What Is ADU Conversion?


If you have heard of an ADU, you probably have had thoughts about building one. However, did you know that you don’t have to build one from scratch, you can construct an ADU conversion. But what is ADU conversion?

Garage Conversions

If you have a garage that you don’t use very often, you can consider turning it into an ADU. An ADU conversion is simply when you take a pre-existing structure, like a garage, and convert it into an ADU.

Garage conversion costs are a lot lower than building your ADU from scratch. However, they do vary depending on the size of your garage and how you want the ADU to look. Even though you are doing a conversion, you still need to take into account:

  • Design, planning, permit expedite – $6,000-$7,000
  • City fees – $5,000-$6,000
  • Construction labor and material – $45,000-$71,000

All of this together means that your garage conversion can cost anywhere from $80,000 to $150,000. This is much cheaper than building an ADU from scratch though.

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Is A Conversion Right For You?

There are many benefits to converting your garage into an ADU. The first couple being all the benefits of having an ADU such as rental income opportunities and multi-generation housing. The other benefits include:

  • You don’t have to take up any more space in your yard to build a new ADU
  • You more than likely already have power and possibly water lines running to your garage
  • You save money because the outer shell is already built

If you are already using your garage as a “man cave” or “she shed” then the conversion can be quite simple and not very costly!

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Running Into Conversion Problems

Not everyone can convert their garage into an ADU. Some people’s garages are too small or have too thin walls. Sometimes people realize they share sewer systems with their neighbors and would need a considerable upgrade to put in ADU bathrooms in their garage. Another common problem is that their garages are falling apart and cannot handle the conversion.

Be sure to fully examine your garage and check for any of these problems before deciding to do the conversion. Most of these problems are overcomable, but have huge costs associated with them.

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