What's the most cost effective way to build a garage to live in?
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Check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVFdqlSSP6s
Make sure that you can convert the garage to living space....you may need permits to do so. Insulation will be needed,
and A way to heat and cool the space.....lofts for sleeping are a good idea. When my parents divorced, my dad moved into a converted garage, the upper level was the living area, and 1 bedroom. A staircase was installed inside so no one had to shovel off the steps. The Lower level had his car and boat.
You can purchase a kit garage from Menard's. Every part is color coded with instructions. Everything you need to build a complete garage. I agree wih Dfm. Make sure building codes allow for the garage to living quarters conversion.
If I was to do something like that I would build a tiny home versus build a garage. But first step is to draw up plans and then get a building permit from your city/town based on what they allow.
There are lots of videos on YouTube on how to build just about anything, I would suggest you watch a bunch of videos first.
For a garage, you would need a concrete slab and I would suggest you put in a thermal pad under your concrete to keep it dry and warm. Then you would need to frame it according to building code either as a free-standing garage or an attached garage. You will need power and ensure the house's current power box can handle more use, and then you will need plumbing for a bathroom. How do you plan to heat it? Once thats done an inspection by the city before you put your insulation and wall board on is required. Then insulate and put your exterior waterproof wrap and siding on. Then you can finish your bathroom and kitchen area.
tiny homes.... https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+to+build+a+cheap+tiny+home+
$1200 tiny home.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaVg0BOFaKQ