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Old 06-11-2013, 10:05 PM   #1
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


Hello everyone,

I have decided that I would like to convert my garage into another bedroom at some point. The house currently has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths. The garage is a single car garage and is extremely small. At one point a long time ago it was clean enough to park a car but it was a tight squeeze.

The actual project won't take place for a while due to lack of funds and having to build a storage shed that will hold what is currently in the garage.

I'm not worried about whether or not someone will want to buy my house because the garage is no longer present as I don't plan on getting rid of the house.

I am posting this to enlist your help in my thought process. Before anyone asks.......YES a building permit will be obtained for the project.

The conversion will be good as it will allow me to enlarge my tiny laundry room as well as have an additional bedroom.

Garage Dimensions(approx) 14' x 22'

What to do
  • Vapor barrier on garage floor
  • Use 2x10s for floor joists with a 14ft span(should work but if not use 2x12)
  • Attach floor joists to rim joist that will be attached to existing studs(add blocking too).
  • Move existing window higher since floor is raised
  • Move rear door higher since floor is raised
  • Frame out garage door opening and add a window or two(bottom will be brick to match rest of house.
  • Plumbing and wiring
  • 3/4" plywood for flooring(and insulation for floor)
  • Frame interior walls for closet, bathroom and laundry room.
  • Add insulation
  • Add recessed lighting throughout room
  • Drywall, mud and tape
  • etc......


Problems/Questions
  • Heat and Air(need to see if my unit is big enough for the extra space) If not get one of those mini split systems maybe.
  • Plumbing - need to get it through the concrete blocks that line the side of the garage. Any ideas? Just drill a hole through it and make sure I line it up right? It is part of the foundation as far as I know?
  • Question - What would be the best way to provide access to the crawl space below the newly constructed floor? Would I just have to rid of some of the foundation blocks and add proper support?
No current pictures available right now.


Anyone have any suggestions, answers or questions?


I am no pro but I'm planning on doing the majority of the work myself with the exception of the vinyl siding and electricity. Feel free to let me know if I said anything that doesn't make sense.

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Old 06-17-2013, 10:09 AM   #2
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


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Old 06-17-2013, 10:24 PM   #3
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


My guess is you haven't got any responses for 2 reasons. The 1st is that it looks like you've pretty much covered everything already. Secondly, the questions you are asking we will really need pictures to help you much.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:35 AM   #4
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


And.....Garage conversions to living spaces?....while it looks good at the time....usually ends up hurting the home value....

Where I live....not allowed....if you want more space....you have to add on...
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:56 AM   #5
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
And.....Garage conversions to living spaces?....while it looks good at the time....usually ends up hurting the home value....

Where I live....not allowed....if you want more space....you have to add on...
Yea, I'm not worried about that really. I'm going to keep the house forever as far as I'm concerned and I plan on building a large two car garage at some point down the road.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:42 AM   #6
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


In that case....remember....what ever size garage you decide to build.....it's never big enough.....

So....to answer your questions....

Plumbing....yep...knock a hole...but I would make it so that you could feed the copper through a piece of PVC pipe to protect it. Then seal.

How high is the floor going to be from the garage floor?

I personally would make the crawl space access in the existing opening....I would also consider adding a door if you ever think you might want to rent the room out at a later date.

On your hvac....for now...insulate the hell out of it...including between the floor joists....and beef up the insulation in the existing house. The cost of that will be less than a mini-split...and a much better pay back. Chances are, with improved insulation...what you have will be fine.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:25 PM   #7
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
In that case....remember....what ever size garage you decide to build.....it's never big enough.....

So....to answer your questions....

Plumbing....yep...knock a hole...but I would make it so that you could feed the copper through a piece of PVC pipe to protect it. Then seal.

How high is the floor going to be from the garage floor?

I personally would make the crawl space access in the existing opening....I would also consider adding a door if you ever think you might want to rent the room out at a later date.

On your hvac....for now...insulate the hell out of it...including between the floor joists....and beef up the insulation in the existing house. The cost of that will be less than a mini-split...and a much better pay back. Chances are, with improved insulation...what you have will be fine.

Thanks for the input. I definitely do need to insulate the hvac runs under my house. I fixed some of it already but the rest still needs work.

