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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Construction & Renovation > Garage Conversion

Garage Conversion Cost

How Much Does Garage Conversion Cost?

low costDo It Yourself: $200-$2,000average costMedium: $7,500-$10,000high costHigh: $20,000+
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A garage already has a roof, four walls and a foundation, which makes it relatively inexpensive (as compared to a new addition) to turn it into a home office, gym, playroom, bedroom with bath or family room.

Typical costs:

  • Materials (and some labor) can run $200-$2,000 for a mostly do-it-yourself, partial conversion by either weatherproofing the garage door or covering it from the inside with removable paneling. This can include adding carpeting, wallboard, a ceiling, better lighting, plumbing for a small half-bath or laundry hook-ups, a short vent to extend the home's heating and air conditioning into the garage, and installing more electrical outlets. However, the "room" will still feel a garage that's being used for other activities.
  • Prices start around $7,500-$10,000 and go up to $20,000 or more (depending on the project's complexity and quality) for a complete conversion to make the garage look like an integral part of the house both inside and out -- including removing the garage door and adding windows, doors, walls, ceilings, a bathroom, closet or storage space, heating and air conditioning, electrical outlets and other amenities.
Related articles: Building a Garage, Home Addition, Attic Remodeling

What should be included:
  • First, consult the local planning department for current codes and requirements, such as insulation, wiring, ventilation, etc. Some locations require replacing the former garage space, and a building permit may be required. Many building codes now require upgrades such as residential fire sprinklers for major remodeling projects.
  • A complete conversion is a complex project, and requires designing not just the use of the space, but the flooring, walls, ceiling, wiring, ventilation and more. While the garage does provide an existing framework, it's usually in extremely rough form and was built to different standards than the rest of the house. Major upgrades take about 2-3 weeks and, since most of the work is done inside, most of the work can continue even if the outside weather is bad.
  • Whether it's a partial or complete conversion, plan ahead. Where will the items currently kept in the garage be stored?[1] suggests making a step-by-step conversion plan, and Better Homes & Gardens[2] shows how a garage attic was converted to a guest suite.
Additional costs:
  • An illegal garage conversion done without consulting the local planning department can backfire, leading to citations for creating a public or visual nuisance, or for violating parking laws or health or building codes. Local officials can insist the situation be fixed, which might mean either expensive upgrades or undoing the conversion.
Shopping for garage conversion:
  • Better Homes & Gardens lists eight things to keep in mind while hiring a contractor[3] .
  • Contractor referrals are available through the National Association of Home Builders[4] and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry[5] .
  • Get several estimates, making clear what is (and isn't) included in each quote; request and check references; ask about the contractor's length and type of experience; and be sure they're properly bonded, insured and licensed in your state[6] . See if there are any complaints with the Better Business Bureau[7] .
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