If you have a garage or storage room that is not used, you can make smart use of it by converting it into an accessory dwelling unit (ADU).

Did you know that building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) can help boost your property value? You can also earn rental income with a dwelling unit attached to or on the same ground as your home.

Read on to learn more about ADUs, including some great design ideas for building an independent dwelling unit in California.

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

An accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, is a legal and regulatory term for an independent structure that is part of a property. Keep in mind, you cannot sell the dwelling unit, but you are allowed to rent it out if you want to earn additional income.

ADU is a secondary housing unit that can be a stand-alone unit or attached to your main property. It can be built on your building lot. The other option is to convert an existing structure, such as a garage, to a separate dwelling unit.

Costs of ADUs and Garage Conversions

Creating an ADU or converting a garage does not need to be expensive. The cost can more or less depend on the changes that you think are necessary.

A regular conversion can cost between $2,500 and $25,000, depending on your requirements. Building an additional ADU can cost $20,000 to over $60,000. The high end of the range may include plumbing, new walls, and subfloors. The low end is for basic dwelling units without a sink or attached bathroom.

Take into consideration the long-term costs when it comes to ADU and garage conversions. You may save money by cutting corners, such as avoiding insulation or using cheap building materials. But it will often cost you more in the long run due to increased repairs and energy costs.

Additionally, you should consider insurance changes and the tax implications of adding a new room.

Best Ideas for ADU & Garage Conversion

1. Gym/Fitness Center

Why pay for gym fees when you can build a gym at home? Converting your garage to a gym room is not costly. The flooring doesn’t have to be fancy tile or laminated wood. You can get any low-cost flooring material that can be covered with rubber mats to reduce the risk of an injury.

Access to water is important to keep you hydrated as you work out. Also, install a stereo system in the room so that you can listen to music as you pump it up at your home fitness center. Full-length posters and mirrors can also keep you motivated to spend more time at the gym.

2. Reading Room

Reading ADU

A reading room is often ignored during a home renovation project. It is an important space to keep all your books organized in one place. 

You may consider a minimalistic style for the reading room. The reading room should not have anything apart from the sofa, table, and book cabinets. Prioritizing simplicity over style will create a sense of tranquility, allowing users to remain focused while reading.

3. Entertainment Room

An entertainment room is another excellent ADU and garage conversion design idea. Your friends and family members will love spending time watching videos and eating popcorns there.

Hook the room to a home theater system and buy comfortable sofas and chairs for the room. Add character to the room by having a starry ceiling and putting up large photos on the walls. 

4. Kid’s Playroom

Playroom ADU

If you have kids, why not convert the garage into a kids’ play area? Fill the room with their toys to keep them busy for hours. For the floor surface, consider investing in a scratch-resistant and hard-wearing vinyl floor. This type of flooring has a smooth surface, making it perfect for your kids’ playroom. Vinyl flooring is also super easy to clean. It also has excellent noise-insulation properties, making it the best choice for a playroom.

You can choose any color you like for the playroom as long as the paint is washable. Latex paint with a ceramic sheen is a good option as it is easy to clean. Avoid flat matte paint, though, as it is difficult to clean. Paints with low sheen are preferable since the walls can be cleaned without damaging the paint color. Before selecting a paint color, it is recommended to use a tester to see if the finish is easy to clean.

5. Office Space

With most people working from home indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a home office can be a great idea for an ADU. Place desk, chairs, and storage cabinets in the room. You can also consider a separate small meeting area for holding meetings with clients.

If your family members also need to work from home, you can share the space with them by placing extra seats and desks.

Incorporating natural elements like plants will help improve the mood in your office. Windows are an integral part of your ADU design. This is important as research has shown that natural light can make a positive impact on productivity and mood. Folding doors with framed glass openings are recommended since they allow maximum natural light.

Adding built-in cabinets will help expand storage and open shelving will keep paper stuff and other items properly organized.

Windows should be an integral part of the ADU design. This is important as research has shown that natural light can make a significant positive impact on productivity and mood. Folding doors with framed glass openings are recommended since they allow maximum natural light.

B&W is an exclusive windows and doors dealer in California. We specialize in Custom Vinyl Window and large-framed openings, including Bi-Folding Doors, Folding Doors, and Pocket Doors. Schedule a free consultation today if you want to know about beautiful garage conversion and ADU ideas.

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