Tips For Building An Apartment Over Your Garage

Posted on: 18 May 2023

If you have a family member moving back in with you, then you might be looking for convenient ways to add an additional living space to your home. One option is to build an apartment over your garage. This is quite a common approach when it comes to ADUs, or accessory dwelling units. Adding a garage apartment will give that family member their own, private living space. This approach also doesn't take up any additional space in your yard. However, there are a few tips you will want to follow when building an apartment above your garage.

Make sure your municipality allows it

Some towns, cities, and counties have laws that prohibit building living spaces above garages. So, before you pay someone to draw up plans, call your local building inspector's office. Ask whether or not a building above your garage is legal, and also request a list of any rules or regulations that the apartment will have to comply with. This way, you can provide your designer and builder with those rules and be sure the apartment will be built in line with local regulations.

Look for pre-made plans

Instead of hiring someone to draw custom building plans for your ADU, consider looking for pre-drawn plans. If your garage is a standard size, such as a one-car or two-car space, you should be able to find plans that fit well enough. A designer can make a few changes to them if needed, and this should still cost you a lot less than having custom plans drawn from scratch.

Hire a real electrician

Fires in apartments over garages happen too often, and they are often caused by faulty electrical work. You must be very careful when running new electrical wiring for an entire apartment through a garage where the wires may have been exposed to moisture, chewed by rodents, or otherwise damaged over the years. Hire a real electrician to do the wiring, as they will be able to do the work more safely. If your builder will be handling the electrical work, make sure they are either a licensed electrician or hire an electrician for this part. The same goes for plumbing. Although the risks of faulty plumbing are not as dangerous, you still want all plumbing done by a real plumber to avoid leaks.

Your ADU garage conversion should go more smoothly if you follow the tips presented here. To learn more about ADU plans, talk with a builder or designer who has experience building garage apartments.