Have you ever considered turning your garage into a studio apartment for yourself or a family member? Hitch Property Constructions has the best range of renovations services to help you create your dream house.
One of the first stages in transforming a garage into a habitable area is to remove the vehicle. If you need more living space but don't want to spend too much, consider converting your garage.
Do I need building consent for the conversion work?
The BCA categorises garages as Class 10a non-residential buildings since they are not suitable for human occupancy.
As soon as a garage is transformed into a habitable space, it must be reclassified as a Class 1a room. Work cannot commence until a Development Application has been submitted to and approved by the local council.
Is a Permit Required to Convert a Garage?
Permits will likely be necessary because you are changing the intended purpose of the area, though the specifics of this requirement may differ depending on your location.
To find out what permissions are required to transform a garage into liveable space, you can get in touch with the city's Zoning Department. It is probable that you may need to hire an architect and submit a floor plan for review when applying for a building permit.
By securing the appropriate authorizations, you can rest assured that your dwelling design will adhere to all of the local laws and building codes in effect.
In some cases, municipal building codes will specify the minimal required number of windows, the required number of exits and entrances, the required ceiling height, the required number of outlets, and maybe other specifications. Waivers may be granted in cases when applicants are unable to meet these criteria due to extenuating circumstances.
Depending on the specifics of the situation, the price of a garage conversion permit could be anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500. Be prepared to pay additional money if you need to submit a variance request.
You should know that converting your garage could be prohibited by local legislation or the rules of your homeowners' organisation. The city itself may impose such demands.
If your renovations need for a permit, they won't be considered complete until an inspector verifies that they adhere to the zoning and building regulations.
Converting a garage into a living space is illegal in many regions unless special permits are obtained from the relevant authorities.
This is because you'll be making what was once an uninhabitable area into a place that people can actually live in. Most likely, this will kick off with the development being greenlit.
The local government will seek assurances that the work you've done adheres to the BCA's guidelines for homes and any other regulations they may have enacted. If you're thinking of turning your garage into a granny flat, it's vital that you familiarise yourself with the rules and laws in your area.
Both a preliminary plan and a final plan must be presented to the council for approval. A professional drafter will provide you with the blueprints and may even help you secure the required permits.
What are the main factors I need to take into consideration?
However, there are a few things you should never forget if you ever decide to turn your garage into a living area.
Is your garage suitable for conversion?
Be sure the ceiling height meets building codes before moving in. After the flooring is laid, there needs to be at least 2.4 m of clearance in this space.
Next, you need to know if your garage is safe from floods. When the area is being used for parking a car or stowing away tools and bicycles, this is usually not necessary. Your garage may have a drain or at least a crack in the concrete that can act as a drain, and the incline of your driveway may be directing the water there.
It is possible for rising dampness to develop in your garage if the concrete floor was not constructed according to the same waterproofing regulations as the rest of your property. Repairing the issue may involve covering the current slab with a concrete one and a membrane.
When is Converting Garage to a Room a Good Option?
If you want more living space in your home but don't want to move, converting your garage into a usable area is an option to consider.
If any of the following are true of your house, a garage may be a good investment.
- To get a replacement garage door in your neighbourhood, you won't have any trouble at all. Where the overhead door was, perhaps patio doors could be installed as part of your upcoming home renovation project. If this can't be done, then you'll need to make sure the new wall matches the rest of the house's exterior and that it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb that it was once a garage.
- The costs of heating and cooling won't break the bank for you: See if your current HVAC system can manage the added load of the new room before spending money on new equipment. Fortunately, the ventilation system is easily expanded to include the garage in this scenario. In the event that this is not the case, you may either update the system or buy a separate system to provide a heating solution in the garage, but you should check to see which choice is within your budget.
- If you want to convert your garage into a mother-in-law suite or apartment, the first thing you should do is call a plumber so you can instal a bathroom and kitchenette in the new space. It's probable that your budget won't stretch to include the installation of plumbing lines, and especially drainage, as this is often the most costly part of a garage remodel.
