How much does a garage conversion cost in the United States?

The cost of a garage conversion can range between $18,000 to $50,000, depending on factors such as the type of room being added, whether a bathroom is included, and other project-specific details.

The cost of a garage conversion in the United States can vary widely depending on several factors such as the type of room being added, inclusion of a bathroom, and contractor pricing. Having completed thousands of successful renovations though, we’ve noticed a few patterns. In this article, we look at the effect these main budget drivers have on the cost of a garage conversion and provide examples so you can compare and contrast each project with your own set of priorities. Some areas will require compromise and others will allow for a splurge; it all depends on the results you’re after.

How much does a garage conversion cost in the United States?

A garage conversion in the United States will cost between $18,000 - $50,000+*
It's important to note that the final cost of a garage conversion largely depends on the desired finishes and customization. For example, a simple home gym with basic flooring and lighting can cost significantly less than an ADU conversion with a kitchen and bathroom.

Main budget drivers

  • Conversion purpose
  • Existing condition
  • Product used

Read on to find out how much your garage conversion may cost depending on the changes you are looking to make.

Conversion purpose

There are several reasons why a homeowner may opt for a garage conversion: extra space for extended-stay guests, a quiet office to get work done, or a dedicated rumpus room for the kids. Why does motivation make a difference? Because the intended use of each project comes with its own set of requirements - insulation, plumbing, electricity, ventilation, permits, heating - a few on a long list of many.
A simple garage conversion, such as a gym, will be more affordable as costly add-ons are easily avoidable and permits will probably not be needed. But converting to a guest suite or other habitable dwelling is deemed a “change of purpose” renovation and calls for both building and resource permits which, of course, cost money.

See below the steps required to turn your garage into a liveable space in the US:

Check local regulations and obtain the necessary permits
Check with your local building department to determine what permits are required to convert your garage into a living space.
Plan the design
Decide on the type of room you want to create, whether it's a bedroom, living room, or something else. Consider the layout, lighting, ventilation, and other design elements that will make the space comfortable and functional.
Insulate the space
Install insulation in the walls and ceiling to regulate the temperature of the space and make it more comfortable to live in.
Replace the garage door
Replace the garage door with a wall and a traditional door and window to provide more natural light.
Check the flooring
Make sure the flooring is level with the rest of the house. If so you can cover the concrete garage floor with carpet, hardwood, or tile to make it feel more like a living space. If the existing garage floor is uneven, it may be possible to level it by pouring a self-leveling compound over the surface. This can be a cost-effective solution, but it may not be suitable for all situations. Another option is to build up the subfloor by installing a layer of plywood or another suitable material over the existing garage floor. This can help to create a level surface for the finished flooring.
Install electrical and plumbing
Add electrical outlets, lighting, and plumbing for a bathroom or kitchenette as needed.

Existing condition

The starting point of your garage conversion will be a determinant of the end cost. A dilapidated garage that needs extensive repairs may require architects, structural engineers, and other expensive speciality contractors to execute a safe conversion. However, a structurally sound garage with a solid foundation would be an ideal starting point.
In addition to those scenarios, attached and detached garages call for unique considerations as well.

Products used

When drawing inspiration for your garage conversion, it’s easy to get carried away when dreaming of the final result. Selecting luxe products will drive up your total cost and while it may seem necessary to select premium finishings and fixtures to achieve a high-end look, there are plenty of cost-effective materials that still pack a design punch without exceeding your budget.

Want to take advantage of your under-utilised garage?

We offer free no-obligation consultations for you to discuss your goals, budget, and timeline surrounding your garage conversion. Our proven 5-step approach to renovations includes a costing phase during which you’ll receive a fixed quote for your project. But before taking the plunge, get in touch with a local Refresh Renovation Consultant to arrange a consultation.

*Costs are shown as an indicative guide of what previous projects have cost. The costs of renovating a home are rising each year as material and labour costs increase. For an estimate/quote on your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist to find out more about our planning, design and build process.

**All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

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All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

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