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pertinax_234
Garage & Breezeway Conversion/Remodel
pertinax_234

Good afternoon everyone!

I'm new to the TOH forums and a new home-owner living in Northern NJ (about two years now). My house is a 1960's ranch-style with 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, an unfinished basement and 3 car garage (connected by a fully enclosed breezeway).

The interior of the house is very dated, but it has "good bones" :) So far, I've had the roof replaced, plywood & all, (the roof was a mess when i bought it) and repaired a nasty leak that existed around the chimney/fireplace and some other minor repairs.

Now that all of the necessities have been taken care of, I'm starting to save up $$$ for the first substantive remodel. I would like to convert the breezeway and original garage bay into living space. I've tried to attach some photos of rough plans that i made ******. One picture (without all of the little furnishings) shows the existing floor plan. The second shows what I would like to do with the space of the garage & breezeway: Namely, make 1 bedroom larger (with walk in closet), enlarge the kitchen to include a dining area, add a laundry room, powder room & bonus room (with french doors to the back yard).

Right now both spaces have concrete slabs which are at least 6 inches lower than the rest of the house, which is good, because I should be able to run the plumbing and waste lines for the powder room/laundry under the sub-floor that will be needed to make the new floors level with the existing floor.

I guess I'm just really looking for feedback on my ideas. Anyone who might have suggestions or tips, or have gone through similar remodel, I would be glad to hear from you! Oh, and if anyone could give me a rough idea of what something like this might cost, that would help me set a saving goal for myself.

Look forward to speaking with you all!

House Picture

Current Layout

Proposed Changes

dj1
Re: Garage & Breezeway Conversion/Remodel
dj1

Congratulations on investing in a new roof - the most important part of the house, besides your foundation.

As far as converting the garage and any other part of the house to a living space, it will for sure require a permit. NJ is very sticky about that. Contact your building department, before you do it. In fact, I'm pretty sure a new roof and a new roofing deck require a permit too in your neck of the woods.

A permit is no biggie, will just add to your property tax (as if it wasn't high enough in your city already), but if it's required the city/county won't leave you alone.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Garage & Breezeway Conversion/Remodel
Mastercarpentry

You'll need that permit for sure, and you'll need to be sure that the structure of the garage meets current code requirements for habitable spaces to start- for instance is the breezeway wide enough to qualify as a interior hallway? Does it need to be conditioned (HVAC)? Is the roof structure rated for a ceiling and any equipment which might need to go up there? For something this big I'd recommend at least hiring a contractor as a consultant, and you may even find that local codes require this work be handled by a licensed contractor.

Ask all the questions and get all the answers now, then things will go smoothly and well. As for costs, you can do a lot of this in stages if you plan it that way which will help spread the costs over a longer period of time. It sounds like a good plan to me! BTW, pics should be posted on a photo-sharing site then you can give us the link in your posts here.

Phil

pertinax_234
Re: Garage & Breezeway Conversion/Remodel
pertinax_234

Yeah, I will definitely be getting permits for all aspects of the project and will be hiring a Contractor to do the framing/wall construction :) If you take a look at the current floor plan and the proposal, I will need to "bump out" the garage and breezeway about 3 feet into the front yard/driveway, so there's going to to be some excavation and the extra cost of pouring footings not to mention extending the existing roof in that area.

It's going to be a lot of work!

-Patrick

dj1
Re: Garage & Breezeway Conversion/Remodel
dj1

Building an addition, even only 3', AFTER you have done the roof, is not a good idea. The addition and changes should have been done prior to the roof.

Now you will need an expert and very skilled roofer for a tiny job. Good luck finding one. Any roofer (a guy with a ladder and a hammer) won't cut it.

pertinax_234
Re: Garage & Breezeway Conversion/Remodel
pertinax_234
dj1 wrote:

Building an addition, even only 3', AFTER you have done the roof, is not a good idea. The addition and changes should have been done prior to the roof.

Now you will need an expert and very skilled roofer for a tiny job. Good luck finding one. Any roofer (a guy with a ladder and a hammer) won't cut it.

I see your point. Sadly, I really needed the roof done before it deteriorated further and didn't have the money for both projects (and going into debt by taking out a loan wasn't going to happen, lol). The company that I hired for the roof does all kinds of construction, I will likely use them for the conversion, so hopefully when that time comes they will be able to make it work :)

dj1
Re: Garage & Breezeway Conversion/Remodel
dj1
pertinax_234 wrote:

I see your point. Sadly, I really needed the roof done before it deteriorated further and didn't have the money for both projects (and going into debt by taking out a loan wasn't going to happen, lol). The company that I hired for the roof does all kinds of construction, I will likely use them for the conversion, so hopefully when that time comes they will be able to make it work :)

I thought that was the case, since you came across as a good planner.

It's not the end of the world, especially if you have a dependable and skilled roofer, who already knows that you will call him when ready.

I know the North New Jersey market, where contractors seems to be indifferent to customers (poor communication, a lot of "no shows" and outrageous estimates). It is a direct result of the market being closed to new contractors and severe weather conditions, which make working outdoor difficult.

pertinax_234
Re: Garage & Breezeway Conversion/Remodel
pertinax_234
dj1 wrote:

I thought that was the case, since you came across as a good planner.

It's not the end of the world, especially if you have a dependable and skilled roofer, who already knows that you will call him when ready.

I know the North New Jersey market, where contractors seems to be indifferent to customers (poor communication, a lot of "no shows" and outrageous estimates). It is a direct result of the market being closed to new contractors and severe weather conditions, which make working outdoor difficult.

Yeah, I honestly can't understand why most contractors are the way they are here in NJ. You're absolutely right about lots of "no shows", no communication and high estimates. I've also experienced contractors who will turn down work over the phone when I'm simply calling to get estimates. If their businesses are so lucrative that they can turn down a paying job, then God bless them! But it makes things insanely difficult for the home-owners that live here.

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