What national and local incentives are available right now? I am looking to make my detached garage into a guest house.

Asked by Freddie Mercury
San Diego, CA

My garage is unfinished with no insulation or drywall. I will basically be building a new structure except for the majority of the framing.


Elizabeth DiSalvo

Answered by Elizabeth DiSalvo

Ridgefield , CT

Trillium Architects

August 12, 2011

Probably the best source for discovering all incentives for green building are found at

  • Go to that site and search 'California'.
  • We are just finishing a house in San Diego and being east coast architects we are fairly jealous of all of the incentives that you Californians get, that we don't.

Some examples.  You can get:

  • incentives and rebates for super insulating,
  • buying all high efficiency appliances and HVAC equipment.
  • If you put solar on your garage, you have great incentives for solar.

You'll have to check that these would apply to you because many of them apply to 'New Residential' and I am not sure if your garage would fall into that category. It might since- as you say -you are basically making a new building.

The house we just completed basically got their solar system installed for free after all of the rebates and special incentives.  But they were in a fire district so you may not receive some of those.

  • Plus you get property tax breaks when you install solar.
  • You can get expedited filing for the building permit process in San Diego.
  • The list is long and you may need some expert help.

There are companies in California who can help you negotiate the rebates and incentives. I can't recommend one, but if you do a search I am sure you will find some!

Good luck, go through the list and enjoy your incentives!


For more information:

Read "I'm remodeling my house and I feel like I am missing out on incentives. What are the hot new incentives out there?" a Q&A answered by Rick Williams.

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