Can we turn our garage into a spare room?

We no longer use our car and have no more need for our garage so, as it is built on to the house, would it be possible to turn it into a spare room for visitors?Can you say how we should go about it and what formalities we need to complete?  T.M.

21 June 2017

Turning your garage into a spare room is easier and cheaper than building an extension and the formalities are not complex as long as your garage is not too large.

If the work will cover an area of more than 5m², which it will for a garage, you must make a déclaration préalable de travaux to your mairie. If it will cover more than 20m² you should check with the mairie if you need to apply for a permis de construire building permit and also ask if this is needed if changing the garage door counts as modifying the exterior appearance of the property.

The déclaration préalable has been made simpler and quicker this year and you can ask the mairie for the form to complete and to confirm if there are any restrictions in the plan local d’urbanisme, if there is one, such as making sure a parking space is still available.

As you are turning a garage into a room, you should also think about suitable insulation for its new usage and, perhaps, heating.

There will be some effect on your local taxes, with the extra floor space perhaps increasing your taxe d’habitation plus you may face the taxe d’aménagement.

Question answered by Sarah Bright-Thomas of Bright Avocats

Tel: 05 61 57 90 86 -

If you have a legal query send it to

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