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Chode2235

Garage size and ROI

34 posts in this topic

Hey everyone,

We are in the midst of planning to replace our old rickety garage with a new shiny one.

We are either thinking of doing a 30x24 (3car), or a 26x24 (2 car) with an attic.

The attic and the additional size do add a considerable amount to the cost of building the garage. I personally really want the larger size for the toys, and really want that nice attic space to be finished off as a workshop/office for me.

Will I ever see that money when I go and sell the house? I plan on being here a while (5+), but depending on a lot of things I can see us moving eventually too. I want to be sure I invest our money in a way that will maximize the property value, and that I am not being blinded by my desire to have the Garage palace of my dreams.

Thoughts, comments?

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A three car garage is kind of the standard now days but it depends on what the rest of the neighborhood has. Doubtful you will get anything extra for the attic part. Just my opinion tho.

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Build both big footprint and put the attic trusses in. Even if you don't finish it right away, get attic trusses, unless selling real soon.

The big garage will sell the guy when it comes time to sell, and the difference between your place and another is not much... It might not get you more money, but WILL help sell the place.

I have 36x28 and wish I would have done the attic trusses. I don't "need" it, but I should have done it.

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I am in St. Paul, where there are still more 1 car model T garages than 2+ car garages.

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Chode, I grew up in St. Paul so know the garages you are talking of. We built a 21x21 in my parents after their old one collapsed, ha! That was all their yard would allow. You could sort of split the cost difference, if your lot allows, and do the 30 wide, but make it 26 or 28 deep. I gotta say, I love the 28' depth, and depending upon which way it sits, it would not make much different in cost except a truss or two and some concrete. 28' lets you have a full size truck, with workbench behind it, tailgate down and still walk aroudn the front with the garage door down...

Also, put a 8' door in it. I have a 18' wide x 8' high door (and 10'x8') and I love the wider 18' over the 16 or 17 foots doors.

You will love the new toy box, however big you end up with... but you will never say, "I wish it was smaller"... wink

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chode have you checked the Building Dept. to see max size allowed? There's a few different facters on how large you can build.Height is regulated also,find out that max allowed.Before ya go much further.

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Call a realtor. I would seriously doubt any value being added by the attic. Are you thinking about heating, plumbing and the whole nine yards in the attic or just "nice" storage. With this new market were in, I would spend the bare minimum except on things you cant increase later like square footage. Everything else is off the table.

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I would like to heat the garage, and finish the upstairs as an office and more refined and quiet workspace (fly tying, reading, etc).

The plan is to do this eventually. I would plan on finishing off the inside myself. This would be done after insulating, electrical, etc. Maybe a couple years later depending on the needs.

The garage attic seems to be a great way to add "finished" space without doing a house addition, IMO.

I am also leaning toward the larger garage size as it will block out the alley a little better.

Thanks for the great feedback so far, keep it coming.

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without a bathroom in the attic room your chances of getting your money back are slim. but you never know. If you did have a bathroom it would act as a spare bedroom.

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I agree with BoxMN on the depth. Being able to walk around the vehicle, have a workbench in front and still be able to put it on ramps, stuff like that. The third stall is going to end up being junk storage so maybe you consider not even putting in the door and spending that money on building some nice storage racks. You sometimes can buy an kitchen cabinets from a remodel job and finish things off nice. My brother in law put a attic on his garage and I can't see it as wise. Too hot in the summer to do anything and a pain in the butt to get stuff up and down. I might put that ching into infloor heating, a ceiling and insulation. Think about how you do the floor. Lots of complaints about the snert that builds up in the winter, maybe a floor drain and a 2 inch step up into the 'third' stall to keep it a bit drier. Maybe an extra row of block to get a little more headroom. Consider putting in something on the walls that is easy to clean and a bright color to make the place more user friendly.

Final - how about two single doors so the vehicles get further apart and so no door dings or squeezing out trying to carry a bag of groceries.

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Here's a couple more - - in addition to Tom's good ideas.

