1. Go in person to your jurisdiction's Zoning or Community Development Office. Ask the land use professional at the counter if your proposed project requires any zoning approvals, building permits, and to make sure that any set-back requirements are grandfathered. Make sure you get it in writing!
2. If the counter person won't do that, ask for their card and send them an email outlining the points of their conversation with you. Be certain to close your email with a sentence that asks them to reply back with any corrections, subtractions, or additions that they may believe are needed.
3. Same thing at the Building Permit counter. Make sure if an Electrical Permit will be required. Make sure it in writing. Otherwise, you home insurance may not have to pay for any damages caused due to work performed. Always think "liability."
4. Viewing information on the jurisdictions website is nice, but can often be incorrect. Codes and other requirements change overnight and may not be online yet. It's your responsibility to collect the information, not theirs.
5. Get a Home Inspector, Engineer, or other appropriate professional to sign off on any plans or completed work. Always think "liability."
6. Enjoy the completed work for years to come.
Tom Inglesby, Broker
RE/MAX Equity Group Inc.
Also make sure you are not violating covenants and all of that by removing or converting your garage. Check the title report for the property and get that information as well before you start.
Good luck with the project.
#1 Rated Re\Max team in Oregon
If you need anything further, I am happy to help!
Lana Lavenbarg, BROKER
Consult your county office for building permit requirements. In most areas, if you are increasing the finished/heated square footage, you will be required to obtain a permit. An upside to this, you will find out what the regulations and codes are. Stick to these codes to make sure you are maintaining and likely increasing the value of your home! Now, as far as SHOULD you permanently convert your garage...consider if most of the homes in your neighborhood have garages and yours does not, you may actually be decreasing the value of your property.