On average, converting your garage into a bedroom adds about 600 square feet of space to your home. Garage conversion circumvents the need for a lengthy, cost-intensive home addition, but it can still run $10,000 to $50,000, unless you do it on the cheap. There is no one right way to convert a garage space into a living space inexpensively, but there are ways to save at every point in the project.
The Ground Level
Typically, a garage offers one cost-friendly benefit right off the bat -- it has a concrete slab floor, which easily accommodates carpeting or floating wood flooring. If you're faced with a potentially expensive excavation of the garage floor, though, setting lintels just below ground level often serves as an affordable solution. Starting at about $1.85 per square foot, as of 2014 prices, vinyl tiles offer an easy-to-install and cost-effective flooring option. If you live an a warm region, staining the existing concrete to make for a cool, breezy floor with a visual interesting patina has a similar cost.
Walls and Windows
Your garage will likely need insulation to make it into a cozy bedroom; by reducing the amount of construction required, blown-in insulation offers a cost-conscious option. If your garage has single-course brick walls -- common of older structures -- real estate agent Nigel Lewis recommends building independent stud walls and mounting them about 3 inches from the existing walls to easily and affordably accommodate insulation and plasterboard. The Family Handyman website calls drywall the most economical option for covering your garage ceiling, and the easiest. Go with value-priced 5/8-inch-thick drywall if you have rafters spaced at 24 inches. Although they may cost a bit more upfront, choosing energy-efficient windows and doors will save you money in the long run.
If you plan to run air conditioning in your garage conversion, extending your home's existing ductwork into the garage is the most affordable renovation option. Electric baseboards are also cost-effective upon installation but will have a bigger impact on your electric bill. To reduce heating and cooling costs, ensure that your garage has about 1 square foot of vent opening per 300 square feet of attic space, if it has an attic. For a wallet-friendly way to make your new bedroom feel more spacious, use light-colored paint and mount mirrors in the room.
More to Consider
In regard to real estate value, the new bedroom -- if well-constructed -- can generate a first-year return on investment of up to 78 percent of its initial cost. Homewyse recommends limiting your garage conversion budget to 2.1 percent of your home's total estimated value after the conversion to maximize your return. Planning your garage conversion without the need for an additional bathroom also helps reduce cost. If your garage shares a wall with an existing bathroom, install a connecting door.
- Photo Credit RobertCrum/iStock/Getty Images
How to Temporarily Convert a Garage to a Guest Bedroom
Your garage can serve as a temporary bedroom for family or friends who are visiting or need a place to stay for...
How to Convert a Garage Into a Game Room
Converting a garage into a game room adds value to a home and a new, fun area for gaming and relaxing. Game...
How to Calculate Costs on a Garage Conversion
If you're short on livable space but you have a garage, consider converting your garage into a spare room. You can turn...
How to Convert a Garage Into a Family Room
If your house or apartment doesn't have a good place for your family to gather, consider converting your garage. Depending on the...
How to Convert Garages into Bedrooms
Floorspace in a garage area can be more valuable as living space. As your family grows, you can turn an existing garage...
How to Remodel Your Garage Into a Bedroom
A garage can be transformed into a bedroom in a relatively short period of time. Because the roof area and walls are...
Step-by-Step on How to Convert a Garage to a Room
Converting your garage into a spare room adds more living space to a home, often without the expense of major structural changes....
DIY: Turn a Garage Into a Bedroom & Living Room
As your family grows and changes, your home may become more cramped. Moving is one option, but you may not be able...
Ideas for Turning a Garage Into a Bedroom
The garage can be the answer for a teen who wants his or her privacy or an invited guest who needs a...