Homeowners may want to try to create extra space out of nothing when it gets crowded and tight in their home. Converting a garage into a room is common in areas where neighbors are close, and real estate is costly. Additionally, a converted garage is an excellent way for homeowners to help with their mortgages while still living in their house as short-term rentals through online platforms become increasingly popular. But, does a converted garage add value? The answer could make a major difference.

Convert garage to living space can be the ultimate DIY home remodeling project. Besides, converting a garage into a room is an obvious choice since the structure already exists and there are no walls in the way like in other remodeling options. However, there are a few downsides to a converted garage that you should consider before beginning the project.

Does A Converted Garage Add Value?
Does A Converted Garage Add Value?

Pros And Cons Of Garage Conversions

A converted garage requires more thought than finishing out a basement since the pros and the cons may balance each other out. It’s hard to imagine a downside to converting your basement from a place that’s dark and barely used to a well-lit and functional space.

Attempting to turn garage into living space is much different, though. With a converted garage, you exchange the functional space you might be using for multiple things into just one thing, extra square footage. It’s an even swap at best. Worst case scenario – you may devalue your home.

A converted garage may be more work than you may think. Many DIY enthusiasts jump into garage conversation projects with the assumption that they’ll only have to add flooring or a few lights. However, converting a garage into a room can be an extensive, expensive, time-consuming ordeal that could end up being almost as much work as adding an addition to the house.

Legal Issues And Zoning

You invoke legal and zoning issues when you attempt to convert garage to living space. Each potential converted garage must undergo a legal transformation when it turns into a new conditioned living space. Some municipalities must consider whether or not there are adequate plans to replace the parking areas removed from the garage.

The garage must meet legal and technical standards that weren’t considered when the area was only specified for storage and vehicles. Additionally, a converted garage will require a whole host of permits for all the different activities required for the conversion to comply with local building codes.

Converting A Garage Into Living Space

  • Windows: Natural light and air should be provided by adding enough window space, normally measured as a percentage of the total square footage of the garage.
  • Ceiling: Minimum ceiling height should be at least 7 ½ feet. If you’re also raising floor height, this might not be easy to maintain.
  • Heat: Heating must be provided to maintain 70 degrees F. This could mean extending the existing house system or installing a brand new solution.
  • Air Conditioning: Depending on what you’ll be using the converted garage for, you’ll have to consider whether you need to add air conditioning. Like heat above, this might mean the expansion of your existing AC or exploring new AC solutions.
  • Light: At least one wall-controlled light switch must be included. Most garages already have this switch per electrical code.
  • Outlets: Wall outlets will have to be either added or moved so that they meet minimum spacing standards. Standards will vary, but a good rule of thumb is no individual cord should have to be greater than 6 feet to utilize an outlet.

How To Turn A Garage Conversion Into A Comfortable Space

· Wall Insulation

There’s usually no insulation on garage ceilings and walls. If drywall was already installed, it must be removed so that insulation can be installed.

· Raise The Floor Height

Garages are typically built lower than the house. While not absolutely required, it is generally preferred that the floor height is the same throughout the house and the conversion. You can do this by elevating the floor covering by adding sleepers over the concrete. You may also need, or want to add insulation under the floor covering.

· Install Floor Covering

You will still need a floor covering even if you add sleepers to raise the floor. Popular choices for a converted garage include engineered wood, laminate flooring, and luxury vinyl plank flooring.

· Install New Drywall or Finish Existing Drywall

Garages are usually made with non-finish quality walls. You can keep the existing drywall and finish it up to better standards if the walls are insulated.

· Insulate Or Replace The Garage Door

If you choose to keep the garage door, you have to insulate it. This is a significant issue you will need to consider before converting a garage into a room. Some areas may require you to remove the door and install a proper wall.

· Hide Unsightly Areas

If there are areas you don’t want to see, such as the laundry area, furnace, water heater, or storage, you can add non-load-bearing walls to hide them.

Does A Converted Garage Add Value?
Does A Converted Garage Add Value?

Final Analysis


  • No loss of yard: additional building usually means you have more living area but reduces the yard for outdoor activities. When you convert the garage to living space, you preserve your yard space.
  • The structure is already built: the walls, ceiling, flooring, and roof are already in place.
  • DIY: choosing to turn a garage into a living space is not easy, but you can DIY the process. You will need professional help to build a detached addition.


  • Loss of storage: garages are often used for storage. Future buyers of your home may disagree that converting a garage into a room was the best idea.
  • Parking space: you may go against local requirements for on-site parking spaces.
  • No gain in value: you rarely increase property value by adding a converted garage. Protected parking space that buyers place a premium on is lost with a garage conversion.

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