Over the last couple of years, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we use our living spaces, and a lot of people are finding they simply don’t have enough room in their houses anymore. Home-based activities such as remote work and online schooling have become the new normal, and many people who are seeking private, quiet areas in their homes are wondering if they can add rooms above their garages.
The answer is definitely yes. As a matter of fact, room additions over garages have grown quite a bit in popularity over the last few years. When discussing alternatives with their room additions contractors, San Diego homeowners should consider several factors before making the final decision to build rooms above their garages.
Reasons to Build a Room Above Your Garage
There are a variety of reasons you may choose to add a room above your garage. One of the most common reasons is the need for a home office where you can work in peace and quiet.
Dedicated Office Space
Home office additions are more popular than ever because a lot of us have learned how convenient working from home can be. We’ve also found out how inconvenient it can be to try to work in a bedroom, kitchen, or living room, so adding a dedicated office space makes sense, both for professional productivity and personal mental health.
Zoning laws in some areas place limits on how much space can be added to your ground floor, so expanding outward may not be an option. In this case, building up instead is a good solution, especially if you have a small yard or you live in an area where houses sit close to each other.
If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your garage is probably the quietest space in your home, so one of the advantages of adding a room above the garage is reduced noise. This is especially beneficial for a home office because most normal household noise won’t travel through the garage and into the room above it. In addition to keeping noise out, a room addition over the garage can keep sound in, making it a great choice if you want to use the space for a home gym, a game room, or even a music studio.
How Your Home’s Design Can Affect Your Options
The way your home is designed and laid out will have a huge impact on how you go about adding a room above the garage. The first factor to consider is whether you have an attached or detached garage.
Detached versus Attached Garage
If you have a detached garage that’s separate from your home’s main structure, the design phase could be less of a challenge, but the construction process could prove to be more complicated. While a detached garage doesn’t require tying the roof line and structure to the rest of your home, providing water and electricity to the addition could be problematic. New lines may have to be run to the garage if they aren’t already in place, which takes more time and costs more money.
If you have an attached garage, the biggest challenge lies in designing the addition so it matches your home’s existing design. Matching the roof is the most difficult part of this process.
Number of Floors
Adding a room over your attached garage means you’ll need to consider the number of floors you currently have. If you already have a two-story home and the second level doesn’t currently extend over the garage, it should be relatively easy to add a room, which you can access via your existing second floor.
However, if your home has only one floor, you’ll need a way to access the new space above your garage. This typically involves building a staircase from the first floor up to the room addition. This could reduce the living space by about 50 to 80 square feet, which is about the size of a typical closet. Planning where the stairs will be located is a critical step in optimizing the functionality and efficiency of your new space.
Potential Challenges of Adding a Room Above the Garage
Adding a second story to a home is a complicated remodeling project. That’s why it’s not surprising that adding a room above your garage comes with its own set of distinctive challenges.
Extra Structural Reinforcement
A second-story addition typically requires some type of extra reinforcement on the floor beneath it, since the original design of the bottom level didn’t include supporting a second floor above it. As a result, the structure will need to be strengthened. This could be as simple as adding a few extra shear panels to the corners in the walls or as complicated as tearing open nearly every wall on the first floor to add footings and isolated columns as well as tearing off all the home’s siding to install additional shear panels.
Insulation, Heating, & Cooling
A critical element of adding a room over a garage is figuring out the best way to insulate the space so it maintains a comfortable temperature throughout the year. Since a garage isn’t usually heated and cooled like the rest of the home, it gets cold in wintertime and warm during summer.
The temperature in your garage will have an effect on the room addition above it. If your new room isn’t properly insulated, the temperature in the space will vary along with that of the garage below. The floors will be markedly cold at night, especially if they’re made of tile or hardwood. The best way to address this issue is to make sure proper insulation is installed, both in the walls and the floors.
By planning well and working with experienced professional contractors, you can build an addition above your garage that provides fantastic usable space. The Forever Builders team will assist you through every step of your room addition. San Diego homeowners rely on us to provide the most affordable home remodeling services and ensure their visions become reality. From design to completion, we’ll help you create the room addition you’ve always wanted, meeting all your expectations while keeping your costs within budget. To find out more about our exceptional remodeling services, give one of our friendly team members a call today at (833) 243-5624.