As strange as it sounds, cities review each house on itsâ€™ own individual merit. Your house may have different setbacks, etc. Itâ€™s always best to start with the city â€“ itâ€™s like laying the foundation for a home â€“ you donâ€™t build the walls before the foundations are in place. You can normally call the city â€“ they have all of your homeâ€™s records on their computers and can readily tell you what your options are. Theyâ€™ll also be able to provide costs at that time as well.
We can provide you with a free estimate, set you up with an out of house designer and pull your permit, then remodel your home to suit your needs .
It all depends on value of home, you don't want to add to a property if ever need sale it can't due to improvements.
Only a contractor can make those decisions, it depends on type of materials used, and etc.
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The first step, BEFORE you even begin to calculate costs, is to contact the local building and planning departments. They will tell you whether or not they will sign off on the idea and if your setbacks or neighborhood CC&Rs will allow this type of a project. If you are part of a PUD, there may be serious restrictions as to what you can or cannot do. Begin with the Planning Department â€“ they regulate zoning laws for the city.
City of Sunnyvaleâ€™s Building Division web site:
IF â€¦ they allow your project, they will give you very specific details regarding their requirements and associated costs. City costs for this type of project will be high. Once you have the cityâ€™s requirements and costs in hand, then you will need to contact a local contractor to get associated building costs. I totally disagree with Billâ€™s assessment of costs â€“ it will cost a LOT more than he has estimated. Since I am also a licensed general contractor in the State of California, I have a very good idea of the related building costs in the Sunnyvale area. I would recommend a design-and-build contracting company â€“ they can provide you with an architect, engineer and all other related services/sub-contractors that will need to be a part of a project such as this. I can provide recommendations if you wish.
If the city says NO, then we recommend that you do not do any additions or alterations without permits. Here is a post dealing with the implications of unpermitted work:
3 Things You MUST Do To Get Your Albatross To Land Successfullyâ€¦
I did both, once a conversion of an old garage to a Cottage, and another time to re-build the falling down old garage, but unfortunately both were a number of years ago.
This question can be better answered by a contractor, or by someone that has recently done this work on their home or rental property.
The contractor should be able to explain to you what city permits are applicable to your city, help you with the plans, getting the permits most of all give you an estimate and of course doing the work.
I have several contractorsâ€™ names that I would be happy to share with you. These contractors are local contractors, in San Jose, Santa Clara and Mt View. Either myself or my clients have used these contractors several times, & I continue to use them or refer them out.
Feel free to contact me either by phone or e-mail & I will be happy to share this information with you.
Jorge E. GosÃ¡lvez
Broker Associate, GRI, SRES | DRE: 00811940
INTERO Real Estate Services
(408) 249-3718 Direct | (408) 904-5465 Fax
Jorge@BrokersForLife.com | http://www.BrokersForLife.com
Having been through the identical scenario, we can confidently say there is much more to this project than meets the eye.
To come to a full appreciation we recommend contacting a reliable builder. In addition to the expense of building a new garage a project that is done to code would involve raising the level of the existing garage floor, wiring, doors, and windows etc to convert the area to a living space.
The end result will no doubt be worth it....but depending on the scope of work involved, you can plan on $20,000 to $40,000 for a project of this nature.