From garage to living space: A solution in the modern economy
It’s no secret that acquiring a property as a millennial is not the easiest task. In fact, many millennials as well as the older members of the up and coming generation Z, have to sacrifice their independence and continue to live in their childhood bedrooms even after they’ve graduated college and landed a job.
In today’s economy, returning to the childhood home i rather common. However, for many of us coming back home from college and sacrificing our newly acquired independence can be a hard a blow to our self-esteem. On the other hand, it’s been pointed out several times how the younger generations, have a hard time “adulting” and performing basic daily tasks, even if they have received an ivy league college education and display a rather successful track record, academically speaking.
One of the reasons for this lack of independence and basic skills -such as cooking and doing laundry without turning all your white clothes blue– is the sheltered lives many college educated millennials and gen-zers have experienced. But a great way to teach your teenagers to be more independent and acquire basic skills is actually give them the independence they need to do so.
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Of course, we’re not animals and you’re not going to kick your 8 year-old out of the house to compel them to hunt their own food. However, you can give your 16 year-old a space with enough privacy and independence to learn to do things on their own whilst you can still supervise them. And a garage studio apartment gives you the perfect opportunity to do so.
Further, if you don’t have kids or they have left the nest for good, you can use this extra living space to rent independently or through Airbnb, which can make for a convenient side income.
Many experts on the subject consider this to be a rather worthwhile investment. On one hand, remodeling your garage could add up to 400 square feet to your house, which increases the resale value and on the other hand, a well-equipped independent living space may translate into an additional source of income.
In order to turn your garage in a suitable living space for your oldest child or for a potential tenant, there are a few things you would need to take into account:
Who will occupy the space:
Whether it is your child who will be living there or an Airbnb guest, depending on the kind of “tenant” of your garage apartment you will have to make it more or less independent from you home to avoid inconveniences.
Design & Planning:
It’s very important that you’re clever about the design and you plan according to the dimensions of the space you have. If your garage is rather small you’ll have to play with modular furnishings and maybe create different levels to be able to fit in all the essentials. Additionally, you have to be careful when it comes to installing pipes and wiring.
Insulation & Points of access:
As you turn your garage into a living space, you have to make sure the place is properly insulated. At the same time you have to consider the points of access to the garage, you can keep the garage door as an entrance for a very original look or modify it to serve as a window. If you want to make it absolutely independent from the house, you have seal the door and install a new one somewhere else. You also have to remember that you need to set up windows cleverly for extra ventilation during the summer time, and make sure they’re properly insulated for the colder season.