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Bathroom In a Detached Garage: Is It Possible?

In today’s day and age, having a garage is a requirement because nearly everyone has a car. A detached garage is a garage that is, as the name implies, detached from the house and acts as its own sort of home for cars and other things.

Bathrooms are always needed; there is not one building in existence that doesn’t have one. The question now is if it’s possible to add a bathroom to a detached garage and whether it can help improve a home.

Yes, A bathroom in a detached garage is possible. However, the question you should be asking is not if it’s possible, but if you should do it. This all depends, of course, on how you use your garage as space.

In this article, we will be going into the requirements for a bathroom to function properly, the requirements for a garage to function properly, how to add a bathroom to a detached garage, how you can make them work together, and a note on adding spaces.

Read on if you’re interested in adding more spaces to your garage or if you just want to learn about how to make spaces work together, especially when adding them through renovations.

Can you put a bathroom in a detached garage?

Based on my personal recommendations, I would not suggest putting a bathroom INSIDE a detached garage. Instead, it would be better and more convenient to put a bathroom ATTACHED to a detached garage.

The reason for this is that it reduces the barrier of entry for the bathroom. Imagine having to open up the garage every time someone in your home’s outdoor area needs to use the bathroom.

Aside from the convenience of use, there will also be the convenience of construction since you won’t be affecting the interior spaces of the detached garage at all, thus allowing you to use the garage while renovations are ongoing.

This all depends, of course, on how you actually use your detached garage and outdoor spaces. If you spend a lot of time inside your detached garage, then perhaps adding a bathroom INSIDE will be a better choice. Spaces never really follow any set rules; instead, they adjust to the people’s needs using them.

At the end of the day, adding a bathroom to a detached garage should be a relatively simple renovation depending on multiple factors.

How to add a bathroom

Adding bathrooms is one of the easiest renovations to do (most of the time and depending on where you plan on adding them). They barely take up any space, and they have very little requirements to function.

A functional bathroom’s size is almost the same as a regular bed. It really doesn’t take that much for a bathroom to function and to be built on the surface level. In simpler terms, it doesn’t take much to build a bathroom, but instead, it will take a bit more work to get it to actually work.

The most important factor to consider when adding a bathroom anywhere is how it will affect your plumbing system. You’ll most likely have to add entirely new vent pipes, water pipes, and wastage pipes. Adding these plumbing fixtures will cost quite a bit but will most probably not affect your water system.

The plumber will add interventions to ensure that the renovation will not cause any water disruptions to your home, such as adding gate valves, a valve that stops water flow, etc.

Requirements for a detached garage to work

The only thing that a garage really needs is appropriate access and space to support cars going in, going out, and parking. This is the bare minimum for a garage to work.

Of course, we should never go with just the bare minimum. Having extra space to do other activities inside a garage will always be convenient and beneficial no matter what. It’s suggested that on all 4 sides that there is a sort of “setback” from where the car is parked. This way, the car can easily be accessed from any side.

Garages really aren’t that complex of space when it comes to programming. It all boils down to the client’s lifestyle. A garage can be both a parking space and a workspace at the same time, like Tony Stark’s in the Iron Man movie.

This versatility in space requirement gives homeowners the freedom to change things up and adjust the space to serve the functions they need.

Feel free to check out our comprehensive guide on garage outlets here for all the requirements needed in a garage.

Benefits of a detached garage

Knowing the strengths of your spaces can allow you to program it towards function at its best. The detached garage has many advantages on its own that can be utilized. Here are a few brief benefits that a detached garage brings to both the users and the house itself.

  • Detached garages increase real estate value.

Detached garages are considered a luxury, as they are rare and much more expensive to have than regular attached garages. This type of garage will be seen as a bonus in the eyes of the real estate market.

  • Detached garages offer more opportunities

Since detached garages are not confined to a house, there are endless amounts of renovations that you can add and build upon, even to the point where you can convert it to its own mini living space as a guest house if needed.

  • Detached garages are more efficient

Efficient in the sense that per square meter of space, it’s entirely being used for garages’ intended functions. Attached garages have to take into account the adjacent nearby spaces.

  • Detached garages offer a different kind of convenience

The convenience of detached garages lies in its usage by the homeowners. A detached garage offers a more convenient mode of entering and exiting the house. It’s a given that if you have a detached garage, you’ll also have a road within your lot leading off-site, so it could be convenient to have your car in different positions relative to the house rather than just one fixated position.

  • Detached garages are aesthetic pleasing

The design of a detached garage can add more beauty to how the site is overall being framed by onlookers. There’s a reason why most mansion and celebrity houses have a detached garage. It just really adds that luxury factor to a lot because it’s uncommon to see two structures built up inside one lot.

Difference between a detached garage and a regular garage

If you’re reading this article, you most probably already have a detached garage. For those who don’t, the main difference between a detached garage and a regular garage is its structural requirements, the programming, and the opportunity it provides.