- Alternate, sufficient, places to park and store your vehicle exist: When you convert your garage, you lose the space it was previously used for—both parking and storing vehicles. Converting the garage into liveable space is not a good idea if you lack a trustworthy spot to park your car, a place to store your lawnmower or tools, or if you have no storage room for these items.
Determine why you want to convert your garage
Think about what kind of room you'll need, and what that room's purpose will be, in order to get the best guidance. Would you like a studio, a granny flat, or a recreation room in addition to your cabana or adjacent to the pool?
It's possible that constructing a ground-level addition or extending your current home might be the most cost-effective solution to your space problem. Your current level of living will very definitely increase dramatically as a result of this.
In addition, if the garage floor needs to be excavated or removed to bring it down to code, the associated costs can be substantial. There may be cases where raising the roof or ceiling is impossible due to structural constraints.
According to the BCA, a room must have a ceiling height of at least 9 feet in order to be declared habitable.
The ceiling height in your new living space must be at least 2.4 metres, but the ceiling height in a garage just needs to be 2.1 metres.
It is not uncommon to have to raise the roof on a garage if the ceiling height is less than 2.4 metres, as removing the concrete slab that makes up the floor is not only difficult but also costly.
Because garage walls are often composed of a single brick, they must be covered with a waterproof membrane or waterproof paint to prevent rising wet.
A stud wall can be insulated at the same time as the electrical components are installed. Next, apply plasterboard and paint in a colour of your choosing to finish the effect.
The entire space under the slab must be treated with a termite control system if the slab was not built to residential slab BCA standards.
You should verify the requirements of your State in light of the fact that the National Building Code of Australia's regulations on termite risk management are not uniformly applied throughout Australia.
Under the slab, there should be telltale signs of a watertight membrane. In any other situation, the slab will need to be waterproofed with one of the various solutions designed specifically for this purpose. Once these are rolled or dusted onto the ceiling, they will prevent any condensation from forming there.
Details of your organization's compliance with the BCA's energy efficiency rules must be included in either your Development Application or your Application for Consent.
In the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), this is known to as the Building Sustainability Index (BASIX), although in the rest of the country, the National House Energy Rating System is utilised (NatHERS).
The goal of these blueprints is to figure out whether or not a structure is thermally comfortable, and whether or not it needs heating or cooling to keep its people happy.
To meet the requirements of the BCA and to ensure that the room is well-lit with natural light, the old garage door will be removed and a big window will be installed in its place. At least 10% of the new room's floor area needs to be taken up by windows.
Plumbing and electrical work require the expertise of a licenced professional. Upon request, they will provide you with all necessary Certificates of Compliance. Any space that will be used as sleeping quarters must have a smoke detector installed.
Water from a downpour typically enters a drain at the end of the driveway, just in front of the garage. A common slope for this kind of driveway is an inclination.
Keeping this in mind during construction will ensure that any precipitation is diverted away from the habitable space.
The garage's insufficient capacity means you'll need a replacement parking spot on the property, and in some jurisdictions, that's legally mandated if the garage was previously used as a parking space.
Looking for Melbourne garage renovations? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Consider the costs
To save money and give your adolescent some solitude while they host parties, consider transforming an unused garage or carport into a rumpus room, games room, or party room. If done correctly, it can raise your home's selling price.
A double garage is perfect for this because the area required is only 6 square metres in size and is often situated beneath the main roof.
Garages are classified as class 10a buildings under the BCA; if they are to be used as living quarters, however, they must be reclassified as class 1 buildings. More stricter standards apply to class 1 structures than to class 10a ones.
It can be difficult to meet these standards, so creative problem-solving skills are a must. It may appear to be a straightforward task, but a thorough understanding of planning requirements and the Australian Building Code is essential for success.
Ordinances to halt construction are a common response of municipal governments to disputes between neighbours. Construction can resume after the necessary retrospective paperwork has been submitted.
The cost of the necessary repairs to bring the building into conformity was much higher than the clients had anticipated saving. Most often, people have questions about the requirement that a living space have a ceiling height of at least 2.4 metres.
Most garages have significantly fewer spaces. It's also possible that they really have 2.4 metres of headroom, but the floor level has been reduced to provide vehicle access.
