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1.   Rear setback into a feature space 

Rear setback garage conversion
Rear setback garage conversion (Source

Most of the garages are situated 10 or 15 feet from the rear property line and these spaces are usually dirt patches. These patches are where the kids hide out or you stash old garden equipment. You can transform them with a few potted plants, string lights, and some fun patio furniture.

2.   Reinvent the garage with exterior cladding 

Reinvented the garage
Reinvented the garage with exterior cladding (Source

By using a board-and-batten and shingles together with extra-wide molding, you can turn a simple garage conversion into an artistic hideaway.

3.   Build exterior storage 

Extra storage Garage conversion
Extra storage Garage conversion (Source

When you convert your garage into an ADU, you need somewhere to put all the stuff you had in your garage. You may have an attic or you are planning to rent a storage unit. But you may still want easy access to things like bikes, sports gear, and basic tools. Therefore, you can think about constructing a storage shed. 

4.   Use glass-paneled upper cabinets

Glass paneled upper cabinets
Glass paneled upper cabinets for your ADU (Source

When you replace upper cabinets with open shelving, it is trendy and appealing. If you have no plans to have a permanent tenant in your ADU, it will not be an issue to have open shelving, which means less storage space.

5.   Extend the footprint and add a deck 

Extend the footprint and add a deck
Extend the footprint and add a deck (Source

In order to maximize the property’s gorgeous landscaping, you can add a place for storage on the left side of the ADU and an expansive deck. 

6.   Pack a punch with tile 

Tile interior
Tile interior (Source

In a small garage conversion like this, you can use large, bold tile on the kitchen wall to create a focal point for the whole unit.

7.   Be inventive with a challenging site 

Garage conversion
Garage conversion (Source

This ADU is situated on the corner of an urban lot. Therefore, it has to address safety as well as privacy issues. The operable windows near the roofline let in air. On the other hand, the fixed windows next to the door are less likely to be tampered with.

8.   Turn dead space into an inviting breezeway 

inviting breezeway
inviting breezeway (Source

Initially, the concrete pad between this ADU and the main house was very hot and best avoided. Then a pergola was added. The transformation was refreshing. It is now a cool patio with a ceiling fan, plenty of plants, and a lounge area for guests.

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