Legalizing Garage Conversions
With the typical need for extra space in our homes many people look to convert their garages into livable space…. And YES you need a permit!
The final use of the space will have a big impact on the code requirements of the space. A family room will have different impact on Fire Codes and Plumbing codes than a bedroom will.
In South Florida the biggest issue we deal with when enclosing garages is the finished floor height as it needs to be above the designated flood line and meet all of the Flood Code’s criteria. As a rule of thumb the garage floor needs to be at least at the height of the main residence but it may be higher depending on the age of the home and the flood zone criteria that was in place when it was built .
Garages typically serve as home for key components of a home such as the Air Handling Units (AHU), electrical panels, attic access, washers and dryers, etc… And all these have to be taken into account when converting your garage.
Legalization of a converted garage is always possible but the wrong approach can cost you thousands of dollars extra and leave you with a limited space.