Garage apartment

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A garage apartment is an apartment built within the walls of, or on top of, the garage of a house.[1] The garage may be attached or a separate building from the main house, but will have a separate entrance and may or may not have a communicating door to the main house. A garage apartment is one type of "accessory dwelling unit" or ADU, a term used by architects, urban planners and in zoning ordinances to identify apartments smaller than the main dwelling on one lot or parcel of land.[2] Other examples of ADU's include granny flats, English basements, mother-in-law suites, and auxiliary units.

In the U.S., garage apartments are frequently found in older urban areas, either in secondary buildings designed for such purposes (sometimes called 'guest' or 'carriage' houses), or converted into residential units from their original use. ADUs may be regulated by size, occupancy, lot size, core features (such as kitchens or bathrooms), other building codes and parking allotment. In Canada, they can also be referred to as coachhouses and in Australia, Fonzie flats.[3]

The idea of integrating garage apartments into urban planning is a key aspect of new urbanism, although many jurisdictions in the U.S. prohibit new construction of or occupancy of ADUs except for relatives.


  1. ^ Obolensky, Kira (2003). Garage: Reinventing the Place We Park. Taunton Press. pp. 123–. ISBN 9781561586455.
  2. ^ Daniel K. Slone; Doris S. Goldstein; W. Andrew Gowder (2008-08-18). A Legal Guide to Urban and Sustainable Development for Planners, Developers and Architects. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 245–. ISBN 9780470053294.
  3. ^ "Oxford Word of the Month: fonzie flat" (PDF). Australian National Dictionary Centre. January 2013. Retrieved 2017-06-15. noun: a self-contained dwelling usually above a garage

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