Common Garage Conversion Mistakes To Avoid
A garage conversion is an exciting home improvement project for most homeowners, as it allows them to take advantage of an unused space and transform it into a place that serves their needs, improves their quality of life and increases their property value all at once.
As with anything else, the garage conversion process has a number of potential mistakes and problems that come with it. Most homeowners don’t take these issues into account before starting their conversion which can make the already complex project a true nightmare to realize.
These are the four most common garage conversion mistakes homeowners make, their solutions and ways to avoid them.
1. Rushing into the wrong project
Don’t let your frustration with the unused and wasted space in your home rush you into starting work on a project that will ultimately prove to be a mistake. If you don’t take the time to consider the conversion you want, and why you want it chances are you will begin a conversion that doesn’t add the space and value you’re looking for, while draining both your time and resources. A simple way to avoid this is to consider all of your options before settling on the garage conversion you want. Make appointments to consult with several different contractors who will be able to give you a better idea of what can be done with your garage, the costs you can expect and the best way to realize this project.
2. Hiring the wrong contractor
Having the right team of builders and contractors is essential to getting the results you want. In many cases, homeowners don’t do enough research before hiring a contractor, which leads to disappointment and complications once work on the conversion begins. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the team working on your project is bad at their job; it could simply be that they don’t have the experience needed for the specific project you want to create.
Before hiring your contractors, explore your options and ask each of the potential builders to provide examples of work that is similar to what you expect as well as references from their past clients.
3. Underestimating the cost of the project
Any quality garage conversion project is not going to be cheap. One of the worst mistakes is to begin work on a conversion without having the budget to finish the project. Most homeowners can’t accurately estimate the total cost of the project. Even when consulting with a contractor, the initial estimate and the final cost of the finished conversion can be very different.
Never assume that you conversion will cost the exact amount of the initial predicted price. If you’re working with an estimate, always put aside at least 20-25% more than the first predicted amount, in order to have the funds needed to complete the project.
Quotations on the final price are very different than estimates. A quotation is a legally binding final amount as opposed to the estimate which is a general guess at the total expected cost of the finished conversion.
When preparing a detailed estimate or a quotation with your contractor take into account all potential costs including labor, materials, the size and complexity of the project and other factors.
4. Ignoring regulations
There are plenty of rules and regulations that need to be respected when converting your garage. These include planning permissions, building regulations as well as compliance with city regulations. These rules are enforced by law. Familiarize yourself with all the rules and regulations in your city and make sure that the team who’s working on your conversion knows and follows them as well. If your contractors ignore the regulations, it’s you who will have issues with the local authorities somewhere down the line.