What You Need to Know About Converting a Garage

One way to increase your property value, and get a good ROI when you’re ready to sell, is by converting your garage into a living space. This would mean more room for your family or rental income if you turn it into a studio. There are a lot of considerations…
Remodeling: What you need to know about converting a Garage

One way to increase your property value, and get a good ROI when you’re ready to sell, is by converting your garage into a living space. This would mean more room for your family or rental income if you turn it into a studio. There are a lot of considerations when you do this type of remodeling, but depending on what your goals are, it would be worth it. Here is everything you need to know about converting your garage into a living space.

Find out if you need a permit

Some cities require you to have a permit to do work on your home. This can be a bothersome, but it is best to find out before you hire a contractor. An upside to needing a permit is that the local officials come in and check out the work to double check that the health and safety goals are being met. As a layperson, you may not know what to look for in determining quality work. Far better than finding out after the job that the contractor didn’t do everything well.

In order to find out if you’ll need a permit, you will need to check with your city hall. However, local contractors should be able to tell you when you get a consultation.  A permit can cost between $400-$422. It’s an extra fee, but it serves as proof of quality work to future buyers or lenders. 

Find the right contractor 

Finding a great contractor goes without saying, but make sure you do your research. Ask for referring and look through yelp reviews to make sure you hire the right company. If you’re looking to turn it into a studio apartment that would be significantly more involved than just a rec room for your family. You’ll need to be sure the group you find can do the work and that they have a good track record. 

It also needs to be someone you trust as well. They’ll likely be at your home when you’re not and you need to be comfortable with that. In addition you want to choose someone who doesn’t have a reputation for dragging out projects to get more pay. Taking time to interview different companies will help you make the best decision for you. 

Prepare yourself for hiccups

Once you set your spending limit for the conversion, don’t max out your budget with a huge team and expensive fixtures. Make sure you leave some wiggle room for any unforeseen issues. This way you won’t have to stop in the middle of the job or take out a loan to finish. When you do the consult with your contractors make sure you walk through with them to possibly anticipate challenges.

Depending on where you live, and how your home and garage is situated, presents different problems and advantages. For example, if your home has an attached garage, it already has electricity and heat and that would be less work for the contractors. However this would also come with more noise, which could be difficult. If you work from home, have small kids or elderly family members home this could be something to consider. 

Refi after renovation?

After you finish your renovation you have an option to refinance. Since your home value has increased, you would be able to potentially take out equity and pay off the cost of the upgrades. Another great benefit would be to “remove PMI fees”. Have your home appraised and then speak to a mortgage professional to see what your options are.

Converting your garage has awesome benefits for homeowners and put you in a great position down the line when it’s time to sell your home

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