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Poll: Would you close in garage?


Mandylubug
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49 members have voted

  1. 1. If needing more family space and homeschooling space, would you close in your garage?

    • No, I would leave it alone.
      13
    • Yes, only if you are planning on retiring there.
      6
    • Yes, even if you plan on moving, if it betters your home life now, why not?
      25
    • No, you never know what the future holds and you may move
      3
    • No, you have to buy too much just to make this house more convenient
      4
    • Other.....
      3


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DH says we should deal with our home as is but will consider my "argument."

 

We live in a 3 bedroom 2 bath home. We have four kids. They each have an xbox in their rooms but no t.v. capability. If they want to watch a movie or have friends over and want to watch t.v. and DH and I don't want to watch it, we either give them the living room and go to our bedroom on the other side of the house, send them in our room to watch and us stay in living room. Either situation leaves kids watching t.v. unsupervised and separated from us entirely. DH says that's fine. I don't like the t.v. in their bedrooms for gaming, nor do I like it that we have to utilize my bedroom as a secondary t.v./movie space. I want it kid free. I have already conceded and the girls brush their teeth and shower in my master bath because, we just need to share it. I'd like to keep my bed (my beautiful white quilt) kid free, though. It is my sanctuary.

 

Our homeschooling happens in the dining/living room area. There are times that I have to send a child to their room to work because it is too loud or something is distracting them. That yet again puts them on the other side of the house. I end up doing laps throughout my home to check on them and keeping the others on topic, etc. DH has to stay in bedroom in mornings before work because he sometimes distracts the kids. He does come out but 9 times out of 10, he opts to go back in bedroom out of respect for me and the kids.

 

We have a garage and we use it a ton. It isn't wasted space but I do see it as potential family room/homeschooling space. It has 2 windows in it already, and how it is on our home, we could close in the garage with French doors or windows and it wouldn't be visible from the road that we changed anything. You can't see garage from the road as it is on the side of our home. We want a storage building regardless of taking garage for more living space because we have met our garages limit. We store our push mower, tools, gardening, automotive, sports, workout equipment, and anything else you don't want in your home at all times in addition to parking both cars in there. Every spare inch of wall space has something hanging on it. So, if we take this space. More storage space will have to be created in a storage building. We would need to blow in insulation in the walls and purchase a mini split air unit as well. As well as, we would want to purchase a metal carport to park our cars under. Our spring and summer storms frequently have hail. We want that protection.

 

DH says leave it be. Even though this is now our forever home, we plan on retiring here; he is concerned something may change in the future and we will have hurt our resale value. We are in our 30s and have just begun planning our retirement. We can't afford a larger house and if we did, it would be just as the kids are moving out. Makes more sense to stay put. This house will not feel tight once they have flown from the nest. DH says to soldier through the tightness. I say that the tightness will only increase as they get older and have friends over, boyfriends/girlfriends WILL NOT be spending time in bedrooms with them. The garage is just off the living space, so it would be perfect as a family room space. It would allow more family space and homeschooling space. I picture it as more space for family gatherings and we could put up folding tables for meals, etc.

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If it is a very small house and you have plans to add an outbuilding anyways, I say go for it. Here houses with converted garages resell plenty fine if they would be considered super small without the converted garage space.

 

not sure what you would consider really small space. It is 1500sq ft without the garage.

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Yes I would do it (we are in process of getting our 3 car garage ready to be finished). It is all in HOW you finish it as to whether it would hurt resale value in my area. We plan to epoxy the floor and then lay down rugs as needed for winter. We will insulate and finish the walls, ceilings, install ceiling fans, a FEW cabinets for storage (weekly use stuff, with an outside storage building for tools, etc.), a portable a/c for the school room part, etc. If someone didn't want it as a living space they could easily use it as a workshop/garage, etc. We will be leaving the garage doors and just putting a facade over the front of the one on the school room side. the 2 car part will still be "openable" (great for art time or messy science experiments).

 

I see it as a huge plus with older kids. Even when they move out if you do it nicely it would be great for family get togethers, host your own book club, etc.

