Reasons to Create a Garage Studio Apartment

The garage is a safe location to park, yet most people find it convenient to park in the driveway or on the street, making your garage a storage area. You may be looking for an extra income with this current economic crisis that the world is facing, children are growing and have been bugging you to have a separate bedroom for privacy, or you want a fresh look in your house. These are just a few of the many reasons you can think of for renovating your garage into a studio-type apartment. 

Common Reasons for Creating a Garage Studio Apartment

Studio Apartment

1. Make Money by Renting It Out

Who wouldn’t benefit from a little extra money each month? Garage apartments are an excellent way to rent out a portion of your home. Rental properties can offer tax advantages, so it’s worth looking into them. As the area’s population rises, many people search for low-cost housing options. 

2. Make it a Guest House

A garage apartment is a perfect guest house, whether it’s for short-term visitors or a long-term resident like a family member. With a studio apartment in your garage, you may have guests over without invading your privacy and that of your guests. You can feel more at ease, allowing them to stay because they have a place to feel at home.

3. Make a Good Office Spaces

When working from home, now is the best moment to establish a dedicated workspace. When you have a peaceful and ordered space apart from the commotion of daily life, it is much simpler to get things done. A garage apartment may be ideal for those who work from home as an artist or small business owners. There’s no need to drive or pay rent, and you’re in complete command of the space. It’s a terrific way to keep work and play separate while still being able to stay at home and enjoy your hobbies.

4. Make it a Personal Room for Adult Children

This is an excellent method to give adult children a taste of self-sufficiency without subjecting them to the entire financial burden that comes with it. You can draft a dummy rental agreement when they’re living in the garage. By communicating that you still want them to treat the home as a legitimate rental, they will be more prepared to manage their finances independently when they are on their own already. 

5. Boost the Market Value of Your Residence

An apartment in your garage is a terrific way to increase the value of your home. But it is crucial to remember that prospective buyers are likely to look for a garage style to match the house. Always seek the advice of a garage design expert to ensure you get the most out of this investment.

What’s a Garage Apartment?

Garage Renovation

A garage apartment is an auxiliary dwelling unit (ADU) or additional housing unit attached to or built atop a house’s garage. Even if they aren’t physically separate from the house, they often feature their entrance. In-law suites, granny flats, casitas, and other similar terms are all common descriptors for these structures.

Garage-apartment types

Messy garage

ADUs built over garages and ADUs built as part of a garage conversion are the two main varieties of garage apartments. 

  1. Building an above-garage unit is often done by expanding an existing one-story garage with a second story. ADUs erected on top of a garage are usually in the loft apartment design. Depending on the size of your current garage and whether the above unit fills the entire space, you may be able to build a two-bedroom garage apartment or larger. 
  2. A full garage can be converted into a living space or a portion of it. Your living accommodations can take up two of the three spots in a three-car garage, allowing you to park one vehicle inside. You can convert a one-car garage into a studio apartment.

Things to Consider in Creating a Garage Apartment

Garage apartment

1. Estimate the cost of your garage conversion.

An estimated $85,000 – $125,000 in 2022 is suitable for a garage studio conversion; however, this price will depend on where you live, how big a project is, and what materials you choose. Building a two-story home or adding plumbing, for example, will increase the overall cost of your garage conversion.

2. Choose a garage conversion contractor.

Because building a studio garage apartment is expensive and you want it to be a safe and comfortable place to live, it’s better to work with a contractor with the experience and skills to make this project a success. Get at least three bids from contractors with experience converting garages into apartments, preferably in your city. Ask each contractor how, where, and how much to run utilities. 

3. Creating a scope checklist will help you avoid surprise costs as the project proceeds. These include new sewer, water, gas lines, foundation, frame, windows, and doors, kitchen and bathroom construction and appliances, landscaping, fencing, and hardscaping.

4. Start canvassing early for prices of fixtures, finishes, and appliances to avoid delays and cost overruns.

5. Familiarize yourself with licensing & building regulations in your place.

Renovating your garage may require building permits, with some exceptions. You’re developing a new living area that requires changing walls and rewiring power panels, which require a city permit. You can face substantial fines for not having the right permissions, even if you’re undertaking internal work. Inquire from your municipality to find the necessary permits you need to secure before moving on to your project. 

Moreover, building code is equally crucial since all buildings must meet building code safety criteria. Whether you rent out your new unit or not, you must meet the building code. These safety measures are needed to pass inspection, which can be necessary if you plan to sell your property in the future. 

Renovation Processes

Construction and renovation process

Converting a garage into an apartment involves multiple processes which cover construction and utilities.

  1. Flooring. Garage flooring usually is poured, sealed, and left to weather. You can scrape and stain a garage floor to preserve its industrial appearance. Tiling is another garage makeover option because it’s easy to install on concrete. Budget and design style determine whether homeowners employ ceramic or vinyl tiles.
  2. Walls. Walls must be considered while converting a garage into an apartment. First, assess where the walls need to be renovated. These walls are usually strong and require little maintenance. Only add bathroom walls if you plan to use the garage as a studio apartment. To separate your living rooms, you’ll need many more interior walls. 
  3. Windows. Windows can turn your garage into a bright apartment. Natural light from windows makes an area look more prominent. The windows will require further construction. 
  4. Doors. Garage doors are iconic. The wide gate is a distinctive aspect of the construction, whether physically or electronically open. There are several garage door renovation alternatives. You can add a daily-used second door. Mild to pleasant weather all year might help you appreciate the outdoors. Giant windows, sliding doors, or both can be used. 
  5. Stairs. Tiny homes with garage conversions often have loft bedrooms. Use a little house stair to optimize space. Ladders are popular for small lofts. Small-footprint spiral stairs are helpful for garage conversions. 
  6. Electricity and plumbing. Your garage’s utilities are likely the most expensive portion to renovate. Existing cables and pipes can be redirected to the new apartment if your garage is attached to the main house, but separate garages are more complex.
  7. Exteriors Homeowners want outside plans for pleasant weather. Many choose a deck or balconies, a tremendous small-scale elevated outdoor environment.
  8. Themes. Garage apartments often have urban-style designs. Industrial and minimalist designs are standard in studio apartments and garage conversions. Small spaces shouldn’t be crammed with furnishings. 

Garages make great living spaces. The previously open structure is used for storage or your car. Your garage can be a magnificent residence with the appropriate design. The apartment will add value to your property, whether you use it as extra income or an in-law suite.