Convert a Garage in to Living Space

Garage Conversion

how to make a room in your garage

Converting a garage in to living space can add real value to your home. It will add much needed living space. A well-thought-out garage conversion can add as much as 20% to the value of your home. This is all good stuff and you will NOT have to incur the cost for moving to get the space you need.

This page will discuss the steps involved in making a garage in to a new room. And specific modifications required for a successful transformation from a storage space to a living space. Changing a garage to a new “conditioned space” requires strict compliance with the Florida Building Code occupancy regulations. The building code requires permitting to “construct, enlarge, alter, repair or change the occupancy,” and also to “install any electrical or plumbing system.” Preventive Maintenance Support Services has the expertise and team needed to transform your garage to comfortable and livable space.

Garage Conversion to Bedroom

Building regulations include moisture proofing, ventilation, temperature control, sound control, lighting,  insulation, fireproofing, minimum room size and ceiling height, escape routes and structural soundness.

Beyond the legalities, there is a bare minimum to make the garage conversion really, truly habitable. Here's the list.

  • Installing insulation. Garages are not insulated, for the most part. Drywall may need to be removed to install wall studs need to create a cavity for wall insulation. The ceiling may also need to be insulated.
  • Raising floor height.  Garages tend to be lower than the house, in general. You may not think the floor high needs to be raised, but it does. In Florida the floor height for new living space must match the "finish floor height"  of the home. This means you will probably need to pour 4" of new concrete. The resale for your home will be jeopardized if not done.
  • Adding floor covering. The finished floor is the visible floor that you walk on. Some garages do not have suitable floor covering or even minimal floor covering due to its limited function. So adding tiles or carpet is a good idea.
  • Installing new Drywall or finish the job.  Garage drywall is usually installed as a non finish-quality level one or two so an upgrade may be needed, if you have it.
  • Garage Door:  Leave the garage door in place or replace it with a wall?  You need to consider few things. Your garage door is probably not insulated and does not meet the energy code requirements to facilitate an a/c unit. So, your garage door will more than likely be replace with a wall and windows
  • Box Out Unsightly Areas.  Non load-bearing walls should be added around areas you don't want to have visible in a living area--water heater, furnace, laundry area, etc.
  • Air-conditioning. Its a pretty good guess that your garage is not currently air-conditioned and your probably going to want it. The building code requires a "habitable" space be air-conditioned. The permit package will include energy calculations to determine if your existing unit can handle the additional load or if an upgrade is needed. We recommend installing ductless mini split system. They are very efficient and unlike a "window shaker", quite.
  • Lighting. The overhead light in the garage door opener is just not going to give you enough light. Consider additional lighting.
  • Electrical out-lets. A service upgrade to accommodate the larger load were there was none will be needed. Electrical outlets will be required every 6' for the permit.
  • Completing the exterior walls. to compliment and match the rest of the home
  • Adding windows and doors. Your garage may have a window already in, but if you install a wall where the big door was, it will look funny without some more  windows. Windows up front will match the current look.

Do I have to raise the floor in a garage conversion?

Do I have to install a new air-conditioner in a garage conversion?

A garage conversion is not a new addition. Your simply changing the use for an existing space. It's similar to converting a covered patio in to a sunroom, right? Our company does a lot of these conversions and we have to consider what our customer wants for the new space and what we need for permit it. You do not have to raise the floor if there is an impact resistant door in to your house. So, you can install your walls to enclose the space and avoid raising the floor by simply replacing a door. But, in doing so you will not be able to permit an A/C unit. Air-conditioned spaces must be the same height as your homes finished floor.

Many of our clients elect to have us permit the walls, windows and do other things when we leave. I'm not advocating it, I'm just saying.

In addition to that, Preventive Maintenance Support Services has the extensive experience for converting the garage to become used and habitable spaces. Set aside any worries, our company is ready to assist our valued customer to build their dream spaces in their home.

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