A garage doesn’t have to be used for cars or for storage. You can turn your garage into an apartment. Here’s how to turn your garage into an apartment.
- Get clearance
Before you begin any project, you have to make sure that the remodeling you’re doing is legal! Take a trip to your city hall (or wherever your local government resides) and make sure that your local government allows such building.
- Safety matters
Once you've cleared your project with the local government, you need to pass a building inspection to make sure that the area you are building on is safe to do so.
- Obtain a permit
To start building, you have to get a building permit. Although you will be working on your own house, you need to obtain a permit to use all the heavy equipment needed to complete the job.
- Create a floor plan
What will the space look like? Before meeting with a contractor, you want to determine how you want the layout of your garage apartment to look so they can tell you if the plan is doable. Figure out how many rooms you want, where you want the doors to go, and whether you want to create a one-floor or two-floor apartment. Part of your plan should include a framed wall that covers the existing garage door opening. The door should be fixed in a shut position and may need to be screwed in place.
For a garage apartment, you will most likely need four, if not more, electrical outlets and, if wanted, separate plumbing. Luckily, most garages already have this! Depending on your floor plan, you may just have to move around some outlets or add in plumbing. However, if you want to add a kitchenette, some major construction may be required.
- Prep the area
The garage will need to be completely cleaned before construction starts. If needed, install baseboards, which should be caulked to the floor and the wall with a high-grade paintable caulk.
Wall-to-wall carpeting is not well equipped for garage apartments because of the “leak” factor that they possess. Typically, they are floored with ceramic or vinyl tile. Before installing the flooring, clean the floor again. If there is any paint buildup from your painting, you may need to use a weak acid wash to clean off the baseboards.
In most cases, the ceiling in your garage will have an electrical receptacle. This will make it very easy to install any sort of lighting fixture.