Let’s face it – the urge to remodel affects most of us at some point, whether we need to do it from a safety perspective, space perspective, or just because we want to change things up and add on rooms to improve our living conditions. And, of course, when this remodeling urge hits you, it’s far more affordable to make changes to your existing home than it is to uproot and start from scratch in a new place. But when adding square footage to your home, the garage is a space many of us overlook. What do you stand to gain by building an addition here? Well, for starters, you get an additional floor and a premium space to use in myriad ways. You can use it as a family room, a master bedroom, a spa bathroom, a fully outfitted home theatre space, an in-law suite, or even an at-home office. It also adds real estate value to your home. What’s more, it gives you additional space in the comfort of the house, neighborhood, people, and location you love.
Consider These Tips When Adding a Garage Addition
Garages have low light and typically store vehicles and other odds and ends, making them unlikely candidates for home expansion. Surprisingly, however, garages are often ideal for adding a second floor. The basic structure is already in place, and in many instances, so are the plumbing and the electricity. All this makes adding a second floor above the garage more economical than building a room addition from scratch. While garages provide excellent starting points for second-floor additions, home expansions always require careful thought and effort to get right. We will talk you through some of the issues to consider.
Measure your space.
While you have a head-start on the structural work, you need a thorough idea of the changes you want and a set of plans. Make a note at the outset of how much space you can get. On average, a two-car garage could give you roughly 500 square feet of living space. Once you know this detail, you can decide how you want to use it for the room you have in mind.
Design to match your home.
Look at the smallest of details. For one, you want to maintain the look and feel of your existing home. Anything that looks different will stand out—not in a good way. For instance, if your home has a distinct historic look, you will want to carry this over inside the addition using the same kind of flooring, molding, and even a door that matches your home. This new addition can enhance your curb appeal when done well, but know that the opposite also applies. You might also need to reconfigure existing rooms and spaces, so factor this into your design and budget.
Do not overlook the essentials.
After the planning phase, the construction starts, and you first want to check that the foundation is solid. An engineer will confirm how much load it can carry, how strong it is, and what changes are needed. You must obtain details of your building codes and local rules and regulations to meet all the requirements. Getting the correct permits is crucial to avoid halted construction or instructions to tear down walls once the work is underway. One key aspect to watch is the height restriction, and another is ensuring that the penetrations in the fire-rated drywall for electrical conduit are tightly sealed. Check your insulation, especially the voids between your garage ceiling and the new floor. Typically, garages are heated differently than the rest of the house, and this element needs in-depth planning to get right. Don’t overlook your garage door, which lies underneath your new space. Is it properly designed, or must it be made more energy efficient? The more comfortable your existing space is, the more that feeling will translate to your new addition.
Contact Us Today
Your garage might not have been the first place you considered while looking to expand your home’s living space. Still, it can be an ideal space for a home addition, improve your curb appeal, and create a new area that works for you without rebuilding from scratch. But all these advantages come with a disclaimer: it works if you have the know-how and skillset to set it up properly. A lot can go wrong due to a lack of proper planning and expertise. At Owings Brothers, we know the ins and outs of garage additions and can help you build up beautifully. Contact Owings Brothers Contracting today to see how we can help create your dream home and reinvent where you park by adding a second floor.