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Thread: Building a New Garage - Houston

  1. #1

    Building a New Garage - Houston

    My wife and I are going to build a new garage this year, and I don't know the first thing about what I'm doing. Our current one is trash - a detached garage that can only fit one car, and is on the verge of falling over in a windstorm.

    I've never built anything or had major reconstruction in my home before, but I figure that the financing and fitting the construction in with my current loan will be relatively straightforward once I figure out what the project is. My main goal right now is to understand how to settle on the project. Obviously that means an architect and builder (or someone who does both).

    I think that I'd like to go ahead and build it out with a garage apartment, as well as incorporating an outdoor space for entertaining, but I also want to know the range of options - what am I looking at for simply a new garage that would fit both of our cars, have better insulation for storage, etc.? What am I looking at for the whole nine yards - apartment with central air, bathroom, and outdoor entertainment incorporated? What about everything in between?

    If anyone has specific recommendations for professionals in the Houston area that would take on a project like this, I'd appreciate it. But, more generally, if anyone has any words of wisdom from past experiences - what to do, what not to do, and what kind of price per square foot I might be looking at, that would be really helpful. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
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  • #3
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    First, will your HOA allow you to do a garage apartment (assuming you're going over the garage with an apartment; all new foundation, sticks & bricks)?

    Second, where is your joint?

    Third, Jeremy McFarland at Brick Moon Design. He can plan / draw it for you and have what he thinks would be 2 - 3 "good fit" builders bid it to you.

    Good luck.

  • #4
    Quote Originally Posted by deadshank View Post
    First, will your HOA allow you to do a garage apartment (assuming you're going over the garage with an apartment; all new foundation, sticks & bricks)?
    I don't see any issues in my Civic Association's deed restrictions. Garage apartment is specifically cited as a permitted use.

    Quote Originally Posted by deadshank View Post
    Second, where is your joint?
    Montrose-ish, directly south of River Oaks Shopping Center (W. Gray & Shepherd).

    Quote Originally Posted by deadshank View Post
    Third, Jeremy McFarland at Brick Moon Design. He can plan / draw it for you and have what he thinks would be 2 - 3 "good fit" builders bid it to you.
    Thanks very much.

  • #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Planet Houston View Post
    Montrose-ish, directly south of River Oaks Shopping Center (W. Gray & Shepherd).
    What up, (former) neighbor? I lived right there for 10 years until I $#@!ed up and moved to Sugar Land recently.

    Bernard

  • #6
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    I'll be that guy... only a 2 car?! Can you make it extra deep to give yourself more work (alone beer drinking) space?

    You can get lost for hours drooling over pics (I mean, getting ideas) at the garagejournal.com's gallery sub forum.

    You could use Google sketchup to do some preliminary planning of your own

    I hope you update this thread with pics, sounds like it will be badass!

  • #7
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    Great idea on the garage apartment. You never know when your offspring's spouse will kick him or her out, and it'll be great having them around to handle your tech support and house sitting duties in 2030 or so.

    My contribution, having lived in my dad's badass luxury garage apartment during my divorce, is as follows:

    If you embed your instant water heater in the wall, understand that it will break/fail one day, and plan appropriately for access. Nothing worse than having to bust the drywall and repair it after the plumbers have gone. Also, try to go with central air if possible, those motel style air conditioning units leave a lot to be desired. Also, stairs take up a lot of space - consider a spiral staircase, but if you have the space then make the staircase enclosed, in the garage structure. We actually had a wrought iron staircase with the entry door at the rear of the top floor and while it works pretty well, it's not ideal.

    Any "garage" odors will waft upstairs - my dad's a woodworker and an insomniac and I often woke to the smell of various solvents, stains, sealers, etc. You may want to kilz or otherwise mitigate this effect. This is pretty important.
    Last edited by BearSchlong; 01-11-2017 at 12:08 PM.

  • #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard View Post
    What up, (former) neighbor? I lived right there for 10 years until I $#@!ed up and moved to Sugar Land recently.

    Bernard
    wtf!? you moved to Sugarland?

  • #9
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    Also, Houston. Know that you'll be pressure-washing or otherwise cleaning the mold and green stuff form the north side of the structure. The climate also plays into the interior vs exterior stairwell question.

    Don't forget a $#@!load of canned lights. Also, the variety of built-ins. . .you could build yourself a really cool home office that doubles as a guest room.

  • #10
    It would be criminal NOT to build a garage apartment with your location. You live in Houston so no real zoning other than your area's specific deed restriction. Not looking at your lot size I am unsure of what sort of space you have. I would however it possible look at putting in a two/two over a three car garage. One garage for tenant storage, two for yourself and a really nice garage apartment. Rents would be nice for a place where you could get two grad students in there. Quiet hard working and probably will stay in place for a few years. OR perhaps a place for you and your wife to live rent free and rent your primary home. Assuming you would want to rent the space out eventually.

    Another thing you could do if you wanted to make extra entertainment space is use a 3 car garage footprint, but put up a glass door on the end garage for indoor/outdoor entertaining space that you can seal up in inclement weather. Run more electric than you need and look for space saving plans to make the garage apartment nicer. Things like pocket doors can save a lot of space.

    I would also probably have a deck for the garage apartment be a covered outdoor area that the glass garage door would open up into.

  • #11
    Quote Originally Posted by B00M View Post
    I'll be that guy... only a 2 car?! Can you make it extra deep to give yourself more work (alone beer drinking) space?

    You can get lost for hours drooling over pics (I mean, getting ideas) at the garagejournal.com's gallery sub forum.

    You could use Google sketchup to do some preliminary planning of your own

    I hope you update this thread with pics, sounds like it will be badass!
    I don't have room for more than a 2-car. I'm only on a 5,000 sq. foot lot, and it's already a squeeze if I had a car that could fit in the other side of my existing 2-car garage.

    I'll definitely update the thread if this project gets going.

  • #12
    Quote Originally Posted by horn4life View Post
    Another thing you could do if you wanted to make extra entertainment space is use a 3 car garage footprint, but put up a glass door on the end garage for indoor/outdoor entertaining space that you can seal up in inclement weather. Run more electric than you need and look for space saving plans to make the garage apartment nicer. Things like pocket doors can save a lot of space.

    I would also probably have a deck for the garage apartment be a covered outdoor area that the glass garage door would open up into.
    Now this is a great idea. While I don't have room to fit 3 cars into a garage (see above post), I could take up some of my existing yard space for an indoor/outdoor entertaining space. I had envisioned having an outdoor-only entertainment area incorporated, but having the option to fully close it in, as well as a balcony on top, would be incredible.

  • #13
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    Just do the whole thing like this and be done.


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    I talked to this guy about a pool house last year. Wasn't cheap, but it's also not his bread and butter. He was a nice guy at least.
    http://www.harvardheights.com/

    I've seen these guys get decent reviews:
    http://www.millbrook-construction.co...deling/garage/

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    Make sure they properly test the sensors.




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