Should You Convert Your Garage to Add Value?

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When you consider ways to add more value to your home or any property you always need to think about how to elevate levels of space. It’s true to say that buyers are always going to be interested in the possibility of more space. You could even make the change that will stop you from needing to move at all. 

You have two choices here. Either you can add an extension to your home or you can use an accentuate or transform space that you already have. A garage conversion is a great choice because this is space is already a key part of your property. With minimal changes, you can make it a great space for a wide range of different purposes. 

So, let’s explore whether this could be the right choice to add value to your home. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this choice that you may want to consider. 

Advantages

Using An Unused Space

One of the key advantages of transforming your garage is that you will have an area that you probably aren’t using right now. Many people neglect their garage completely. It becomes a place to store rubbish and anything that won’t fit into other areas around the property. Essentially, it becomes one massive junk drawer. While this might seem useful for decluttering your home, you’re not getting the true potential of this space. A garage will often have massive benefits as a potential space. 

For instance, there will usually be a massive variety of different electrical outlets. This opens up the area to a vast range of different possibilities that require equipment being set up and plugged in. 

As well as this, it will usually be a completely open space too. Once you clear everything out you’ll be amazed how large the area actually is. This is another reason why it’s such a great choice to convert it into an area that you can actually use. 

A Versatile Space

Basically when you clear the garage out what you will have is a completely blank canvas. There are no limits on what you can use this space for. You could set up a workshop with all the equipment and tools that you might need. You could use it as a place to create a man cave complete with a flatscreen TV and pool table. 

Or, you could fill it with gym equipment from the exercise bike to the weights. The big benefit here is that a space like this has been designed to hold a car. So, you know, without a doubt, it will endure whatever you throw at it. Heavy weights won’t be an issue and neither will moisture or virtually any other type of environmental issue. 

Another big benefit is that this space is quite cut off from the rest of the home. This again provides you with numerous options. So for instance, you won’t have to worry about dust from power tools in the air escaping into the rest of the property. 

No Need To Spend On Massive Changes

With a type conversion, you’re going to need to spend quite a lot of money on larger changes to the property. You do have changes to make with a garage conversion, but there’s never going to be anything on this level. Instead, you already have the foundation, the roof and the walls in place. As such, there’s no need to spend money on these particular requirements that come with something like an extension. 

Of course, another clear benefit of completing this type of change rather than the typical home extension is that you don’t have to worry about massive levels of disruption. Less building work means that you can keep your home intact without any issues that usually come with the typical home remodel. There will be no diggers at your door and no loud workmen when you complete this type of change. 

Opportunities For Income

Another fantastic benefit is that this can lead to great income opportunity. It’s worth pointing out again that this space is going to be completely detached from the rest of your home. As such, it’s the perfect space for a rented room. Many people who complete a garage conversion do find that they can use it as a space that they are able to rent out to other people. 

You can earn money and with the right soundproofing, you won’t have to worry about your new tenant disturbing you. This is another reason why a garage conversion can be an attractive option for buyers. 

Popular On The Market

Ultimately, when you’re making changes to add a greater level of value to your home, you need to think about what buyers want. The main factor buyers consider is the level of usable space a home has. Many buyers will be willing to sacrifice space for a car or storage if it means that they have another full room in their new property. As such, if you find the right buyer, you may get a sizeable offer on your home once you have completed a conversion like this. That means that you stand to profit a lot from this type of change. 

Furthermore, an adjustment to your property like this may also be seen as a unique selling point. So, you can attract a particular subset of buyers and stand out from the rest of the homes that are currently on the market when it is time to sell. 

You do need to consider whether you have enough parking space. If you do have a place to park without the garage, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t make this change. 

It Can Look Natural 

A key problem with some home extensions and conversions is that they often stick out like a sore thumb. This is true for a variety of different types of conversions including things like the conservatory. It’s often easy to tell when a part of the home wasn’t an original part of the build. This can impact the curb appeal and thus the value of the home. It’s an issue that you always need to consider but with a garage conversion, it’s not a problem at all. 

The garage is already built and a full part of your home. With a few adjustments, it’s easy to make it look like a natural element of the design rather than an add-on or extension. There is also a vast range of design possibilities to ensure that your garage conversion looks great inside and out. 

Contract Control

Another key benefit of a garage remodel is that you will have complete control over the decisions that are made with this type of change. This is not usually the case with other upgrades to the property. You are the sole decision-maker throughout the full process. This makes a conversion less stressful and far easier to handle. 

Perfect For A Home Based Business

If you’re not going to rent out the new area that you have created, then you can always consider using it for a practical purpose. For instance, this could be a great spot for a home-based business. Home run businesses are becoming more popular than ever. It’s important that you have the right area for this type of set up. A garage conversion could fit the bill beautifully. You will even be able to meet with clients and investors in what can be a space with a professional set up. 

