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Garage, vs. House dilemma. What to do?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Kustomkarma, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Kustomkarma
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 898


    Okay, I figured I'd post this up here as there are a lot of clever and innovative people here on the HAMB. Here goes, I have finally come to a point where I can afford to move out of my brother's house and get my own place. I have found exactly the kind of house I want (built in 1954) in exactly the area I want, for a price I can afford. I'm about 95% finished with the paperwork and close on the 29th of January. Everything seems great - aside from the fact that there is no garage or carport so there's no place to put my tools, or keep my car hidden. My Mercury is tagged, titled, and runs and drives -it's just really ugly right now and not water-tite enough to keep the rain out. The house was originally a 2 / 1 that has had the carport enclosed (wood frame) into a room, so now it's 3 / 1. The driveway is narrow with a ditch on either side and not very long. I have a big backyard with enough space to get a car through on one side, but I have been told to be careful about rolling anything heavy over the septic tank and drain field. I will have about $5000.00 worth of pad left in my account after buying the house, but want to save as much as possible for those happy surprises that all houses come with. It's in a residential area, so I can't P O the neighbors. Should I hang a garage door on the third room and go back to a 2 / 1, should I put up a little shed in the back, cover the car and hope for the best, or should I just spend a lot up front and put down a concrete pad and a steel building? Money will be kinda tight from here on out so I have to think this through. What would you guys do? ... and "No" I'm not going to find another house. :D
  2. 46stude
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 1,711


    How well done was the carport remodel? If its finished nice & the floor is level (most carports have a slope on the floor to drain water away from the house), then I wouldn't change it out.

    A carport in the backyard along with a good car cover might be best..... if you can get back there without driving over the septic tank.
    Joined: Mar 23, 2006
    Posts: 440

    from Manor, TX

    you can always add another bedroom elsewhere on the house without pissing off the neighbors.

    un-convert the garage
  4. 3onthetree
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 161


    You have to make the decision that's right for you. If money's tight (it's pretty much that way for all of us right now) mabey consider one of those "portable " garages for now. They're pretty rugged and will still allow you a place to keep the car out of the weather and work on it a bit. I know they're not that attractive but the cost is reasonable.

  5. RoadkillCustoms
    Joined: Jul 10, 2008
    Posts: 270

    from Mesa, AZ

    I once found myself in a similar rod was not may daily driver so I was able to find a garage to rent at $75.00 a month and it was just 6 blocks away -- Could be an option for you. If you need to keep the car at home and don't need the 3rd bedroom, hang a garage door and work inside and keep the $ may really need it.

    Check city ords and codes if you decide to put up a shed...been down that road too.
  6. duste01
    Joined: Nov 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,213


    For those happy suprises? Thats why you buy buyers insurance. So, your garage has carpet on the floor, put the door back in and open it up. I was always told its cheaper to build up than out. Portable garage is temporary at besst, might as well get a car cover. pictures would help.......
  7. Garage door now, master plan later. Keep the funds you have.
  8. Kustomkarma
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 898


    Thanks for the responses so far. I've attached a couple of pics of the house. The second one shows the inside of the converted carport. Can you drive on tile without breaking it and how do you get oil stains out of grout? :D

    Attached Files:

  9. If thats real floor tile it wont break. Just put some type of runner down. The grout can allways be removed and regrouted.
  10. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,054

    from Hawaii

    Speaking as someone who has been without a garage for almost 14 years, hang that garage door. Tile is not difficult to replace, its already nice and light so it will be easier to see, you won't be working on your car in the rain or cold... I could think of lots of reasons. Plus, the curtains add a nice touch! LOL! Just kidding. Seriously though, not having a garage can really limit you to what you can do. I can't even work on the rust on my old Ford truck because sanding dust will get all over other cars in the parking lot. Come to think of it, I'd rather live in a trailer and have a 5 car garage than have a nice house but no garage. (might piss the wife off, but, oh well...)
  11. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    I would put a garage door on the inclosed carport. It will be easy and converting it back won't be a pain. This gets you a place to put your car NOW and a place to work on it. If your not married you won't miss the room and all you hve to do is go through a door to be in your shop/garage.

