Changing use of garage to entrance hallway and workshop

Our front door used to be around the side of the house and led into the dining room. The garage is very narrow, too narrow to really get a car in (except for a small car), and the former owner used to use it as a workshop and tinker with an old small vehicle. The garage has a side door into the main body of the house. The house is a wooden house/chalet.

We want to convert the garage: (1) half of it into an entrance hallway (with cupboard for outdoor coats and shoes), and
split by a dividing wall with a door leading into (2) a workshop (workbench and tool storage) in the other half of the garage.

My question (for planning permission purposes) is: would the hallway and workshop be considered living spaces or not?

Many thanks for your thoughts.

This is a grey area as rules have changed over the years Many years ago, as long as long as you did not change the exterior appearance of a property, what you did inside was your own business hence why so many garages became habitable spaces. I think your best bet is to go to the mairie and ask because any application for change has to go through them first and they will confirm what you need to do. What I would say is, get evrything on paper in case something comes back to haunt you in the future. As an example, a house nearby to me recently built was meant and had the permis de construire for the habitation on the first floor due to it being in a flood risk area. However it is now for sale and cannot be sold as is because the owners without permission moved the first floor kitchen and living area to the ground level and cannot get insurance to cover it due to going against the original permis and the flood risk. What I have learned from over 30 plus years in France is not to buck the system but to get advice and everything on paper toprotect yourself. I don’t honestly see any problem with your plan but best to be sure you are not breaking some new law regarding habitation and the application of relevent taxes on the property.


Isn’t the moral of your tale to follow the rules? If one does so then nothing to come back and bite you,…

In general I would submit a déclaration préalable. May not be necessary for the workshop element, but covers off all the bases.

1 Like