Can I Convert My Garage into an ADU?


Many homeowners consider converting their garage into living space. One problem with a garage conversion is that some cities have required replacement covered parking, and some homeowners do not have room on their properties for this.  However, the new 2020 California ADU laws prohibit cities from requiring replacement parking if a garage is converted into an ADU. This makes it much easier and less costly for a homeowner to convert a garage into an ADU.

In a previous post, I noted that the cost of an ADU is typically in the range of $100,000 to $250,000. The cost of converting a garage into an ADU is at the low end of this range, and is typically less than the cost of a standalone or extension ADU, which require the building of new foundation.

One potential issue with a garage conversion ADU is that the garage must be retrofitted to meet the building code. If the garage is not structurally sound, it may be expensive to do this.  Also, a typical two-car garage is approximately 20 feet x 20 feet, so the size of the ADU is limited to about 400 square feet. Nevertheless, converting a garage into an ADU is a good option for homeowners to consider.

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