Detached garages are, of course, harder to access, especially when the weather is inclement. However, the detached garages from the main house ensure that the activities in that space do not disturb the rest of the house.

Back then, actually, detached garages were normal. It wasn’t until cars became so common that architects had to figure out a way to make sure that cars can fit within a lot in the most economical and efficient way possible.

The biggest con of a detached garage when compared to a regular garage, is the amount of space that is required to support it. You would need to drive into your lot, which implies having road space, and you’ll have to build an entirely different structural unit to support the garage.

The biggest pro of a detached garage is how easy it is to renovate when compared to a regular garage. Since it’s a structural unit separated from the main house, renovations would not really disturb your day to day living except, of course, parking and keeping your cars. You can literally keep adding more space as long as your lot can support it.

This flexibility is enticing, especially for people looking for a house because they can easily modify a detached garage to suit their needs, like adding a bathroom inside, for example.

I want to add a bathroom in my detached garage. What’s the best way to do it?

For such a space-orientated structure, the main game here is making sure that everything is in the right size. You’re most likely going to need to extend your detached garage if you plan on putting a bathroom inside unless you don’t mind losing some of the space that was originally intended for some other use.

A bathroom for a detached garage will most probably only contain a toilet and a sink. Adding a shower would entail that you would also need a place to dry up and change into a fresh pair of clothes, and a garage isn’t exactly the cleanest nor most refreshing place to be at. This, however, is just the author’s opinion on this, and the bathroom’s fixtures should be entirely up to you!

You would only need around 1.2m x 0.9m for a toilet and sink bathroom for it to work. This is the minimum amount of space needed for a bathroom of this type to function well. However, it’s a good practice never to follow the bare minimums of spaces; it’s cheaper to build things a bit bigger during construction than to renovate later on for more space. Foresight in planning and design is one of the best ways to save money in the long run.

Consider first why do you need a bathroom inside your garage. There must be a reason you’re reading this article and considering it, whether it be from planning to turn it into a separate living space or just for convenience’s sake. The intention is important when doing any renovation because it would be difficult to stop once you start.

Now that you have an intention, you should then translate that intention to the programming of the said bathroom. This includes the fixtures, the arrangement of fixtures, and the amount of space you will have to move about in the bathroom. Before anything else, you need to ask yourself.

The following are considerations that you should make:

  • How often the bathroom will be used.
  • Who will be using this bathroom
  • During what time of the day will the bathroom most likely be used
  • In what scenarios would you use this specific bathroom.
  • What part of the garage has enough space to support a bathroom.
  • How will the bathroom be accessed?
  • Where will the plumbing pipes need to go through for the bathroom to work?

These are just a few basic considerations that you would need to think about when planning out a bathroom in a detached garage.

ToiletConsider where the toilet is oriented on. There should be enough space to allow the amenities to properly function.
SinkThe sink should be the appropriate size. If the sink is too small, water might splash out. If the sink is too big, then it would just be a waste of space.
ShowerHaving a shower is convenient because it doesn’t require a lot of space to function. It’s also quiet.
BathtubA bathtub is not recommended for a garage outlet because of how much space is needed to be used properly. If you decide to have a bathtub, make sure that the area around it is clear to avoid slipping.
FinishesStandardized finishes include tiles. Tile usage is popular because they are near impossible to deteriorate. Considering how unorthodox a bathroom in a garage is, you can take that as an opportunity to play around with other finishes such as stone, wood, etc.  
VentilationHave either a natural or artificial vent inside the bathroom. This ensures that bad smells and moisture do not linger inside the bathroom or spread out to the garage.
AdditionalAdditional amenities such as adding counters, storage, or hangars could be added to the bathroom as long as you have enough space.
MovementThe sizes and arrangement of these different factors should be appropriate to the users’ anthropometric (movement) habits. Also, to ensure that the utilities can function together in harmony, you wouldn’t want your sink to get wet because of your shower.

This is just a basic overview of the different aspects that come into play inside a bathroom. There is no best way to solve every problem, and there is no perfect plan. It’s all up to how the users adjust to the space and how well the space is adjusted to the users.

Conclusion

Having a bathroom in a detached garage is definitely possible. The main concern stems from whether it is really necessary to have one or not in your current context. There are many pros and cons to having these types of spaces mixed, but if it’s really something you want, there will always be a way to make it work. Detached garages have a different set of challenges and opportunities compared to the regular attached garages.

At the end of the day, any combination of spaces is possible. We’ve reached a point where we can build quite freely, with the only limitations being set by industry standards and the law. Compared to back then, we can get any space to work in all conditions as long as you have the proper funding to have it constructed well.

Jordan Harris

From the earliest age I can remember, I was planning and building things, and there was no question that Architecture was the right career fit for me. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, I am absolutely thrilled and privileged to share my knowledge and experience with everyone through this blog.

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