How To Turn A Garage Into A Home

Aug 21, 2020

Can a Garage Become a Living Space? Certainly, your garage conversion can most definitely become a living space! To legally do this, you must convert a garage by turning it into either a guest quarter or an accessory dwelling unit. A guest quarter is a living space with a bathroom…

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Can a Garage Become a Living Space?

Certainly, your garage conversion can most definitely become a living space!

To legally do this, you must convert a garage by turning it into either a guest quarter or an accessory dwelling unit. A guest quarter is a living space with a bathroom and a wet bar, but no kitchen. These units may not be rented out long term, but can be used by family members or guests.


An accessory dwelling unit, is essentially it’s own fully functional apartment. It has its entrance, kitchen, bathroom, and living space.

Both guest quarters and an accessory dwelling unit must be located on residential lots with a single-family home. Not sure what to choose for your property?  In this article we will show you how to turn a garage into a home.



Do You Need Permission?

Yes, you need planning permission to do nearly any kind of remodeling in your home.

In the case of a garage conversion, you need to conform to building regulations, fire safety, and local zoning codes. The good news for Californians is that any single-family home can convert their garage into an apartment.


A lot of people illegally convert garages into living spaces without complying with the local building code. To know how to legally do this, check out this NC site.

This is extraordinarily dangerous for anyone living in an illegal unit, but it’s also dangerous for the homeowner because it leaves them open to lawsuits. Imagine you are renting an illegally converted garage to someone, and they start a fire.


Not only are you 100% liable for the damage, but if they injure themselves, you are on the hook for their medical bills and leave yourself open to a serious lawsuit.



How Can A Garage Conversion Support You?

In addition to generating rental income, some homeowners are interested in converting their garage to help an aging family member. A renovation could cost up to $40,000 , depending on what you need. In North Carolina the average cost is $13,000.

To give you an idea of what it might be, according to, assisted living costs in California range from around $33 to $300 per day, with an average expense running about $125. The monthly cost averages roughly $3,750 or about $45,600 per year. Aside from all of this, turning a garage into your home can still be worth it.


Nursing homes are even more expensive. The average cost of a private room in a nursing home in Los Angeles is $9,125 a month or $109,500 a year. If you recently remodeled your garage and are looking to sell, check out what we can offer.

Turning a garage into a living space for an elderly family member still allows them to maintain independence while staying close to the family who can help out. Families with young children often benefit from having grandparents close by to help watch children.


The number one reason we see people interested in building an accessory dwelling unit (granny flat) is to house an aging family.



Pro Tips for a Garage Conversion For Aging Family

  • Research universal design. (Universal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of age, size, ability or disability.)
  • Make doorways wider to accommodate wheelchairs.
  • Eliminate thresholds. It can be tough to cross limits that are even 1/2″ high when using a walker.
  • Keep countertop color and the floor color in high contrast. So if you use light wood flooring, install darker countertops.
  • Avoid shiny high-gloss surfaces.


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Sarah D. (Durham, NC)

“The Sell Triangle team really knows their stuff. As a seller in a difficult situation, I was able to not only get a great cash offer for my home, but we were able to close in just a few weeks! I would highly recommend this company for anyone trying to sell their house fast.”

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