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Garage to House Conversion: Everything You Need to Know

So you’re looking for added space in your home? 

Well, you’d be delighted to hear all about garage to house conversion. It sounds fantastic, and you’ll definitely get to enjoy the great benefits that will follow, like your home’s increase in value and the extra space itself. 

However, if it was as simple as renovating a room in your house, you won’t be staring at pages of legal guidelines, like California’s, on how to convert your garage into an ADU. In short, you need to come into this project with your eyes wide open. But, no worries. You’ve come to the right place to do so. 

Keep on reading for our full breakdown of everything you need to know before starting your garage to guest house conversion. 

What Is the Average Cost of Garage Conversion?

Before we dig deep into the intricacies of converting your garage into a living space, let’s make sure that you’re ready in the financial sense. 

Since a garage already has a foundation, walls, and a roof, utilizing the existing structure is usually half the price of a brand-new addition. Depending on the amenities you desire, you may expect to pay $20,000 to $50,000 to convert a two-car garage.

Also, you’ll want to add $15,000 to $25,000 to your budget if you want to build a bathroom.

Garage to House Conversion 101: The Mechanics

Generally speaking, a garage conversion isn’t a project to take on lightly. A good conversion, for example, might take 4-6 weeks and include several different factors.

Your contractor will start by increasing the height of the floor to allow for insulation above the concrete slab. Then, the walls and ceilings have to be well insulated.

Next, you’ll want to work on providing heating and cooling for the area, either by connecting to the house’s main system or by installing a separate system, such as a ductless mini-split system.

Moving on, you’ll want to improve the electrical service to handle the increased load. Moreover, if you’re interested in an open floor layout,  you’ll have to remove the dividing wall between your home and the garage. You can check out the best ADU plans here. 

Garage doors are being replaced with completely insulated structural walls. And, you’ll put in new windows and doors. 

Garage Conversion Permit: Getting a Planning Permission

Yes, almost every kind of major renovation in your house needs planning approval.

Building laws, fire safety standards, and municipal zoning codes must be followed while converting a garage.

Many individuals convert garages into living areas illegally, in violation of municipal construction codes.

This is not only very hazardous for anybody living in an unlawful unit, but it is also hazardous for the homeowner since it exposes them to legal action. Consider renting an illegally converted garage to someone who then sets fire to it.

You’re not only 100% responsible for the damage, but if they are hurt, you’re also responsible for their medical expenses and risk facing a severe lawsuit. 

Other Considerations: Storage and Driveway

Before you call in your ADU contractor, there are a couple of other issues you should keep in mind. First, you’ll need to decide where to keep your vehicle, tools, and other belongings.

If you reside in an area where carports offer enough protection from the weather, one alternative for your cars is to construct a carport. Otherwise, you’ll have to locate another nearby site. Check to see if there are any paid parking garages nearby, or ask your neighbors if they have any spare garage space that you may borrow.

You may store tools and equipment in your basement or construct a small shed.

If you have the plumbing system in place, you may utilize your new garage living area to house your basement equipment, such as the washing and dryer. This would free up some tool storage space in the basement.

Second, when it comes to your driveway, you can leave it as it is.

It allows the tenant or family member residing in the converted garage convenient access. You may construct a small deck area that provides the tenants’ access to outside space if you’d like to create some distinction between the driveway and the apartment.

This may also make the converted room seem to be a part of the original house design.

The Key Benefit of Garage Conversions: Increased Property Value

People are so convinced that turning a garage into a living area increases the value of a house that flippers are looking for homes with unattached two-car garages and turning the garage as a portion of the flip.

Because the extra room is now regarded as square footage, the price of a house may skyrocket.

Appraisers may even use an income-based method to value the property in certain instances. This means they approach it like a duplex, calculating the market value rent for each unit based on similar rentals for other properties to determine how much revenue the property may produce.

Investors are also eager to participate in the ADU market. They view it as a straightforward method to boost a rental property’s revenue.

Detached Garage Conversion Ideas: Home Design

Too many converted garages resemble “garages” into which individuals have put some furniture. You’ll need to remove any trace of the previous garage door openings, install lots of windows, and possibly add rooftop architectural features like dormer windows to turn your vehicle barn into a rear wing of the home.

An architect can assist you in incorporating design aspects. For the assistance of a certified architect, expect to spend $50 to $150 per hour or 5% to 20% of the project’s total cost.

Want to Start Your Garage to Summer House Conversion?

Making the best use of your garage can be rather exciting and beneficial to you in the long run. The only problem is the upfront costs and feeling overwhelmed, especially if you’re new to home renovations of this scope. 

Hopefully, our explainer has shed some (much-needed) light on approaching a garage to house conversion to get the best results. 

But, if you still feel a bit shaky on the details, you can always check out our real estate section for all the additional tips and tricks you need. 

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