How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

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Is it legal to make part of a garage into a bedroom?

Saturday, February 1, 2020

While it is possible to make part of a garage into a bedroom, there are a couple of life-safety requirements in the building code that make it more complicated than enclosing a porch, for example. It is probably easier to convert the whole garage into a master bedroom suite or multi-room living space than just part of it. Here’s two issues:

•• A bedroom door is not allowed to open onto a garage, so a new door must be built to connect the bedroom to the main living area of the house. The wall between new bedroom and remaining part of the garage must be 1/2” drywall on both sides, and solid with no penetrations. See our blog post What are the code requirements for fire separation between an attached garage and the house?

•• If there are any gas appliances, such as a furnace or water heater, in the part of the garage to be converted to a bedroom, they must be moved or sealed into a closet. See our blog post Can I leave a gas water heater in place when remodeling a garage into a family room or bedroom?

     Then there are the usual remodeling issues, like adding ceiling insulation over the new bedroom and wall insulation between between the bedroom and unconditioned garage, leveling the sloping garage floor, and installing a larger HVC system to handle the additional square feet of new living space, new electrical circuits in the panel, and so forth. To read more about it, see What are the common problems when a homeowner converts a garage to conditioned living space, such as a family room?

    Also see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Bedrooms

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Here’s links to a collection of some of our other blog posts about REMODELING:

What are the problems to look for when buying a homeowner remodeled house?

Does it make sense to buy an older mobile home and remodel it?

How can I tell the difference between a renovation project house and a tear-down? 

Do I need a building permit for a backyard shed?

What are the most common problems when a homeowner encloses a porch without a building permit?  

How can I tell the difference between a fixer-upper with potential and a money pit?

How difficult is it to change a window to french doors or a sliding glass door?

Should I buy a fixer-upper?  

• How do I find a good contractor?

• What home improvements require a permit? 

    Visit our REMODELING page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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