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Helpful Guide to Building a Detached Garage Guest House

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A detached garage with a guest house or apartment on the top floor brings many benefits to a home. It can be used for so many different purposes from providing a private space to keep out-of-town guests very comfortable, to rental income possibilities, to giving adult children a taste of living on their own.

When we think about actually executing the vision of building that beautiful custom garage with an apartment, many of us begin to get overwhelmed and wonder how to even start. Here is a helpful guide to planning and constructing a detached garage with apartment space.

Building CodesHelpful Guide to Building a Detached Garage Guest House

Before starting any grand project in or around your home, permits and building codes should be considered. You don’t want to start a costly improvement only to discover it is not allowed where you live. Homeowners should check in with their HOA as well as the city they live and know what they are allowed to build.

Keep in Line with the Style of the Home with a Guest House

You don’t want your new beautiful garage and apartment to stick out like a sore thumb when you drive up to the property. It should look like it has always been a part of the plan. This will not only help you to love it more, but come in very handy if you ever decide to sell the home. Curb appeal is very important. A garage building pro can help you discover the options for making the new garage fit in perfectly with your home.

Learn More: What is Modern Architecture?


Insulation is hugely important in detached garage apartments. The opening and closing of big garage doors is going to effect the temperature of the garage even in the apartment above. Quality insulation is going to help ensure a comfortable living environment in the apartment.

Plumbing and Electrical

These items will need to be run underground to the new “home.” If you plan to add more plumbing features later like a kitchen or wet bar it is best to get the starts plumbed in now than later. You also want to make sure you are generous with plug ins and provide plenty of light especially in places of safety like over the stairs.

The Staircase

There will need to be a staircase to access the apartment. The question is will it be inside the garage or outside? Make sure to check those building codes on what is expected and allowed as far as the staircase goes.

Hiring Professionals

Building a detached garage with a guest house is a huge project. It is a project that really should be done by a professional that specializes in the custom garage building. The best way to do a big project in your home so that is does not need to be fixed or take longer than it should is to hire the right people to build. It will actually end up saving you money in the long run.

For more information on building a custom garage in Snohomish County or surrounding areas contact us any time or come visit us in Marysville.

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