If you want your elderly parents to live with you but you're short on space in your home, you may want to consider converting your garage into an additional room. It's less expensive than building a new addition from scratch and you'll have the chance to include senior-friendly features, such as a bath with a walk-in tub or sitting shower. If you have a two-car garage, you may have enough space for a bathroom and small studio-type apartment. This gives your parents some privacy and more space than they would have in a spare bedroom. Here are some things to think about when you want to convert your garage.
Talk To The Codes Office First
You'll want to find out what local regulations are before you start making too many plans. If your city isn't fond of street parking, you may have difficulty getting a permit to convert your garage unless you can prove you have plenty of parking spaces on your property. You may need to widen your driveway or add an additional parking area on your property so your cars stay off the street. You also need to make sure your property is zoned to house the number of people you wish to live there.
Consult A Builder
Converting a garage may seem like a DIY project, but you have many things to consider. One of them is making sure the project is done up to electrical, plumbing, and building codes. When you get a permit for the job, a code enforcer will likely inspect the project at some point and all the work must be done properly or you could be fined. An architect or builder will design the garage so it meets building codes and optimizes the small space. If one of your parents is in a wheelchair, the space may need to be designed according to ADA guidelines for safety and convenience.
Consider Related Expenses
Converting a garage entails several steps depending on how you want the finished project to look. At the very least, you'll need to have insulation added to the floor, walls, and ceiling. You'll also need to have a wall installed in place of the garage door. The garage might also need windows if it lacks them now. You may run into additional expenses if you need to add new plumbing pipes for a bathroom. The garage may even need an electrical upgrade, especially if you want to install a small fridge and stove in the room. Another expense you don't want to overlook is climate control. Installing a system just for the garage might be best so you don't strain the HVAC that treats your house. You could install a heat pump for the garage and let your parents control the temperature for their own comfort.
Knowing what to expect before you start planning your project helps you be realistic when it comes to price and the length of time until completion of the job. When a garage conversion is done right, it looks like the garage was always part of your home, and that will make your parents much happier with their new space.
Visit sites like NextDoorGarageApartments.com to learn more about garage conversions.