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How Much Does It Cost To Renovate Or Convert A Garage?

National Average Change Location | View National
$10,605
Typical Range
$5,623 - $16,204
Low End
$2,000
High End
$30,000

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From adding basic insulation and plumbing to performing a major overhaul and turning the space into another bedroom, garage remodels vary widely in their complexity. As such, the prices to have these projects completed, including material costs, labor and permits, can vary drastically.
Homeowners can expect to pay between $5,623 and $16,204 to turn their unused garage into habitable living space. On average, homeowners spend $10,605 on this home improvement project. The price of contracted labor is a major factor in the overall price. Most contractors charge a flat fee that’s based upon 10 to 20 percent of the final project cost, while hourly builders earn an average of around $15 per hour.

Planning Your Garage Conversion

The first step in planning a garage conversion is deciding upon the room’s new intended purpose. Do you need a place for teens to hang out at home with friends? Are you dreaming of a large, luxury man cave? Maybe you’d just enjoy an upgraded space to park your cars in winter – one that’s fully insulated and climate controlled? Before you decide, keep a few factors in mind:
  • Communication between yourself and your contractor is vital. Choose one with whom you have a good rapport. Once your vision is cemented in your own mind, make sure you’re able to communicate it fully so both you and your contractor are on the same page.
  • Your budget is important. Set one and stick to it as closely as possible. Overspending on a renovation can actually lose you money on resale if your upgrades aren’t comparable to nearby homes.
  • This is your remodel; don’t be afraid to add the features you’ve always wanted, such as a downstairs laundry room, an off-the-charts game room or even a home office that lets you spend more time with your family, less time commuting.
Take time planning your garage conversion to living space. Interview contractors and get multiple estimates. It may be worth your time and money to consult with a local interior designer as well, to help you choose finishes, colors and furniture placement.

Cost to Convert a Garage to Different Types of Spaces

Living Space/ Family Room - $5,000 - $10,000

Turning your garage into a family room can average anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000, depending upon whether you need to add a window. By law, your family room needs at least one window big enough to use as an emergency exit. There are also the costs of installing insulation, drywall, a drop ceiling and flooring, as well as adding heat and air.

Apartment/ Guest House - $15,000 - $30,000

A full-scale apartment or guest house will take you to the top of your budget and beyond. You’ll need to make all the upgrades mentioned for a family room, along with a separate bath and kitchen. You’ll need to run a gas line or a 220 outlet for the stove. You’ll also want a private entrance for your apartment, which usually entails adding a fire door. For this type of renovation, budget a minimum $15,000 to $30,000.

Bedroom/ Master Suite - $10,000 – $15,000

Again, a bedroom or master suite needs at least one window, a ceiling, insulation, drywall, flooring, heat, and air. And to be considered a legal bedroom, it needs a closet too. If you’re adding the master bath, factor in plumbing and a second window. Dreaming of a steam shower or a garden tub? Be prepared to pay extra – probably near $10,000 to $15,000 just for the basic conversion.

Bathroom - $3,000 - $25,000

The cost to convert an existing space into a bathroom begins at $3,000. Get fancy, and it could cost as much as $25,000. Factor in the costs of insulation, drywall, flooring, plumbing, shower, tub, toilet, sink, faucets, and finishes to get a realistic estimate.

Kitchen - $6,000 and up

Adding a kitchen where the garage used to be is pricey as well. It could require rerouting gas and water lines, relocating the washer and dryer and adding outlets powerful enough to run large appliances – all this in addition to the basic work needed to make the space family-friendly. You’ll need countertops and storage too. Expect to spend at least $6,000 or more if you opt for high-end finishes or appliances (see average appliance prices here).

Office/Work Space - $5,000 +

The home office is one of the more affordable options when it comes to converting your garage into living space. Like a bedroom, a home office needs all the basic amenities, such as walls, floors, and a ceiling. It needs climate control and a window. This room may also require additional outlets that let you connect computers, printers and charging stations. You’ll need internet access and a high-speed connection, as well as lots of storage and organization options. Budget at least $5,000 for this project.

Granny Flat – $3,000 - $30,000

Adding a granny flat will cost you nearly the same as adding a guest house. You’ll need at least a full bath and kitchenette on top of living and sleeping spaces. You’ll need heat and air, windows and a private entrance. Start your budget at around $3,000.

Utility Room – starting at $6,000

A new utility room in place of an old garage brings convenience into your life, especially if you’ve spent years dragging loads of laundry up and down the stairs. This conversion will cost a bit more due to the addition of plumbing, but it’ll be worth it. For a garage-to-utility-room conversion, budget at least $6,000 for appliances, a utility sink, and space for sorting, folding and hanging laundry.

Double Versus Single Garage Conversions

The average size of a single garage is roughly 12-feet wide by 20-feet deep. A double garage runs about 22-feet wide by 20-feet deep. Will it cost more money to convert a double garage? Yes. You’re working with nearly twice as much space that needs to be insulated and have sheetrock and flooring installed.
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Renovation Cost Factors to Consider

As you move from the planning stage of your conversion toward execution, remember that doing the job well will add value to your home, while cutting corners may subtract value. Keep these considerations in mind and ask your contractor about each one that’s relevant to your renovation goals:

Conversion Permit Cost - $1,000 - $1,500

You may be required to purchase a permit from your state, county or municipal government. Your contractor should be knowledgeable regarding the permit process, but the average cost of obtaining a building permit falls in a range between $1,000 and $1,500.

