Lounging Lizards | Converting A Garage Into A Granny Flat
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Converting A Garage Into A Granny Flat

Converting A Garage Into A Granny Flat

Want to Know if Your Garage Can be Turned Into a Granny Flat?


Thinking about turning your garage into a flat for mom and dad? Want to start generating extra weekly income without extra work? Converting your entire garage into a granny flat or building a Fonzie above the bottom floor will finally put your garage to work for you. But does yours qualify?



With new regulations in NSW, you can convert your garage into a cozy home, an office, or a hangout for the kids. Under the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP, the government is attempting to relieve soaring housing prices by relaxing building codes and creating more affordable dwellings. This means you can have your garage transformation project approved in as few as 10 days!


There are a few unique things to be aware of before you go ahead with the project, though. Here are a few important aspects of the code to keep in mind.


How to get Approval for Converting Your Garage


Determining whether or not your garage qualifies is complex and requires a certifier to come to your premises. A few important aspects to keep in mind are:


  • Setbacks – The wall of your garage must be at least 900mm from your property’s boundary. If not, a “fire-rated” wall must be installed. Sometimes it’s as easy as taking the existing wall down and putting a brick one in its place.
  • Wall Height – The walls of your garage must be at least 2.4m in height to qualify as a habitable dwelling. If not, the roof must be raised.
  • Concrete Slab – The slab in your garage must be certified as habitable by an engineer. The tricky part is that it is often at the engineers discretion. He or she may require you to perform “core drilling” to determine whether or not the slab has adequate thickness and support.
  • BASIX – BASIX is one of the most successful initiatives in Australia. Its aim is to make new dwellings energy and water efficient. Your garage will need adequate insulation, glazing, air circulation, an HVAC system, and cooking facilities in order to meet the criteria. It’s important to consult professionals to ensure everything is up to standard.
  • Roller Door – A unique challenge with converting a garage to a granny is the roller door. It will need to be removed, and you will have to reinstate the wall to ensure adequate insulation.
  • Plumbing – Plumbing lines will have to be run from the dwelling. This gets more complicated if the garage is located near a sewer main.


The good news is that you have plenty of options for converting your garage. You could:


  • Convert to a one story dwelling
  • Convert to a two-storey Granny Flat (if it does not exceed 8.5m in height)
  • Build a one or two-bedroom loft above the garage (a Fonzie)
  • Partially convert the garage and maintain a large open space



New relaxed legislation allows for approval in 10 days, and Lounging Lizards can build a new Sydney granny flat up to 4 times faster than the industry average! So if you’re thinking about converting your garage, do some personal surveying and then contact Lounging Lizards to take the first steps toward turning your garage into a high-yield property investment!


This is not an exhaustive list. You should always consult with professionals to determine whether or not your garage is suitable to be converted.

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