Olivia A., Home Owner in Danville, CA

Can I convert one of my three garages (single car) into a bonus room and is the garage considered the interior of the home?

Asked by Olivia A., Danville, CA Wed Jul 18, 2012

Revised Question: I've owned a home in Danville, CA since 2003. Our development is subject to CC&Rs and is managed by an HOA. We have a three car garage (1 double, 1 single). We recently converted our single car garage into an additional bonus space. 2 temporary walls were erected. One in front of the garage door, and another along the side. The single car garage is small and won't accomodate any of our vehicles (only a subcompact or mini). The CC&R's state that, "Garages shall be kept sufficiently clear so as to permit parking of the number of vehicles for which the garage was designed. So, the garage can't be used for storage either? I know of several homes that can only get one car in their garage - the rest are parked in the driveway. It appears that someone reported us as having done this. The HOA is demanding that we restore the garage back to its original condition. Can some please help guide us as to what our options are? We would appreciate any input. Thanks

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I feel like it is probably against the rules of your HOA to have that extra room. However, if you are having troubles fitting everything you need into the rest of your home, you might try using your extra garage space just as storage. If you do it correctly, you don't have to use all of the space, but you can keep everything organized. If you get good shelves and have good spaces for your storage, then it should be fine! http://www.heftyhangers.com/products
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 21, 2014
Hi Olivia ... while i am not an attorney I am an Architect in addition to being a Broker. My recollection is that from the City of Danville's standpoint they require a two car garage ... and will have specific minimum dimensions of what that space has to be. I suspect that the single car space does not technically qualify as a garage space for a car but you should check. I would also presume that your Attorney would argue the term"number of vehicles for which the garage was designed" would stipulate that those vehicles are automobiles ... the size for which is defined by the City... and therefore the 3rd space could arguably not be for a "vehicle" but for other purposes ... like storage... and therefore does not require access to the garage door.

The path of least resistance is a variation on my earlier comment. Remove the wall in front of the garage door, but leave the wall between the double garage and the single garage since that wall does not preclude the single space from being used as a garage. You would then have the required 3 car garage, one space of which is used as a bonus room but could be used as a garage when you decide to get a Smartcar or Fiat.

All that said you may want to talk to your Attorney before proceeding.

Steve Curtis
Broker / Owner / Architect
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2012
Thank you. Your response was very helpful.
Flag Wed Jul 18, 2012
First, find out what the CC&R's say about that. Then as Neil has suggested go to the local building and planning jurisdiction and find out what their zoning parameters are. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2012
Hi Olivia,

I can't honestly tell you that I know for sure what the building and planning department for Danville will say when you request to do this. I do know that you really really really should not do it without going through the formal permit request process. There are all sorts of legal and insurance aspect reasons why it must be done "on the record."

I just closed a deal in Brentwood on a 4000 sq ft house that had a split garage in which one portion was a 2 car set up and the offset side was a one car stall. Before the buyer made the decision to buy the house we went to the planning dept and asked if that 3rd stall could be converted to living space. Brentwood said YES it could as long as there are at least 2 stalls remaining and the process was done with permits etc. This seems to be a common answer. Most cities don't want large houses with little or no garage parking available as this causes everybody to park on the streets and can cause visual blight. Danville might have a different answer. The best and only way to to know is to go down there (or call) and ask them. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2012
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