Extending your home by transforming your garage into a living room: what a great idea! Be careful, however, to respect all the rules under penalty of sanctions. The point on what you need to know before getting started.
Why transform your garage into a living room?
Because we need an additional bedroom or an office, or because we want to review the layout of its ground floor and the kitchen will be a lot better placed… In short, the reasons for using the surface of his garage are numerous ... and therefore tempting.
Transform your garage into a living room: check the rights to build
First of all, check that you have rights to build on your land. You need to know your COS (Land Occupancy Coefficient) which indicates the proportion of habitable construction of each piece of land in a municipality. If your plot is 100 m² and the COS is 0.70, your house should not be more than 70 m² on the ground. Your request for a building permit to use your 20 m² garage will therefore likely be refused. If you have used all your rights to build, go see an architect from the CAUE (Architecture, Town Planning and Environment Council) in your department. Can he find a legal way to carry out your project.
Transform your garage into a living room: watch out for the PLU
First of all, go to your town hall at the town planning department and ask to consult the PLU (Local Planning Plan), or the POS (Land Occupancy Plan) if the municipality does not have a PLU. This is a document that governs all the town planning rules, district by district: height of the building, distances to neighboring buildings, etc. It is possible that the PLU obliges the inhabitants of the town to have a garage or a parking space, and even to have two or more depending on the size of the plot and the living area. You may then have to build another garage, rent one (even if you are not using it) or pay a participation fee for the right to park on the public highway. If you live in a subdivision, ask for the subdivision by-law.
Transforming your garage into a living room: what authorizations?
Whatever the surface of your garage, even if it is less than 20 m², you will need to apply for a building permit. Indeed, the transformation of a garage into a living room is like a "change of destination", for which the building permit is compulsory.
Transforming your garage into a living room: do you need an architect?
Calling on an architect is compulsory only if the garage transformation increases the total living area of the accommodation to more than 170 m². Otherwise, you don't have to. However, going through an architect is sometimes a good solution to find the ideal layout but also to relieve yourself of the choice of the company and the monitoring of the works.
Transforming your garage into a living room: do you pay more taxes?
The increase in living space always has an effect on local and property taxes, as well as on the housing tax. You have no declaration to make. From the moment you have applied for a building permit, the tax authorities have been informed.