Convert Garage to Apartment: Put an End to Limited Living Space

Aug 20


Christine Delongte

Christine Delongte

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A garage is no longer a dingy, old shack that acts a storage space. Today, savvy homeowners are converting the garage into an apartment and creating a quality living space for their loved ones. Let’s understand how you can make optimum usage of the garage space.


When building up is not a viable option,Convert Garage to Apartment: Put an End to Limited Living Space Articles a garage conversion project can help you create additional living space. If you lack a basement or have limited options to expand your home, focus on the small shed just outside your home. The empty space in the garage is a goldmine waiting to be discovered. According to a report in The Globe and Mail, Toronto homeowners have spent $30 million dollars on garage projects since 2014. Renovation contractors have worked on more than 2400 projects that involve upgrading the garage and making them comfortable. Converting a garage to an apartment is not uncommon in Canada. So, if you need additional space, buckle up and get ready to remodel the garage.

Can I convert my Garage into an Apartment?

Transforming a garage into a finished room is much more than putting up a few recliners, a fridge and a dartboard. Understand what factors come into play when you convert a garage into an apartment or a guest house.

1. Keeping up with the Building Regulations

Unlike a simple painting project, converting a garage (if greater than 10 square meters) requires a building permit from the City of Toronto. You need to consider the building regulations before converting the garage into an additional living room. The building codes provide constructions standards so that the structural integrity of the garage is not affected. The zoning bylaws will consider the size and location of the garage and verify the purpose of construction.

2. The Necessity of an Experienced Contractor

Garage conversion is neither a DIY project nor a task for amateurs. You need to hire an experienced home renovation contractor who is qualified to work in GTA. When you submit the application for a building permit for the garage, you have to follow a complex set of rules. It includes submission of a site plan, floor plans, elevations, construction details, etc. It is best to work with someone who has adequate knowledge of the process and can help you get the permit in the first attempt.

3. The Cost of Garage Conversion

A garage conversion project, that involves building a simple studio-apartment or a modest bedroom, can cost you $35,000 approximately. The amount can change depending on your needs. For example, building a complete in-law apartment with bedroom, kitchen and bathroom is expensive. You may have to pay close to $70,000. To avoid any unpleasant financial surprises in the future, obtain an accurate estimate from the renovation contractor and start saving money for the project.

How to convert a Garage into a Living Room?

Converting a garage into a viable living room cannot be done in the blink of an eye. It requires 4-6 weeks to complete the project. The process is not a simple one and includes multiple tasks.

>>Strengthening the foundation of the garage to manage additional loads.
>>Elevating the floor height and finishing the garage floor.
>>Adding windows to open up space.
>>Adding non-load bearing walls.
>>Converting the garage door into a wall and insulating the walls.
>>Installing HVAC systems to make the garage habitable.
>>Adding lighting options and installing electrical outlets in the room.
>>Installing plumbing system for the kitchen and bathroom.
>>Painting the garage and decorating it.

Transcending the garage from a conventional storage room to a quality living space requires effort and money. Make sure that you spend time understanding your requirements and work with an expert to avoid wastage of resources.