How Litchfield Builders is responding to COVID-19 Learn More

Blog Feature

By: Kevin Ahern on May 30th, 2014

Print/Save as PDF

Garage Renovation: Transforming Your Garage into a Living Space


In today’s economy, many families are coming together to help one another financially. In some of these cases, families are even combining into one household to help ease the strain on their wallets.

Converting a garage into an “in-law apartment” is a classic example of the ways in which younger and older generations work together to help one another.

Garage Renovation Essentials

You’ll find that there are some parts of a garage renovation that are optional, while others are absolute must-haves. The most essential components of a garage apartment or “in-law apartment” are:

  • A Bedroom
  • A Full Bathroom
  • Storage

Although you and the occupant of your garage apartment may plan to share some living space and even kitchen facilities, a garage conversion without these essentials will undoubtedly lead to some privacy issues.

Though not completely necessary, there are also a variety of additional options you and your tenant may desire to avoid stepping on each other’s toes.

Optional Features

The more optional features that are built into your garage apartment, the more independent its occupant will be, and the more privacy you both will have. Privacy may not sound important now, but once the garage apartment is occupied, you may feel differently. Here are just a few popular options you may want to consider:

  • Kitchen – no way around it, the occupant of your garage apartment will need to eat. If the occupant does not have his or her own kitchen, he or she will almost certainly be in your kitchen multiple times per day. If a full kitchen seems out of your price range, you may consider installing a kitchenette or wet bar, providing some of the features of a kitchen, but not all.
  • Parking spot – the occupant of the garage apartment may come with his or her own vehicle, and will need a place to park it.
  • Separate entrance into the apartment – this is important for privacy. You don’t want to be woken up at all hours of the night by the sound of a tenant going in and out of your home. A separate entrance will allow them to go and come as they please without disturbing you.
  • Living Room – the decision to include a living area may be limited by the amount of space in the garage apartment, but if it can be included, it will provide the tenant more freedom in their space.

Age-Related Features

Some families convert their garages into apartments because a young adult in the family, like an older child, would like independence from his or her parents. If the conversion is taking place for an older relative, like a parent or in-law, however, some features relating to the age and abilities of the occupant should be considered.

  • Stairs – older people often have trouble making regular trips up and down stairs. If your garage conversion involves an upper floor, you may need to seek an alternative to stairs.
  • Railings – railing installations in showers and bathtubs can prevent falls and accidents.


Garage renovation is an example of a major remodel that needs to be done properly in order to be safe and permitted by local laws. Un-permitted remodels can affect your home’s resale value in the future. An experienced contractor in Connecticut will know the laws in your area and help you acquire any of the required permits before getting started.

Finding the Right Contractor

Before you can make the final decision regarding the features for your garage apartment, meet with a certified contractor to discuss your options. A consultation with a contractor will provide you with the guidance you need to make the right decision before your residential construction project.

Litchfield Builders’ team of certified trained professionals is highly respected and trusted in New Haven and around the surrounding areas. Request your free consultation today to get started on your next garage conversion or home remodeling project!

CTA Free Guide Download: How to Choose a Home Remodeling Contractor