How to Plan a Garage Conversion

A garage conversion is a smart way to add useable space to your home, whether it’s for additional living space, an in-law apartment, a home office, or some other purpose. Before beginning this useful home remodeling project, it is helpful to know the process. This is a major remodel that involves working with a qualified designer and contractor. Finding the right professional who will do the job right can help ensure your remodel will succeed.

Hire the Right Architect and Contractor

Interview architects or design to build professionals first to discuss their experience and view their portfolio. Hire a communicative professional who displays good customer service and transparent billing practices. When viewing their portfolio, ask to see past work on garage conversions to confirm they’ve done this kind of job before and that the quality is to your liking. 

The architect and contractor you hire should also ask questions about your end goals, budget, aesthetic preferences, and timeline. They should be curious about your hopes and discuss any concerns that they may have about your project. 

If it seems like the professionals you’re considering hiring don’t understand your project or are disinterested in listening to your concerns, then that may not be the right professional for you. 

Garage Conversion Elements to Consider

There’s a lot to think about when converting your garage into a living or home office space. Some of the elements to consider are listed below. 


To ensure that your new garage living space is comfortable year-round, your construction team will need to tap into your home’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system. This could involve replacing your air conditioner and furnace or installing a mini-split heat pump that can keep your new space comfortable without drawing from your current HVAC system.  


Are you going to install a bathroom or kitchen area in your garage? If so, then your construction team will need to add plumbing. This can impact how long your garage conversion will take and go a long way to make your garage space more useful. 


Finishing the walls is another thing that your builder will need to do to keep the space comfortable. Adding insulation helps keep the space energy efficient


Depending on how you plan to use the space, you may want to remove the door into your house and create a separate entrance. If you are planning for an ADU, you will want your guests close, but still have their privacy.

Garage Door Removal

Removing the garage door is an important part of insulating your new space since garage doors tend to be less energy efficient than normal walls. Talk to your architect about options for ensuring that the new wall on your home will look natural and less like a garage than it used to. Or, you may want to incorporate the doors into the design. There are many possibilities.


Garage conversions almost always require a permit, and any professional working with you on this project should alert you to the permitting costs and procedures. Getting a permit will help protect the value of your home. An unpermitted conversion could make your home harder to sell when the time comes.  

Contact DCA for Your Garage Conversion

Are you ready to convert your garage living space? Call the experts. Make an appointment with Drafting Cafe Architects to discuss your upcoming home improvement project. 


Get in touch with us. We would love to help you get your project off the ground