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470sf Garage Converted into AMAZING Modern Living Space


This 470 square foot garage conversion is on the Sunshine Coast in Gibsons, BC and the owners converted it into a rental space on Airbnb as a form of house hacking to help pay their mortgage!

It’s kind of like a micro cabin but instead of being out in the woods, it’s in a backyard and close to stores and other services.

470-sq.-ft. Garage Turned Cottage, on Airbnb

Garage to Tiny Home Conversion 1

Image © Exploring Alternatives

Inside, it’s an open concept studio with an incredible interior design.  The exposed concrete floors and corrugated metal ceiling keep the rustic feel of the garage, and the high windows bring in lots of light but they also provide privacy which is great since the main house is nearby.

Garage to Tiny Home Conversion 5

Image © Exploring Alternatives

They used some interior design techniques to help to distinguish each space so that it doesn’t feel cluttered. In the kitchen, the island serves as a natural barrier, in the living room, it’s the large area rug that outlines the space, and in the bedroom, there’s a large painting and an open-air closet to delineate the sleeping area.

Garage to Tiny Home Conversion 6

Image © Exploring Alternatives

Some advantages of open concept spaces are that they feel more spacious, they use fewer materials for things like walls, it can be easier to bring in natural light, and you need fewer fixtures, like ceiling fans for example.

Garage to Tiny Home Conversion 4

Image © Exploring Alternatives

Some disadvantages of open-concept spaces are that they can lack privacy, noise travels easily, and cooking smells don’t stay in the kitchen.  But lots of people and even families make it work all the time!

Garage to Tiny Home Conversion 7

Image © Exploring Alternatives

Converting a garage space, or adding an accessory dwelling or laneway house to a property is something that we’re seeing in cities more and more. The upside is that it densifies the population in an urban area which can help prevent a city from sprawling out, and it can increase the number of short and long-term rentals available in the area. The downside is that these secondary dwelling units usually can’t be purchased separately from the main house, so they don’t create new homeownership opportunities.

It’s not a perfect solution to the housing crisis, but it does create new rental spaces, and it can help make cities more sustainable.

VIDEO: 470sf Garage Converted into AMAZING Modern Living Space – Tiny Home Tour

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Danielle Chabassol
Danielle is a digital nomad who is passionate about tiny spaces, living with less, reducing waste and eating plant-based food. Danielle is half of the Exploring Alternatives blog & video project. You can find more of her at www.ExploringAlternatives.ca and her Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel.
{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Terrie C. Williams
    January 1, 2021, 10:38 am

    This is absolutely fantastic for disabled persons in wheel/powerchairs. I am disabled and I would LOVE to have a place like this!

  • Avatar Marc
    January 2, 2021, 10:04 am

    Nice, but i’d immediately need to put a real door on the bathroom. Stop it with barn doors on bathrooms already.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      January 5, 2021, 8:33 am

      Oh man I want a barn door on my bathroom so badly haha.

  • Avatar Marty
    January 2, 2021, 8:25 pm

    I have been considering doing this and was wondering how much work was involved to tie in the bathroom to the main sewer / water lines from the house? costs?

  • Avatar JB Silver
    January 11, 2021, 1:21 pm

    The owners of this garage did a great job of converting their garage. However, left out was the potential costs of such a project. Mainly running water, gas, plumbing, and permit costs. You also have the cost of construction that is not allowed unless done by professionals such as electric wiring and plumbers. For people in cities that allow for such a conversion, this project can take years to pay for itself. And can mean a tax increase. A mortgage means additional monthly expenses. It would be great if someone would find and list cities and states that are more lenient towards homeowners who wish to provide additional housing and income.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      January 11, 2021, 4:21 pm

      Thanks JB — I wish we had a huge staff that could start researching that. It’s so tricky because even within a town, you can have different rules based on where you are zoned. It would take a massive effort, and I feel that by the time you went through every town in the US the laws may have/would have changed. As a general rule, however, the more rural the area, the better chance you have to build without as much interference.

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