  12. Hyway Hauler
    Joined: Aug 31, 2009
    Posts: 670

    Hyway Hauler

    Sounds like you should have held out for a house with a garage that you can afford.
  13. Kustomkarma
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 898


    Hmmm. I'm really going to have to think about this a lot. I could sure use the interior space, but I spend most of my time in the garage.
  14. Kustomkarma
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 898


    Ideally I would have, but this one is in my price range (which ain't much) and is where I want to live. The area I wanted a house in was not that large and the houses two streets over are $250,000 +.
  15. Check with a good tile or custodial supplier for grout sealer.
  16. duste01
    Joined: Nov 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,213


    You can seal grout. Lay cheap linoleum over it if it worrys you. You could put a door in the front and back and have parking on the patio too!
  17. RoadkillCustoms
    Joined: Jul 10, 2008
    Posts: 270

    from Mesa, AZ

    Tile over what must be a slab won't crack. Use a good quality stone / grout sealer (not the aerosol crap, find the stuff thats like $60 / quart - it really works) and as stated above, use runners. Or put down a little outdoor carpet.
  18. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,866


    If the house is in town like it sounds, it won't have a septic tank, it'll be sewer.... unless it's in an area that has recently been annexed into city limits. Then it could possibly have a septic tank.

    Check your closing paperwork, it'll be in there, because the lender should require a septic inspection. If there is not one then you are on sewer.

    Slap a pad up and a shop!!! Hope that helps a little?
  19. Kustomkarma
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 898


    It has the classic Florida septic hill in the backyard and is listed in MLS as septic. Anyone got an opinion on those metal carports or engineered steel buildings?
  20. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    from KCMO

    I can't imagine not having a separate space anymore. I bought a 20 x 25 shop with a house in the front yard. Best of luck to ya.
  21. spununit
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 119


    That's a nice house you have there. My vote is keep the house as is, build a garage out back when the funds allow. By fucking with the house you are spending money that would go towards the garage. My first house had no garage, I worked very hard as I was really motivated, bought and sold enough cars in my first year there to pay for a large metal garage out back.
  22. dotcentral
    Joined: Apr 28, 2005
    Posts: 116


    Sounds like the septic tank is on the opposite side of the house from what used to be the garage. I woundn't want to drive over that, could lead to bigger problems. Do you need three bedrooms now? If not, and it's a few years down the road before you need 3 bedrooms (kids), I'd want to convert it back to a garage. Maybe later on you put a second garage door on the back wall, so you can drive through the old garage and into your new detached workshop/garage in back. Or just knockdown the back garage wall and make it a carport if you build that shop out back.

    If you need to add a third bedroom or other space later, maybe build an addition behind the house.
  23. mikeco
    Joined: Nov 3, 2008
    Posts: 393

    from virginia

    I started with something similar. House had a carport turned into a closed screened porch. I just enclosed it to keep the car in. I just added on to it so now I have a nice 2car garage.

    Only took 25 years LOL!! You can lay down some cheap I/O carpet over the tile to protect it plus its nice to lay on.
  24. chopped
    Joined: Dec 9, 2004
    Posts: 2,011


    You have a small carport, leave it a room. Two car carports are all over Fla. for about a grand. You can close it in and add a floor as time goes by.
  25. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,093


    I say turn it back into a garage. If you put a building up later you can convert it back. Re-use the garage door you already bought so no $ wasted. If you have a party you can put the car outside and use the garage as a temporary room. Already looks good in there. Cheapest way to achieve the goal in mind.
  26. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,005

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    I would talk to your lender, about putting the additional funds necessary on your 30 year note-to construct the garage in the back yard. I doubt it would add much at all to your monthly payments, and you will have increased your properties value instantly, and you can have it all.
  27. american opel
    Joined: Dec 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,222

    american opel
    from ohio

    im in the same boat myself.i have the money to build a garage but im also unemployed.i dont want to take what little i have to build then not have any money for normal shit{well pump just took a shit $750.00}i bought one of those tent garages from tractor serves a purpose but it gets HOT IN THERE!!!and also sweats like crazy.i say put your tools and stuff in the old carport and put the car in a minny storage till you have anough money to do it right.
  28. Chances are the septic is going to spoil any plans for an addition. Moving field lines and such can be expensive and figuring the how and where as well as the bureaucratic red tape can be time consuming.

    Where I live, a house is below standard if it has less then a full bath for every 1 1/2 bed rooms. So even if you keep it a 3 /1 it still needs a bath added.

    I say save the windows (maybe you could build a 8x10 storage shed) and seal the grout. If your car drips get one of those metal pans to go under it, as saturated carpet is no protection from the stains that would eventually end up in that light colored grout. Once you are in the house for a while maybe you can formulate a plan for a real garage, who knows?

    Best of luck!
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,155


    When I moved my priority was a home shop and certain style of house. I now have a 24X24 attached, 14X18 garden garage, and a 30X40 pole garage. Build a shop/garage and don't look back. You'll be very unhappy a year from now if you don't. The way I see it, converting back is an expensive bandaid to what you really need.
  30. This is also good advice. There is the thought that if you don't do it now it may take 25 years.

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