2" good quality steel insulated garage door, especially if you are going to heat it.

I sloped the slab (about 2.5" over 28') from back to door. All water flows out without it really being noticable. You could even wash the car inside and all water would go out without a squeegee. Floor drain would be nice, but only if you are going to heat it all winter. Not sure if St. Paul allows that, I don't think WBL does.

I just built a cabin with a 28x28 attached garage. I put wirsbo in the basement of the cabin, but decided not to do it in the garage, due to cost. It would have only cost me less than $1500 to at least have put the tubes and insulation in "just in case" and now I am regretting I didn't put in the slab for future.

Even if you don't put wirbo tubes in slab, you can still put insulation under the slab to help...

If you would do two doors make sure they are 10' wide. I like one large door better, but can see two if they are wide enough.

I'd put a couple small windows in, but up high so people can't look in or have easy break-in access. It is nice to have some natural light in the garage. Make them good insulated ones if you plan to heat.

I agree 100% with Tom on the bright and easy to clean walls.

Add a couple boxes that will hold ceiling fans. They help tons in cooling in summer, and they look cool wink

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I have an attic above my garage...I doubt if I'll ever finish it, but I'm very glad to have it. Great place to store lots of junk (patio furn. cushions/umbrella, kids' toys, storage totes, my hunting clothes, etc). It does get very hot in the summer up there, and yes, it can be a pain in the arse going up and down, but I like having all the aforementioned "stuff" out of sight/out of mind.

As far as the slab...if you decide to heat with wirsbo, put a drain in (if code allows)...I don't have a drain, and I'm constantly using the squeegy to get water/snow/ice/dirt out. And ditto on the steel insulated doors.

As far as size...the bigger the better. My attached garage is 5 stalls, 3 stalls wide in front, but the double door side is twice as deep (truck and boat can be parked in that side, attached to eachother), with an overhead door on the rear of the garage. I have room for the toys and 3 cars.....

but bottom line, it's full....and I wish it were bigger. smile

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I plan on doing 2 doors, or at least one big door. With the tiny narrow alley I need to be sure that I can easily swing the autos in easily.

We're planning 2 windows at each end of the gable for some cross ventilation, and then 2 more on the house side. We have a smaller lot and the garage does/will block a lot of the alley out, and the yard is already fenced in. The windows should be fairly safe.

I talked to the realtor who sold the house about adding the garage, and he thought a good garage in St. Paul goes a long ways. And for the marginal costs of adding the size and attic that I should do both.

As far as heating goes. What do I need to do in floor? What are the other preferred options. There is only electricity running out there now, and St. Paul forbids water from being run to your detached garage. I am thinking I may want to run a gas line out there for heat. Or are there efficient electric options?

I will want to keep it not much above freezing for 90% of the time and then heat it up when I plan to be working out there. I am thinking additional heaters in the attic for heating that space warmer then the rest when I need to.

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Should I be worried that the garage will seem too big for the neighborhood considering it would be one of the larger ones around?

Could the big garage be a turn off for more "normal" St. Paulies?

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One thing i would do if I did it over again would be the floor heating may cost more in the long run but alot nicer keeping the floor clean and working on it in the winter. Also go with a double deep side on one the you can keep a boat or trialer in it and hook up and go type thing. Neighbor does that pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

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Big garage is only a positive, any way you look smile What we did with my folks, is we angled it ever so slightly to help be able to enter the garage. I.e. the door is facing east on an east/west alley, and the garage is angled slightly toward the alley. Most people would never notice it, but you can see it when looking. I.e. it is not 100% parallel to the alley.

You can also put a hanging gas furnace in (vented) or even an old or new home furnace (vented and some will say a sealed combustion chanber - I am not sure of code, but I have my old home furnace in my garage).

For wirsbo you would most likely go with an off-peak electric boiler and anti-freeze in the tubes. Others know more about what exactly is needed, but I followed my installation pretty close. You would not need any elaborate manifolds for a garage, as you would probably only have 1 zone. Cost for me was $1700 for 1200 feet of tubing and installation of tubes and insulation, and another $3000 for the boiler and electric hookup. I have 4 zones, but only use 1 thermostat for all.

