los angeles Garage Conversion

Apr 14

What You Need To Know Before a Garage to Apartment Conversion

If you’re considering a garage to apartment conversion you’re not alone. More and more people are realizing the benefits that this home improvement project has to offer and deciding to make the best use of the space. Some of the most common reasons for a garage to apartment conversion are people who need to the extra space in older to accommodate elderly family members or recent college graduates who are moving back home. Another common situation is that a garage apartment is a great way to create extra income for your household by renting out the space.

 In order to get the best results possible and to make the conversion as smooth and hassle-free as possible these are some things you need to keep in mind before starting the project:

Planning Permission

Since a garage conversion won’t substantially increase your home’s footprint they usually fall under permitted development and therefore you probably don’t need a planning permission before beginning a garage to apartment conversion. However, it’s important to check in with your local planning department to make sure that your planned conversion falls within any existing guidelines. Additionally, if the garage is being converted to what can be considered a separate dwelling you will need to get planning permission.

Building Regulations

Before you begin work on your garage conversion, you need to inform the building control department and make sure that all the changes will comply with building regulations. This applies to all conversions that you make to your home. When hiring contractors, you need to ensure that their work is in keeping with local standards. This will help you make sure that the new apartment will meet all insulation, energy and building requirements and protect you from any legal consequences down the line. 

All garage-types are convertible

You may think that you can’t convert your garage to an apartment but the truth is that all kinds of garages are convertible, albeit within different capacities. Stand-alone garages may require certain permissions as the conversion can be considered a change of use, but that is something that is easy to obtain, and this type of garage is preferred when the garage to apartment conversion is intended to be rented out.

 Attached garages are much easier to convert to an apartment. A single garage can add as much as 400 square feet of space to your home, while a two car garage can add anywhere between 600 and 700 square feet. You also have the option of converting half of a two or three car garage, or just a portion of a very long or wide garage while still leaving enough room for storage or parking.


In order to meet regulations, you will probably need to upgrade at least come aspect of your garage. The most common upgrades that may be needed are an upgraded roof, flooring and increased insulation and damp proofing. Depending on your local regulations you might need to install a new front wall and window. Since the newly converted space will now be considered as internal housing it will need to meet the standards required for any electrics and plumbing that need to be installed.

Parking Restrictions

If you choose to convert your garage into an apartment, you will lose the parking space it provides. Depending on where you live, the garage may be part of the required parking for your property. If you don’t have a vehicle, this may not be an issue. However, you still need to check whether this will be a planning permission issue. If it is, you may be required to provide additional parking in order to make up for the lost place. The front lawn is usually a common choice as an additional parking alternative to the garage.


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