Insulation - $1 per square foot or more

Adding insulation to the garage is beneficial, especially if it is attached to your home or if you’re planning to convert the space into a living area. Your contractor should offer advice on what type of insulation is best for your needs, where it should go, and how much you’ll need. Adding insulation can cost as little as $1.00 per square foot.

Interior Walls - $1,700 - $2,000

You'll need to add interior walls and a ceiling with insulation too. This will keep your remodeled room as comfortable as the rest of your home. Since the space is already framed and has walls, it will be cheaper than building an addition at around $1,700, on average.

Windows – about $1,000 per window

If your garage doesn't have any windows, plan to add at least one. This is especially important if you want to list it as a bedroom or rent it out. You’ll need an egress window big enough for a person to escape through in case of a fire. The cost of installing five windows falls somewhere around $5,000.

Heating & Cooling - $500 - $2,000

Adding HVAC may be another factor in your garage renovation costs should you decide to make it into a usable space. Your garage may house some of your HVAC equipment, such as your furnace, but that doesn’t mean the garage itself is heated or cooled. If your contractor doesn’t do HVAC work, ask for a recommendation. Expect to spend between $500 and $2,000 to install ducts and vents in your garage.

Electricity - $75 - $500

Most garages have electricity of some sort, even if it’s just a bare bulb in the ceiling and a few outlets spaced around the walls. If you’re trying to convert your garage into living space, you’ll need a nearby licensed electrician to add more wiring and outlets for additional electrical devices. Budget between $75 and $500 for outlet installation.

Telecom - $300 - $500

If you want your garage remodel to focus on office, studio, lounge, or living space, you may want Wi-Fi and other conveniences such as satellite or cable TV. It might be necessary to have your telecom provider come out to install the proper outlets. Expect to spend anywhere from about $300 to $500 to install a wireless network.

Plumbing - $300 - $1,800

If you want to turn your garage into a living space with a bathroom or kitchen, plan to have plumbing installed. If you plan to add a sink, shower, or toilet — or all three — to your garage remodel, it’s wise to enlist the services of a licensed plumber near you to complete this portion of the work. The average cost range is between $300 and $1,800.

Interior Design

Once you get past the basics, total cost will vary based on what types of materials you choose to finish the room. You have a wide variety of flooring options available, from the original concrete to carpet or laminate. Carpet and laminate will stay on the lower end of the cost spectrum, and hardwood will increase remodel costs depending on the type. If you intend to make your garage into a bedroom, you will need to consider furnishings like a bed, dresser, nightstand and decorations. If you plan to install a bathroom, you will need to think about a bathtub or shower, countertops and mirror.

Cost to Finish a Garage

Finishes should factor high on your list of materials before you ever begin your garage conversion. Will you use tile or vinyl flooring? Will countertops be composite or granite? Drywall or paneling? Wood cabinetry, veneer or aluminum? Your choice of finishes will help determine both the mood and functionality of your new space. They’ll also go far in determining your budget. Low-end finishes will save you big bucks at the time of renovation, but high-end finishes will help recoup your ROI when it comes time to sell.

Expanding a Garage

If you decide to expand your garage to make more room for tools or storage, this is considered adding on to your home, and costs will typically go up. Your contractor will frame out new walls and expand the room’s foundation. If you intend to keep the space the same only reorganizing it, you may have only the costs associated with purchasing and installing shelving and cabinetry.

Effect on House Resale Value

If you’re planning to maximize the space, add useful features, and otherwise make changes that are likely to appeal to a majority of homeowners, your renovation may end up being a worthwhile investment in your home’s resale value. However, the quality of the work matters, especially if you’re planning a major change such as converting the garage into a bedroom. Trading your garage space for a poorly insulated “bedroom” with no windows and the garage door intact won’t do much to boost resale value.
The work you have done must be permitted, it must be professional and it must increase your home’s functionality and appeal. Weigh what you’re planning to spend against the expected increase in resale value to get your return-on-investment figure. A well-done garage conversion to living space can give you up to an 80-percent ROI.
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Gerald Levine More than 1 year ago
This project is not really a garage remodel, but was the "closest" option choice available on this site; therefore, the cost estimate is way over stated!
Betty Welsh More than 1 year ago
first attempt at getting info.  Broke my budget
Suresh Ahuja More than 1 year ago
For the garage, just need to put garage doors, not remodel. The cost seemed to be on a higher side.
THeresa Ordeneaux More than 1 year ago
Contractors are quoting $47K and that is way out of the price range. We are looking for a better price.
Dorothy Flowers More than 1 year ago
no-just want to finish a basic garage for use of parking the car only.  Does not seem to have the right estimate for this simple project.
Tim Maurer More than 1 year ago
Have not had a quote yet, everyone I call does not show up to much work else were. See if the list I have now is any better.

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