposed, these must be covered safely or moved to another location. Air conditioning ducts can be extended into the garage, or a new unit installed to provide cooling to the area. If a bathroom is required, plumbing and drainage facilities must be provided.

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