Garage inspection 101: What to consider before transforming a large garage into a tiny home

garage home

There could be countless reasons for wanting to add on space to your existing home. Perhaps you want to create a small home for your in-laws or elderly parents, maybe you have a daughter or son who’s just graduated high school and is looking for a bit of privacy with all the comforts of home. You could have seen one of the countless renovation shows on TV and were fascinated by the idea by a tiny home¾either as a way to downsize and inhabit one yourself, or earn a bit of money by renting one out.

Regardless of the reason, tiny homes are all the rage today and many people are becoming aware of the benefits of both living in one, and having one available for guests or family members. But did you know that having a tiny home of your own may be easier than you think? In fact, if you have a large garage that isn’t living up to its full potential, transforming it into a tiny home may be a promising solution. However, this transformation doesn’t come without important considerations. So, read below and be sure to carefully think about your future tiny home before getting started.

1. The necessary permission

It’s important to be aware that nearly any building or renovation project will require permission from the local council.

  • Every change you make to the structure of the garage will need to meet building codes.
  • Be sure to have a detailed design drawn out, with considerations of any necessary plumbing or electrical work that will require specific permission.

2. The expected costs

As with any renovation project, cost typically is and should be one of the biggest considerations. Depending on what you hope to achieve, how you’ll source tools and materials, and if you’ll be doing this as a do-it-yourself endeavor or will hire help, the cost of your new tiny home could be pretty significant.

  • While often cheaper than adding a new structure to the home, there will be many costs associated with the transformation.
  • Insulation, drywall, lighting, plumbing, and carpeting/flooring are all going to require a significant investment.
  • Furnishing the new tiny home also has the potential to be costly. You don’t want to finish the transformation to only leave it empty!
  • To cut down on costs, consider sourcing recycled or donated materials. Be creative when it comes to the furnishings and ask friends and family for help with minor renovation tasks.

3. The location and condition of the garage

How long ago was the house/garage built? Does it stand attached or detached to the house? Are there any structural issues? Are the electrical and plumbing systems connected to the mains?

  • Attached garages are typically connected to the home which means that any new electrical or plumbing additions will be connected to the main house. In addition, the connection to the house provides a source of insulation, tends to offer better climate control, and can be easily accessed by the homeowner.
    garage home
  • Detached garages are located further away from the house and while this provides far more privacy for the inhabitants of the tiny house, it won’t have that connection to the main house and all plumbing and electrical systems will have to be set up separately. Also, without being connected to the house, the tiny house will require more insulation to deal with the seasonal weather elements.

4. The need for a new place to park your cars

As you’ll be doing away with a garage, you’ll need to contemplate what to do with your cars and all of the sports equipment, gardening materials, and tools that were formerly stored there.

  • If the garage is large, you may have the option of just transforming half¾leaving the other half available for at least a single car.
  • External carports could be constructed, providing minimal shelter for the cars without requiring substantial financial or time investments.
  • Smaller sheds could be built to store any sports, gardening, workshop tools or equipment that no longer have a home.

The possibility of a new tiny home is exciting! You can turn the space behind your concord garage door into something amazing. You can make friends and family jealous by your new home space, and provide somewhere for people to visit or rent. But, there are some considerations that must be made prior to beginning the transformation. Consider these and you’ll be sure to create a tiny home that will be enjoyed for years to come.


About the Author


Mike is a building expert who has specialized in garage door repair and construction for the past 30 years. He currently writes for My Door Pro and is dedicated to building and constructing garages for clients to the best possible standard. In his spare time, he enjoys have a coffee at the local cafe.