Garage remodels vary widely in their complexity and can include anything from creating an entire apartment to simply adding insulation and climate control for an upgraded space to park your car. On average, homeowners spend $10,627 to turn their unused garage into a bonus living space, but the price of a garage conversion depends largely upon your specific project. So, the first step in planning your garage conversion is deciding upon the room’s new intended purpose.
Do you need an entire guest suite or are you planning on building a home office? It is important to consider your budget and to prioritize essential improvements such as insulation, window installation, and permit costs. Once you are clear on your vision for the space, it is crucial to clearly communicate that vision to your contractor. In fact, it is a good idea to interview multiple contractors for multiple estimates. It may even be helpful to consult with an interior designer who can help you choose finishes, colors, and furniture placement.
The average cost of converting a garage depends largely upon what type of space you have planned. If you are planning on converting your garage into a LIVING SPACE or FAMILY ROOM, you can expect to pay anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000. By law, your family room needs at least one window large enough to serve as an emergency exit. Additional costs include installing insulation, drywall, a drop ceiling, flooring, and heating and air conditioning.
Converting your garage into an APARTMENT or GUEST HOUSE will typically cost at least $15,000 to $30,000. Not only will you need to implement all of the upgrades needed to convert the space into a living room, but you’ll also need to add a separate bath and kitchen, requiring a gas line or a 220 outlet for a stove. Additionally, you will need to create a private entrance for the space. If instead, you are just planning a BEDROOM or MASTER SUITE, you can expect to pay at least $10,000 to $15,000. A bedroom needs at least one window, a ceiling, insulation, drywall, flooring, heat, and air as well as a closet. If you plan on adding a master bath, you should factor in plumbing costs and budget for the addition of another window.
Converting your garage into a BATHROOM or KITCHEN can also be quite pricey, beginning around $3,000 and building depending on plumbing and the cost of fixtures, finishes, etc. Similarly, converting a garage into a kitchen often involves rerouting gas and water lines, and costs can quickly add up as fixtures like countertops and cabinetry are added. You should expect to spend at least $6,000 when converting your garage to a kitchen.
The HOME OFFICE is one of the more affordable options when it comes to converting your garage into a living space. Like a bedroom, a home office requires all the basic amenities, such as walls, flooring, a ceiling, climate control, and a window. The room may also require additional outlets and high-speed internet connection. You should budget at least $5,000 to convert your garage into a home office. If you’re interested in converting your garage into a UTILITY or LAUNDRY ROOM with a utility sink and/or a washing machine, you’ll need to add plumbing and should budget at least $6,000.
Factors to Consider
The average size of a single garage is about 12 by 20 feet. A double garage will cost more to convert. You may be required to purchase a permit from your state, county, or municipal government. Your contractor should have an in-depth understanding of the permit process. For reference, the average cost of obtaining a building permit from $1,000 to $1,500. Obtaining permits can also take a significant amount of time, so it’s important to plan ahead. Have more questions about this? Check out our article, “Everything You Wanted to Know about LA City Permits!”
The cost of materials will vary greatly depending on your personal preferences. With most materials, you can know what to expect as a minimum or average cost. For example, insulation typically costs at least $1.00 per square foot. Interior walls cost an average of $1,700 each. If your garage doesn’t have any windows, you should add one large enough to serve as an emergency exit. This is especially important if you want to list it as a bedroom or rent it out. You can expect costs to start around $1,000 per window.
Adding heating and air conditioning can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000.
Most garages have electricity of some sort, including a few outlets. However, if you’re planning on converting your garage into a living space, you will need electricity. As a result, you’ll also need a licensed electrician to add wiring and outlets to support electrical devices. You should budget between $75 and $500 for outlet installation.
Plan to add a sink, shower, toilet, or all three? You should enlist the services of a licensed plumber and expect to pay at least $300 to $1,800.