Garage Conversion

$5 for every $1,000 of valuation of the project.  In no case is the permit fee less than $50 or more than $400.  There will be $70 per trade (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing).  Additionally, there is a $15 or 25% processing fee due at the time of permit submittal (whichever is the greater) which is non-refundable.

Garage conversions are allowed in most zoning districts.  Please contact the Building Inspection Department at 972-205-2300 to see if it is allowed specifically at your residence.
 
When converting your garage into habitable space, you will need to complete the permit application above and provide our office with either a property survey or a scaled drawing (1"=20' minimum).   On the scaled drawing, draw the shape of the lot, the shape of the existing house on the lot, and any other structures (storage buildings, swimming pools, gazebos, etc.) in your yard.
 
Break out (on a separate sheet of paper) the new rooms and all the existing rooms in the house that are common (or next to) the garage conversion.  Show the types and size of each room.  Show the size (width and height) and location of windows and doors in each room.  Provide the type of exterior materials (brick, siding, stone) and notate any plumbing or mechanical (air-conditioning) work.  (NOTE:  Electrical is required.)  And finally, note if the construction, mechanical, electrical, and/or plumbing work will be done by the homeowner or licensed contractors registered with the City. 

When Converting into Bedroom(s), You Must

  1. Install smoke detectors in each sleeping room and at a centrally located area within the corridor or area giving access to the sleeping area(s).  Each smoke detector must be hard-wired and provide a battery backup. 
  2. Windows in bedrooms must meet specific height, width, and openable space requirements.  We recommend that you install a minimum window size of 3'0" x 5'0".  Depending on the size of the room, you may be required to install a larger window for natural light requirements.
  3. Electrical plugs are required six feet (6') from each door or cased opening and every twelve feet (12') of wall space thereafter.  This means that on either side of every door or cased opening in the room, you should be able to find an electrical plug within six feet (6').  Then you should be able to find a plug every twelve feet (12') of continuous wall space.  This requirement does not apply to the windows as they are not considered a cased opening.

Effective September 1, 2009:  All new houses, remodels, garage conversions, and additions must comply with the Proportionality Ordinance which states:  for every two (2) bedrooms, a house must have one (1) full bathroom (including a toilet, sink, shower, and/or bathtub) and one (1) living area a minimum of 120 square feet (this means the room would have to be a minimum of 10 feet by 12 feet to meet this requirement).  The living area does not include bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, unfinished garages, or basements.  Pursuant to the Ordinance, a three (3) bedroom house would require one (1) bathroom and one (1) living area; for a four (4) or five (5) bedroom house, two (2) bathrooms and two (2) living areas would be required.

When Converting into Any Other Habitable Space, You Must

  1. Provide 8% natural light in the room.  This may be accomplished by installing French doors, sliding glass doors, windows, and/or skylights.
  2. Electrical plugs are required six feet (6') from each door or cased opening and every twelve feet (12') of wall space thereafter.  This means that on either side of every door or cased opening in the room, you should be able to find an electrical plug within six feet (6').  Then you should be able to find a plug every twelve feet (12') of continuous wall space.  This requirement does not apply to the windows as they are not considered a cased opening.