Post # 1
DH and I just purchased our first home, a 1976 rambler in dire need some cosmetic fixes. It’s in our dream location, and has everything we want except one critical thing: a garage.
The previous owners converted the garage into a 500sq foot family room. It is 2 steps down from the open concept living/dining room. They went all out and even installed a skylight.
If you can tell from the picture, the previous owners built a wall enclosing the garage door. If we were to convert this back we would just wall up the space, tear down the wall they built and install a new garage door (and probably some other technical things that I’m forgetting….)
The other option would be to enclose the freestanding 2 car car port that sits directly infront of the old garage door. See pic:
DH is worried that it will look cheezy or un-finished if we enclose the freestanding carport and don’t connect it to the house. He is worried that it will be to expensive to attach it to the house because we will have to take out permits and change the roofline of the house to connect the carport.
If we convert the family room back into a garage we will be taking away a good about a 1/3 of the home’s sqare footage.
What would you do?
Post # 3
@mrshoneybee: I think I would enclose the carport. Is it a possibility to do that and then further down the road when you have more cash attach it to the house? I wouldn’t give up the extra space inside though.
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta
I would prefer an extra room compared to a garage. Current hosue doesn’t have a garage, my parents house doesn’t. It already has a cover to protect from precipitation so I don’t really see the added benefit of having an indoor garage. It gets -40 here and I still don’t really see the advantage. Plug the car in at night and get a remote starter so it can warm up.
Post # 5
@Pixienickie: DH is a handy man, has tons and tons of tools and we both want the garage as storage/a place to work on projects. Not to store cars. Sorry, shoulda mentioned that!
Post # 7
If he is worried about costs, the easiest thing to do is to first find out what they would be . Every city has people in the offices who can help you with these things. Take in some pics and they will tell you how much a permit costs and any requirements of the city re setbacks etc. There may be a reason the old owners added a freestanding carport.
I would enclose the carport as is. It will be next to impossible for a casual bypasser to even know that it is not attached, unless they see the house from a very specific angle.
At some future point you can attach it to the closed in garage if you like or feel the need.
Post # 8
id enclose the carport and leave converted garage as extra space. i dont see how not connecting it to the house will make it look cheesy at all
Post # 9
@julies1949: I agree with this. This is what I would do.
Post # 10
enclose the existing carport and find a way to attach it to the home when the funds are available. I think your resale value will drop drastically if you took away that much sqft
Post # 11
You two will need a permit for sure, and the town might not let you put a new structure (which I think the enclosed carport would qualify as) directly in front of your house.
You might want to check local code requirements, and with your insurance company.
I really don’t mean any offense, but the existing carport is already kind of an eyesore.
Since you’re paying for that room as part of the livable space in the house (and I’m talking in your mortgage paying for that room) and NOT as a garage, I think converting it back is a waste of money (and tax dollars, as the town isn’t very likely to give you much of a tax break on a conversion back to a garage)
In your case, I would see what the town’s regulations are on sheds in the backyard (distance away from property line, height restriction, size restriction) and consider buying a pre-built unit. I’d tear down the carport and patch up the siding where the garage door was (is that even insulated?)
BUT I would want at least a year to do all this… how do you know what kind of space you will need if this is your first home? I would store my tools somewhere else (and FI and I are both handy – I understand how difficult that can be) and wait to see how I used all the rooms in the house.
Any architect worth her salt will try to understand how a space is actually USED by the inhabitants before they make major modifications (if they’re even required).
Does this house have a basement?
Post # 12
@mrshoneybee: Do you NEED a garage, as opposed to a carport? I live in California so we don’t have to worry about weather or salt or whatever it is other people have to deal with. About half the homes around here just use their garage as storage and park in the driveway.
Post # 13
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Enclose the carport and don’t worry about the gap between the carport and the house. You can attach it later if money permits but I’m willing to bet in a few months/years you won’t even care.
Post # 14
what is the size of the home? in my opinion, i think it’s really half assed that the previous owners basically boarded up the garage and made it a living room. but if they were really lacking space and needed more room, I guess that’s a lot easier than doing a legitimate extension to the home. Does the room actually count as square foot in the home?
If storage is what you need, maybe you can build some nice closets inside the living room or a shed like others suggested.
Post # 15
I’d fix up that garage door to be like a normal wall, maybe add a window so it loosk like it was meant to be part of the house. Then leave the carport as is and build a large shed in the back for tools and storage. I feel like enclosing the carport might be too much of a large and overwhelming structure to the front curb appeal of the house. And you can make the shed smaller than the carport if that’s still enough room and reduce the number of permits you need.
Post # 16
@CakeyP: +1 In my town, you’re not allowed to build in front of a house unless it is an attached garage. And towns obviously vary.
@pinkshoes: +1 I’d also do this. THe garage door that elads to nowhere is kind of strange.