Multitaskr Blog

Why Convert Your Garage Into Living Space Or Income

Your garage can be the practical alternative to building a stand-alone ADU that gets you more space, income, and an increase in property value.
September 13, 2021 12:00am

Garage conversions have become the solution for more living space at a reasonable price tag. Homeowners often resort to building a detached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in their backyard, adding between 200-1,200 sq ft of living space. However, garage conversions are an alternative for ADUs and don't require you to build a new structure from the ground up.

In California, the average size for a one-car garage is 12 feet wide and 22 feet deep. The beauty of the garage conversion is that you can take that space and convert it into a second living area. The garage already has a roof, walls, concrete floor, and electricity, saving you money from the beginning.

With another 400 square feet of living space, you can move in an elderly family member, provide more room for your family that seems to be outgrowing your home, create a home office, or rent out the garage for more income. 

What Is The Process Like To Convert A Garage?

Like all other accessory dwelling units, conversions require city permits to begin construction. There are a few pre-construction phases to be completed before submitting city permits. These phases include design, estimation, and 3D presentation that are all offered in-house at Multitaskr.

During the design phase, you'll select the layout of your garage conversion, including the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, windows, doors, and whether you prefer a kitchen or kitchenette. Once the layout is selected, our team of drafters will then create your 2D floor plans. The 2D floor plans enable our team to estimate the total cost of the project.

Once you establish a clear layout, you'll select the interior finishes, advancing your project to the estimating phase. For an accurate estimate, you'll choose your material, vanities, countertops, flooring, windows, and bathroom amenities. All of these details will help create a precise estimate for your scope of work.

The third pre-construction phase involves virtual reality. Multitaskr enables clients to envision their new space and selection of finishes with the 3D presentation. It's as simple as our 3D architects take your 2D layout and create a 3D model of your new living space. The 3D display is the final phase before submitting permits to the city. When ready, you'll walk through your garage conversion in a virtual environment wearing the VR goggles. 

City Permit Requirements and Construction Phases

Permits for garage conversion can take about four to six months to process. The scope of the project can also have an impact on the timeline. Often homeowners question why they need permits for their garage conversion. The California state law requires all projects that move utilities to submit permits. This law also includes projects that require framing and insulation. Multitaskr commits itself to simplify every angle of the permitting process for homeowners. We submit, process, and deliver all items needed to complete your permits with our in-house team. All we ask is that you handle the fees associated with the city for construction.

Homeowners feel like champions when they receive their permits. The next step in the ADU journey is the pre-construction meeting, which kickoffs construction at the project site, setting expectations, safety measures, and timelines.The following phases build the ADU; foundation, underground plumbing, framing, roughing plumbing and electrical, roofing, exterior covering, insulation, exterior finishes, and interior finishes.

The city requires inspections in between a majority of the construction phases. However, as you sit back and wait for your new space, it’s crucial to research rental market prices in your area to prepare your latest source of income.

Rent A Garage Conversion ADU In San Diego

Homeowners like Cecilia Cazares and José Cano converted their garage to add a rental unit to their property. Today, Cecilia and Jose rent their 400 sq ft ADU for $2,100 per month. The couple shared with our team that the ADU increased their property value tremendously and has allowed them to build up their savings for retirement.

If you're ready to convert your garage or are interested in learning more about the process, watch the Cano's garage conversion testimonial here. Not sure you're prepared to convert your garage but want to speak to an expert for more information? Visit our website here to get a free report. 

Nicole Buddie