Or, it could even be converted into space for elderly parents to live. This is another concept that is becoming more popular later. Young couples are also more open than every to living with their parents for longer. There is also a rapidly ageing population and many individuals will at least want to try bringing an elderly parent to stay with them before relocating them to a care home. The garage conversion provides the answer to this problem. 

Cheaper And Faster Than A Kitchen Redesign 

There are numerous changes that you can make to your home that will add value. One of the most popular choices is always going to be a kitchen redesign. This is due to the theory that changing and transforming a kitchen could add as much as 25% onto the asking value of your home. 

While this may be the case, it’s worth considering the cost, time and effort that this will take. A garage conversion is far more cost-effective and indeed more rapid than a kitchen redesign. You will be able to make sure that the work is completed within a time period that matches your requirements. A kitchen redesign can drag on for months. 

Disadvantages

No Space For Your Car

The main disadvantage of converting your garage is that you could be taking away a space that is already in use. It’s possible and even likely that you do store your car in the garage. By converting it, you will no longer have this option. That means that your car is going to be exposed to the worst of the elements and is more likely to be stolen. There are a few ways to handle this issue. The best is arguably a carport. This will provide the car with the protection it needs and provide another fantastic feature that is going to add value to your home. However, it does add a new expense if you want to continue to protect the home after the conversion of the garage has been completed. 

Usually, people who convert the garage have already decided to store their car on the drive for most of the year or even all year round. If you are used to storing your car in the garage, this conversion probably isn’t the right choice for you. 

As well as this, no garage could put off some buyers exploring your home. Many people do want a garage when they buy a property and may even expect one. So, it could lead to lower bids for your property. 

You should also consider the environment and the location of your home as well. For instance, you could live on the property. If that’s the case, then you need to consider salt damage. There is more salt in the air around the cost and this can have a severe negative impact on a vehicle, causing it to rust. 

Costs Dependant On Ideas

You might be wondering how much it’s going to cost to convert your garage into a completely new space that you can use. This is a difficult question to answer because it is always going to depend on what you’re going to use this space for. For instance, you might want to fill it with musical instruments and band equipment. That’s a great idea, but if that’s the case, then you will need to make sure that it is fully soundproofed. This won’t just be important for other people living in the property. You need to think about your neighbours too. A garage is not typically designed as a soundproof room so you’re going to need to make quite a few modifications. 

Alternatively, if it’s going to be a living space rather than a workshop area. You’ll need to consider warmth as well as lighting. Both these changes can be quite complicated and will require the support of professional contractors. Again, this is going to lead to a higher cost and you need to be prepared for this. 

Red Tape

A big issue with this type of conversion is that you can run into quite a lot of red tape. This will make completing the conversion tricky at best and impossible at worst. You will need to consider the issue of building codes and zonings. There are various municipalities that have a particular set of rules regarding garage conversion. You need to make sure that you are prepared for everything from obtaining permits to full inspections. It is absolutely vital that all the building work is completed to code and up to the right standards. 

It’s important to get the neighbours onside too. A garage conversion is going to be nowhere near as loud or noisy as the typical extension. However, it can cause enough issues that the neighbours begin to take issue. It’s important that you nip this in the bud early on in the process. 

Upgrades

It is possible that you will need to upgrade your home systems. If that’s the case, it can be quite expensive. You may require new electrical panels to deal with the extra load. As well as this, it’s possible that you will also need a whole new heating and cooling system too. 

Tax Increase

It is possible that once you have completed a garage conversion the amount of taxes that you need to pay on your home actually increases. Why is this? Well, the amount of tax you pay on your property is based on the level of space that you have in square feet. With a garage conversion, you could easily add at least four hundred square feet onto the property. 

Filling In The Garage Door Opening 

This is one of the biggest jobs that you will have with a garage conversion. You need to make sure that the space for the garage door is filled in the right way. If you leave the garage door, then this is going to be an insulation nightmare. It could also be an issue with the security of the space as well as a practical problem. You also need to think about how this surface area is going to look as part of your home once it’s filled in. Ideally, it should look like a seamless extension of your property. One issue here is that you probably need to add windows too. 

Windows are beneficial because it means that you can benefit from natural light rather than having to rely on artificial lighting inside the converted garage. 

Traffic Flow 

You need to consider whether there are going to be issues with traffic flow inside your home. This depends on two key factors, where the entry point to the garage is and what you are going to use the converted space for. For instance, you might have a garage that is connected to the house through the kitchen. This means that using the converted space as a deluxe bathroom probably isn’t the best idea. You also need to think about this if you are going to use it for tenants. You may need to either cut off the converted area from the home completely and add a new entry point or work out which areas of your home will be shared with the tenants. 

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when you think about making this change to your property. Yes, you will certainly add value but you need to consider whether the change will be worth it. There’s a lot that will need to be modified to ensure that this new space is going to match your needs and requirements.

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