los angeles Garage Conversion

Mar 5

Making Sure Your Garage Conversion is Allowed

There are many benefits that come from converting your garage into a functional space that suits your needs. If you have been considering converting your garage you’re already aware of the perks, however you also need to make sure that a garage conversion is possible. Making sure that you know all the legal aspects of a conversion will make sure that your conversion is allowed by local regulations. If a conversion is done without the appropriate permissions you may be forced to return your garage to its original state all on your own dime. These are some of the things you need to pay attention to.

Restrictive Clauses

Before doing any work on your garage conversion you will need to make sure that it’s not subject to any restrictive clause in your lease. Check your property deeds to find out whether you need to comply with any guidelines. Oftentimes there are restrictions placed by developers regarding building work that would affect the external appearance of the property. If your home is subject to such a restrictive clause you have two options: contact the developers to see if you the clause can be bypassed (usually for a set fee) or make sure that your conversion doesn’t change the external appearance of the property.


If you have an attached garage, the second option can be achieved either by keeping your garage door and building a wall on the inside which would make the converted space accessible only from the rest of the house or by keeping the front portion of the garage as it is and only doing a partial conversion. Unfortunately, standalone garages are more difficult to convert when subject to a restrictive clause.

Planning Permissions

Planning permissions vary by area so it’s extremely important that you contact your local building authorities in order to find out what the rules are, what permissions you need and how to apply for them. Oftentimes you would only need a planning permission if your garage conversion involves extending the size of the garage. If you’re working with a professional conversion and remodeling company they will already be aware of the requirements and can help you navigate this process.


Building Regulations

There are government building regulations that will apply to your garage conversion if you’re planning on converting it into a habitable space. These regulations will also vary by area so you will need to check with local authorities. It is likely that a building control officer will be assigned to you who will check in during construction and make sure that the conversion is in keeping with the regulations. Your garage conversion may be denied for several reasons.


1. If you live in a listed neighborhood, it’s likely that there are rules in place that prohibit any changes to the exterior of your home. 

2. If your planned conversion would affect drainage you would be required to find and invest in a solution to the issue. For example, concreting over a larger area in your yard would put additional pressure on existing drainage and it is your responsibility to reduce the risk of blockage or flooding.


3. If your area has parking restrictions in place, you may not be allowed to convert your garage since it would need to be used to store your car. If you have a multi-car garage but only one vehicle you may only be allowed to do a partial conversion.


4. Most garage conversion projects require additional insulation. How that insulation is added will depend on your local council and it will have an effect on the budget needed for the conversion. You may only need to add extra insulation to the current construction however some councils may require you to dig up the garage floor and add the insulation as it would have been when building from scratch.


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