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Old 03-30-2010, 10:31 AM
 
Location: NJ
17,578 posts, read 44,505,887 times
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I am closing on a house at the end of April. It has a pretty big 2 car garage. I would probably never park in it and it would just collect junk. I was thinking maybe converting it to livable space. Maybe a "man cave" type area.

I know I'm not giving too many specifics, but does anyone with experience with this have a ball park for how expensive something like this is?
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,307 posts, read 37,704,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
I am closing on a house at the end of April. It has a pretty big 2 car garage. I would probably never park in it and it would just collect junk. I was thinking maybe converting it to livable space. Maybe a "man cave" type area.

I know I'm not giving too many specifics, but does anyone with experience with this have a ball park for how expensive something like this is?
That totally depends on what you want to do.

It could literally be anywhere between $500 and $200,000.

Be aware that converting a garage to living space is almost always going to be very ill-advised from an investment standpoint. A garage is pretty important to most prospective buyers (more often than not more important than extra square footage) and converted garages have a funny way of looking exactly like converted garages. A nice garage can be really cool, but as soon as it loses its functionality as a garage (or at least its "easily converted back to a garage-ness") it becomes a money pit and a sale liability.
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:05 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Thanks Jim. Good point to consider about the resale. I wonder if I can do something more on the cheap side that wouldn't be too hard to change back to a garage if I need to sell. Maybe even just a nice play area for the kids.
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:09 PM
 
Location: MN
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So it's a 2 stall garage, you plan on parking one car in there. Where are you going to put all your camping gear, fishing gear, beer fridge, lawn equipment (not sure if you need snowblowers in Jersey), etc.. etc.. etc..??
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:12 PM
 
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You should also check with your HOA regarding any requirements on coverting the garage to lviing space.
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:26 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Norsky - wasn't planning on using either side of the garage. I could probably make a storage area though for most of the other items. There is a pretty big shed in the back that will also work for a lot of that type of stuff.

Texas - Good idea. I didn't see anything specific about that in the HOA rules, but it would cerainly be a good idea to check. I know a few houses on that very street have done the same thing so I know it should at least be OK in general.
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
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Jim said all the right things. If you do this, whether you do a cheap or a high dollar conversion my answer is the same. Build this to be easily convertible back to it's original intent....a garage. My first suggestion is to leave the garage door. Behind it in the living space build a framed wall and insulate it. You can even come inward a few feet so when the garage door opens it gives you some outside storage. Some day if you need to convert it all back to a garage you only need remove the wall. If you bricked or sided over the garage door you are sunk!

Your worse problem is the floor. ALL garage floors are pitched downward. Can you live with this in a living space? If not then you are building a false floor to level the entire living space. This can also serve to make the inside entrance door threshold level since all garages step down by code. Do you have windows in there? Most garage windows are cheap cheap cheap.

When you drywall the inside you might just want to do it to code with 5/8th fireproof drywall. A new buyer in the future might like finished walls whether they use it for cars or living in. And if you go to sell this house, the buyer will hire a deal killer.......oops sorry I mean home inspector and they will make you tear it out if it is not firecode drywall so ya might as well do it right the first time.

You better really like that house because it likely is cheaper to just buy a house with an extra room.
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,307 posts, read 37,704,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
Thanks Jim. Good point to consider about the resale. I wonder if I can do something more on the cheap side that wouldn't be too hard to change back to a garage if I need to sell. Maybe even just a nice play area for the kids.
A coat of paint, some manly, bare-cedar baseboards and door casing, epoxy floor paint or possibly the garage tile mats, a couch, a projector screen, an HD projector, a speaker setup, a PS3, a keg-erator, a dartboard, a wall of pegboard with an immaculately organized array of tools, an air compressor, an arc welder, a table saw, a dual-slide compound mitering saw, a set of pneumatic tools, etc. etc.

The kids and wife have the rest of the house. The garage must remain yours.
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:46 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,578 posts, read 44,505,887 times
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Thanks desert. I'm not in any way set on this. It was just a thought as maybe a way to use the space for something other than collecting junk. I am definitely in the figure out how much this will cost mode and see if it is worth it.
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:23 PM
 
2,944 posts, read 7,478,610 times
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If done without permit won't be fun trying to sell,bank will require completed permits.If not to code can make you tear down.
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