 

We have no tvs in the bedrooms as well (not even ours) and also no guests go to bedrooms either. We have a formal living room where adults sit and a family room for kid visitors where we keep duplos/board games 

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not sure what you would consider really small space. It is 1500sq ft without the garage.

Well to me that is palatial but for most Americans, 6 people in that space is considered pretty darn small. Size of the homes in your area also matters.

 

Most of the homes I know of with converted garages were 900-1400ish pre-conversion. We looked at one and probably should have bought it. The converted garage added a small master bedroom and second bath and took the home to about 1300sf. Plenty of room for us but we have a smaller family.

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I should throw in, I am wanting to decided which direction we are moving fairly soon because we have two sofas that we are going to either keep, or get rid of. We received new furniture this past week and have old sofas in the garage. The kids have LOVED sitting out there and playing. So, it has reopened the thought of closing it in.

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Well to me that is palatial but for most Americans, 6 people in that space is considered pretty darn small. Size of the homes in your area also matters.

 

Most of the homes I know of with converted garages were 900-1400ish pre-conversion. We looked at one and probably should have bought it. The converted garage added a small master bedroom and second bath and took the home to about 1300sf. Plenty of room for us but we have a smaller family.

 

I looked at our public records. It is 1442 sq feet. So, not quite 1500 sq ft but not as small as 900 sq ft either.

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When I was a teen my parents closed in our 2-car garage. Where the curved driveway had been they built on a new (bigger 3 car) garage with a straight, short driveway that was bigger than the old garage (met my dad's hobby mechanic needs). The original garage had been done with a vaulted ceiling that matched the one in the living room, so it was pretty obvious my parents weren't the first to come up with the idea.

 

Do you have room to add a carport or new garage? You'll have to insulate it, and add it to the A/C heat duct system, which could put enough load that you need a new A/C and or heater unit.

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Normally I'd say no, but in your situation I'd go for it. Of course as your dh says you don't know what will happen, but you are planning to make it your forever home so you have to treat it as such. We plan to downsize when ds leaves home, so I wouldn't make the kind of major changes to our house that lower the resale value. 

 

After having raised one to adulthood and having a current teenager, I agree that you need more room as they get older. Of course you don't need room for the toys, but they are bigger people and they just take up more room. Yours are young enough that you will need a school area (if you plan to hs all the way through) for a number of years to come. It can become a craft/sewing room, tv room, reading room, or even a grandkids-are-spending-the-night room once your dc are grown and moved out.

 

I love parking in my garage, but if it came down to my comfort of parking there, or the comfort of the entire family, I'd forego my garage parking space.

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We do have room to add on in the future if we need to. We can add on an attached or an unattached garage. There are two separate areas that would work well. The first place, the attached area, we would put up a metal carport for now. It is near our back door patio. We could easily go through back door into our home from new parking space. The metal carport would also be hidden from the road. That is another reason why I feel like it would work out ok :D

 

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We looked into finishing the garage in one of our homes. We definitely did not plan on retiring there, so we spoke to a contractor and the real estate agent who sold us the home. To do everything legally (insulation, heat/air, etc rules are different for garages than living areas), it would have cost around $10k to finish it. The real estate agent said that it would be nearly impossible to sell a home without a garage in our area. So, we didn't do it.

 

I voted "yes, if you plan to retire there," but my real vote would be to talk to a contractor and real estate agent before even seriously considering it.

 

Eta: How would your potential to move to a slightly bigger home be instead?

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We looked into finishing the garage in one of our homes. We definitely did not plan on retiring there, so we spoke to a contractor and the real estate agent who sold us the home. To do everything legally (insulation, heat/air, etc rules are different for garages than living areas), it would have cost around $10k to finish it. The real estate agent said that it would be nearly impossible to sell a home without a garage in our area. So, we didn't do it.

 

I voted "yes, if you plan to retire there," but my real vote would be to talk to a contractor and real estate agent before even seriously considering it.

 

Eta: How would your potential to move to a slightly bigger home be instead?

