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Question DetailsAsked on 10/5/2011

What's the percentage of monetary return on adding a garage to a house on which the original garage was shortened? Rochester NY

The original garage was shortened to make a "bonus room" which is wonderful for treadmill, computer, coat closet, etc. but the garage is too short to fit anything but a Smart Car into. Should we extend it forward? Is it worth it? Most in the neighborhood have garages but don't use them for cars. And oh... we live in Rochester, NY, a long winter location.


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Voted Best Answer

The danger of converting a garage into a living space and keeping vehicle storage is carbon monoxide poisoning. The code requires that a garage be 14" below sleeping areas to prevent the exhaust from the car from creeping under the door of nearby rooms.

A bonus room, that is on the same level as a garage, which is an area where it is common to start the car to warm it up before leaving, makes it a dangerous situation. Especially because bonus rooms often are used as guest rooms or areas for children sleepovers.

So because of this, if the site allows, it would be better to install a detached or semi-attached garage than to extend the current garage. If the site does not allow, and there is no second floor above, it would be better to remove the small garage and install a new, larger one, with the correct step down.

For re-sale value and appraisal purposes, garages typically are additive to the value. A garage that is poorly located (hard to get in/out) or poorly sized decreases the value of the add, but still adds value to the building. A full or oversized garage is worth more than a standard garage, 2 car separate doors worth more than 2 car single door, etc.

The cost of extending the garage or building a new one is not going to be returned in immediate re-sale value. If you want a useable garage and plan to be in your house for 5 or more years, the expense may justify it. If you are looking to sell your house, you are better off keeping what you have, and stage the garage to show alternative uses (snow mobile storage, boat storage, tool storage, etc) to entice a buyer.

Answered 8 years ago by Kenny Johnson

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