How Much Does It Cost to Remodel a Garage? | 2024 Guide

By: Craig Berry Reviewed By: Paul Centopani
January 10, 2024 - 7 min read

Time for a garage remodel?

Garage renovations can be a great way to add living space and increase the value of your home.

Whether it’s because you need extra room for storage, want to expand your living space, add a home office or gym; a garage remodel can boost your property’s functionality.

How much does it cost to renovate a garage? Is it worth the cost? What else should you know before starting a garage renovation project? Read on to learn more.

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Reasons for remodeling your garage

A garage remodel is a perfect way to turn an underused space in your home into added living space. Your garage can potentially be a whole new room of your choosing.

You may opt to upgrade your garage by turning it into the ultimate storage and organization unit, or completely transform it into additional living space for your teenager or in-laws.

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Some garage transformation ideas include:

  • Bedroom or guest suite
  • Family space
  • Workshop
  • Home office
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Mancave
  • Utility room
  • Children’s playroom

How much value does remodeling a garage add?

Garage conversions almost always add value to your home because you’re increasing the amount of livable square footage.

The average garage conversion project gives you a return on your investment of roughly 80%, according to Cottage. So, for a $20,000 project, approximately $16,000 in value is added to your home.

Not every market will have the same ROI, though. In some areas that are known for inclement weather, such as Chicago, many homeowners would see a garage as a “must-have.” Sometimes, it’s more important to have a place to park your car that’s not outside in the elements than it is to have a home office.

How much does a garage remodel cost?

The national average cost range for a garage remodel is between $6,000 to $26,000, with most homeowners spending over $15,000 for a total garage conversion, according to HomeAdvisor.

Several factors will determine which end of the price range you land on when it comes to renovating your garage. One of the most relevant considerations that affect cost is the size of your garage.

Garage conversions for a one car garage average $5,725 - $24,000. Two-car garage conversions have an average cost between $21,000 - $30,000.

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Other considerations when budgeting for your garage renovation include:

How will the space be used?

Converting a garage into a kitchen will cost more than a home office conversion. If your project involves the need for plumbing and/or electrical work, be sure to get quotes for these areas prior to starting your renovation. Whether it’s a home gym, a bedroom, a bathroom or a playroom, the type of space will be a major factor when determining your budget.

Will permits be needed?

Whether you need building permits is based on your county, city and state. A permit may be necessary to install a new garage door, or for plumbing or electrical work. In some areas, local laws require a building conversion permit. Building conversion permits are estimated to cost roughly $1,400 on average.

Where is the garage located?

A garage that is already attached to your home will cost less to convert than a detached garage. A garage that isn’t attached to the home means more work and cost due to drain lines, ductwork, insulation, etc.

Don’t forget about labor costs

What you’ll pay for labor is important, as it plays a major role in the final costs for your garage conversion. Generally, you can expect to pay more for a plumber or an electrician than for the person installing drywall. General contractors tend to charge flat rates based on the project. Typically, 10% to 20% of the final price will go towards labor costs.

Will you need electrical work and/or plumbing?

If your garage conversion is an added living space, there’s a good possibility you’ll need at least some electrical work completed. Even basic electrical outlets range between $125 and $300. Lights range between $150 and $925. If you plan to add a bathroom, a washing machine, or perhaps just a small sink to your garage, you may need to hire a plumber. That cost will typically run you $375 to $1,900 or more, depending on the scope of the job.

Will you add or replace windows?

Window additions and/or replacements can be costly. Windows average between $300 and $1,200 per window.

Is there adequate ventilation?

Depending on your remodeling plans, converting the garage to a bedroom, living room, or office, means you may need to close pre-existing roof vents and install filtered ventilation through a roof vent fan or HVAC system. Adding new ducts and vents costs between $475 and $2,100, more if the garage is detached. The type and size of the HVAC system you choose can also affect the cost.

Factors to consider when remodeling a garage

After you’ve created your budget for your garage renovation, you’ll want to be sure you’re factoring in other relevant considerations.