 

we don't want to start over on a 30 year mortgage. We have 20 years to go and a very low mortgage rate and payment. Our potential to move will not improve until the kids move out and we are both working again. We plan on being a one income household until all kids are finished with homeschooling. Then I will go to work for the sole purpose of building up our retirement. I just don't see a slightly larger house benefiting us in the long run if it meant starting over on the mortgage. I would consider it if we could potentially be mortgage free but we aren't in the position to get there any time soon.

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I'm a big fan of detached garages!  So if you have the space, finances, and ability to build a new detached garage and then convert the old garage into a family room I think that would be great.  I'm also a big fan of not having screens in the living room  so I think that would almost accomplish three goals with one change.

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Has your house increased in value enough for you to justify a move? We had ours reappraised and I was shocked how it went up in the last ten years. I don't understand a lot about home ownership/mortgages, so forgive me for my naive questions, but... Interest rates are so low--could you do a 15 year?

 

I think if it came down to it, I'd rather add on a room than make a garage a room.

 

OOTB idea--would any child be willing to bunk with another to share a room, and use the former bedroom for a tv room/other space? 

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Has your house increased in value enough for you to justify a move? We had ours reappraised and I was shocked how it went up in the last ten years. I don't understand a lot about home ownership/mortgages, so forgive me for my naive questions, but... Interest rates are so low--could you do a 15 year?

 

I think if it came down to it, I'd rather add on a room than make a garage a room.

 

OOTB idea--would any child be willing to bunk with another to share a room, and use the former bedroom for a tv room/other space?

We only have about 27,000 in equity. Even if we went the route of adding on, financially we don't want more debt and we don't have enough flexibility in our budget to refinance into a shorter loan period either.

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I think if it came down to it, I'd rather add on a room than make a garage a room.

 

OOTB idea--would any child be willing to bunk with another to share a room, and use the former bedroom for a tv room/other space? 

 

I guess my like for detached garages is showing through.  I'll concede that depending on how her house is now an addition might be better (or less costly) than a conversion.  

 

Re: OOTB, if she and her husband have four children in a three bedroom home I'm guessing that the children already share rooms.  If she turned a bedroom into a tv room then she would have to put all four kids in one room or move a few kids into their master bedroom.  She probably doesn't want to move kids into the master bedroom.  I also believe she has both sons and daughters which would make room sharing a bit awkward in my opinion. 

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I have a friend who closed in her two car garage to use as a homeschooling space and it didn't work as well as she planned.  The space is not heated and cooled as well as the rest of the house and they rarely wanted to work in that space.  She ends up using it just for bookshelves and homeschool storage most of the time and sometimes for messy projects.  The family still ends up doing most of the schooling on the dining room table and she has to run back and forth to get the stuff she needs.  She said the other problem she didn't anticipate was the need to store the bikes and outdoor toys in the garage/homeschool room because she lost her outdoor storage space.  The house had two garage doors facing the street and replacing them with a wall looks bad and throws off the balance of the house.  If they ever decide to sell, it will hurt resale value.

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I have a friend who closed in her two car garage to use as a homeschooling space and it didn't work as well as she planned. The space is not heated and cooled as well as the rest of the house and they rarely wanted to work in that space. She ends up using it just for bookshelves and homeschool storage most of the time and sometimes for messy projects. The family still ends up doing most of the schooling on the dining room table and she has to run back and forth to get the stuff she needs. She said the other problem she didn't anticipate was the need to store the bikes and outdoor toys in the garage/homeschool room because she lost her outdoor storage space. The house had two garage doors facing the street and replacing them with a wall looks bad and throws off the balance of the house. If they ever decide to sell, it will hurt resale value.

We used part of our garage as an office years ago. We used 1/4th of it and used a window air unit. Did not work how it was poorly insulated and expensive window unit. Our electric bill doubled during the summer.

 

If we do it this time, we will do it right with fully insulating the attic and walls, and adding a mini split air unit. Professionally closing off door with double windows and french doors. Thankfully it isn't a front entrance so it will not change it's curb appeal.

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We did it on our house back in MIchigan. We converted our attached garage then built a new garage behind the house. I would not have done it without building a garage because houses in that area would not sell without a garage. But not all areas are like that.

 

If you plan to stay there a long time then I would do whatever would make life better for you over the next 10 years rather than be uncomfortable and squeezed for space over the possibility that you MIGHT sell 10 years from now. 