I think in order for the floor to match the rest of the house there would only be 1ft of clearance between the slab and the bottom of the floor joists.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:17 PM   #8
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


First thing you had better determine is whether the existing garage slab is of suitable material/reinforcement, thickness, compressive strength, etc. to serve as a foundation for the new room. They rarely are and you will have to resolve the issue before you can get any sign-offs, permits, etc.

Last edited by user1007; 06-18-2013 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:09 PM   #9
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


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Where I live....not allowed....if you want more space....you have to add on...
Yet another reason to avoid living in California! While I certainly agree with building codes and zoning to ensure quality construction and maintain property values, dictating the design of a home to this degree is ridiculous. I can even understand requiring a garage but....
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:34 PM   #10
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


Dawg is specifically referring to the fact that there is only a one car garage. In Calif. code requires at least one-one car garage and most likely a two car garage if the house has so many bedrooms.

I am now designing a plan that makes use of a tandem garage by converting part of the garage to a guest quarters. There will be enough covered garage space to meet code so no worries on the conversion.

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Old 06-18-2013, 11:53 PM   #11
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


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Yet another reason to avoid living in California! While I certainly agree with building codes and zoning to ensure quality construction and maintain property values, dictating the design of a home to this degree is ridiculous. I can even understand requiring a garage but....
Before you get your knickers in a twist....there is actually a pretty good reason for it.

Because land here is so expensive...especially as you get close to the beach...there is a tendency for home owners to 'maximize' the amount of house you can get on that land. When you push the cars out...they have to have somewhere to park....hence, the street. I bet you would not be real happy to get home late at night and have to park a block away because all the on street parking is taken up...and it's taken up because no one has a garage.

It's not like the city just decided one day "Hey, lets pass a building code that says you must have at least one usable garage." The rules came about because home owners complained about not being able to park.

In other words....home owners got thing their way....govt was doing it's job.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:36 AM   #12
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
Before you get your knickers in a twist....there is actually a pretty good reason for it.

Because land here is so expensive...especially as you get close to the beach...there is a tendency for home owners to 'maximize' the amount of house you can get on that land. When you push the cars out...they have to have somewhere to park....hence, the street. I bet you would not be real happy to get home late at night and have to park a block away because all the on street parking is taken up...and it's taken up because no one has a garage.
So why can't they just use the driveways that lead to the former garage?

It does sound odd at first that homes are required by code to have a garage based on bedrooms

In my area you see these conversions all the time. It doesn't take from the homes value, It usually adds value because of the extra space.

A shed though is a good idea. You need to park your shovels somewhere.

Last edited by creeper; 06-19-2013 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:01 AM   #13
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


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In Calif. code requires at least one-one car garage and most likely a two car garage if the house has so many bedrooms.
Well, that's just insane. What a ridiculous requirement. Such things serve to remind me, though I was born and raised in CA, I left over 40 years ago and have never been back.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:17 AM   #14
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So why can't they just use the driveways that lead to the former garage?

It does sound odd at first that homes are required by code to have a garage based on bedrooms

In my area you see these conversions all the time. It doesn't take from the homes value, It usually adds value because of the extra space.

A shed though is a good idea. You need to park your shovels somewhere.
Remember it is unwritten illegal to walk anywhere in California---even three blocks to the corner store. It is also viewed as sinful to have more than one person person per vehicle (unless yours is a limo in which case you may have a driver but no passengers). So a family of four, all 16 and over, has four cars. Two of three are old beaters that refuse to rust in the mild climate (and pass rigid emmission controls with bribes), one is a 4mpg muscle car, and the last may be a newer hybrid. If it is Silicon Valley, all four are new and cost over $250K each with none getting more than 3mpg. Although capable of 0-100mph in a few seconds, most have never been over 60 because of freeway congestion.

Mass transportation---with the possible exception of San Francisco where driving with clutch, brake and accelerator escapes the skills of many---is an evil communist plot and can you spell LOOSERS?

So the cars have to be parked somewhere.

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Old 06-19-2013, 01:38 PM   #15
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Garage Conversion (planning stages)


Quote:
It does sound odd at first that homes are required by code to have a garage based on bedrooms
Reason it sounds odd, is that it is not correct.
Current code in Calif. is that each single family residence is required to have a minimum of 2 off street parking spaces. They must be covered (carport or garage). There are many homes that don't meet this, but are grandfathered.
Most local authorities will rule that if you convert the single car garage to living space, you then need to meet current code for 2 covered spaces.

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