Converting Detached Garage Into Apartment in Los Angeles

December 15, 2022

You can add more living space in your home by converting your car garages into an additional 400 square feet room. ADU construction costs will depend on your location and your plans, normally, a garage remodeling will cost about half of what it would cost when you build an extra room from scratch. In building quite a project, you should first consider a lot of things.

Converting a detached garage into a living space includes raising the concrete floors, insulating walls, and adding heating, cooling, and ventilation. Furthermore, you have to replace the current doors and windows. Before remodeling your garage, be sure to be knowledgeable about all the aspects of the change you want to make.

5 Questions to Ask Before Converting Detached Garage Into Apartment

Before removing your attached garage door, it’s crucial to make sure that an adu garage conversion project is the best option for your home.

  1. When is Converting a Garage to a Room a Good Option?

Turning a garage into an accessory dwelling unit (adu) is the best option for you if you fit the following criteria so you do not have to start from scratch and save on costs. The criteria include

  • The garage door can easily be replaced: Your new living space should allow for patio doors or an additional entrance to replace the former overhead door. If this is not possible, make sure the new wall would fit the current home design and transform the wall so that it would make it more like a new room than an old garage.
  • You can afford heating and cooling: To save money, find out if your HVAC system can support another room. If it can, you can easily save by expanding the system to the additional room. If it can’t, you have no other choice but to upgrade the system or you can buy a new system that is specifically for the garage to provide heat and cool solutions.
  • Plumbing is accessible (if needed): If you’re planning to have an additional bathroom or kitchenette to convert your project more of an in-law suite or apartment, you better call the plumber to add plumbing lines to add drainages which is the most important and may be the most expensive part of the garage project.
  • You still have adequate parking and storage: Transforming your garage means removing your sparking and storage space. Turn a garage into an extra space only if it would be a great investment where you still have other places to place your machines, equipment, and automobiles.
  1. Is a Permit Required to Convert a Garage?

When transforming your garage space into a 1 bedroom ADU or 2 bedroom ADU in Los Angeles, you would need to acquire a building permit depending on your location. In order to apply for a conversion permit, contact your city’s Zoning Department for more information. An architect might be needed to give you proposed floor plans in applying for a permit.

A proper permit will make sure you meet your building codes and local ordinances for living spaces. Building codes would dictate your limits in your construction project as it would only allow for a minimum number of windows in a given space, the number of exits and entrances required, the height of the ceiling as well as the number of outlets and safety hazards. If you do not meet all these requirements, you could apply for a variance if you have a different issue.

These permit costs vary from state to state but more often, it would cost you between $1,000 and $1,500 unless you have to pay more when applying for a variance. Be informed that some city ordinances or homeowner associations may require a certain amount of covered parking which can hinder you from transforming your garage. In addition to the requirement of a permit, you will be required to be inspected at the end of the renovation to make sure that you followed all local building code and zoning regulations.

  1. What Type of Room Can a Garage Become?

You can design your project the way you want. As long as you abide by the building regulations, you can make any type of living space with your garage transformation. It would also depend on your zoning requirements for you might be hurdled when trying to build an independent living space like an apartment that will be converted into a room.

Other garage conversion ideas also include:

  • Room for family members
  • In-law Suite
  • Art Studio
  • Playroom
  • Bedroom
  • Office

Remember, the only thing that is stopping you from having a creative mind is the local regulations and your personal budgetary restrictions.

  1. Does Converting a Garage Add Value to Your Home?

When done properly, a garage conversation will add value to your home as long as you follow the building codes and have a permit. The result of the transformation is also a factor in how much the added value would be and what type of room you build. Usually, you could expect the value added to be 80% of the project cost. 

On the other hand, there are also factors that can affect the worth of your transformed garage such as:

  • If your neighborhood requires covered parking or limited street parking. If you do not have a garage, it would make parking an issue which can drive down the cost of sale.
  • If the project is done illegally or without permits, permits can actually help increase the project’s value in the long run.
  • If you do not have storage, this will be a major problem for it would only make things worse and which can make the sale price become smaller.
  1. How Much Does a DIY Garage Conversion Cost?

Based on HomeAdvisor, garage conversions average cost between $6,000 to $19,000.

The cost will vary depending on your garage size, the type of room you want to build, and the number of professionals you would be needing for the project. If you have budget constraints, you do not have to worry for a garage can be turned into a bedroom or living space for as low as $5,000. However, if you need electrical and plumbing for a bathroom or kitchen, the project cost can skyrocket to $25,000.

Ready to Start Converting Detached Garage Into Apartment?

Consult with your ADU contractor and other professionals to see if a garage conversion is the best way for you to improve space efficiently, safely and while keeping the value of your home intact. Better start cleaning your garage!

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