Help with Master Suite Over Attached 1 Car Garage Addition

chiommyMarch 21, 2012


We live in a 2 storey, 3 bedroom 70s semi detached colonial townhouse, with attached 1 car garage. We're thinking of adding a master suite over the garage. The garage is 12X20. If the room above has an overhang, we might be able to get about 300 sq ft of space above the garage. The garage has been previously finished and converted to a play room. Access to the addition will be through a linen closet at the top of the stairs. My questions are:

1. Is this feasible or will a 300 sq ft master suite be too small? (300 sq ft will include a full bath and a closet)

2. Any ideas/suggestions as to how to maximize space/layout?

We can't afford to hire a contractor so I'm hoping on the benevolence of members. Thanks

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You will need to hire at the very least a structural engineer, he would be the first person I would speak to verify if this is even feasible to do on your house.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 3:57PM
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Thanks for your feedback. I know it's feasible to put a room over the garage as a lot of houses in my neighborhood have done the addition with approved permits. Even the neighbor we share a wall with has done so as well. My concern has to do with the ability to put a master bedroom, full bathroom and closet in the not so big space. My neighbor's own is just a room and closet. Hope this helps. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 4:44PM
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Yes, a Master with full bath and closet will fit in 300 sq feet. We have that planned for our addition. What probably won't fit is a 5 piece master bath, huge walk in closet and a bedroom. But, a Master, with full bath and normal to small walkin or double-reach-ins will. Good luck!

No contractor, are you planning to DIY this? At some point, you will probably need to hire a contractor.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:22PM
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Oh my! I meant to say that we can't afford to hire an architect. We need a contractor as we're not good at doing it ourselves. Thanks for the feedback.

Kirkhall, Your post is encouraging. Do you have a plan/layout that you can share? Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:34AM
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Essentially, you'll have a box of 15x20, right?

The bedroom is one is of the 15x part (maybe 15 by 13); and the closet and bath are the other end of the 15x (say 15x7 divided between the 2 spaces).

If you do a walk in closet, you don't want it any narrower than 6 feet, but 7 is better (clothes take up 2 feet of space on either side, and you need to be able to walk in.) A lot of times, a reach in closet gives you more hanging room, esp if your closet will be shallow.

A 13 foot wide room is wide enough for a king bed with small night stands on either side and nothing else. If you turn the bed on the 15' wall, there is more room to either side, but less at the foot of the bed. (a bed is usually around 7 feet long, so if it is on the short wall, you have lots of room at the foot of the bed.)

The best thing to do is draw out your box on graph paper, cut out a few furniture graph papers and arrange them a few ways to see what looks like it will work best for you.

Glad you will be using a contractor. Also, as you get bids from contractors, you will learn what can and can't be done (the tie-in to plumbing for the bath will be the trickiest/most expensive part).

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 11:12AM
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you also need to think about how to insulate
and heat and cool this area.
lots of summertime posts in hvac about issues
of additions over garages.

best of luck

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 1:15PM
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How are you overhanging? on the 20 or the 12?

we have our master bedroom over an attached 1 car garage. However, we used the garage for the closets and BR, the bath is inside the house area.

if you wanted a bath in that space it probably would be doable, we have 2 walk in closets 5x5 each, so take one of those, extend it in the room 2 or so more feet and you have a small bath. It all depends on your goals, budget and how limted your space is in your area

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 3:43PM
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Thanks for your input Chrisk327. The overhang will be on the 12ft side. Sadly I was overzealous in my calculations and we can only overhang another 14-18 inches which will make the entire space about 260 sq ft. A contractor gave us an estimate of about $40K for the addition including full bath and closet. Seems quite high for not so large a space.

One more question, one of my neighbors has done a similar addition, will it be too tacky to ask them to make a copy of their plan? Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 4:02PM
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Not too tacky, and the price seems about right (for my area).

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Seems like a ridiculously low estimate to me for all of the work you are talking about. Just the national average to add a mid range bath to a home is 40K. You're doing a complete master suite addition, which averages 100K for a mid range job. Even if yours is scaled down and not so large and more of a budget addition, you cannot get away from the same job basics that will need to happen. Plus, this isn't a single family home. That raises the cost of work right there. I'd expect the actual job costs ending up at least double that 40K. That's an absurd number any way you look at it unless that is for material only and you DIY the whole thing---which you CAN NOT do as this is a multi family dwelling.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 11:43AM
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Labour costs are very localized. Here that would be my cost as a g.c.. But I don't work for free.

Be sure any contract is with a licenced, insured g.c., all details are specified, and the plan is with permit and inspections.

The space is quite workable for a modest sized home.

A semi-attached house is not a multi-family dwelling. Of course, if this is part of a condo project, permission would be needed to make any exterior alterations.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:15AM
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