How Much Does It Cost to Convert a Garage Into Living Space?

Matt Marandola
Written by Matt Marandola
Updated January 13, 2022
The exterior of a house with a garage turned into living space
Photo: Wollwerth Imagery / Adobe Stock

The cost to convert a garage into a living space is around $14,100 on average

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Whether you’re looking to give your family room to grow or simply want more space in the home for activities, converting a garage into a living space is an easy solution. It’s already mostly built to be a living space, and all you need to do is add in the finishing touches.

The cost of converting a garage into a living space will vary depending on the size of the garage, what you want to turn the garage into, and what materials you use to complete the project. The low end will be around $5,700, and the high end will be around $22,600.

How Much Does It Cost to Convert a Garage Into Living Space by Square Footage?

The two most common types of garages are one-car garages and two-car garages. While a two-car garage can fit an entire extra car, it doesn’t necessarily double the amount of square footage. This is because you’re only expanding the width of the garage and the length stays the same.

A typical one-car garage is 240 square feet and will cost around $59 per square foot to fully finish. The typical two-car garage is around 440 square feet and will cost around $86 per square foot to fully finish. However, costs will vary depending on the actual length and width of the garage.

How Much Does It Cost to Convert a Garage Into Living Space Near You?

Cost differences between states will come down to permit pulling. Some states like Florida have a general code in place for the entire state. Other states, such as Colorado, will come down to local jurisdiction on the city or county level rather than the state government making the decisions.

Common prices to convert a garage into a living space in these states are:

StatePrice
Florida$11,700
Washington$9,000
Texas$8,800
Illinois$8,400
New York$10,800
Minnesota$7,600
Colorado$10,800
Massachusetts$11,200

What Factors Influence the Cost to Convert a Garage Into Living Space?

Beyond the size of the garage, you’re going to want to make this additional living space your own. This means items, such as windows, flooring, and any systems you want to be hooked up to the new living space, are going to come down to your personal choice.

While someone in Florida doesn’t have a choice but to hook up the HVAC to the former garage, someone in Minnesota may forgo this for the time being.

5 factors for converting a garage into a living space, including permits and electrical hookups
Photo: Erik Isakson / Getty Images

Materials

Windows, insulation, and flooring are just some of the items you’re going to need to consider when doing a garage conversion. If you’re someone who enjoys being woken up by the sunrise and you want big windows, then you’re going to pay a bit more. Whereas someone who only needs a small window as a reminder of the outside world will pay a bit less.

Common prices for these items are:

MaterialPrice
Windows$1,000 per window
Vinyl flooring$5 per square foot
Carpet flooring$7 per square foot
Tile flooring$13 per square foot
Hardwood flooring$14 per square foot
Laminate flooring$7 per square foot
Insulation$1 per square foot

Labor

Labor will vary based on the cost of living in your area as well as the length of the project. Contractors often charge 15% of the total project cost, but some builders will charge by the hour instead.

Electrical and Plumbing Hookups

Maybe you’re looking to also add a bathroom to this home addition. And you definitely need a place to at least plug in your phone at night.

Adding new plumbing to the garage will cost around $1,100 on average. Though this will depend on whether or not you had existing pipes in the garage. Electricity typically isn’t terrible, as most garages have wires for outlets and lights. So expect to pay around $400 on average.

Permits

Permits vary based on the project and your location. Converting a garage into a bedroom may cost less than converting a garage into an apartment. Expect to pay around $1,000 for a garage conversion permit.

HVAC Hookup

If you want to make your new living space as cold as Antarctica or as hot as the Sahara Desert, then you’re likely going to want to add HVAC vents to your converted garage. An HVAC add-on will cost around $1,250.

How Much Does It Cost to Convert a Garage Into Living Space by Type?

A garage turned into a bedroom
Photo: fneun / Adobe Stock

Not everyone has the same reason for converting their garage into a living space. While you might want the kitchen of your dreams there, someone else is thinking about how they’re going to set up their new workspace. The end goal of your project greatly influences the price since you’re going to need extra plumbing for one project or extra electrical work for a different one.

Bedroom

Converting the garage into the bedroom is the most popular project to tackle. A simple bedroom will run you around $15,000. If this is going to be your new primary bedroom with a bathroom included, you’re looking at closer to $25,000.

Office

Tired of using your kitchen table as an office desk every day? Looking to create a new office space in your old garage will run you about $5,000. This space doesn’t typically require plumbing or drywall for closets, so you’re mostly paying for the extra electrical work and insulation.

Entertaining Area

Maybe you’re looking to create the perfect hangout spot for all of your friends and family. In this case, you’re looking at spending around $7,500. Family areas require emergency exits, so the extra costs will come at the benefit of safety.

Kitchen

No more cramped kitchen space where the cabinets are falling off the hinges. Your old garage is now the place where you create fantastic meals that no amount of photography can capture. Garage to kitchen conversions will cost anywhere from $6,000 to $50,000, depending on plumbing, appliances, and finishes.

Bathroom

Maybe you’re just looking for a new place to get ready in the morning. Upgrading the garage into a bathroom starts at around $3,000, but can get as high as $25,000 if you want certain items like a sauna, large garden tub, and double sinks.

Utility Room

A utility room is an excellent place to do laundry (or at least hide it from guests). It’s typically easy to get to, and you don’t have to listen to the washer and dryer going while you’re inside. Adding a utility room will set you back around $6,000.

Guest House

If you’re going for a full guest house, you’re looking at spending around $22,000 on average. This comes from the fact that you need to have a bathroom, separate door, and kitchen for someone else to comfortably live in. 

How Much Does It Cost to Convert a Garage Into Living Space Yourself?

This is definitely a project you’re going to want to hire a local garage remodeler for. They’ll help you plan out the garage conversion correctly so you’re maximizing your new living area. There are ways to cut remodeling costs, though, such as DIY demoing and making decisions early.

FAQs About Converting Garages

When’s the best time to start remodeling?

The best time of year for remodeling is typically in the fall and late winter. This is typically when work slows down for contractors so it’s easier to cut costs during these months. However, you may be limited on the type of projects you can complete during these months based on where you live.

Does a garage conversion add value to your home?

Yes, a garage conversion typically adds value to your home since you’re increasing the amount of liveable square footage. Generally, you have an ROI of about 80% with garage conversions. So if your project costs $10,000, around $8,000 is added to the value of your home.

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