Table Of Contents

Garage Conversions

One of the most underused areas of a home is the garage. Most people simply utilise their garage to keep garbage, goods, and appliances that they no longer use, and if there is any room left, they park a car or two. There are other valuable ways to use a garage, so why not make use of a location like this to bring value to your life? Converting your garage into a bedroom with a bathroom is an excellent way to make use of an area that is sometimes overlooked.

Why? Not only do you acquire a new room which can either be your home office or just another additional living space, but the total worth of your home increases as well due to the additional square footage. If you have a garage that you aren't utilising to store your car, you are wasting a lot of room that you can put to better use. A garage already contains the essential components of liveable space, and a garage conversion may fill in the gaps.

Converting your garage to a bedroom might be an appealing alternative when you need additional living space in your house. A garage remodelling would typically cost half of what you would expect to pay when building a house addition from the ground up, depending on your region and unique ideas. That said, there are other alternatives to consider before embarking on a project of this magnitude. Elevating the floor, insulating the sidewalls, installing heating, cooling, and ventilation, and replacing doors and windows are all part of converting a garage into a living area.

Take the time to think about all elements of a garage remodel before you start. This article will help cover all you need to know about turning a garage into a comfortable bedroom with a working bathroom. It will also provide you with some pointers on making the procedure run as smoothly as possible to ensure that your converted garage is as you want. So keep reading.

The Fundamentals Of Garage Conversion

You'll start to see the possibilities for garage modifications if you think of your garage as an incomplete shell home. Like a shell home, your garage already has a concrete slab, walls, and even a roof. You must now add the following to make it habitable:

• Insulation

• Cladding on the inside

• A horizon

• Flooring

• Lighting and ventilation

• Heating and air conditioning

You will probably need extra windows in your repurposed garage. In addition, change your garage door with an entrance door and fill in the gap surrounding the door with panelling and perhaps glass to make it more pleasant. A photoelectric smoke detector that is integrated and hooked to the house's current smoke alarm system will also be required in the new bedroom.

You could also wish to paint the garage's exterior and conceal the driveway. All you need are some pavers and a few potted plants to do this. Will your property's on-site sewage system be able to handle the new fixtures and higher occupancy? If this is not the case, the system will have to be updated.

Questions To Ask Before Converting Your Garage

Before you can commence the project, be certain that a garage conversion is the best choice for your house by asking yourself a few questions:

When is it a good idea to convert a garage?

Converting a garage into a bedroom and bathroom is an option to explore if you want to increase the living space in your house without having to start from scratch. For your garage, you can easily change the garage door. Confirm whether there is enough space for patio doors or an extra entry where the overhead door once stood in your new living space. Otherwise, make sure that if you convert it into a wall, it blends in with the rest of your home's exterior and does not appear like it was once a garage.

Your budget will also include heating and cooling. Therefore, find out whether your present HVAC system can accommodate an extra room to save money. If this is the scenario, you can increase the ventilation to encompass the entire garage. If not, you can choose to either upgrade your current system or acquire a separate system to offer garage heating. The alternative you go for will largely depend on your budget.

Does a garage conversion increase home value?

A garage conversion will likely increase the value of your real estate if done appropriately, with all the necessary permits and following construction rules. The room’s worth is determined by how smooth the conversion is and the sort of room you construct. In most cases, you may anticipate repaying about 80 per cent of the conversion cost in increased property value. However, if your area requires closed parking or restricts street parking, a garage makeover may negatively affect your home's value. If not having a garage makes parking difficult, it will reduce your sale price.

While permits may appear to be a burden at first, they will ultimately serve to raise the project's worth. The project reduces the need for additional storage. If your property currently has insufficient storage, eliminating the garage may compound the situation, which might decrease the sale price. Therefore, you have to consider whether converting your garage into a bedroom with a bathroom will have adverse effects that might reduce your home's value.

Is a permit necessary for converting a garage?

Since converting your garage means that you will be changing how the room is utilised, you will almost certainly require construction permissions. However, this will depend on where you live. For further information about garage conversion permits, consult your city's Zoning Office. When filing for a permit, you may have to collaborate with an architect to present a proposed floor plan.

Permits will verify that your concepts for living areas comply with local building laws and legislation. The required number of windows in a room, the number of exits as well as entrances, the elevation of the ceiling, the number of outlets, and other elements may be governed by building rules. If you are unable to achieve any of these standards, you may be eligible to request a variance, depending on the nature of the problem.

With regard to the Building Code of Australia ("BCA"), a garage is a Class 10a structure and is deemed a non-habitable construction. Converting a garage into a liveable space is a reclassification that necessitates a Development Application and approval by your local authority before any work can begin. If your project needs a permit, it will also necessitate an examination after the project to ensure that all building code and zoning standards have been satisfied.

In order to preserve a uniform look in an estate, newer developments have particularly serious covenants restricting what you can or cannot do to your house. As such, if you live in a house with developer covenants that you need to follow, you will have to request their permission to move on with your project.

Converting A Garage Into A Bedroom With Bathroom

A garage conversion to create an ensuite bedroom may cost anywhere between $10,000 and $35,000, depending on the features you choose, but it's still cheaper than a house addition. Adjustments to the roof and, if necessary, the addition of plumbing and electrical fittings will significantly increase the cost.

You have to seek a construction permit for your garage renovation because you intend to transform a non-livable area into a habitable space. If your garage is appropriate for conversion, an architectural or building designer can advise you on the prerequisites. Some of the prerequisites include:

• A minimum ceiling height of around 2.4 metres is required, which may need structural alterations.

• If you want to use particular garage flooring, the concrete slab must be watertight, termite-resistant, and completely level.

• Waterproofing and insulation of walls are required.

• Windows should cover at least ten per cent of the total floor space.

