How much would it cost to convert a two-car garage into an apartment?

How much would it cost to convert a two-car garage into an apartment


How much would it cost to convert a two-car garage into an apartment?

Converting a two-car garage into an apartment can be a great way to increase your cash flow.  Just make sure you check with your local laws and applicable covenant/HOA restrictions before proceeding to make sure you don’t do something that you end up having to “un-do.”

The cost to convert a two-car garage into an apartment obviously depends on where you live, the extent of your upgrades, and how much of the work you’ll do yourself (if any).

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You’ll probably spend somewhere between $20,000-$30,000 to convert a two-car garage into an apartment.  Let’s discuss the various stages required for this project, and the estimated costs you can expect to pay for each stage.

Stage 1: General Requirements

General requirements include items needed in order to get your garage renovation approved and funded.  Here is what may be on this list:

  • Financing costs
  • Permits
  • Zoning

Estimated cost: $750

Stage 2: Site Prep

This stage involves getting the garage prepped for the remodel, including the following:

  • Demo (removing garage doors, clearing out belongings, etc.)
  • Dumpster/trash haul-off

Estimated cost: $500

Stage 3: Rough Framing

The great part about converting a two-car garage into an apartment, is that so much of the framing work is already done.  Framing work will consist of the following:

  • Floor
  • Wall (where garage door used to be)
  • Door and window openings
  • Closet
  • Bathroom
  • Interior walls for other rooms as needed

Estimated cost: $3,000

Stage 4: Exterior

If the garage exterior is in good shape, then the only exterior work needed should be adding siding or brick to the outside where the garage door used to be.

Estimated cost: $1,000

Stage 5: Windows/Exterior Doors

You’ll likely want at least 3 windows.  You’ll also need at least 1 exterior door unless you have an attached garage, and your tenant will access their apartment by coming through the main house.

Estimated cost: $1,000

Stage 6: Plumbing

You will need to hire a plumber to set up plumbing for your bathroom, kitchen, and washing machine (if applicable).

Estimated cost: $4,000

Stage 7: Electrical

Obviously, electrical will be needed.  The great thing is, assuming your garage already has electrical, a lot of the electrical will already be there.  However, you will still need the appropriate number of outlets/smoke detectors/GFIs in order to meet code for your new living space.

Estimated cost: $3,000

Stage 8: HVAC

I recommend having an HVAC technician extend your existing duct work into the garage.  If that is not a viable option, then I recommend having your HVAC technician install a PTAC unit.  Unlike window units that do heat/cool, PTACs can be serviced if they break down.

Estimated cost: $2,000

Stage 9: Insulation

To help keep the utilities reasonable, you want to make sure that your garage apartment is properly insulated.  The best thing to do is blow insulation in the attic, and insulate the walls as much as possible.

Estimated cost: $750

Stage 10: Drywall

Your garage will likely have sheetrock in place already, however, you’ll still need to sheetrock the interior walls you’ve put up along with the exterior wall you built where the garage door used to be.  Additionally, touch up work will probably be needed to the existing drywall.

Estimated cost: $2,000

Stage 11: Interior Finish

In this stage, your garage apartment is really starting to come to life.  Here’s what’s included in the interior finish stage:

  • Interior doors
  • Doorknobs/hardware
  • Interior trim
  • Shelving
  • Painting/Staining
  • Flooring

Estimated cost: $3,000

Stage 12: Kitchen and Bath

When you enter the kitchen and bath stage, you know your project is almost complete.  Here are the items to consider in this stage:

  • Kitchen/bath cabinets
  • Cabinet pulls/hardware
  • Countertop/backsplash
  • Tub/shower
  • Toilet
  • Vanity
  • Towel hangers, toilet paper holders, accessories

Estimated cost: $4,000

Stage 13: Appliances

Estimated cost: $1,500

So, how much would it cost to convert a two-car garage into an apartment?  Now you know what to expect stage-by-stage.

About the author

Brandon Jones

Desiring to escape the clutches of corporate America, I started investing in real estate in 2015 and left my job in 2020 to become a full-time real estate investor. I now teach other how they can experience freedom through real estate investing.

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