There are two main issues that come up when discussing garage conversions. The first is whether or not it is legal; the other is whether or not it is a good idea. As with anything else its essential to always consult the applicable authorities like your city planning departments; but in general terms the answer is usually yes, it’s legal. When converting your garage into an apartment, motel, or other rental unit, it is perfectly legal.
It is quite a bit easier than building a traditional addition onto your home the planning rules for this are far more relaxed then for standard additions. Converting your garage to a rental unit is also perfectly legal, although not advisable its better to stick to the rule book.
Arranging A Garage Conversion
In the area of building codes, there is no “creative” room for creativity so conversions are going to have to fall within the purview of the current (and current day) building code. With respect to the building code it is important to note that one of the main differences between a conversion and an addition is that an addition requires a permit before construction can even begin, while a garage conversion is not required for the same reason. Still, the fact remains that parking is a key feature of modern garage conversions. Without parking the conversion would not be viable, as well as making the process very inefficient.
If you’re looking to turn a converted garage into living space and have the financial wherewithal to complete the project then chances are you’re already aware that there are several things you will need. Amongst the list are structural steel for walls, which can be quite expensive, carpeting, wood flooring, windows, lighting, electrical wiring, ventilation and a heating system. All of this adds up to quite a project for homeowners, especially for those who have a low budget and a limited amount of living space available.A garage conversion could help transform your home.
When considering garage conversions there are also issues to consider with regards to building control, especially since it’s likely you’ll also be converting an existing concrete slab into living space. There are a number of companies that specialize in building control so make sure you choose one that has plenty of experience and know-how. There are some factors you should keep in mind as you make your decision, such as the building control of the conversion, will the building be classified as a single dwelling or as multi-family dwelling depending on the zoning regulations in your area and whether or not there will be additional surface area added to the conversion.
There are also a number of local and federal laws that should be taken into account when considering a garage conversion. Permits are required before the process can proceed and the type of permits necessary will vary from area to area. Federal and state laws require that any additions made to a home must meet building limits set forth by these government agencies, such as floor space, setback areas, insulation and other requirements.
The final issue to consider is that of home equity and the effect it will have on your property value. Adding extra garage conversions to a property can increase the value substantially since they add living space to a property. This means that it makes good practical sense to convert existing garages into additional space for a new business or even to turn the garage into an office. In this way the value of your property could go up while the cost of the conversion is offset by the gain in property value. It’s important to explore all options before you make a final decision.