by Olesia Chikunova, ADU Specialist.
If you can live without a garage, this may be the least expensive way to add living space. Permits required. Starting at $90,000. Less if you can DIY. In any case, read on to avoid common mistakes.
TLDR of garage conversion advantages over a newly built ADU (both add space and increase property value):
There are many reasons you might want to convert your garage into an ADU. Perhaps you need the extra space for a home office or guest room. Maybe you want to rent it out to generate some extra income. Or perhaps you just want to add value to your home.
Adding an ADU to your property can increase its value by 10-20%. This is because ADUs provide additional living space that can be used for a variety of purposes. So, if you’re looking to boost your home’s value, converting your garage into an ADU is a great way to do it.
If you decide to rent out your ADU, you can generate some extra income to help offset the costs of mortgage, taxes, and other expenses. This can be a great way to make your home more affordable or even completely pay for itself.
An ADU can provide much-needed additional living space for your family. Whether you need a home office, guest room, or simply want to downsize, an ADU can offer the perfect solution.
Converting your garage into an ADU is often cheaper than building a new home from scratch. This is because you’re already have the foundation and walls in place. So, if you’re looking to save on construction costs, this is a great option.
If you never use your garage or only use it for storage, converting it into an ADU can be a great way to get more use out of it. By doing so, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of having an ADU without giving up your valuable parking space.
The cost of converting a garage into an ADU will vary depending on the size of the garage and the extent of the conversion. However, you can expect to spend anywhere from $90,000 to $250,000 on the project.
Why does it cost so much? The city inspector will be looking at this building and checking against current building code requirements for residential structures. Remember, previously it was built for cars, now it will house people.
Foundation footings and framing will be checked. Structural improvements if needed will be the biggest items in your budget. Ceiling and wall insulation will have to comply to current energy efficiency measures. Utilities will need to be run to allow bathroom and kitchen facilities. Windows and doors will need to reflect ingress and egress fire code requirements.
An attached structure may raise questions of fire and sound barriers.
An experienced ADU consultant will be able to tell you what exactly needs to be done during the property assessment visit.
If you’re considering converting your garage into an ADU, there are a few things you’ll need to take into account.
First, you’ll need to determine if your garage is large enough to be converted into habitable space. Minimum size is 150 sq.ft. without separate bathroom or 220 sq.ft with a separate bathroom.
Second, you’ll need to consider the cost of the conversion and if you have financing to cover it.
Third, you’ll need to make sure that property value in your municipality allows for such conversions. You do not want to get rid of the garage only to find out that it is at a premium in your neighborhood, and not having one will decrease property value.
Assuming that your garage is large enough and that you’re able to obtain the necessary permits, the next step is to begin planning the conversion itself.
Converting an attached garage, you can decide where to make it into ADU or JADU. Rule of thumb? Convert into ADU if there is no space in the backyard for a full size ADU down the road. Convert into JADU if you are planning to live in the main house, as owner occupancy is one of the JADU requirements.
When you are converting a detached garage, it can be an ADU only. If you keep the same footprint, then you can keep current setbacks (distance from property lines). Depending on how solid the structure is, you will have to decide where to keep the framing or re-build in the same dimensions. Replacement parking is not required.
To get started you will need a structural engineer to confirm the structural integrity of the building. If this checks out, you can proceed with the plan set for the submittal to the city. It should contain the regular architectural drawings, structural calculations and drawings, energy efficiency report and other documentation required by your local jurisdiction (Calgreen measures, water flow letters etc.)
Once you receive your building permit, the real construction project could start – that is if you have by now decluttered your garage space. Ready to let the crew in?
Get all structural issues resolved first – confirm footings, integrity of the slab, studs and beams.
With a little bit of effort, you can turn your garage into a cozy and comfortable living space.
Converting your garage into a small house is a great way to add value to your home. There are many benefits to converting your garage into an ADU, including extra space, privacy, and rental income.
Converting your garage into a small house can be done on a budget if you plan ahead and use some creative solutions. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today and let us show you how easy it is to convert your garage into a small house!