Garage to Backhouse Conversion

Consider having Amerbuild Construction & Remodeling Inc.  reconstruct your garage into a beautiful backhouse.

Reconstructing Your Garage Into a Backhouse

The process of converting your garage into a backhouse will go a long way in maximizing the entire living area available to you. You’ll also be left with an entirely new living area which you can put to good use for yourself rent out to someone who is in need of a new place in the meanwhile or even give to your son or daughter who is returning from college.

 If you want the reconstruction to be permanent and standard, then you should get an accredited and competent architect and have this person draw up the plans for you.

Essentially, the only job that will be left for you is to finish up a space that is framed. The big door might have to go (or not, depending on what your architect comes up with in the designs). You’ll also be responsible for making allowance for insulation and heating, rigging the space with electricity supply, adequate water and plumbing, (and any other necessary utilities), and ending it all with proper flooring and some drywall.

However, before you get your tools and roll out some drawing paper, there are certain factors that you will need to consider. When choosing on whether to get a conversion from area to backhouse, you need to also remember that you can save yourself a lot of space and cash with some time and work.

Financial considerations

When you consider it all from every angle, it is usually cheaper for you to just convert your garage into a backhouse than for you to add an entire room to your house. This is because, with the latter, you don’t necessarily have to deal with any fundamental alterations or excessively heavy construction project. Also, any additions being made to your house might need the building of a costly foundation (although this factor depends largely on the building codes that are prevalent in your local area). If your garage is already up to code, however, it is possible for you to escape these costs.

The money that you’ll save from not dealing with all these additional costs can easily be put into switching up our garage; making an awesome interior design to your garage, installing electricity and plumbing (as well as other necessary utilities) and apply finishing touches in order to create a fresh and highly comfortable backhouse

Attached vs. detached garage

When planning the full reconstruction of your garage, one of the biggest factors you will need to put into consideration is whether you have a garage that is attached to or detached from your house. Each of these garages comes with its set of advantage or disadvantages.

Attached Garages

When you have an attached garage, you benefit from the fact that it is directly connected to your home and as such, you have easy access to the garage (or backhouse, when you’re done with the reconstruction process) and you also have easy climate control. Also, if you’re planning to build a single room that will be used on a very regular basis (whether an entertainment room, a gaming den, or the usual ‘man cave’), an attached garage might be the best choice for you.

Detached Garages

For a wide array of reasons, a detached garage might actually be the best for you if you’re looking to convert your garage in order to create a space that is private and much more purpose-specific (maybe an office, a study etc.; somewhere that you can go to and be free of any form of distractions). For instance, a detached garage will work perfectly as a separate workshop or an independent living space for children who are in college or who just tied the knot (both of whom will definitely want to have some level of privacy).

Miscellaneous considerations and factors

The most prominent miscellaneous factors that you will need to put into consideration while deciding on whether to reconstruct your garage are the overall size of the garage and the needs of your house (and your family members as well).

You have to remember that once you go through with this reconstruction project, then it means that your vehicles are going to need a new place to be stored. It is possible for you to move any cars that have lost their space thanks to a complete reconstruction of the garage space to an external carport. However, if you have a very large garage, it is also possible for you to just embark on a partial reconstruction; a process that will leave sufficient room for you to park a single car or for you to keep a few fragile and important items stored.

If you make use of your garage for storage purposes, then in order for you to get the best out of this whole thing, it might be in your best interest to get a portable storage shed. This investment will in no doubt be worth the cost, and it will also give you the opportunity to get even more out of your garage by reconstructing it and turning it into a backhouse.

If you’ve gone over all these factors and you still decide that you are ready to reconstruct your garage into a backhouse then you need to remember the following steps:

Don’t forget that this is still a garage at heart

Garages come in a wide array of sizes; some are standard, some skew a bit in either direction of the word. When you’re trying to remodel and convert your garage, you need to keep track of the fact that this is still a garage and that what you’re doing is basically a reconstruction project and not a fresh new building project. To wit, try as much as possible to work with the peculiar characteristics of the garage and make a design of any extra height or space that you can get FROM THE GARAGE. Don’t try excessively hard to conceal the original use of the room, especially as this hardly works.

