When we moved in back in May of 2015, we were rushed, out of budgeted building funds, and so anxious to move in, we didn’t finish the room/space above our garage. We were in hopes to save some money and do it later down the road. This space is pretty big with around 1200 square feet. We currently use it for storage, but are planning on finishing it within the near future. We don’t really need the extra space, but it will add value to our home.
After figuring exactly what we needed: some wiring/electrical work, sheetrock, flooring, a couple doors, trim, lighting, and about 4 feet of metal railing, we will be budging around $15,750 for this project. Keep in mind we will be putting down our own hardwood, putting up trim, and painting ourselves, so no labor on that part. These numbers do not include adding a small kitchenette or bathroom as you will read in option number one. This breakdown is including materials and labor only on everything else.
Now, lets talk about value and why we would even think about finishing this extra 1500 square feet. In our area, can be higher or lower depending on where you live, the appraisal value of a home is anywhere between $120-$160 per square foot. This all depends on the quality of the home and location. We own a new home with very modern amenities that is in a prime location, so our home appraises on the higher end. This being said, if you do your math, we will benefit greatly if we ever resale. The extra square footage will add value and make the selling and appraisal price much more. Due to the garage being detached and no inside entrance, this area may not appraise for as much as the main parts of the home, but will still clearly be beneficial.
Here is a shot of the unfinished space. Please don’t judge. We keep a lot of our junk in here. Haha!
Now for the fun part, how should we use this room? This is where we want your help! We are thinking of three different options that will be beneficial to our family. I’ve summarized what we’re thinking for each and included an image for inspiration.
1. Apartment for Our Daughter
Photo credit: Gravity Home
This is a bittersweet one for me as a mom. Our daughter is about to turn 17 and is a junior in high school, she will be attending college after next year. We have already been looking at several colleges, but an option would be for her to stay home and attend East Tennessee State University which is only 20 minutes away from our home. This is a great college and would allow us to save a little money if she could just commute.
Finishing an apartment would give her a place to somewhat be on her own, but not fully. She could come and go as she pleases, considering there is an outside entrance. If we choose this option, we will need to add a bathroom and small kitchenette into the budget, which could add on another $5,000. This being said, there is always the case she would decide to go away somewhere to school. A couple more great positives about this option would be that it could be used as a mother-in-law suite or an apartment for rental income. Those are probably not two options that we would use, but may be great for a buyer and resale value.
2. Rec/Game Room
Photo credit: Photo by Alan Mascord Design Associates Inc
The one that wins the vote with our son is the rec/game room! Our son is only 12 and in the seventh grade. He still has several more years to be at home and we foresee days of hosting lots of teenagers here as we already do with our daughter. We love to open our home to our children’s friends, we would rather them be here in a safe environment, than somewhere else. Having a rec/game room would allow for a space that Hayden, our son, and his buddies could play video games, ping pong, watch movies, and just chill out. If I were a kid, I would go for this one also. Actually, I’m liking the thoughts of sending my husband and son to this room to give me some alone time!
Photo credit: Contemporist
My husband owns his own company and now that we have started plankandpillow, we are always working from home. We currently have a room upstairs that is serving as our home office. Using above the garage as an office, would allow more privacy. The idea of having our own office to get away in makes me think I would get lots more work accomplished…lol. Not sure if this would be true, but it is a nice thought! Truly, I do think having a designated space that was away from the rest of the house, would help in times that the children were home like summer and snow days. I think Henry and I could handle saying, “we have to go to work,” on those days.
Considering we haven’t made a decision or chose any designs, this project may be a few months down the road, but we really wanted your opinion. We have been talking about this for three years of what we were going to do with this space and want to make it a reality in the near future. So, what will it be…an apartment, rec/game room, or an office? We will show you the results in a couple weeks with the brainstorming of the design.