Question: Hi Robert, I live in Valencia and am considering converting our garage into additional living space for our kids. The economy is killing everyone, and this may be a way to help them out so they can save some good money.
We own our home, and we are not in an association where CC&Rs would affect our ability to modify our home. Is this something that is legal to do and are there factors that we must consider for this to be proper and legal? Any advice you can give us would be helpful before presenting this idea to our kids, we don’t want to get their hopes up before doing our homework and making sure that this is possible. Thank you so much.
— Gene H.
Answer: Gene, you and your kids are not alone in this situation. It has become more common in the last few years and I receive this type of question often. Each city is different so you’ll have to reach out to the Building and Safety Department to discover the codes and requirements.
At the very least, a window and a closet are required for any room to be considered a bedroom, and then of course there will be fire/safety issues. Seek out the assistance from the city — they will guide you and then you can make an informed decision before presenting it to your kids. Best of luck.