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rental garage?

Posted on 2011-03-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I wanted to build a bathroom/shower in my garage in order to rent...I know it's probably illegal and I already have someone to rent to at the moment. My question really begins by asking about how much it might cost me to do this? I also wanted to know how about about the whole "legal/illegal" thing. Should I consider another alternative?  Would this be "legal" if I hired a inspector and let me know how to build up to code?  Lastly, more importantly, how do I find a reputible inspector?  or rules for rentiing out a garage?
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Question by:vulture714
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by:dbrunton
ID: 35144922
You don't say where you are living so rules will vary from country to country.  Probably pay to consult local council/authority.

Wall height is one consideration.  Typically you'll need about 8 foot / 2.4 metres of that for it to be considered as accommodation.  That is the same height as a house/dwelling.
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by:aleghart
ID: 35146209
Some basic info on building code here: http://publicecodes.citation.com/st/ca/st/b400v10/index.htm

Converting garage, or building over it?  Latter is called HOG (housing over garage).  In Calif it dangerous if you don't retrofit walls with ply/OSB over the studs to prevent the building from leaning over in an earthquake.

Minimums:
at least one room 120 sq.ft.
Ceilings: 7ft., bathrooms 6'8"
Glass: 8% of floor area; ventilation through window or louvers to outside air
Sleeping room: at least one emergency exit 5.7sq.ft min.
Water closet, toilet, and bath or shower.
 
Check more local codes.  You may not be able to have multi-unit dwellings.  Also, connecting any utilities, plumbing, etc is required to have permit and inspection(s).

Also check HOA and expired HOAs. Our neighborhood HOA hasn't been around for decades, but the rules are evergreened with the county unless we make a petition with signatures from all neighbors.  So, there is a requirement for minimum 2-car garage for every house.  County code (LA) says no business activity in a garage.  Personal hobby work OK, but nothing commercial or for income.

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by:deighton
ID: 35146287
I can only speak for the UK.

Near me I know a group of Poles put bunk beds in a garage then fed power in using an extension cable.  The landlord got into trouble for allowing 'over-crowding'.

In somewhere like London it would probably be considered normal.  You'd be able to rent it out as a spacious, purpose built, studio flat (professional couple only, no DSS).
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by:aleghart
ID: 35146457
In SoCal, overcrowding is not an issue to the powers that be.  We have clown houses and apartments around here.  10-15 people or more.  They'll bunk up 4 to a room.  A "habitable" room can include living room, dining room, den, etc. as long as it has a window.

It's so commonplace that there's a joke of a real estate agent in this area.  He thinks that an illegally converted garage is a "feature" that should get more money.  He also listed an extra 1/2-bath for a house we walked through.  He pointed to an open drain pipe and hot/cold water bibs sticking out of the wall in a kitchen laundry closet.  He said "That can be converted real cheap! Maybe even 3/4."
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by:aburr
ID: 35148248
"My question really begins by asking about how much it might cost me to do this?
$10,000 ought to do a reasonable job. Lots less would do an unreasonable job.



 I also wanted to know how about about the whole "legal/illegal" thing.
consult a local lawyer. You could get into deep trouble by being sued if anything went wrong.


Should I consider another alternative?
yes



 Would this be "legal" if I hired a inspector and let me know how to build up to code?  
no you must build to code with or without a hired inspector.



Lastly, more importantly, how do I find a reputible inspector?  
you don't. You might hire a reliable contractor. Ask around or consult the yellow pages


or rules for rentiing out a garage?"
visit your local city codes enforcement office
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by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 35152664
If you are the owner of the property, chesk with your insurance company. It's one thing to do "home improvements" yourself, but quite another to have someone build a small appartment under the table and subsequently and rent it out.
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silverkorn earned 500 total points
ID: 35152801
your first call or stop should be to your local building/code/planning office. if you want to work on the level of anonymity then simply ask the person over the phone that you are looking into purchasing a new house in the area and wanted to get some additional information about the legalities on adding a living space to an existing garage.

asking a builder / contractor / real estate agent / or insurance company will always give you different answers and often not the correct answers. by asking the department that enforces the code will give you the correct answer all the time.

once you have a running list on what improvements need to be done you can call your local contractor and get a free estimate to see if the work will be financially feasible.

i wouldnt consider myself an expert in the manner, but my wife is a certified building inspector here in NY and deals with this kind of question everyday.
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