Asked on Jul 31, 2020

Den conversion ?

Maura WhiteMorgan McBrideRymea


I have a space that I’d like to turn into bedroom and bathroom. This would give me a desperately needed third room. The room is less than 200sqft and I need advice on whether this would be a good idea for a conversion or to just add on a room and bathroom to the house?

FYI this room is better the garage and main house and is used for our main entrance. Considering making the garage main entrance 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

13 answers
  • Oliva
    on Jul 31, 2020

    If you mean converting the garage to the main entrance to your home and having no garage, I'd strongly advise against it if you live in a cold weather area.

    Adding a bedroom and bathroom to your existing home will cost a good amount of money unless you are prepared to do a portion of the work, yourselves. Don't forget to factor in the cost of permits, extending plumbing and electrical lines, inspections, etc.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY
    on Jul 31, 2020

    A conversion of this room would definitely be less expensive than adding on to a home. Cost of plumbing will be determined by your foundation. A peer and beam foundation is far easier to add plumbing to than, say, a concrete slab. I believe a legal bedroom has to be 8x8 feet and include a closet besides. If you don't need your front door and are happy to use the garage door I would so go for it.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska
    Agnes Chrzanowska
    on Jul 31, 2020

    Is there a window on the side of the house that can be transformed to a door opening to serve as front door ?

  • Lifestyles Homes
    Lifestyles Homes
    on Jul 31, 2020

    Yes, bedrooms must have an egress window, a closet and a minimum size. Check your local Building Codes for the minimum size.

    The bathroom must have an exhaust fan and the toilet must sit in a 30”x60” space.

    A typical bathroom is 5’x8’.

    Toilets require a larger drain line and a minimum slope of 2% or is it 4%? Another thing to ask your local Building Dept.

    If you add this 3rd room, it would add better resale value to your home. This is a whole other conversation and I suggest you hire a design professional with a lot of experience to provide you a consultation on this possibility. They should be able to advise you on Building Setbacks, Construction methodologies and Budget.

    In some cities and counties, you may not convert the garage space into living space, without a Building Permit, for multiple safety and health reasons.

  • Lindsay Aratari
    Lindsay Aratari
    on Jul 31, 2020

    Converting this room would be more budget friendly than adding on

  • Johnavallance82
    on Aug 1, 2020


    If I were you I would ask a Building designer/Architect to do this plan for you to your specifications, or design what you want to suit the house. He/she will then get all the permissions necessary for you, and would also be able to get you quotations for a builder to do the work for you to give you some idea of costs. Best wishes. Best to do it right, rather than give yourself years of problems etc.

    • Lifestyles Homes
      Lifestyles Homes
      on Aug 1, 2020

      Yes, as an architect, I agree. that is why I wrote hire a design professional for a consultation.

      That way they can develop for one a realistic solution, within the budget and help one visualize all the different options.

  • Patty
    on Aug 1, 2020

    Please consult a contractor. Making a spare room into a bedroom is not much cost but adding plumbing for a bathrom is $$$. I would stronglty advise against making your main entry through the garage.

  • Flipturn
    on Aug 1, 2020

    If there is presently no water supply and toilet stack where you want to add a bathroom to, the labour for drilling through the concrete foundation of the home and installing the necessary pipes could easily be in the 10's of thousands $$$.

    Any work done will need to adhere to building codes in your municipality.

  • Dee
    on Aug 2, 2020

    Unless this room back up to a plumbing source, it is going to be very expensive to put in a bathroom. 200 square feet is big enough for a bedroom and bathroom. If a bathroom is near maybe you can do a jack and jill bathroom which would be much less expensive.

    • Dee
      on Aug 3, 2020

      Since the bathroom is on the other side of the wall, I would definitely make that a jack and jill bathroom. Where you can get in two different ways. Just need to incorporate a door into the wall. Then you can have the entire space as a bedroom. 200 square feet will be a nice large room.

  • Talk to a real estate professional to find out what would be best for resale in consideration of your current needs. Then absolutely talk to an architect/licensed designer as they will know how best to make it work in conjunction with your local building codes. This may seem an easy switcheroo but there’s a lot to it, especially if you need to add plumbing, insulation, electrical, and/or HVAC. Doing it wrong the first time is twice as costly.

  • Rymea
    on Aug 3, 2020

    If you have the budget to add a room then do it, more space, better for resale, you would still have a living room, no brainer.

  • Morgan McBride
    Morgan McBride
    on Aug 6, 2020

    Adding a bathroom would be very $$.

  • Maura White
    Maura White
    on Aug 6, 2020

    Where does that door go to? You could use this as a third room, but it's small and you still need a bathroom. If you can do it, I'd vote for an add-on of new room + bathroom.

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