A homeowner in LA's San Fernando Valley had a quaint home with a garage out back that was underutilized. He had been hearing all about the ADU boom in Los Angeles, and realized he could transform his garage into an ADU of his own - plus, a conversion seemed economical and sustainable. He dreamed up an ADU that could be used as a home office and potentially serve as housing for his adult daughter after college, or as a rental unit down the line.
Custom Design Tailored to The Garage and Use Case
For the many Los Angeles homeowners with backyard garages, ADUs are a great option, especially with recent statewide and local regulation changes that have reduced legal roadblocks to building an ADU. However, as this homeowner discovered through his research, garage conversion ADUs have some questions to consider during the initial project stages. When he had his first consultation with Cottage, the homeowner soon found that the Cottage team was well-equipped to answer his questions and define a path forward.
First off, the Cottage team worked with the homeowner to identify whether the garage was suitable to convert into an ADU at all. It turned out that the existing garage structure could indeed be reused, but as with many garage conversions, a number of upgrades would be required to make the space habitable. After all, the original garage, which was first constructed over half a century ago, was designed as a place to park cars, not to live in.
Secondly, as a typical example of a two-car garage in Los Angeles, the garage space was only 400 square feet. This was enough square footage for a studio or a one-bedroom scheme, but adding an office and achieving a layout that felt roomy enough was challenging with the existing footprint.
Thus, the Cottage team worked with the homeowner to come up with a plan that incorporated an addition to the garage, thereby opening up the overall living area and allowing for the home office as well. Importantly, the Cottage team took care to design the entrances appropriately: the home office has its own separate entrance, so the homeowner can access the workspace directly from outside. Meanwhile, the common area and bedroom can serve as a private living space for his daughter or a tenant if needed.
Cottage Achieves Fast Permitting in LA
Another big win were the swift permitting timeline. The Cottage team secured permits for the project in under three months from the City of Los Angeles Planning Department, which is extremely fast considering the city receives a large volume of permit applications and is known for long permitting times.
“I live in the City of Los Angeles, where I believe this jurisdiction has the toughest standards for building approvals,” said the homeowner. “To date, Cottage has taken complete control of all aspects of the job and made it very, very non-stressful."
The Final Product: Garage Turned Lovely ADU
Now on the other side of the ADU process, the homeowner is thrilled with the end result. His daughter needed temporary housing after graduating college, and their ADU was the perfect solution. What’s more, the homeowner now has a convenient home office – and a unit he can rent out anytime to make some additional income, while adding housing for the community. It’s a win-win-win!
Customized ADUs to Fit Your Needs
At Cottage, we believe in providing homeowners the best ADU experience possible. From feasibility, to design, permitting, and construction, we're here to guide you through each step of the journey.
Interested in building a similar attached or detached ADU, or converting an existing garage space? Contact us today by clicking the link below for a free, no-obligation consultation & estimate for your ADU vision with one of our experts!