Tuesday, May 27, 2014

First impressions: Renovating a Garage into Living Space for $2k

 There are three main entry points to our new house.  The first is the front door. That's the way we try to sway people to enter our house because the other two entries require people to come through this space.  Ugh.  It doesn't exactly give the best first impression.  There's a faded, once painted red, concrete floor.   Peg board on the wall behind the freezer.  Holes and dents in the drywall ceiling and some weird 2x4 pieces there right above the gas stove.  That's our old stove, by the way.  It still works, but we sort of hated its generic-ness, so we bought a new one with features and buttons.

Anyway, this space.  It's awkward, but BIG.  There are four doors and one window in this 16x23 space.  That's right - 368 square feet of ugly, awkwardness.

To the left, you can see a tiny slice of the ugly brown door that leads to the kitchen pantry area.  I am standing at the door at the front of the house here.  The door to the right leads to the garage, and the door at the back leads to the patio/deck/back yard.  You can see the bright glare to the right where the light from the tiny window is coming in.

This view is from the opposite door.  Here I'm standing at the door to the back yard.  The over exposure is particularly bad in this picture, but it gives you and idea of what we're starting with.  To the right in this picture you can see the black hole.  There isn't anything covering the wall there.  It's studs and then the old covering of the house.  You see, this used to be the original garage.  At some point they closed it all in and added 2 stalls on the other side.

In some of the previous appraisals this space was counted as living space.  In the last few it was not counted.  Who would WANT to spend time in this space?   There is a gas heater on the wall there, and we have plans to update that before winter, but in the meantime….

THIS is my challenge space.  Here's what needs to be done:
- the hole needs to be fixed
- the room needs flooring
- the ceiling needs to be fixed
- obviously stuff needs to be moved out.
- the window wall needs addressing because you can see the original garage door
- we need a new door into the house
- walls need addressing
- all the exterior doors need painting
- needs to be prettied up


The room is going to be divided into 3 spaces.  The first space, the largest, will be like a little living room area.  At minimum it will have a couch, some shelves for toys, and a small TV for watching movies.  The second space will be where the black hole is.  That will be my crafting area.  The third space, immediately across from it, will be the kids art area.


It's primarily a kids area, since our basement isn't done, but it's also the first view into our house, so it needs to be tastefully done and toned down kids.


The budget for the whole room, top to bottom including furnishings is $1500.  WHAT?!  No, I didn't miss a zero.  Remember, we don't currently own this home…yet.
Everything we do has to S-T-R-E-T-C-H the dollar value.  So far I've purchased paint, caulk, flooring and a ceiling solution and I'm at about 50% of my budget.  The other big expense will be the door, but we may wait until fall to complete that one aspect.

Work has begun, and I'm excited to reveal how it's coming along, but I'm going to keep it under wraps until it's done.

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