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From the time it takes for permits, to the possibility of delays due to supply shortages, converting a garage can be a lengthy process. If your remodeling project takes more than a day or two, you’ll probably need to find space to temporarily keep all the items that are normally kept in your garage. Your car, lawnmower and other yard tools may have to stay outside.

Don’t forget about the importance of efficiency. The efficiency of your garage affects the amount you’ll pay on utilities each month. By using efficient building materials, installing adequate insulation, caulking cracks, and installing efficient doors and windows, you’ll cut down on potentially high utility bills.

Garage remodel examples

The scope of your renovation project will determine the costs, benefits, added value and length of time needed to complete it.

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Simple remodels can cost just a few thousand. A simple garage remodel typically means you plan to keep the current layout and functions of your garage as-is. It will still serve as a place to park your cars, but you may be upgrading the floors, painting the walls and ceiling, or adding storage cabinets. A simple remodel for cabinets, painting, and recoating of the floor is around $3,500 on average.

Average costs by added living space:

Guest apartment$15,000-$30,000
Living room$5,000-$10,000
Office space$5,000+
Utility room$6,000+

You should always consider the value a renovation project will bring to your home when it comes time to sell. Adding a bedroom will almost always add value. However, losing enclosed parking and storage space can work against you.

If you create a new room, but one that isn’t technically a bedroom (i.e. a room without windows or closets), you may actually find your new renovation project devaluing your home. Other times, especially in colder climates, home buyers may put more value on a home with covered parking, as opposed to an adding utility room and no garage.

How to pay for a garage remodel

Depending on the extent of your garage remodel, the cost to convert a garage can get expensive. There are several options to consider when paying for your project.

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Home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). If you have at least 15%-20% of equity in your home, you may want to consider either of these two home equity loans. The interest rates for home equity loans is typically lower than other loans because your home is the collateral for your loan. Not to mention, as of the writing of this article, the interest you pay for home equity loans may be tax-deductible because you’re using the funds to build or improve your home.

Cash-out refinance. With a cash-out refi, you would take out a new mortgage for a larger amount, then pay off the old mortgage and keep the difference for your garage renovation project. Most of the time, you’ll be able to deduct the interest paid when you opt for a new mortgage to fund your project. Always consult your tax advisor or CPA when it comes to tax deductions.

Personal loan. When you get a personal loan, it is unsecured. This means the approval process is quicker and easier than getting a home loan. Your credit and income are usually the only qualifying factors used.

Credit card. Depending on your credit limit and interest rate, a credit card could be a good way to finance your garage remodel. You’ll want to be careful about maxing out your credit cards that have a high interest rate. Smaller projects may be better suited for your credit card. Larger projects charged to your credit cards, especially if you don’t have a decent rate, could put you in debt for a long time to come.

The bottom line

Most of the homes in America have a garage or a carport. However, many of them aren’t used for their intended purpose of parking.

Instead of selling your current home for more space, converting your garage can often be a more affordable way to add value and living space to your home.

Whether you’re just adding storage, re-coating the floor, or doing a complete teardown, a garage remodel can be well-worth the investment.

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Garage Remodel FAQ

What is a realistic budget for a garage remodel?

The national average cost range for a garage remodel is between $6,000 to $26,000, with most homeowners spending over $15,000 for a total garage conversion.

Is renovating a garage worth it?

Depending on your location, as well as your specific needs, a garage renovation can mean additional space with more usefulness, a budget-friendly extension to your house and increased property value.

What is the most expensive part of a garage remodel?

Typically, the costliest part of any construction project comes from skilled labor fees.

Is a HELOC a good idea to remodel a garage?

Home equity lines of credit can be a great way to fund your garage remodel. By using HELOC funds for home improvement, you may be able to write off the interest you pay for your project.

Craig Berry
Authored By: Craig Berry
The Mortgage Reports contributor
With over 20 years in mortgage banking, Craig Berry has helped thousands achieve their homeownership goals.
Paul Centopani
Reviewed By: Paul Centopani
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Paul Centopani is a writer and editor who started covering the lending and housing markets in 2018. Previous to joining The Mortgage Reports, he was a reporter for National Mortgage News. Paul grew up in Connecticut, graduated from Binghamton University and now lives in Chicago after a decade in New York and the D.C. area.