Converting a garage into a master bedroom can be a rewarding project that adds value and maximizes space in your home. However, careful planning and consideration are necessary before starting the conversion. This blog provides an overview of the entire garage conversion process, from planning to budget to execution, and offers tips that will help you have a smooth, successful project.
Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles with reliable general contractors, we have spoken to many homeowners interested in converting their garage to a master suite.
Read more to learn what to expect during a project like this, as well as planning and budgeting tips for a garage to master bedroom conversion project.
Planning to Convert a Garage to Master Suite
While specific plans and ideas may vary depending on your needs and local regulations, here are some of the steps involved in planning a garage conversion.
- Determine the feasibility: Before starting the conversion, it’s important to ensure that converting your garage into a master bedroom is feasible. Check local building codes and regulations, as well as any neighborhood restrictions or homeowner association guidelines that may apply. Additionally, assess the structural integrity of the garage and determine if any modifications or repairs are necessary.
- Create a design plan: Consider how you want the master bedroom to look and function. Take into account factors such as the size of the garage, the layout, and the availability of windows for natural light. Plan the layout of the bedroom, including the placement of the bed, closet space, and any additional furniture you want to incorporate.
- Consider the complexity and scale of the project: As part of the conversion, you’ll need to address issues such as insulation and climate control, plumbing, electrical and lighting, flooring, storage, lighting, and windows. It may be desirable to consult with contractors, architects, or interior designers for professional advice and to ensure the project is executed properly and in compliance with building codes.
The Garage Conversion into Master Suite Process
Here is an overview of the process involved in converting a garage into a master bedroom:
- Obtain permits and approvals: Before starting any work, obtain the necessary permits and approvals from your local building department.
- Remove garage elements: Clear out the garage by removing any existing fixtures, storage, or structures that are not part of the master bedroom design. This may include the garage door, shelving, workbenches, and other garage-specific features.
- Insulation and climate control: Address insulation and climate control to ensure the comfort of the master bedroom. Add insulation to the walls, ceiling, and floor as needed.
- Plumbing and electrical work: If incorporating a bathroom into the master suite, hire a licensed plumber to install necessary plumbing lines, drains, and fixtures. Plan and install appropriate electrical outlets, switches, and lighting fixtures throughout the bedroom.
- Flooring and finishes: Choose appropriate flooring options that align with your design plan and functional needs. Common options include hardwood, laminate, or carpeting. Decide on paint colors, trim, and other finishes to enhance the overall appearance of the space.
- Storage solutions: Plan for adequate storage options within the master bedroom. Consider built-in closets, wardrobes, or other storage solutions that optimize space utilization while maintaining the desired aesthetic.
- Lighting and windows: Incorporate natural light by adding windows or skylights, if possible. Plan for artificial lighting fixtures that provide adequate illumination throughout the bedroom. Consider window treatments for privacy and light control.
- Exterior modifications: Depending on local regulations and your design plan, make any necessary exterior modifications to the garage, such as replacing the garage door with a wall, adding windows or siding, and ensuring proper ventilation.
- Final inspections and approvals: Once the conversion is complete, schedule final inspections with the appropriate authorities to obtain the necessary approvals and ensure compliance with building codes.
Tips and Things to Keep in Mind
Here are some important things and tips to consider and evaluate before starting a garage conversion into a master suite:
- Budgeting: Create a detailed budget that includes all the costs associated with the conversion, including materials, labor, permits, and any unexpected expenses that may arise. It’s important to have a clear understanding of your financial limitations and plan accordingly.
- Privacy and soundproofing: Think about privacy considerations, especially if the converted space will be used as a bedroom. Evaluate the proximity of neighbors, potential noise sources, and consider incorporating soundproofing measures to ensure a peaceful living area.
- Accessibility: Evaluate the accessibility of the converted space, especially if you plan to use it for aging relatives or individuals with mobility challenges. Consider factors such as door widths, ramps, grab bars, and other accessibility features to ensure the room is safe and accommodating.
Cost to Convert Garage to Master Bedroom
The cost of converting a garage to a master suite can vary depending on various factors. Generally, you can expect the total cost, including plans, contractor labor, materials, and permits, to fall within the range of $100,000 to $130,000. This estimate takes into account the specific requirements of your project, such as the size of the garage and the extent of improvements you wish to make.
Note that the garage conversion plans themselves typically range from $6,000 to $15,000. This cost covers the services of an architect or designer who will create the necessary designs, structural plans, Title 24 compliance, and any other requirements dictated by your city or municipality. The price also includes the submission of plans to the city, addressing any plan check corrections, and obtaining an approved set of plans ready for the permitting process.
Working With a Contractor
Here are some considerations and tips for finding a contractor to convert your garage into a master bedroom:
- Research and gather recommendations: Start by researching local contractors who specialize in home renovations and conversions. It’s also a great idea to ask friends, family, or neighbors for recommendations.
- Check contractor credentials: Verify the credentials and qualifications of potential contractors. Look for proper licensing, insurance coverage, and certifications. This ensures that the contractor meets the necessary requirements to perform the work safely and professionally.
- Experience in garage conversions: Seek contractors who have specific experience with garage conversions. They should have a portfolio showcasing their past projects, including before-and-after photos or testimonials from previous clients.
- Conduct interviews and site visits: Schedule interviews with potential contractors to discuss your project in detail. Ask about their approach to garage conversions, availability, and ability to meet your specific requirements. Request a site visit where they can assess the garage and provide insights or suggestions based on their expertise.
- Check references and reviews: Request references from previous clients and take the time to contact them. Inquire about their experience working with the contractor, the quality of workmanship, adherence to timelines, and overall satisfaction. Additionally, read online reviews and ratings on reputable platforms to gain further insight into the contractor’s reputation.
- Trust your instincts: Ultimately, trust your instincts when selecting a contractor. Choose someone who not only has the necessary skills and expertise but also demonstrates professionalism, integrity, and a commitment to delivering quality results.
Looking to find a contractor you can trust for your garage to master suite conversion project? GreatBuildz can match you with an experienced, pre-vetted contractor in the Los Angeles and Southern California areas. Call (818.317.3567) or visit our website for more information.