When most people think of an accessory dwelling unit, they picture standalone buildings that function as offices, creative spaces, she-sheds, and more. While those applications are certainly quality, an ADU in Los Angeles doesn’t always have to involve a brand-new build. A garage to apartment conversion lets you tap into unused space you already own.
It transforms a massive room for auto storage into a livable apartment you can rent out or use yourself! If you’re thinking about investing in a garage conversion, here are a few crucial things.
Is It Legal?
First things first: Is converting your garage even legal?
The concept of building an accessory dwelling unit is nothing new. These structures have been around for quite some time, and they’re more popular than ever in California. In fact, Los Angeles leads the country in ADU construction with over 6,700 permits in 2019 alone!
But like all things, there are rules and regulations to follow. The City of Los Angeles has laws that dictate the size of the structure, how close it can be to property lines, and more. You’re good to go as long as you follow those parameters and get all the appropriate permits!
So, what about a garage to apartment conversion?
In the past, converting an existing garage into a usable ADU involved many hurdles. Luckily, that all changed in recent years. In 2016, Senate Bill 1069 passed. The bill went into effect at the start of 2017, expanding the possibilities for building an ADU in Los Angeles.
The bill amended existing laws surrounding secondary units. Without getting too deep into the legal details, the bill finally made it possible to renovate a current garage into an ADU! Whether attached or detached, it is legal to turn a garage into an apartment.
What is the cost of an ADU?
Building an ADU is not a cheap endeavor by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a considerable investment that should pay off over time. However, there are significant upfront costs to consider.
In Los Angeles, the construction of a brand-new accessory dwelling unit can vary dramatically. More extensive plans can easily command several hundred thousand dollars! It all depends on the parameters of the project.
Those figures apply to new builds. A garage to apartment conversion can cost significantly less, making it a reasonable alternative to ADU construction. Conversions involve renovating existing space. The bones of the building are already there, leaving most of the expenses to structural modifications and finishes.
Ultimately, the cost of getting an ADU in Los Angeles will depend on many factors. These include the size of the unit, how many rooms it has, the types of materials and finishes you use, and more. Whether or not your ADU is attached or detached can influence final costs, too.
There’s no doubt that the most affordable route is to go with a garage conversion.
Garage to Apartment Conversion Benefits
Not sure if converting your garage is the right choice for you? It’s easy to feel some hesitation with a time and money investment like this. But when you consider the many benefits of a garage ADU conversion, it’s a no-brainer!
One of the most obvious perks of a garage conversion is having more usable space. Garages are a luxury, but they’re not always a necessity. The average one-car garage has about 250 square feet of space that goes to nothing but automobile storage! Considering that most homes have garages big enough to store at least two cars, the available space is comparable to a standard apartment.
Imagine what you could do with a garage to apartment conversion. That ADU can become a work-from-home office, a guest house, or a private sanctuary for older kids. The possibilities are endless. But it’s not just about getting more room.
That extra space can also increase your overall property value by a relatively wide margin. Living space is at a premium in Los Angeles!
Converting a garage adds square footage to your home, instantly driving up the value. We already know that building an ADU in Los Angeles is an investment. But if you decide to sell later down the road, the added property value makes up the difference.
Finally, we can’t forget about the income-producing potential of a garage to apartment conversion. Rental properties are always in high demand in Los Angeles. There’s a market full of opportunity out there. With a converted garage ADU, you can tap into it.
Many homeowners use ADUs to generate a passive income that offsets their mortgage. It’s a great way to create a new stream of income while taking advantage of the space you already have.
Converting your garage into a livable apartment unlocks heaps of opportunity. Whether you want to rent it out for income or keep it as a private space for guests, it’s a wise investment that pays off. If you’re not using your garage, why let it sit there? Convert it into an ADU and take advantage of every square foot you have.
When you’re ready to transform your garage into an accessory dwelling unit, turn to Landmark Construction and Development Group. We’re a Los Angeles-based contractor with years of experience building ADUs. From standalone detached units to impressive conversions, we do it all! Give us a call today to schedule your consultation and see how we can transform your garage.