Do you need an extra bedroom? Have you thought that an unused garage could be a waste of essential space in your home? Converting it into an extra bedroom could help you to get the most out of this space.

If you have a growing family, an extra bedroom could prevent the need to upsize to a bigger home. Alternatively, it could be somewhere for guests to stay or even somewhere for a lodger to stay.

Adding an extra bedroom could also add value to your home, allowing you to make more when you finally sell up.

A garage conversion isn’t cheap and you’ll need to ensure that you meet certain building requirements. To help make your conversion a success, here is a brief guide to the essential steps.

Set a realistic budget

A garage conversion typically costs between $10,000 and $15,000. Obviously, the more you’re able to spend, the better quality your conversion will be. Decide what your budget will be and how you will raise the funds.

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Many people take out home renovation loans or remortgage as a means of paying for such conversions. Considering an extra bedroom can add $50,000 to a home’s value, you’ll make back your money, making it a worthy investment.

Consider building regulation

Your garage conversion will need to meet certain BCA regulations in order to be classed as a liveable space. These are important to be aware of before you start planning. Some of the key building regulations are included below:

·         The ceiling needs to have a minimum height of 2.4m. Many garages are lower than this and so you may need to raise the roof.

·         The concrete slab making up the foundations of your garage must be in good condition as to meet BCA regulations. This may include having to be treated to prevent termites.

·         The space should be suitably waterproofed. This will generally involve sealing it with a damp proof course and possibly adding a stud wall and waterproof paint.

·         There needs to be a window space that is equal to at least 10% of the garage floor space. This could be in the side of the garage or it could be a skylight in the roof. You could even remove the garage door and turn this into a large window space (this is one of the most common options).

·         The space needs to meet energy efficiency regulations, which could include installing a heating and cooling system depending on the local climate.

Plan your conversion

When planning your conversion consider all the building regulations listed above as well as several custom features that you’d like to add yourself.

You’ll most likely want to change the flooring to a carpet or wooden floor if it’s currently a sealed concrete slab. Meanwhile you may also want to plaster and paint the walls.

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Plumbing and electrics may also be needed. You’ll probably want to wire in an overhead light and some sockets (some people simply use extension cords, but wiring in sockets will look better quality and be safer).

As for plumbing, you may decide to add radiators for when it gets cold or even an en suite bathroom (this will considerably push the price up, but could be a nice luxury to have for whoever if staying in the room).

Most people will get rid of the garage door. As mentioned above, this is commonly converted into a window, however it could also be turned into a sliding glass door or a wall with a regular door.

An extra entrance could allow whoever is staying in the space to not have to use the front entrance – which could be convenient in the case of a lodger.

Declutter

Before you can start conversion work, you may need to get rid of any clutter currently sitting in your garage. It could be worth hiring a skip and clearing out all the junk in there – you can find same-day rubbish removal companies here.

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Of course, some of it may not be rubbish and may be of value, in which case you’ll need to relocate it. Some unwanted items could also be sold, donated or recycled. Give yourself enough to time to thoroughly sort through the clutter.

Give it a deep clean

The space may need to be cleaned of dust and cobwebs before conversion work can begin. A pest removal service may be needed in some cases if you have creatures living in there.

Any spillages on the floor may need to be thoroughly cleaned up before adding your new flooring – this may include oil or chemical spillages (however if the space was previous unused, it’s unlikely there will be any spillages).

Hire necessary contractors

A garage conversion isn’t an easy DIY project to take on. Licensed professionals will be need to take on jobs such as gas plumbing and electrics.

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It’s also recommended that you hire a professional when installing any window, as this can be a precarious job. There are companies out there such as this one that can handle your entire garage conversion from the design to every part of the construction including insulation, electrics, plumbing and window installment.

Whilst you may find it cheaper to outsource individual contractors, hiring one company to handle the whole conversion could be more convenient.

Decorate and furnish

Once your space is completed you can then decorate and furnish it the way you desire. If it’s a guest bedroom or a space for a lodger, you may want to keep the décor fairly neutral.

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Plush Design Interiors

If you’re planning to put your garage conversion on Air B’n B, for example, the hiring a professional interior designer is well worth the investment.

However, if it’s your own bedroom or to be used by one of your family, feel free to decorate and furnish it however you want.