From Dean Dowd on March 25, 2008 in General Remodel
A home office, rec room, guest bedroom, or family room - it is a fairly common practice to convert a garage into additional living space. However, from a marketing perspective is it an asset or a detriment? Most people shopping for a new home consider it important to have at least a single-car garage, and larger is preferable. Not only do they want to protect their cars from the sun and weather extremes, but many want the added storage space and room to do more heavy-duty projects. Some cities even require that all homes have a garage and will prevent any conversion; and it is important to research all requirements and restrictions before beginning construction. On the other hand, if you are short on square footage, maybe your garage would work better as living space. As long as the room contains a closet, it will be counted as an extra bedroom. Remove the garage door, add more windows, some floor coverings, and fresh paint, and you have an easy fix to your space problem. If you have adequate room on your property, consider adding a detached garage or carport. It doesnt have to be anything elaborate, but just its presence will satisfy those who want a garage. Another option is to leave the garage door in place, that way new owners will have the option to convert the space back to its original design at any point. Consider adding a second story to your garage. For a contractor, it is a fairly easy process to raise the roof and add a second story. This way, you can add a large living space while still enjoying the full benefits of a garage. Keep in mind, this may not work too well on a single story home. Before you plan to convert your garage into something else, consider how long you plan to stay in your home. If this is where you plan to live for several years, then by all means convert and build to suit your dreams. But, it you are remodeling for resale, really evaluate if the improvements you are making are just for your taste, or if they will be appealing to a broader market.