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Expand, expand, expand. If your house is feeling just a tad too small these days, and you’ve had visions of expanding, it’s time to get creative. Instead of going down the potentially costly route of an addition, consider converting your garage into living space.

Of course, there are pros and cons to converting a garage into living space, which we’ll go over for you today.

But you’re probably wondering first what a garage conversion will cost. You can expect to spend around $20,000 to $50,000 to convert a two-car garage into living space, depending on your garage and what you want it to become.

Typically, that’s about half of what an addition would cost, in part because your garage already has a foundation, roof, and walls. The job will take anywhere from four to six weeks, in all likelihood.

Interested in hearing more about converting your garage into living space? Below are the pros and cons of doing the job.

The pros

1) More space

What likely is leading you down the path of turning your garage into living space is the need for more room in your home. Whether you’re looking to convert your garage into another bedroom, a recreation room, an office, or a den, the extra space you’ll get out of the project could make a major difference in how your home functions.

2) Move mom and dad in

If you’ve got aging parents, converting a garage into an inlaw suite could be the perfect solution to having mom and dad nearby, while not taking up the room you currently have (and need) in your home. The same goes for housing an older child, who may want to move back in with you after college.

Or, perhaps you’re looking to the future and how your home can best fit your needs as you age. Converting a garage into a first-floor bedroom can be a great way to help you avoid climbing the stairs later in life. Learn more about remodeling your home to age in place.

3) Add value

Converting your garage to living space can add value to your home. This can be an advantage if you are planning on selling down the road. Whether the new space is a bedroom, rec room, or living room, it could be a real incentive for buyers who are looking for some extra living space.

4) Doesn’t sacrifice outdoor space

While an addition would eat up valuable outdoor space on your property, a garage converted to living space is already a part of your home’s footprint. For those with little outdoor space to spare, a garage conversion could be a great way to get more living space without eating up outdoor space.

The cons

1) Parking outdoors

With your garage converted into living space, you’ll be out a garage. Which means your car will be outdoors, and exposed to the elements on a permanent basis. This may not be a huge problem for you, but do consider whether garage space for your car is something you are willing to part with. (If not, think about adding a detached garage elsewhere on your property, if space and budget allow.)

Also think about how much driveway space you have for parking. Is it enough for your cars, and for guests? If you have a small driveway, you might have to come up with some different parking solutions if you take your garage space for a living area.

2) No more storage space

Your garage is likely a holding area for tools, lawnmowers, snow blowers, and any other items you’ve stored there. If you lack a shed, attic, or basement, converting your garage to living space may mean you’ll need to consider other options for storage.

3) It looks like, well, a garage

One of the biggest challenges in converting a garage to living space is making the new area look like a natural part of the house, not a garage. You’ll have to consider what to do about the garage doors, for one. Make sure you choose a design/build team willing to go the lengths it takes to make your new living space look like a seamless part of your home.

Converting a garage to living space can be done well, and at Cottage Industries we’re happy to help find the solutions to do the project right. Contact us today to get the conversation started.
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