This is problematic since there are regulations about the minimum height of floors in habitable spaces above the nearby ground level. If the floor is raised to fulfil building codes, the ceiling must also be raised, which is not permitted.
The slabs of the current garage or carport may not have been treated for white ants, and there may be no damp-proof membranes present. Without making major changes to the organisational structure, it may be difficult to finish the essential remedial work needed to solve these flaws.
In order to instal a white-ant treatment and damp-proof membrane, the majority of tasks require a new topping slab. Most municipalities have ordinances in place that require at least one garage for every dwelling.
You will need to relocate your vehicles to a garage or other enclosed parking place if you convert your garage into living quarters. The majority of councils have particular planning laws that prevent the construction of a new carport in front of an existing property in order to provide a new covered parking spot.
Even two or three times! It is usually easiest to deal with a garage because it may be easily partitioned into two separate regions while still retaining a single (compliant) parking spot.
In addition, garages and carports often sit on or very near the boundary lines of their respective properties. Every time there is building near a boundary, contentious issues like fire safety and required buffer zones arise. Since every circumstance is unique, it's best to receive professional advice before moving forwards.
A DA may seem excessively expensive when the size of the project is on the smaller side. The reports and documentation needed for a development application (DA) for converting a garage are unavoidable, as the degree of detail necessary may be on par with that needed for a sizable addition.
Let's say you're one of the happy few whose garage has a ceiling height of at least 2.4 metres and can be easily sealed off from the elements. You're one of the lucky ones if this happens to you. If that's the case, it may make more financial sense to convert your garage than to build an addition.
What Type of Room Can a Garage Become?
A person can put as much individual flair onto your endeavour as they want. As long as the new use complies with local construction codes, you are free to use the area as you see fit.
Converting a garage into a single room may be easier than constructing a separate dwelling on your property, such as an apartment. This is due to the fact that various pieces of real estate have varying zoning requirements.
Neither your budget nor local ordinances will limit your ability to turn your garage into liveable space.
Garage Conversion Essentials
Most garages have a concrete floor, walls, and a roof, and some even have windows. It needs further work to be liveable before it can be sold.
A better garage door replacement is your first order of business. You should also instal more windows so that the area receives a greater quantity of natural light and ventilation.
Waterproofing the converted space is especially important because garage flooring are typically not elevated. Putting in an elevated floor and getting a drainage expert might be necessary to divert water away from the building's interior.
Depending on the surrounding landscape, the driveway leading to your renovated garage could be a glaring eyesore. A little bit of landscaping can go a long way towards doing this, and you might also consider turning your existing driveway into a parking area and installing a carport. Both of these are viable choices.
An electrician's services will be required if you wish to have electrical outlets and lighting fixtures placed in your garage. This is true whether you want to turn the room into a bedroom or a study.
If you plan to convert the garage into a granny flat or utilise it as a separate living quarters from the main house, you will also need to have plumbing installed there. There should be a kitchen and bathroom installed if the granny flat is to be used for rental purposes.
Perhaps you'll find that the total cost of transforming your garage is far higher than you had first estimated.
One estimate puts the price tag on installing plumbing and ductwork in a converted garage at around $15,000. The cost rises dramatically once you include in having a bathroom and kitchenette plumbed in.
Still, it's vital to bear in mind that the prices would be far higher if one were to begin from scratch. Garages, when properly converted into granny flats, can serve as fantastic living or working spaces and even generate revenue for their owners.
You should get the task done right and acquire some expert help if necessary. The extra cost will be worthwhile if you don't try to save on safety, comfort, and cleanliness in order to reduce the overall price. We have an extensive range of home repairs Melbourne services at Hitch Property Constructions.
Consult with contractors and other specialists to evaluate if converting your garage is the best approach to achieve your space-enhancement goals in a way that is safe, secure, and maintains the value of your property before making a final decision.
Since they are not meant for human habitation, garages are classified as Class 10a non-residential buildings. It is illegal to begin construction without first submitting and receiving approval for a Development Application from the relevant municipal authority. A permit to convert a garage might cost between $1,000 and $1,500, depending on the circumstances. There are a few things to think about if you plan on turning your garage into a living area. A skilled draftsperson will supply you with plans and assist you in obtaining the necessary authorizations.
