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Old 06-26-2009, 12:29 PM   #1
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Converting Garage to Bedroom


I am considering making our roughly 300 sq ft single car attached into a bedroom and 1/2 bath. There is no current access from the garage to the house and it sits about 2 1/2 ft lower than the house. The garage appears to sit on a concrete slab which has a few small cracks on the outside. We would most likely need to raise the floor a few inches and build a new one.

Any concerns with garage converts that I would need to know before considering this further? I didn't know if anyone who was well versed in building codes could enlighten me before I go to our building inspector.

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Old 06-26-2009, 02:06 PM   #2
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Converting Garage to Bedroom


Check with your local Building Department. A bedroom needs a door through another room, hall, but not another bedroom. It needs an egress window 44" min. off the floor, Min. 20" wide with 5.7square feet, min. 24" tall.

Net free area, 20"widex41" tall and 44' A.F.F. Or, 34"widex24'tall, or anything in between. Other requirements as well.

It needs heat, light, and ventilation, as per minimum safety codes. http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuild...s-windows.aspx http://books.google.com/books?ei=0s8...G=Search+Books Be safe, G

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Old 07-09-2009, 03:34 PM   #3
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Converting Garage to Bedroom


Do you know of building code that says a bedroom has to be 18" above the street grade? I ran across that somewhere when I was searching online. I didn't know if that was standard.

The garage currently has electric and running HVAC would be no problem since the furnace is right next to the garage.

What would the best way to make sure the current garage had a foundation? Would it be okay to break up concrete in the corners of the floor and build the room as you would a deck?
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:19 PM   #4
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Converting Garage to Bedroom


You need to go to your local/city building codes office. Codes are different from city to city, counties, etc. Your building inspector should be there to see what you are starting out with, tell you what you can/can't do, and ultimately see the progress and finished product to pass or fail.

My house has a converted garage, about the same area as yours, done by a previous owner. I am still battling discrepancies with it. I have a leak I cannot find where the garage door used to be and I still need to have a REAL electrician come in and fix/update the wiring. The HVAC duct is too small too. Ah geez, and what they did with the water heater... Believe it or not - this passed numerous inspections, including the building process. As long as I am not renting it out as an apartment or putting in a bathroom (why not - it has a laundry room?) it will pass all day long here where I live.

Do it right! Man, I wish I could put a bathroom in there...
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:25 PM   #5
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Converting Garage to Bedroom


The front garage wall need a foundation and possibly a Engineered shear wall for structural stability. The floor would need to be engineered as well.
I've done one of these before and that was required by my building department. They will check the safety things mentioned previously as well as window to electrical overhead wires, any new HVAC and/or changes structurally. I've heard 18" above slab for water heater, but not a bedroom. Be safe, G
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:33 AM   #6
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Converting Garage to Bedroom


Thanks for the input. I know I'll eventually need to go to my building dept. but I thought I'd get some input and possible snags before I went to that step. I'm going back and forth on whether it would be worth the work. Our house is technically only 2 bed and 1 bath, so having another bedroom and half bath would be nice, but chances are we'll be moving within 5-7 yrs.

Since the garage sits down lower than the house, I'm not sure if it would ever look "normal". I hate when remodels look like remodels.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:07 PM   #7
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Converting Garage to Bedroom


Okay so first of all, you need to make sure you know and understand the codes required IN YOUR AREA. There is an IBC but local municipalities can be more restrictive just not less.

As far as design you can do a lot of things with design that would look great even if it has to be different but you or your designer need to accomplish that. You can always render something yourself or have a trained professional render something if you want to get and idea of what the finished product would look like prior to even doing anything. What is a rendering you ask http://paragonrenovations.net/renderings.aspx and here are some I have done.

If your ceiling lines are all the same then you could definitely pull this project off but then again maybe it is more than you want to invest. You would be investing it even if you are selling because adding a bedroom makes the house more marketable and valuable however there are a lot of things to consider with this project and maybe hiring a could professionals is one of them.

Good luck and be safe.

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