I would make sure you just put in the basics first (tubes and floor insulstion for wirsbo, or run gas line for gas, or both) and then insulate very, very well. Then you can always add the furnace/boiler when you have the cash. If you plan to spen lots of time out there, I would consider the wirsbo with good insulation, if just a little bit then maybe just gas furnace with real good insulation.

For water, you can always just put a sink in later, and drain it outside and run water from an outdoor spigot, blow it out in winter. It is just like having a hose out there, and that is not against code.

Sorry for my long posts, I built my own here at home and know what I would have done different, and had the cabin built and know what I would have done different and would like to spare others my msitakes smile of course, $$ always dictates and that is why I didn't do wirsbo up there in the garage - and now I kick myself for not at least putting the tubes in for future...

Whatever trusses you get, get 2x6 so you have more room for good insulation if you ever plan to store anything or have attic up there.

Also Eckie, get one of those attic ladders, they are worth every penny and make going up there much easier!

edit - chode, I think I know what you are taling about now, with the garage almost the whole width of yard, right? Main door(s) on alley side?... If that is the case, I would suggest a garage door on the yard side too. That would allow you to have the garage open and accessible to the yard, not the alley, for when you are working, having beers, etc. It would also allow you to easily have mower, toys, tools on the yard side with a big door. Needn't be big enough to drive a car through, but at least get a mower, tractor, snomo, atv, boat, etc through. I know those St. Paul alleys, and you don't want to leave your door open if you are not there. That is why we put a "side" door on my folks, rather than out to alley. Hope that makes sense...

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Thanks for the great info and recommendations Box, and others.

It is one of those things you want to do as right as possible, with an eye to the future, but the budget of the present.

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One thing to remember is with the attic trusses you lose 3 1/2 to 4 ft. x 12 ft. for your stairs. I have a 34 x 26 w/attic trusses up north and it seems to be about perfect. Good luck with your project.

Full

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Also Eckie, get one of those attic ladders, they are worth every penny and make going up there much easier!

Box -- great tip that I never thought of...I have one of those ladders in my garage..it's a must!

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The house is stucco, how important is it that the garage "matches" the house? Or should I save a ton of money by doing vinyl siding? Stucco board?

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I'd say it's pretty important to match. Think of when you where looking at the place, what would your thoughts have been with a nice garage that didn't match the house?

I'd do the attic, and if your worried about heat, why not put an A/C unit built into the wall?

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Well we've got this baby up to about 60K now.

The oversize for the nrighborhood could get you in dutch with the neighbors. Some really picky types in town.

A friend has wirsbo in his place and only used a standard water heater and a pump to fire things up.

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Should I be worried that the garage will seem too big for the neighborhood considering it would be one of the larger ones around?

Could the big garage be a turn off for more "normal" St. Paulies?

Could be...

How big is your backyard? How much of your backyard will the new garage infringe upon.

I think you want to strike a good balance between yard size and lot coverage by your structures.

There are many other aspects of your place that might be desirable to more buyers than a big garage as well, updated kitchen & baths are going to top that list.

I know when I was looking for houses, I looked at the backyard & garage first, then went into the house. Not sure if my Realtor thought I was weird or not but I always got out of the car and walked into the backyard first.

If you are planning to sell, don't do anything that is too custom to YOU and I think that is the question you are getting at. You may like it but you may be eliminating half your potential buyers.

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if your lot allows, and do the 30 wide, but make it 26 or 28 deep

Ya, at minimum go 26' deep. Mine is 30+ deep and I would not trade it for the world. Long is one thing, but deep is the key. wink

Also, at least with your main garage door, go 18' wide. It is so much nicer for pulling two cars in and out. If your ceiling allows, go with 8' high doors also and put windows in the garage doors if they face anyway shape or form to the south. It lets in so much light during the day.

Good luck!

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