Can You Turn a Garage Into a Bedroom?

Can You Turn a Garage Into a Bedroom

Whether your adult son has moved back home and needs a place to stay or you’re looking for an option to get some much-needed space from your partner when they’re grinding your gears, turning a garage into a bedroom can serve of great benefit for you!

You can indeed turn a garage into a bedroom, considering you’ve done proper research and planning that is required beforehand. Save yourself the headache of starting something and not being able to finish it due to unexpected costs or problems you didn’t think about before picking up the hammer.

Throughout this article, I go over the basics you’ll need for successfully turning a garage into a bedroom, I explain the different costs that are involved as well as other interesting facts that can be handy to become aware of throughout this process. So what are you waiting for? Keep reading and let’s get started!

5 Things You’ll Need to Know When Thinking about Turning a Garage into a Bedroom

1: Research your laws around Garage Conversion

This is a genuine mistake a homeowner can make when toying with the idea of garage conversions. Quite often people assume that because you own the property, you shouldn’t need permission to make changes to it, therefore, illegally converting their garage into a bedroom or office. Unfortunately, depending on your state laws, you may require a permit to convert your garage and failing to do so legally can result in hefty fines!

2: Create a Budget

By having a budget set in place, you’ll avoid overspending or underspending on certain requirements needed for the conversion. Take a quick read further down this article where I explain the average price range you’ll be looking at when converting your garage as well as the difference between choosing low end or high-end quality.

3: Make sure you no longer need the Garage

This may seem like an obvious tip, however, many people don’t think about how reliant they are on having a garage. If you find yourself hosting junk, old fridges or 20 year old picture frames in your garage, you’ll need to seriously think about coming up with another solution for these items if you’ll be converting your garage into a bedroom.

Sometimes, realizing this fact may mean you’ll need to consider investing in a storage unit elsewhere or re-selling your old junk in order to successfully rid and no longer rely on your garage.

4: Are you capable of seeing out this project?

Besides being able to afford the conversion of turning your garage into a bedroom, think about if you are genuinely capable of seeing this project out till the end. Do you have the time right now to begin this project? Are you prepared and ready for any difficulties that may arise throughout this process? Does this look like a long-term hobby for you to get into or a short-term wish?

5: Do the Pros & Cons

In addition to creating a budget, you should form a list of all of the pro’s and con’s that will come out of converting your garage to a bedroom. Maybe you’re financially ready, however, not mentally. Maybe you’re mentally ready but not financially?

By writing down the pros and cons, you can visually identify if turning your garage into a bedroom is suitable for you as well as what you’ll need to do/have prepared in order to begin the process.

You can rest assured that turning your garage into a bedroom is indeed possible, however, taking a moment or two to think about some of these pointers beforehand may save you money and future consequences.

Steps For Turning Your Garage Into a Bedroom

Building a bedroom out of your garage is a genius alternative, especially if you’re trying to make use of more space for your bits and pieces lying around. Aside from the obvious, turning your garage into a bedroom will also increase your home’s resale value which is always a plus. Continue reading to find out the exact steps for turning your garage into a bedroom!

Step 1: Apply for a Property Permit

Did you know, some states have specific laws around the conversion of your garage? As a result, you can be heavily fined and be forced to fork out hefty dollars to re-convert your garage back to its original condition. For this reason alone, it’s important to enquire and apply for a property permit before turning your garage into a bedroom and save you the potential consequences.

Step 2: Time to begin Planning!

Allow your inner architect to flow through and start planning out your bedroom. What tools and equipment are you going to need to create your vision? Do you have a budget or specific price range you are hoping to stick by? Where will things be located, camouflaged or installed? Take some time to sit down and map out a plan for this project so you can be as prepared and organized as possible.

Step 3: Construction Time

Now that you have a plan for the conversion of your garage, you can begin construction. Sealing or adding windows or doors, insulating the garage if you live in a cold or damp environment as well as installing drywall to the ceiling and wallboards.

Step 4: Paint

After the drywall has been sanded down and cleaned from any dust particles, you can begin to prime and paint your walls the desired colors. A good thing to remember when painting is to start off by using thin layers and slowly build your way up, coat by coat.

Step 5: Install the Floors

Depending on the plan you made during step 2, you can now begin to install your desired flooring. If you’ve opted for tiles, you may want to consider installing a certain floor heating system underneath, especially if you live in a cool or damp environment. If you’ve decided to use carpet, consider using padding to assist in keeping the room warm.

Step 6: Lighting

Most garages will already be equipped with an AC power plug or socket, which means installing your desired lighting won’t be too difficult of a job.

Step 7: DIY & DECORATE

Now that the essentials are done for converting your garage into a bedroom, you can get started on the really fun part, decorating! Be mindful of the different placements for your furniture and make sure you utilize the space accordingly!

When is Converting a Garage to a Bedroom a Good Option?

Converting a garage to a bedroom can be a good option if you’ve considered a few things prior. Don’t just rush into the process (although it can be hard to resist). Take a moment to truly consider a few of these questions I’ve listed below when deciding whether or not converting a garage into a bedroom is a good option for you.

Are you running out of living space and will benefit from creating an additional bedroom?

If your answer is YES, then converting your garage to a bedroom is definitely a good option. These days, a garage takes up much more space than we could imagine… and if you’re already low on space in your home, then there are no disadvantages of converting your garage!

