Can You Convert A Garage Into A Living Room? [Top Factors To Consider!]

Homeowners often wish for more space, like a bigger area for family time. If you’re thinking about converting your garage into a living room, we’ve got the info you need!

A collage of an empty garage and a modern living room, Can You Convert A Garage Into A Living Room? [Top Factors To Consider!]

We may include affiliate links and curated AI content to highlight top design styles.

You can usually convert an attached garage into a living room. Some obstacles may stand in your way, though, including:

  • Local building codes
  • Ceiling height
  • HVAC capacity
  • Electrical
  • Window access
  • Parking

Some of these may not completely prevent the conversion but may make it cost-prohibitive. Others may be safety or code issues that cannot be easily overcome without major structural revisions.

Do you have more questions? We’ve discussed each of these obstacles and more in more detail below, so please continue reading.

Converting A Garage Into A Living Room

Get our FREE 7 design style cheat sheets
Subscribe for home design tips & inspiration
Get your free gift: Downloadable design style cheat sheets
Thank you for subscribing!
Garage repurposed as a living room. cozy furniture, modern decor

When searching for a way to expand your living space, one of the easiest ways is to convert an attached garage.

They often have lots of space and the necessary structure for the conversion. However, there are a few things to consider first. Let’s explore each one in more detail.

Local Building Codes

Local building codes usually don’t block garage conversions, but every city has its own rules.

Your city may specifically prohibit this conversion, so check before you start planning this project.

The code problems you may encounter are the same codes all living spaces must meet. This includes everything from the proper emergency exits to insulation.

You can address many of these items, but when budgeting for your project, consider the cost of each carefully.

Ceiling Height

A garage won’t always have the ceiling height needed for a living space.

While most do, this can be especially problematic if your home has floors that sit higher than the garage floor and you wish to raise them to match.

HVAC Capacity

HVAC capacity in home

People usually pick a heating and AC system for their current space, so it might not handle the extra garage area. You might need to upgrade your system or add a standalone one, which can be pricey.

In addition to the heater and air conditioner, consider the ductwork, which will be an added expense. Your ductwork must be laid out properly to balance the airflow and allow proper return flow in your home.

Adding this space may disrupt that and require significant rework of the existing duct layout.

Electrical

If you are converting a garage to a living room, there is a good chance you will have many electrical devices in the new room. Televisions, computers, and lamps are only a part of what you’ll want in your space.

If you convert your garage, it’s important your garage’s circuit can handle the load and has outlets every twelve feet. You might need to add or move outlets to suit your layout, which can get costly.

Check if your garage has wiring for all the new lighting needs. If not, new wiring is necessary. These changes usually require an electrician, so consider that expense when planning your conversion.

Windows Access

Interior of a garage

An attached garage may not have any windows. Even if it does, you’ll likely want to add new windows to let more light into your living space.

You also must have a proper exit route in case of emergency, which may be a window.

If you add windows, you need to add the proper structure and support around them. Adding a window isn’t always difficult, but it is an added expense that could put your budget over the top.

Parking

Some places require off-street parking; sometimes, a driveway or other spot is enough. However, some areas need covered parking. So, check local codes before converting your garage to make sure you comply.

You’ll also need to think about the weather. If you park outside after converting the garage, will you need to scrape windows or clear snow? Are break-ins a concern with outdoor parking?

Converting a garage can be a big undertaking, but it can be an effective way to add a living area to your home.

How Much Does It Cost To Convert A Garage Into A Living Room?

Open door of a modern garage with a concrete driveway at the urban district, Should A Garage Door Open In Or Out?

A lot goes into converting a garage into a living room. You need to calculate everything, and it will add up. Some of the things to consider:

  • Adding outlets
  • Redoing ceilings, walls, flooring
  • Windows
  • Building permits
  • Upgrades to HVAC
  • Insulation
  • Lighting
  • Labor costs

This is not a complete list, as many other costs are involved. Take the time to consider all possible expenses.

Costs typically range from $6,000 to over $50,000, with an average of around $12,000 to $15,000. You might be on the lower end if you do much of the work yourself and have adequate HVAC and electrical components.

If materials and labor are expensive, you’re hiring out the work, using high-end materials, and needing upgrades, expect to be on the higher end.

It depends on your circumstances, so consider everything carefully before committing to the project.

Can You Legally Convert A Garage Into A Living Room?

You can legally convert your garage into a living room in most places. While some places have limitations on this, it’s usually possible, provided the resulting space meets all the necessary building codes.

In the past, some places banned these conversions, but many have relaxed their rules. You should contact your local building code department to make sure.

If you have a homeowner’s association, contact them too. Your HOA might ban garage conversions, but you can often apply for an exception and possibly get approval if you ask.

Does Converting A Garage Into A Living Space Add Value?

Garage repurposed into a living room with no windows

Most experts agree that converting a garage to a living space might not add value and could lower it, especially in areas with severe weather.

In some places, it might be a drawback when selling your home. If your neighborhood has garages and yours doesn’t, it will stand out to buyers.

If the conversion looks obvious and mismatched, it might turn buyers away. So, if you plan to sell soon, converting your garage might not be the best idea.

Is Converting A Garage A Good Idea?

Converting your garage might not boost your home’s value, but it can add comfort and space for your family. It’s often cheaper than an add-on and keeps your yard intact.

Most people who convert their garages are happy with the extra space and find the benefits outweigh the downsides.

However, again, if you plan to sell soon, remember it might not increase and could even lower your home’s value.

The general consensus seems to be to not convert the garage if you plan to leave in the future. Otherwise, you will likely enjoy the added living space.

In Closing

Converting a garage into a living room is not only possible but is relatively common. While we’ve pointed out some obstacles, many people enjoy the added space.

Take the advantages and disadvantages into account before committing to this project.

If the added space outweighs your difficulties, then there is no reason not to convert your garage to make your home work better for you and your family.

If you like this article, you may also like the following:

Should The Garage Door Match The Front Door?

Should The Garage Door Be The Same Color As The House?

Get our FREE 7 design style cheat sheets
Subscribe for home design tips & inspiration
Get your free gift: Downloadable design style cheat sheets
Thank you for subscribing!
Share with a friend -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *