modern living room surrounded by glass windows

Turning Your Garage into a Rental Property

You’ve already hired one of the granny flat builders you shortlisted to convert your garage into a living space. The garage was converted to a flat so that your grandmother could be near you. Unfortunately, she passed away. They’re already a couple of days into the work. You need to decide if you’re still going to push through with the renovation or not. You’re grieving, and your mind is elsewhere. You told the workers that they could continue. But you are going to have to revisit the plan with them because you wanted to convert it to a rental instead. If you go down this path, what does it mean?

Here are some things that you need to consider:

Rental Property Overview

If you’re converting your garage to a rental property, you will be pleased to note that the industry is performing quite well, with earnings of $177 billion as of March 2019. Growth has been steady, with a rate of 3.4% annually for the past five years. You will become part of the nearly 562,500 businesses providing rental properties across America.

What You Need to Know

White garage door of a detached house

The contractors have agreed to cease operation until all arrangements have been concluded concerning the passing of your grandmother. You’ve fixed a date with them at which you are going to revisit the plan. Here are some ideas that you need to consider regarding your decision to turn your garage into an income property:

  1. The cost. Since now you are looking at doing significant works that will add a small kitchen and bathroom, the price can be slightly higher than your budget. Experts estimate that full renovation involving plumbing, electricity, and heating will cost more than $30,000. Figure out with the contractor if they are going to charge a separate fee for managing the project. This means that they would need to redo all the estimates that they have done before.
  2. Zoning laws. Depending on your location, you need to investigate the zoning laws for renovating your garage. There are regulations that you need to follow, and proper permits need to be secured. Even if the contractor has already begun working, the local authorities might need to see the new plan. Licenses could cost anywhere between $1,000 to $1,500.
  3. Doors and windows. Your garage was built without the need for proper ventilation. Adding windows is necessary if it’s going to be an apartment rental as proper airflow is required in a living space. The door, of course, would have to be changed too.
  4. New floors. Not only do you want to eliminate the grease droppings on your garage floor; you also need to overhaul it to make it suitable as a rental. Expert suggests using epoxy flooring, which is not only cheap but also allergen-friendly and very easy to clean.

Securing your garage and building a proper bath and kitchen are some of the most critical aspects of the renovation that require careful attention. These are some of the things renters look for at the onset. Make sure that you’ve included some form of security measures as part of your budget.

About the Author


Scroll to Top