Garage-to ADU Conversion A Beginners Guide

The American garage is typically regarded as a space where cars seldom stay, and half-hearted goals and dreams are a constant.

However, most homeowners transform their garages into an ADU Conversion or “accessory home unit. A dwelling accessory is essentially a garage that is converted into an additional dwelling unit on a homeowner’s property. Therefore, instead of housing a vehicle garage, it is transformed into a home office, mini-apartment, bungalow, tool shed, or any other type of mini-dwelling.

One Bedroom Garage Conversion ADU

Require Approval before Beginning

A garage-to: ADU conversion can be made to increase the size of a home or house a relative or even start a small-scale business. Are you planning to convert the basement of your garage to an ADU or simply the garage? Or, are you considering converting your garage to the ADU and adding more space? These considerations, such as work hours, design costs, and material costs, can add to the total garage ADU Conversion cost.


In addition, you might need to think about neighboring land boundaries, permits, and fines, in addition to the expense of adding additional services. Members of homeowners’ associations will require approval before beginning a garage to ADU conversion.


What exactly is Garage ADU Conversion?

ADUs can also be described as mother-in-law cabins, cottages or carriage houses, and other names. They can be attached or detached, near the main house or farther in the back of the property. Garage-to ADU Conversion can be either detached or attached and are transformed from sheds and garages. State regulations guide the dimensions of an accessory dwelling unit and the structural design.


There are ADUs that are located on top of or attached to garages. Conversions occur when the existing garage or a portion of it is transformed into an ADU.

The Reason of Garage ADU Conversion

Utilizing existing housing stock has many advantages. The conversion of your garage into an additional dwelling space could be among the easiest and most cost-effective ways to construct a new home on your property. Look at the following:

Your garage might already have a charming charm in it. And could already be part of the community. You will save on construction and excavation costs since your ADU’s exterior shell is already built.

The materials used in the older structures might not be made anymore. The new ADU has a distinctive outer shell unlike any similar yet still matches your primary residence. There is a chance that you already have power and water lines that connect through the ADU, or you may even have an overhead light or sink!


Newly Renovated ADU


When your garage is connected to your main home, the newly renovated ADU will allow an easy connection between the two structures should the need arise. You could already be making use of the garage for an ADU that isn’t officially recognized. Perhaps you’re using it for an office, a woman’s shed, or even a spare bedroom. All you need to complete is to convert it to code and then get it approved.


ADUs constructed of garage conversions can provide apartments in areas that otherwise are overflowing. It could be beneficial to the owner of the property and the family or tenant who lives in the ADU. It could allow both the owner and the tenant to live in a place that neither would be financially able to pay for. Because the garage is an existing structure, it is unnecessary to sacrifice any extra area of your yard when changing it into an ADU.


Garages converted into ADUs are a great way to add density to the surrounding area in a way that pedestrians will not notice!

Garage ADU Conversion Top 5 Deal breakers

Hidden costs can be found everywhere in a construction project such as this. It is important to evaluate the circumstances before beginning any construction.

Here are four typical problems that arise in ADU Garage conversions


1: Shared Utilities

When you start looking into your home, it could occur to you there is a possibility that both you and the neighbor have a shared sewer line. If that’s the situation, you’ll be looking at a substantial improvement to your sewer system.

2 – Structural Challenges

Sometimes, garages can be in such poor condition that it cannot handle the transformation because it’s, well, crumbling. Another common problem occurs when ADU beams aren’t strong enough to support the second story, or the ADU is located on a level that is likely to be vulnerable to flooding.

3 – Reminiscences from the Past

“Remnants of the Past” is a fancy way of claiming that you could discover asbestos! Be sure to look closely.

Certain garage walls might not be thick enough to warrant adding layers to bring them up to standard. In this instance, it’s essential to cover these walls.


Cost of ADU Conversion

Because every conversion is different and requires different forms and quantities of work, It isn’t easy to estimate costs. Between the permitting, design, and contractor expenses, garage ADU conversions could easily exceed $80,000-$150,000. Prices will be lower if there’s nothing to do other than obtain a permit and construct the structure. However, if you live in a city that is expensive or have issues with the building’s construction, the cost could get more expensive.



If the idea of converting your garage into an ADU Conversion is the best option for you, it’s prudent to have an emergency budget to cover any unexpected costs. It’s also worth your time and effort to consider having an ADU professional evaluates your home.


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