The municipality will want confirmation that the renovations follow code. You should get in touch with a plumber before doing any further work on transforming your garage into an in-law apartment or other living space. Building a basement or first-floor extension to your house can be the most economical option. When determining whether or not a space is suitable for human habitation, a ceiling height of 9 feet is typically used as a minimum. It is possible to insulate a stud wall at the same time as wiring is installed.
If the slab was not built to residential slab BCA standards, the entire area under the slab must be treated with a termite control system. Under the Australian Building Code (BCC), garages are categorised as class 10a buildings. However, if the garage is to be utilised as a dwelling, it must be reclassified as a class 1 building. Class 1 buildings are subject to harsher regulations than class 10a buildings. Frequently, garages and carports are located on, or very close to, the property lines. Converting your garage could be more cost-effective than constructing an addition.
Converting a garage may require reports and paperwork, and the level of detail may be comparable to that of a major extension. The majority of garages are built with a solid concrete slab for the floor, solid walls, and a roof, and occasionally even glass windows. Additional work is required to make it habitable before it can be put on the market. Transforming your driveway into a parking area requires only a small amount of landscaping work. If you want to wire your garage and instal lights, you'll need the help of an electrician. You will also need to have plumbing installed in the garage if you intend to use it as a granny flat or other type of separate living quarters.
- Depending on the specifics of the situation, the price of a garage conversion permit could be anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500.
- If you're thinking of turning your garage into a granny flat, it's vital that you familiarise yourself with the rules and laws in your area.
- Next, you need to know if your garage is safe from floods.
- To get a replacement garage door in your neighbourhood, you won't have any trouble at all.
- The costs of heating and cooling won't break the bank for you: See if your current HVAC system can manage the added load of the new room before spending money on new equipment.
- Determine why you want to convert your garageThink about what kind of room you'll need, and what that room's purpose will be, in order to get the best guidance.
- In addition, if the garage floor needs to be excavated or removed to bring it down to code, the associated costs can be substantial.
- There may be cases where raising the roof or ceiling is impossible due to structural constraints.
- The entire space under the slab must be treated with a termite control system if the slab was not built to residential slab BCA standards.
- Details of your organization's compliance with the BCA's energy efficiency rules must be included in either your Development Application or your Application for Consent.
- To meet the requirements of the BCA and to ensure that the room is well-lit with natural light, the old garage door will be removed and a big window will be installed in its place.
- You will need to relocate your vehicles to a garage or other enclosed parking place if you convert your garage into living quarters.
- As long as the new use complies with local construction codes, you are free to use the area as you see fit.
- Converting a garage into a single room may be easier than constructing a separate dwelling on your property, such as an apartment.
- Neither your budget nor local ordinances will limit your ability to turn your garage into liveable space.
- An electrician's services will be required if you wish to have electrical outlets and lighting fixtures placed in your garage.
- If you plan to convert the garage into a granny flat or utilise it as a separate living quarters from the main house, you will also need to have plumbing installed there.
FAQs About Garage Renovation
As long as the work being done is on the interior of the building and does not involve expanding it, homeowners typically do not need permission from the local planning authority in order to convert their garage into an additional living space for their home.
It is essential that you are aware of the fact that submitting scaled architectural drawings to your local authority is a requirement regardless of whether or not your garage conversion calls for planning permission. This is something that you should keep in mind.
Converting a garage into a living space qualifies as permitted development, but only after receiving approval from the building regulations. You will need the appropriate flooring, an in fill door, some walls that are below ground level, and adequate ventilation in order to transform the area into a living space that is suitable for habitation by a human being.
Your home's value could increase by as much as twenty percent if you convert your garage into living space, and doing so will provide you with valuable additional space that is less likely to be subject to planning complications.
Yes. Before you can convert your detached garage into any kind of residential accommodation or office space, you will be required to submit an application for a change of use. Before beginning, you should make sure that you are in compliance with the law by contacting the local planning authority in your area.