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Check These Things Before Committing To An ADU Garage Conversion

If you would like to add living space to your home, you might be considering an ADU garage conversion. Many people successfully convert their garage into an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU. However, not every garage can be converted — at least not easily and affordably. Before you get too sold on this approach, it is wise to check the following qualities and features to see whether your garage is a good candidate for an ADU conversion.

Water Intrusion

Does water ever enter your garage? Some garages flood from one side or corner if it rains too much. Others may have leaky foundations that wick water up from the soil.  Any issue that allows water into the garage will need to be addressed before the garage can be converted to an ADU. Most issues that lead to a wet garage are fixable, but the necessary work can be costly. If keeping the garage dry will require re-pouring a new foundation or replacing some framing, this will add significantly to the time and cost of your ADU conversion. Of course, if your garage already stays nice and dry, that's a sign that an ADU conversion may, in fact, be in the cards for you.

Roof Condition

A minor leak in the garage roof is not a big deal if the garage is just used to store your lawn mower and gardening equipment. But once you convert the garage into a living space, leaks will be a very big deal. As such, you need to make sure the garage roof is in excellent shape. Beyond that, you will need to have insulation added to it if it is not already insulated. Without good roof insulation, a garage ADU will be really energy inefficient.


Is your garage truly large enough to create the sort of living space you desire? Remember that you will need to account for space for walls, insulation within those walls, and also ceilings. Consider drawing a rough sketch of a building plan using the actual dimensions of your garage. If you struggle to fit everything in, your garage might be smaller than is ideal for an ADU conversion. You may be better off with a new home addition or by adding onto the garage.

If you ponder the points above before you start building, you are more likely to actually enjoy and benefit from the ADU built into your garage. Contact a service that provides ADU floor plans to learn more.