Work with the space you have

If your garage is a very large one that has the ability to house multiple vehicles at once and which also comes with a second floor, then it might not be the best idea for you to convert it into a backhouse (or any other living space for that matter). This is because the absence of a separate space for automobile storage has a way of devaluing large properties. You should convert your garage if the space available is at a premium. You should also try to seek relevant confirmation from your local authorities if you have the necessary permits required to use your garage for something else.

Consider your required utilities

When converting your garage into a backhouse, one of the very first things you’ll have to put into consideration is the utilities that you’ll need to fit into the new pace. You’ll find that in most garages, all you have is some electric lighting and not much more than that. Even the electric system in your garage will most probably have to be upgraded and that means you’ll have some rewiring to do (especially when you have to get the electrical system up to code).

Also, if you’ll need gas and plumbing (which you most probably will), you might also need to call on a specialist to help you fit these into the space as well.

Installing cabling for data connection and other communication outlets (like telephone lines, etc.) might also be worth considering, although additional utilities like these will depend largely on what you intend to do with the prosed backhouse (I mean, if you intend to put people in there and make them  stay, they’ll at least need to make calls).

Consider the garage’s space and try to make the best out of it

Designing a backhouse means that there will definitely be rooms and other partitions. You need to make sure that the garage is able to accommodate all these rooms you’re fitting in. too many rooms will make the place stuffy, too few will make it look scanty and unorganized. Try your best to optimize the space available to you and try to get an acceptable design. 

Don’t forget the garage door and other openings

As soon as you’re done with creating a floor plan and putting markings on the various sub-divisions of the garage in order to create rooms and partitions, it is recommended that you put the garage door into consideration. Most garage doors flip up (and may even be remote activated) and the process of removing the whole door and putting bricks up on the entire entrance might mean that convent the pace back to a garage (perhaps when you need to move or renovate) will be very difficult.

To help with this, it might be better for you to leave the gargantuan garage door the way it is so that the backhouse looks just the same when viewing it from the outside. You can now cover it on the interior with an insulating material so that the whole thing looks like a false wall. 

You will also need to create enough room inside the garage to serve as doors from room to room. Make sure to put that into consideration as well.

Work on the floors of the garage

Most garages have floors that can be very cold (they don’t get designed to make room for appropriate temperatures most of the time) and because of that, heating the entire place can make the whole backhouse very uncomfortable (not to mention the extra cost that will be involved).

To help overcome this obstacle, all you have to do is give the room floor a raise beyond the concrete floor of the garage. This will provide a space for insulation, which, in turn, will bring a little heat to balance out the cold.

A simple solution is to make use of lumber to for a frame that will sit directly on the floor and form a grid. Put panels made of plywood on top of the grid and nail them in place. This forms a new flooring material on which you are free to install any conventional flooring material that picks your

fancy; whether hardwood, laminate, engineered, carpet with underlay, etc.

For your choice of flooring material, it is recommended that you make use of boxed laminate floors. This option will come with insulation mats and it is much easier for you to fit the floor panels together. The downside to boxed laminate flooring is that it will most probably cost you a pretty penny. However, if you can be on the lookout for awesome sales and clearances, it might be possible for you to cut the material cost by almost a half of what you are estimated to pay. Talk about a sweet deal.

Versatile garage conversions

If you will like for your garage to serve more than one purpose, then it goes without saying that you will have to have a garage that is big enough to serve these purposes. You will also have to do some compromising on a clear design for sure. However, if you take extra care, it is actually possible for you to be able to create a ‘summer house’ that you can always come to as a living space and still retain a considerable area to store your car in the winter months.

Even though it is highly probable that you won’t want to make use of the space for more than one function at a time (except the space is gigantic, of course), it is advisable that you make two distinct zones for the two uses. Create a portion of the space where you can store your car (and make accommodations for any unwanted circumstance; for instance, you can ensure that any oil that drips is collected into a tray). Also, make sure to install a flooring type that will be both suitable for a car to go (and stay) on and which also offers the perfect aesthetic and feel of a backhouse. 

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