Household & Real Estate

7 Factors to Consider Before Starting Your ADU Garage Conversion

Are you looking to create value in your property without a large remodel? An ADU might be the solution you’ve been looking for.

The best thing about ADUs is that they work well with existing properties, whether renting or owning them. Even if you have a small lot, you can add more living or working space to your house.

If you have yet to hear of an ADU, don’t worry! Read on to learn about an ADU garage conversion and how it could be a fitting addition to your life.

1. Assess Your Garage’s Readiness

Before starting a garage conversion ADU, assessing the readiness of the garage should be the first step. An inspection of the garage should include an examination of the walls and ceiling for any signs of damage. This also includes sagging, water infiltration, or pest infestations.

Additionally, the garage doors and windows need to be in working order. You should also check any chimney or ventilation systems for proper functioning.

Determine if structural repairs are necessary, such as replacing or reinforcing the existing flooring. This is especially important for garages with living space above.

Lastly, consider assessing energy efficiency. This involves examining insulation, windows, and doors for air leaks, and energy sources for the heating and cooling system. Taking these assessment measures ensures the quality and safety of the conversion.

2. Costs 

The cost of materials, permits, and labor can add up, and exceeding your budget can be frustrating. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the cost of the project from the beginning.

It’s also wise to get multiple quotes for each part of the project from multiple contractors to get the best deal. Additionally, carefully selecting your materials will help keep costs down.

It is essential to determine a realistic budget for the project. The size and complexity of the project will play a role in the total cost. Make sure to plan what areas are necessary for a successful conversion.

Lastly, do plenty of research to get an idea of current prices. Plan on the project taking longer than initially estimated so you’re not surprised by any unexpected delays.

3. Regulations and Zoning Laws

Regulations can vary depending on the state or municipality in which you live. It is vital to undertake adequate research beforehand. Zoning laws can be restrictive and determine whether you can build an ADU.

Zoning laws can define the size, height, and other parameters. It also determines the amount of off-street parking available and the adequate distance from the property line.

Depending on where you live, you may need to get a permit from your local government to build or change the designated use of your garage. Inspections may be required as part of the permitting process, and certain building materials or energy efficiency standards may exist.

It is important to do enough research to ensure that your plans are in compliance with local laws and regulations.  Once you understand the rules and regulations, you can apply for the necessary permits and proceed with your conversion project.

4. Design and Features

When converting your garage, it’s crucial to think about design and features before you get started. Think about how your garage is currently designed and what kinds of features you’d like to add or change.

Think about the features that come standard in a lot of homes and apartments. This includes a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and storage. Consider the design elements you would like, such as windows, high ceilings, natural light, and built-in fixtures.

Consider any extra features that you would like to include in your ADU design, such as a patio or outdoor living space, or special soundproofing needs. A plan for the design and features included in the conversion will ensure that the space is comfortable and functional for future tenants.

5. Insurance 

Without appropriate insurance coverage, you may become liable for the costs and damages incurred during construction. To ensure you are protected, you should review the availability of insurance either through your current homeowner’s insurance provider or through a third-party provider.

Many homeowners’ insurance policies need to be set up to cover multiple dwellings on the same property. It may be necessary to buy a separate policy to cover the additional dwelling.

Additionally, it may be beneficial to research liability insurance. This cover the owner of any injuries or damage occurring on the property. It’s a small expense that can offer great peace of mind to your investment and provide protection for your future ADU.

6. Seek Guidance From an Experienced ADU Contractor

Seeking the guidance of an ADU contractor before starting a garage conversion can be beneficial. An experienced contractor is knowledgeable in the details of project preparation to ensure the entire process runs with the least hassle.

They are also current on the latest trends and may have access to superior materials that can make a big difference in the project’s outcome. Furthermore, they’re trained to handle potential issues with creative and practical solutions that could save money in the long run. 

Whether the project’s scope is remodeling a single room or creating a new living space, an experienced contractor can provide invaluable guidance and advice to ensure the job is done right the first time.

7. Potential Health & Safety Hazards

Before leaping into a garage conversion, you should consider potential health and safety hazards. Garages are often dusty and dirty, and dangerous tools such as saws and power drills are usually located here.

It would be best to inspect the walls, floors, and ceilings to detect troublesome areas such as mold or other contaminants. You should also check wiring connections and safety switches to be sure they are up to current safety standards. You could even hire a professional home inspector to be sure you’re not missing anything for your home improvement.

Understanding the Elements of ADU Garage Conversion

Overall, there are numerous factors to consider when planning an ADU garage conversion. It’s vital to secure the necessary permits, estimate your budget and timeline, and make ample space for amenities and features.

Make sure to take the time to do your research and think through every step of the process. It is best to hire a trusted contractor to ensure the project runs smoothly.

Do you want to find more helpful info? Check out more of our guides on our blog today!