Do you have areas to place what is currently in your garage, to different areas?

What good is it converting your garage into a bedroom if you have nowhere to store your 20 year old fridge or freezer? Take a look at what is currently in your garage, and see if you have other storage solutions for those items. If you do, then converting your garage is a good option indeed.

Is converting a garage to a bedroom in your budget? Can you afford the essentials?

Getting a permit, affordability for construction work, buying any required furniture, installing potential heating or cooling systems and possible plumbing work (if you want an ensuite in your garage) should all be considered before saying yes to converting your garage to a bedroom. If this all in your capabilities, then it is most definitely a good option to convert your garage.

Converting a garage to a bedroom definitely can be a great investment (depending on your circumstances), however, it can end up being costly. Take some time to carefully consider the questions listed above and if your answer is YES to every single one of them, then it’s most likely the best time to start the conversion process!

How Much Does it Cost to Convert a Garage Into a Bedroom?

If the idea of converting your garage into a bedroom is toying around in your mind, then it’s a good idea to be mindful of the costs that may be involved. As a general basis, the average cost you’re looking at to convert a garage into a bedroom can range from $5,000 – $20,000 upwards. This price range can vary depending on the quality of materials as well as time invested. Continue reading to find out more about the costs to convert a garage into a bedroom!

I’ve listed below the average price range you’ll be looking at when thinking about investing in converting your garage into a bedroom. All costs are general and should be followed up by your own accord. Prices can vary depending on the circumstances.

Low End High End
Dry Walls $400 – $950 $4500+
Flooring (Tiles, Carpet) $580+ $3000 – $4800
Insulation $980+ $4500+
Permit Costs $1000 – $1500 $1000 – $1500
Hiring a Laborer $890+ $2000+
Furniture $250 – $300+ $3000+
Total: $4150 – $5250+ $18,000 – $20,300

If you’re looking at adding an ensuite to the bedroom, you’ll be looking at forking out an extra $13,500 – $18,000 (including the tools, equipment, and necessary requirements needed).

This goes the same for the installation of windows, which can vary from $950 per window. WIFI accessibility, which can range from $300 – $500 depending on the installation required and additional electricity sockets, which can range from $60 – $100 depending on the requirements for the job.

Carefully consider if these costs are in your current budget before picking up the hammer, as it may be detrimental if you begin something and halfway through run out of money to finish the job (it happens).

Come up with a detailed plan of pro’s and con’s, ideal price ranges and a realistic budget before diving headfirst!

Does Converting a Garage to a Bedroom Add Value?

Converting a garage to a bedroom can in fact add value to your property. As briefly mentioned above, turning your unwanted garage space into a bedroom can serve as beneficial for providing you more space, possible finical opportunities as well as room for storage.

Many homeowners will convert their garage into a bedroom simply for the purpose of guests. This is a great way to add room and privacy for any guests or visitors you may have over your home.

In addition to converting your garage for the use of guests, it’s also great to do so if you have older teenagers or adult children who may be looking for a place to stay during their studies at college. By having this extra bedroom in the garage, you can provide them their own privacy and may even make some extra cash from them also!

What Are the Benefits of Converting Your Garage Into a Room?

Converting your garage into a room can be an exciting idea to think about. Benefits that may come out of converting your garage into a room are as follows:

  • You can convert the room into anything you desire! Home office, guest bedroom, gaming room! The choices are endless.
  • Increases value to your property.
  • More space and freedom.
  • It’s a fun project to do with your spouse (considering you two get along well enough).
  • If you no longer need it as a guest bedroom, you can change it to a home office without hesitation.
  • Your older kids can benefit from it by using it as a hangout. This way you’ll get them out of your living room and into an area of their own.

Are There Disadvantages of Turning Your Garage Into a Bedroom?

Although you may be seriously thinking about converting your garage into a livable bedroom, there may be some slight disadvantages attached to the idea.

Considering you’ve already done your budget, planning and permit research, disadvantages that may arise from converting your garage into a bedroom can be:

  • Consistent upgrading for different appliances/electricals. – Although you may have budgeted for the installation of these devices, you should consider the potential need of having to upgrade/fix them in the future.
  • The resell value might decrease. – This will depend on many factors but take into consideration that if this isn’t going to be your forever home and you’d hope to sell it one day, some potential buyers will prefer a garage instead of a converted bedroom.
  • What will you do if you need the garage converted back to its original state? – Think about all possible situations and make sure you have a plan ahead of time for the “what if’s”.
  • Annoyed neighbors. – Be mindful of the fact that everyone hates late noises during the night, and if Becky next door hates loud noises you may be in for a ride.

As I have mentioned before in this article, creating a list with both pros and cons for converting a garage to a bedroom can help save yourself future headaches and forking out more money than you originally anticipated.

Is it Legal to Convert a Garage Into a Bedroom in California?

Unfortunately for Southern Californian homeowners looking to convert their garage into a bedroom (or any space for that matter) will need to seek out a property permit beforehand. Failing to do so is illegal and can result in being cited plus possibly receiving a heavy fine on top of that. Play it safe and do things the legal way instead of trying to convert your garage “on the low”, save yourself the hassle and possible implications in the future by getting a permit.

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Mike Zhang. Founder of FamilyLifeShare

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