Any Home Builders Here-- Requirements for Garage to Granny Flat Reno?

Hi all,

I've been looking at houses for sale, specifically something with an existing flat or something that can be converted. Recently, I saw one which currently has a free-standing (detached) workshop. It has a shower/toilet/laundry sink. The rest is as you'd expect such a building to be— basic brick with concrete floor. The only thing else is a drop ceiling of white rectangular tiles. The size is roughly 6m x 6m.

The question is: what would be a minimum price to finish off the inside & weatherproof such a building? We're happy to simply paint the interior ourselves and hope to find 2nd-hand salvage cabinets to set up a tiny kitchen. What I'm concerned about is what should be done with the floor & whether a french or sliding door would be a viable replacement for the garage door. Lastly, some of these we've seen have a breaker box inside the building- would this have to be moved?

I have no idea what this sort of renovation would entail and appreciate possible guesstimates/ideas from those of you with renovating experience. I do realise that building codes may vary— I'm more trying to get an understanding of "must do/must have this" in most cases.

Thanks everyone!

:)

Comments

  •  

    6m x 6m is very small to live in with everything

    • +1 vote

      It will first serve as a young man's own "space" outside of the main house. He was thinking just Japanese screens to divide the bedroom area, if anything.

      The bathroom will be enclosed in one corner. That leaves the rest for maybe a small lounge, table & chairs, and a functional small kitchen. He's happy with a bar fridge, benchtop hob, and micro.

      Afterwards, it would serve as a guestroom and/or AB&B.

      Thanks

    • -1 vote

      I could do it.

    • +2 votes

      6x6 could be used well for 1 person. You can do a small kitchenette in 2x3 = 6sqm bedroom 3x4 = 12sqm, bathroom 2x3 = 6 sqm which is 24sqm and you've got 3x4 = 12sqm for a living area.

      To OP's original question, it's really impossible for someone to tell you how much it's going to cost without inspecting it. You'd be best off getting a builder out for a quote.

      It would probably be cheaper to close in the garage door than try source a door to fill that space.
      The floor (if weather proof) can just be covered in a cheap vinyl floating floor from somewhere like Bunnings. You could do this yourself if you have the time. 36sqm would cost approximate 36sqm * $40-50 ~= $1500 to floor the whole place.

      I would personally wall the interior too if you're getting the garage door walled in. You can run 1 single wall through the middle to divide off the bathroom/bedroom and leave the living area and kitchen open.

      •  

        Yeah, I know it's difficult to know exact cost, was just after a ballpark guesstimate as I've not done anything like this before. I think it's a good amount of space for a small flat, too. Your floor is a good idea.

        Ta

    •  

      @SnoozeAndLose Damn millennials always wanting more /s

  • +2 votes

    6m x 6m.

    From $20k.

    • +1 vote

      I reckon this is a fair estimate if you can do simple stuff like painting yourself.
      Personally, I’d insulate, gyprock and make it nice.

      •  

        We both like the look of painted brick, actually. Would it need more insulating given it's double-brick to begin with? Not opposed to gyprock, just gathering info for now.

        Ta

  • +1 vote

    To get ideas look at the tiny house websites. They have some interesting ideas on fit outs. To me, the crucial thing would be ensuring there is good insulation, ventilation and heating capability.

    With that sort of space you, obviously, want to separate off the bathroom/toilet area but I would leave the rest fairly open.

  • +2 votes

    You'll have to make a decision first whether you want it all done to council, planning scheme etc requirements or whether you just reno the inside suitable for occupation, but not legal for occupation. The existing building is there - nobody will know what's inside (nor care).

    The former will probably double the price.

    •  

      Granny flats are now being embraced in the area, so I don''t think it would be an issue. I also am thinking that a condition of sale would include that whatever "improvements" have been carried out have been council-approved.

      Not so much for our usage, but for if we ever decide to AB&B &/or sell it down the road.

      Thanks

      •  

        I also am thinking that a condition of sale would include that whatever "improvements" have been carried out have been council-approved.

        Won't happen. Unless you're the only interested purchaser they'll just move along to someone easier. They want to sell, not gain retrospective permissions for you.

        The slab will be a key issue.

        Granny flats are now being embraced in the area, so I don''t think it would be an issue

        Embraced, as long as they meet the criteria of your local planning scheme and state regs. Easier to just not tell anyone or rely on it being "habitable" for future sale purposes.

        •  
          "I also am thinking that a condition of sale would include that whatever "improvements" have been carried out have been council-approved.
          

          Won't happen. Unless you're the only interested purchaser they'll just move along to someone easier. They want to sell, not gain retrospective permissions for you."

          This is so backwards, it's ridiculous. The onus shouldn't fall onto the possible buyer's shoulders if dodgy work has been done & not noted. We were told by the first agent that WE could get a set of the original plans, for $99! I said, "we've looked at over a dozen houses for sale. You're saying WE should be out $1,200, right now, because YOU'RE knowingly selling a dodgy product?"

          It should be the seller's duty to divulge anything they're aware of which is not right/legal. I look at it like anyone selling an item. It's illegal to sell an illegal product. The sellers KNOW that their product (add-on, patio, improvement) is not legal/approved. To keep passing the buck should be illegal. I'm going to send a letter to my reps and see what their replies are.

          Cheers

  • +1 vote

    There are requirements when turning a garage into a livable space.

    First of all, the floor needs to be properly sealed underneath and the water directed in the right way, which a garage might not be.

    Second, there's a minimum for the ceiling height. Even if the height is sufficient if you add stuff to the floor to correct the sealing problem that will reduce the ceiling height.

    Third, livable spaces need a certain amount of windows per floor space, which there might not be in a garage.

    You will likely find it not worth the cost - better to get one with an extra big backyard and build something free-standing, or get a caravan.

    • +1 vote

      Having a look at another property today. Similar issue, but this time the space has been renovated as an office space, so not held to the same arbitrary height restrictions (not sure why ceiling height is important in a bedroom but not a bathroom?). A builder is coming by to give a free check. I'll come back & post the outcome.

      •  

        That sounds good. If it is on the official site map thing you get from council as a living space I think that means it was approved (but don't quote me)

        •  

          See above. They want US to pay $99-110, for every property we look at, to find out it's all illegally done and may need to be torn down. It's nonsense.

          •  

            @Geekomatic: It is the kind of thing you should do only after you're satisfied in every other way that it is the property of your dreams. Sadly yet another cost involved in buying a house. As before, building a free standing granny flat is going to be a lot easier as you are building it and you have the control at least

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