3 Things to Consider Before You Convert Your Garage

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The decision to convert your garage could be motivated by any number of reasons: from installing a family recreation room or home theater, to creating an independent living space for another occupant such as an aging parent, to simply adding additional usable square footage to a home you’ve outgrown. A garage conversion is usually not a major building project—but it’s not a small DIY matter, either. A successful outcome depends on taking into account many factors before you finalize plans with qualified contractors. Here are three considerations to think about before you convert your garage:

What About HVAC?

If your house has central heating and cooling, you may opt to extend the ductwork into the conversion. Conversely, you may go with an alternative such as a ductless mini-split heat pump to heat and cool the limited area without ductwork. Another HVAC-related item that must be considered early is insulation. If your existing garage isn’t insulated (many aren’t), insulation will be required inside wall voids and above the ceiling.

Plumbing and Electricity

If the conversion incorporates a bathroom and/or kitchen facilities, plumbing services including water supply lines and drain pipes must be considered early. Because drain pipes will usually be set into the existing slab, this must be one of the very first issues tackled when conversion work begins. Electrical wiring must also be routed through walls before they are covered, another item that must be properly sequenced in the overall conversion process in order to avoid conflicts.

Code Compliance

Specific steps are required in advance of construction and at the conclusion of the project to ensure compliance with local laws. Blueprints must be submitted for approval and a building permit issued before beginning work. In most locales, hiring a qualified building contractor as well as a licensed electrician, plumber and HVAC contractor are mandatory. After the work is completed, the entire project must be inspected by a building inspector and, if deficiencies are noted, they must be corrected before the structure is approved.

For professional services to convert your garage, contact Apollo Home.


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