In-Law Suite Garage Conversion in Los Angeles

November 7, 2022

If you’re looking to do an in-law suite garage conversion, turning your detached garage into living space for your family members typically adds about 600 square feet (assuming it’s a car garage). The good news is that you’ll save money and spend less than if you build adus. In addition, building an adu is very expensive in Los Angeles. Garage conversions are never easy, so what should you know about these?

When is a Garage Conversion In-Law Suite Garage Conversion a Good Idea?

If you’re thinking of expanding your living area at a low cost, the best thing to do is convert a garage into a new room, which might be your best option for a home improvement. Imagine all the things you turn the room into depending on your needs!

A garage remodel to create extra living space is the right option for your home, if:

  • The garage door is easily replaceable for your space: Check your floor plans and square footage. Will your new living space allow for patio doors or an additional entrance where the overhead door used to be? If not, make sure that the design of the new wall will match the existing home exterior and add a wall to overlap the old design to prevent it from still looking like an existing garage.

Heating and cooling systems are in your budget: To be cost effective, discover if your current HVAC system has the capability to sustain the added room.

  • If so, you can expand the ventilation to cover the garage. If this is not possible, you can try to upgrade your current HVAC system or purchase another one in order to satisfy the heating and cooling issue with the additional room, just be sure to have enough budget on your hands to afford one of these options.
  • Plumbing is accessible (if necessary): If you’re hoping to add a bathroom or kitchenette to make your garage conversion project into an in-law suite or apartment, start with contacting a plumber. Usually, adding plumbing lines like drainages is the most costly proportion of transforming your garage into a new room which can be a constraint with your budget.
  • You have other parking and storage space: Transforming your garage entails that you will permanently remove what used to be a space for parking and a storage area. It will definitely not be worth the expense if you will no longer be able to have a place for your machines, equipment or cars, so better check out your zoning laws or local zoning.

How Do You Make It Look Like It Was Always a Living Space?

To transform your garage space  into a true wing of the house, you’ll need to eliminate any evidence of the old garage door openings, install plenty of windows, and perhaps add rooftop design elements, such as dormer windows to truly turn your garage into an in law suite.

An architect can help you add design elements. Expect to pay $50 to $150 per hour for the services of a registered architect, or 5% to 20% of the cost of the whole project.

Basics of Converting a Garage to Living Space

  • Windows: Add a sufficient amount of windows to take advantage of the natural light and let in some fresh air. Just be sure to assign a percentage of the overall garage space with windows.
  • Ceiling: It is recommended to maintain a minimum  7 ½ feet of ceiling height. This will be a problem if you are also planning to raise the floor height.
  • Heat: Provide heating to maintain 70 degrees F. Adding heating options include expanding the current central heating ductwork and placing an electric baseboard or fan-driven wall heaters among others.
  • Cooling: In other communities, they have requirements in cooling for properties that are rented.
  • Light: Add at least one wall-controlled light switch. Typically, garages already have at least one of these switches.
  • Outlets: Add or replace outlets depending on your needs as long as they meet the minimum spacing standards. It is noted that no cord should have to reach beyond 6 feet just to reach an outlet.

Final Words

You should pat yourself on the back for finishing the first step, which is to research on how to successfully transform a garage into an in law suite to create a father-in-law or mother-in-law suite. Creating a granny flat and turning your garage into a living space for your aging parents will do wonders for your beloved parents. Contact your general contractor now!

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