Garage Apartments

Building A Spare Room Or Complete Living Space

If you are interested in remodeling your garage for a living space then there are several things to consider. The first choice is whether you plan to add a bedroom or two, or if you are going to construct a stand alone apartment that is self contained. This decision makes a big difference as far as cost and difficulty of the project goes.
Before you start any kind of project you need to check with the local building codes division to see what would and would not be accepted in your location. Of course if you are just trying to build a sleeping space for a couple of teenagers you many not think this is important but it really is. There are several safety factors that need to be taken into account when a person sleeps in this area. For example, if you build a loft above the parking area in your garage then you need to be concerned about the effects of carbon monoxide if a car is left idling inside under the person sleeping. This deadly gas can seep up through the floor and kill someone before they even know it. Or, what if you have a fire? Most local building codes require that a sleeping area have at least two exits that a person can easily use to exit the room in the event of fire. These are concerns that the average home owner don’t think about until it is too late.
If you are planning to do a complete living area then you will need to think about plumbing. If nothing else, you will want to install a bathroom and a small kitchenette if you plan to have an area where the occupants don’t need to use any amenities in the house. This can really add a lot of expense and make the project a lot more difficult than just adding a bedroom. But, in reality, do you really want someone who you may rent the space to coming inside in order to use your bathroom? Usually the answer is no. Before you get too far into this project you should talk to a couple of contractors about the cost to add a bathroom. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy but it should have a toilet, sink, and shower. You don’t have to put in a full tub, and most people wouldn’t expect that, but they do expect to be able to shower.
If you just want to enclose the entire garage into a room then there are a lot different rules to consider than if it is going to be a sleeping area. Usually, it is considered a bedroom if there is a closet even if you claim that it is going to be used as an office space or play room. If you decide to finish the garage and then turn it into a bedroom later be sure to find out what the safety rules would be for a sleeping area and follow them. The codes have been passed for a reason, safety, and you don’t want to have the heartache of an accident that could have been averted.

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