Garage Conversion Requirements Los Angeles

garage conversion requirements los angeles

With the passing of Senate Bill-1069, the California Government has made it easier for homeowners to build ADUs (additional dwelling units) on their lots. ADUs can be attached, detached, or a conversion of an existing space. Attached ADUs are extra rooms added as an extension of the house. Detached ADUs are independent units built on the homeowner’s property that are separate from the house. A conversion transforms an existing space—like a basement, attic, or garage—into a living space.

The garage conversion is one of the most popular types of ADU because of its relative ease compared to the other types. All ADUs need to comply with certain requirements before they can be constructed. It is here that garage conversions have another advantage over the other types of ADU because they have fewer requirements than the other kinds do.

When you are ready to convert your garage into a space that meets all the necessary requirements, contact Pacific Green Homes; we will perform that conversion with all due efficiency, expediency, and expertise.

Permit Requirements for a Los Angeles Garage Conversion

Once you have decided to build an ADU on your property, you will first need to get the necessary building permit. This can be obtained by visiting the local Department of Building and Safety office and speaking with the code official stationed there. They will be able to guide you through the process of starting your garage conversion.

Part of the process involves sketching out the plans and presenting them to the code official; the following requirements should be incorporated into those plans in order to expedite the process and make it easier for everyone involved.

The Requirements and Regulations of a Garage Conversion in Los Angeles

Eligibility Requirements for a Los Angeles Garage Conversion

  • Each neighborhood in Los Angeles falls into different zones, only houses located in residential zones—specifically single-family residential zones—can build ADUs on their property. You can find the residential zone in which your lot is located on the ZIMAS website.
  • A house must already be on the lot on which the ADU is to be built.
  • Any kind of ADU can be added as long as it fits on the property, so garage conversions are always viable.
  • There can only be one ADU per lot, so even if there is space for a garage conversion and an attached or detached ADU, only one of them can be built.
  • The ADU cannot be sold separately from the house.
  • It is not necessary for the homeowner to live on the lot where the ADU is located; they are free to rent out the house, the ADU, or both at the same time.

Setback Requirements for a Los Angeles Garage Conversion

The setback is the distance between the ADU and the house; detached ADUs need to have a five foot setback from the side and rear of the house. Naturally, a garage conversion does not have any setback requirements.

Parking Requirements for a Los Angeles Garage Conversion

In the case of a garage conversion, at least one parking spot must be placed on the property. This parking space can be located anywhere on the property, including the driveway. It can be covered or uncovered, but it must be at least 8.5 ft x 18 ft.

Additional parking is not necessary:

  1. if the ADU is located within half a mile of public transit.
  2. If the ADU is located within a historically or architecturally significant district.
  3. If the house is located within one block of a car share.
  4. If the ADU is an extant part of the home like a basement or attic.

Miscellaneous Requirements for a Los Angeles Garage Conversion

  • The ADU cannot be larger than half of the size of the home. The minimum size of an ADU is 150 square feet.
  • Fire sprinklers are not necessary for the ADU if they are not necessary in the main house. However, fire extinguishers and other safety equipment is highly recommended.
  • Fees must be proportional to the size of the ADU being built.

Learn All the Garage Conversion Requirements of Los Angeles

The simpler rules regarding garage conversions—and ADUs in general—present a big opportunity to all Los Angeles residents. So, now is the best time to take advantage of that opportunity to build an ADU on your property.

The requirements are broad enough that most homes are allowed to construct one on their property. If your home meets those requirements and you are interested in the opportunities an ADU provides, then contact Pacific Green Homes to explore all of your options.

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