converting a garage to a guest house or studio apartment in Denver, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, Houston, & Dallas / Fort Worth

Garage conversion to a guest house or studio apartment

Here is a detached garage that is still legally a garage, but has a lot of improvements so that it can be rented out as something similar to a guest house or studio apartment. For info on keeping everything legal, see below (or contact us today for info that is relevant to your property's zoning and the relevant local regulations). For more info on this multi-purpose garage that is still legal as a garage (with a fully functioning garage door that opens the guest house up to be like an open-air porch), scroll right and hover over each image. Also note that the floor is rather attractive because of acid-staining the cement. Here is how the converted garage looks with a slight turn to the right. Notice that the garage door lets in some light but is partly opaque, maintaining privacy. The main door is mostly glass (with a privacy screen retracted to the top in this photo). With an even bigger turn to the right, here is the main door (made of glass), then a modest dining area plus the kitchenette (fully stocked with new countertops, stovetop, sink, cupboards, drawers, and a small refrigerator out of view) Next to the kitchenette is a small bathroom with a closet on the other side of that (near the bed). Here is a photo inside the bathroom. Rather than add a tile floor to the bathroom, there is currently just a slip-safe mat (like I used to stand on when i was a dishwasher at a restaurant).

To see all the photos, scroll right. If you hover over most of the photos, you will also
be able to read additional info. Note that the "guest house" shown above is still
legally a garage. If you are clear on what you want in a guest house, go ahead and
contact us (using one of the purple buttons on the upper left). If you are not sure yet
whether you want a full conversion (with the garage door removed) or something
more like the example shown here, click here (or simply contact us now).

Why convert a garage to a guest house or apartment?

There are two basic reasons that people convert a garage to separate living space: renting it out or using it for visitors (and both situations are covered in more detail below). First, be aware that usually these conversions will start with a detached garage that will be made in to a guest house addition, but people sometimes also do this kind of a conversion with an attached garage (like for an elderly parent that they want to be able to very easily check on).

"mother-in-law" guest suites

In many cases, homeowners simply want to have the space available as a very private guest bedroom or mother-in-law suite for visitors (short-term visitors or long-term visitors, again, such as a disabled parent or even a live-in nanny or caregiver). You can keep your privacy in general (plus, in particular, keep them out of your kitchen by giving them one of their own).

renting out a studio apartment

Or, some people want to rent out what is now their garage. Again that could be for short-term rentals or long-term rentals.

In the case of long-term rentals, it can be important to be very clear on all of the zoning and permit issues. Future landlords will want to minimize any complications or controversies involving city officials (or their tenants). If you plan to rent out your current garage as a converted studio apartment, you will probably value reviewing the legal regulations to make sure that everything will be fully legal and there will be no issues with building code compliance, property insurance coverage, property taxes, and so on. (To request a free phone consultation, click here: converting a garage to a studio apartment to rent.)

In fact, I even had a landlord in rural Arizona who was planning to complete a guest house on his property and then live in that (while renting out the main home). He was nearing retirement and planning to travel a lot, but wanted to have a cozy, reliable apartment of his own (at least as long as he was renting out the main house on 12-month leases).

As of when I'm writing this, it has been years, but we are still friends and he did do those renovations and then rent out his main home. However, his studio apartment was not converted from a garage. He simply took a few bedrooms and a bathroom, added other amenities like a kitchenette, and then "cut off" /blocked off that area from the rest of house and built a private entrance for that "wing" of the multi-family dwelling / duplex.

What are the stages in the process of converting a garage to a guest house?

Before the actual construction stages, there are the pre-construction stages. That includes all the initial research and planning, plus obtaining financing if relevant.

In some cases, people will have completed many of these steps before contacting our building contractors. However, our builders can also help you to complete all of these steps of planning and preparation.

First, have you thought about zoning for your guest house or studio apartment? If you are not familiar with zoning issues, you will want to discuss those with your renovation estimator (since if you report to the local government that you are adding a second kitchen, that can trigger a re-zoning of your property from a single-family dwelling to a multi-family dwelling).

Next to avoid fines and maintain full insurance coverage for the added value of the garage conversion, you will want to get fully informed about building permits and local codes. Improper conversions (without all required permits) can be an especially unfavorable complication when it comes time to sell. (If you already have that issue, use our contact form to let us know. In emergency cases, there may be a relevant loophole that you are not aware of.) However, most home owners are most comfortable with either making sure the initial renovation is fully built to code or urgently correcting any code violations once discovered.

If all the higher priorities are handled, then one of the most important pre-construction stages in regard to the structure itself is an inspection of the carport or garage. That is to assess the initial condition of the foundation, walls, and roof).

Next comes the actual construction.That can involve quite a few steps: treating the cement floor (with epoxy or acid-staining), adding at least one window and a standard door, adding insulation to the walls and.or roof, interior painting, plumbing, electrical wiring, plus interior decorating. To obscure the view of the garage doors (even transparent ones), many people will wish to use drapes or shoji screens (oriental room dividers). Click the image below for more info on all the steps that may be relevant to your conversion of a garage to a guest house or studio apartment:

How much will it cost to convert a garage to a custom studio apartment or guest house addition?

Naturally, the cost of custom construction jobs will not be easy to estimate until after the main details of the desired final result are clear to the estimator. When you contact a garage conversion supervisor through this site, it is best to let us know your top priorities, such as "curb appeal," keeping the budget modest, urgency of fast completion, or whatever other concerns you have. To request your consultation now, click contact your new garage conversion contractor.

Contact us with this form.

Your name: *      

Your phone: *     

Your email:          

Street address:  

Leave this empty:

Your message: