Know your priorities. Will your garage be purely functional? If so, durable surfaces and systems trump expensive trappings. Make a list of what you’ll need, from storage to appliances to furnishings, and then rank every item in order of importance. That way, if you have to cut things as you get farther into the process, it will be easier to make choices.

For a garage-to-utility-room conversion, budget at least $6,000 for appliances, a utility sink, and space for sorting, folding and hanging laundry. A new utility room in place of an old garage brings convenience into your life, especially if you've spent years dragging loads of laundry up and down the stairs. This conversion will cost a bit more due to the addition of plumbing, but it'll be worth it.
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