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Has your house increased in value enough for you to justify a move? We had ours reappraised and I was shocked how it went up in the last ten years. I don't understand a lot about home ownership/mortgages, so forgive me for my naive questions, but... Interest rates are so low--could you do a 15 year?

 

I think if it came down to it, I'd rather add on a room than make a garage a room.

 

OOTB idea--would any child be willing to bunk with another to share a room, and use the former bedroom for a tv room/other space?

I already have 2 kids per bedroom. When we first moved in and only had 2 kids we enjoyed a playroom in one of the bedrooms. That was so nice. No space for that now.

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If you are thinking of finishing your garage and then building a new garage, you may want to just consider adding on a garage-size addition to your house. The prices will probably be similar. Have a few contractors out to give you estimates on both an addition and finishing the garage/building new garage. No commitment and this way you'll know your options

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I would definitely consider it. If it doesn't work out as an ideal homeschooling room, it could be a family room, aka as a place for Dad to go while you're doing school. Or a second place to send kids to do schoolwork instead of their bedrooms. 

 

Adding a carport and storage shed doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, but enclosing the garage might.   But having the extra finished space sounds great.

 

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Well, DH and I have really discussed it and we have decided we aren't closing in the garage. Instead, we are going to get a quote for adding on and save up to do so. We think ideally, that is what we would do if we had the cash now because we still WANT a garage. So, we will continue on dealing with the space as is. We have a great area to add on that will not make it look like it was ever added on to.

 

 

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No, I wouldn't. And this is just my personal opinion, not a judgement on people who have closed in garages or like the look of closed in garages.... I don't like the look of remodeled houses. Unless it is really well done, a remodeled house is not appealing to me. We thought about closing in part of our garage, but I just couldn't do it.

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Well, DH and I have really discussed it and we have decided we aren't closing in the garage. Instead, we are going to get a quote for adding on and save up to do so. We think ideally, that is what we would do if we had the cash now because we still WANT a garage. So, we will continue on dealing with the space as is. We have a great area to add on that will not make it look like it was ever added on to.

 

I was going to suggest putting an addition onto the house.  Our last house had 2 bedrooms and 1200 square feet.  We had a large back porch that we converted into two bedrooms and then changed one of the first bedrooms into a family room/school room.  Fortunately, the space had a roof to work with, but we had to bring in concrete to raise the level of the floor, frame in and finish exterior and interior walls, add extra a/c ductwork, etc.  But it was worth it.  Really made our house a better fit for us and added resale value to it as well.  My husband did most of the work himself, so that lowered the cost considerably.

 

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What is your current interest rate on your mortgage? Have you compared it to the going rates to see if they are lower now and you'd be able to afford a bigger house after all? We got a 20 yr mortgage when we moved...

 

We have a great fixed rate. VA loan. We would qualify for a smaller loan now that we are a one income household vs 2 income previously. Anyway, we have looked at what's available where we want to be, near here and not willing to get a loan of that size even if we were qualified. We are content with our wee payment :)

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I voted no, but after reading through your update, I am thinking maybe.

 

I said No because I think garages are essential, particularly where it hails.  But, when you said you could add-on a garage next, that changed me to a maybe.  

 

I am not sure how much help it will be for you.  The two big problems you mentioned are the kids having unsupervised TV time.  But regardless of how many rooms you have, if you and your husband are watching TV and your kids are watching another TV, it will be unsupervised.  Unless you added a second TV to the same room.  The other big problem you mentioned was the kids doing work in their room for quiet, and then you end up doing laps.  But, the only way a homeschool room would help that would be if they were able to stay on task in there without your supervision.  Like maybe it was a distraction-free room. 

 

What about building an outbuilding for schooling and storage?   Detached spaces don't normally effect the living space for property tax purposes.  You could put a half bath and a fridge and microwave out there.  And have warren-like rooms so that each kid could have their own little tiny room.  You could make it a rule that they had to stay there until their schoolwork was done for the day, and then they could go into the house and play xbox.  

I have noticed that living space seems larger when you store your stuff somewhere else.  

 

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