Garage conversion

I have a newbie question. Appreciate all of your insight. I have a SFH in Fremont. I want to convert the garage into a bedroom with bath. What are the pros and cons?

Thanks for your inputs.

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I don’t buy a house with a converted garage. Need that garage for cars :grin: till autonomous cars are here.


Very bad decision. Don’t do it. Do an addition instead to the back of the house.


But adding to the back of the house costs about $100k versus $30k (my guess). There is parking in the driveway for 2 cars and people in the neighborhood always park in their driveways. Could you please be more specific on why it’s a bad idea?

I think many people want a garage either for cars or the storage space it provides. Houses will no garages sell at a discount.

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Don’t listen to the others. Mostly all pros. I have a Fremont house and yes I plan to do the exact same thing because the driveway is so long anyway that the lost of the garage is minor at best. In fact, most of my neighbors on my block/area have already done exactly the same thing. They converted what was the garage to some part of their interior living space (not sure if used as bd/ba or say a dining room). They then extend the roof line so that there is a car port in front of the converted garage. You figure that the garage is already framed as part of the main structure so converting it to living space shouldn’t cost too much. Yes, the roofing may need addressing or extended, so that may be costly. I am certainly going to do this at some point. Making a 3/1 home into a 4/2 will be money in the bank.

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Can you build over the garage?

Most people want a “dirty” area for storage or a workshop even if they never park their car in the garage. Even if the next person doesn’t want the garage either, there will still be the perception that it lowers the value, and they’ll want a discount.

Are you willing to do the conversion in a way that can be undone? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with some floor tiling and a small bathroom even with shower in a garage–some people would welcome the post-work dirty area shower. But if you make it easy to undo the conversion by making the wall next to the garage door removeable, you have the best of both worlds.

It’s not a bad idea. A developer who did a pretty much complete redo of a SFH down my block came to my house since I wanted his opinion of my ideas. He thought that was a cost effective way to enlarge the home without spending too much. Sometimes, people think too much or have grandiose ideas. Why? You presented a very plausible strategy that will increase value to your home without much cost. I never listen to people who are on the sidelines or have never gotten their fingernails dirty…

Thanks for your input. But somehow I am worried that I may be permanently ruining the house. Not sure why I feel that.

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Yes, you are ruining the value of the house. However, it’s not permanent because you can always re-convert it back into a garage… :wink:

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By spending $5000 to remove the hardwood floor, putting back the garage door opener and the garage door.

Obviously without knowing your specific circumstances and house layout, it is hard to say and of course we should weigh the pros and cons diligently. I am just saying that from experience and actual evidence, not some folks’ rehashed ideas of what works in City A must work in City B, it can certainly work. Look, if you go around your neighborhood in Fremont I am sure you will see some converted homes where the garage has been incorporated. Why not ring the bell and ask the owner that exact question? If a renter, ask for the owner’ number. Ask the owners what they think.

Really… then how come people are selling houses with converted garages at a 100k discount…

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Great ideas. So you all feel that it’s not a big deal to convert it back. I am planning to do this with city permits. Even then is it easy to convert back?

May be jksram should ask the contractor what is the cost of converting back :slight_smile: If not too high, can enjoy the converted garage since he needs the bedroom.

Ive been thinking of doing this too but I will most definitely build a garage in another location to correct this.
The one thing I am not clear is the sequence and what will work with the city - build 2nd one and claim 1st for other uses or vice versa. Thoughts?

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If he needed a bigger house, then maybe it’s time to go find another house and rent out the current one. Win-win for the long haul…

When you say 100k discount, what’s the base price? The original sq footage without including the garage or with it? Obviously a home with garage with the sane sq footage as the combined one would cost more.

100k is just a ballpark figure that I typed off the top of my head. There will be some discount more or less for this, depending on the situation. It’s like a house right next to the freeway or has a foundation problem, you’d expect some kind of a discount.