• Fire-rated walls have to be within around 900mm of property borders, which could also limit the position of doors and windows.

Many local authorities in Australia mandate that a property has covered parking. Therefore, converting a garage may not be practical unless you first build a new garage or a carport.

Below are the tasks that you will need to undertake in order to convert your garage into a bedroom with a bathroom:

Lift the Roof

Ceiling height is crucial when it comes to achieving the BCA standards for a liveable space. A garage must have a ceiling level of at least 2.1m, whereas your new liveable space must have a ceiling height of around 2.4m. Lifting the roof is typically the only choice in circumstances when the ceiling height is much less than 2.4m, as removing the concrete slab of a garage floor would be both costly and complex.

In order to prevent the occurrence of rising dampness, garage walls are often made of single bricks that must be covered with a waterproof coating or waterproof paint. A stud wall can be used as a casing for the electrics plus insulation. After that, you may finish it off with plasterboard and your favourite paint colour.

Check the Concrete Slab

If the concrete slab was not constructed according to BCA guidelines for residential slabs, the surrounding place underneath the slab should be treated with a termite control system. Termite risk management standards under the National BCA vary from state to state, so you need to examine your state's guidelines.

Underneath the slab, there should be evidence of a waterproof barrier. If not, you need to waterproof the slab with one of the commercial waterproofing treatments available in the market. These may be rolled and brushed on to keep moisture out of the room from the bottom up. Documentation of compliance with the BCA's energy efficiency rules must be included in your Development Application as well as Consent Application.

The Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) is used in NSW, whereas the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) is used in other Australian states. These calculations are used to assess a building's thermal comfort and the requirement to heat or cool it to keep the inhabitants comfortable.

Put Up Windows

To provide fresh air and otherwise natural light, at least 10% of the wall area should be taken up by windows. The replacement designs should contain at least one significant window because you will be removing the front access doors for a garage conversion. According to the construction code, the new living area must also meet energy-efficiency requirements. Although the majority adhere to the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme, these requirements differ per state.

Additional council restrictions regarding the required block size and maximum limit of the granny flat area apply to planned granny flat conversions. There can only be one granny flat and a home on a single block. You might be required to prove that you have a substitute parking location for your car in various municipal areas now that you will not use the garage for parking.

Waterproof the Walls

You should prevent rising dampness from occurring in your garage by sealing your walls. If your garage is composed of single bricks, you will have to waterproof it using a waterproofing membrane or waterproof paint. The next stage is to construct a stud wall to facilitate the installation of insulation and electrical wiring before the plasterboard is applied.

Install Electrical Cables and Water Pipes

Start by calling a plumber if you want to incorporate a bathroom or kitchenette into your garage remodelling project so that you can turn it into an in-law suite or even an apartment. Installing plumbing lines, particularly drainage, is frequently the most expensive aspect of a garage renovation and may be out of your price range.

Only engage with a professional when installing water pipes or electrical lines for bathrooms since they will provide you with all the appropriate Certificates of Compliance as well as excellent workmanship.

Including A Bathroom Into Your Layout

The most difficult aspect of converting a garage into a bedroom with a bathroom is finding the correct plumbing for delivering water and disposing of waste from a basin, toilets, or shower. In other cases, the garage might be built over some of the estate's existing services, making it a matter of gaining access to them.

A professional agency can examine the situation and advise you on whether or not cutting through the concrete is necessary. In other cases, new plumbing may be required to provide the necessary services for the new bathroom, which may be accomplished by creating new trenches and putting in new plumbing.

In any case, installing a bathroom in the garage is still doable; the measures necessary will differ depending on the site's current properties. Therefore, you need a site examination to determine your alternatives. All you need to do is reach out to a great specialists company as they can give a free quotation to install plumbing in your garage.

The cost of adding plumbing to your garage modification is determined by the size and location of your home. The price will vary depending on factors such as how difficult it is to get to the site and what method must be utilised to install the plumbing. If the current services are located beneath the garage, the required work will be focused on gaining access to them via the existing flooring. In some cases, excavations may be required to connect the garage plumbing to your current systems.

Since each property is unique, expenses could range from around $1,000 to $30,000 for this task, as there is no predetermined pricing or charge. Moreover, the time it takes to accomplish this task will contribute to the labour costs.

Can You Convert Your Garage On Your Own?

A garage conversion is a major remodelling project. If you have the time and expertise, you can register for an owner-builder licence and undertake part of the work yourself. However, you will still need to employ licenced workers for quite a number of tasks. To ensure that your garage makeover goes successfully, get it completed by a qualified building renovation professional with experience in converting a garage to a bedroom.

The Drawbacks Of Garage Conversion

The most significant disadvantage of converting a garage into a bedroom with a bathroom is the loss of a covered parking place. Remember to keep this in mind while making your plans since you will be missing out on a protected parking spot. However, if you have two garages and your street is not too congested, this is not a major concern.

Unless you have plenty of driveway space, some localities compel homeowners to build off-street parking places for automobiles. This might result in additional costs or force you to entirely abandon your garage conversion ideas. Therefore, ensure that you keep a cushion for unexpected expenditures when planning a garage makeover and budgeting for it. It should not only allow for substantial structural modifications but also account for any permit expenses and taxes.

Converting A Garage Might Require Experts

As you have seen in this article, the conversion from a garage into an extra bedroom with a bathroom is not as difficult if you follow all the correct procedures provided by local authorities. It is also wise to get assistance from someone who has experience handling such home improvements projects. Converting a garage is a major undertaking that you should not handle carelessly.

It will influence the total worth of your home and how you live in it daily, so make sure you evaluate all variables before making this decision. To assist you with any decision or get started on converting your garage, you can contact a professional specialty firm. They will assist you in carrying out the conversion process with the least amount of hitches possible.