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Construction stage of a garage conversion ADU in North Hollywood, CA. Wooden frames and beige walls.

5 Tips for Converting Your Garage into an ADU Unit

A lot of houses have a garage that can be converted into an ADU unit, also known as an accessory dwelling unit. These are great for housing an elderly family member or guest, as well as renting out if you’re in need of some extra income. If you’re planning on converting your garage into an ADU unit, consider these five tips before you begin any work on your home.

1) Ensure That The Converted Space is Fireproof
One of the most important things to consider when converting your garage is ensuring that the space is fireproof. This means using materials that are fire resistant and having a plan in place in case of a fire. You should also have a smoke alarm and sprinkler system installed.
Your ADU contractor should be licensed : When hiring an ADU contractor, it’s important to ensure that they are licensed and insured. Make sure that their license is active and up-to-date, as well as their insurance coverage. The last thing you want is someone who isn’t qualified to take on your project. Make sure that the conversion doesn’t violate any local laws: It’s important to check with local authorities before proceeding with any conversions. Laws can vary by location so it’s best to consult with the city council or planning department before moving forward with your conversion

2) Consider Building Codes
Before you start construction on your garage conversion, it’s important to check with your local building codes to see what is allowed in your area. You may need to get a permit for the work you plan to do. It’s also a good idea to hire an ADU contractor who is familiar with the building code requirements in your area. The last thing you want is to finish the project and then find out that it’s not up to code. For example, there are restrictions on how much of a house you can add onto if there are more than two units already present. A fire marshal may not allow you to live in the unit unless you create another way for firefighters to enter. In some areas, parking spaces are limited so it’s best to think about where those will go before starting construction.

3) Get All Necessary Permits
Before you start any construction, it’s important to check with your local municipality to see what permits are required. Depending on the scope of work, you may need a building permit, electrical permit, and/or plumbing permit. Failure to obtain the proper permits can result in hefty fines. To save yourself time and money, call ahead to confirm that you have all the necessary permits before starting any project.
When converting your garage into an ADU unit, be sure to plan ahead by knowing which inspections will be needed and when they will happen. The final inspection is often needed before the homeowner can occupy their new living space.
Homeowners looking to convert their garage must be mindful of zoning restrictions as well as height restrictions if living quarters are being built over a detached garage.

4) Hire Qualified Contractors
When it comes to any type of construction, you want to be sure that you hire qualified contractors. This is especially important when converting your garage into a living space, as there are many potential safety hazards. Not to mention, if the conversion is not done properly, it could decrease the value of your home. To find qualified contractors, ask for recommendations from friends or family or search online reviews. Once you’ve found a few candidates, be sure to check their licenses and insurance policies before making your final decision. The other thing to keep in mind is whether they have experience with ADUs, because these can differ slightly from traditional single-family homes. Make sure they can answer all of your questions and you feel comfortable enough to work with them. If anything feels off about them, don’t hesitate to move on! As long as you take these precautions, the process should go smoothly!

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5) Don’t Cut Corners – Safety First!
We all know that when it comes to home improvement projects, it can be tempting to cut corners in order to save a few bucks. But when it comes to converting your garage into a living space, you definitely don’t want to skimp on quality or safety. After all, this is a place where people will be spending time, and you want it to be up to code in case you ever decide to sell the property. Here are a few tips: • Check with your local municipality to see if there are any zoning restrictions or permit requirements before beginning work. • Consider what materials you’ll need before starting work, as well as how much they might cost. It might be worth holding off until you have saved enough money so that you won’t feel rushed and pressured by the expense of labor-intensive materials like drywall and paint. As always, make sure to get a good deal on your building supplies by buying them in bulk and checking out wholesale prices. Finally, don’t forget about safety! Before tearing down walls or working with power tools, always remember to turn off the electricity and use appropriate tools such as goggles, gloves, ear protection and dust masks.

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