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Regular Contributor
bossanova
Posts: 62
Registered: ‎07-19-2009
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Adding laundry hookups / bath in attached garage

[ Edited ]

I saw a reasonably priced cottage in San Jose and I am considering bidding for it. The price tag isn't outrageously high (which is the norm in Bay Area), because there are many defects with this cottage: small size, 1 bath, leaking tar and gravel roof, odd layout, no laundry hookups in garage... I am trying to get some rough estimates about these renovation items. I know that eventually I will have to have contractors to walk through the home to get quotes, but I am not in contract yet. 

 

The kitchen and single bathroom are located in the front of the home.  The garage is attached to the side of this home, but more towards the rear of the home.  There is no direct access to this garage from the inside of the home. The home has a crawl space (thank goodness). 

 

Laundry hookups are currently inside the home, and so I want to free up some space inside. If I want to add laundry hookups in the garage, how much will it cost? I am thinking of using tankless water heater (perhaps a separate one for the garage) so that I don't need to run an insulated pipe for hot water (while also benefitting from lower water heating bills).

 

In the future, I am thinking of extending the garage to the front and then adding a bath to the garage.  Has anybody done this?  This is a longer term project, but adding laundry is of immediate concern. Having hookups in place should facilitate the future bath addition.  The driveway is covered by asphalt.

 

Silver Contributor
amateur
Posts: 504
Registered: ‎12-04-2007
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Re: Adding laundry hookups / bath in attached garage

Seems I saw where it was considered desirable to have a 25 foot driveway in San Jose. Plus a garage. So, it would be good to check ahead of time to find out if you can make the changes you would like to. One of my friends put in a bathroom which encroached on her garage, when the contractor flaked, she was up the creek. She hadn't asked for a permit. Lots of illegal, three family houses have a bathroom in the garage. Bath, kitchen, and a bedroom or two. My brother and I were discussing a feasibility of a law that would require re-assessment of a property if unpermitted additions were made. Because so many of these  monstrosities are being done in suburban houses. It's a kind of slum lording on the cheap.

Regular Contributor
bossanova
Posts: 62
Registered: ‎07-19-2009
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Re: Adding laundry hookups / bath in attached garage

I am NOT planning to do this illegally and to turn the garage into a motel. (If I were going to do this illegally, then why am I posting here??) I understand there is a chance of reassessment. I am wondering if the costs would outweigh the benefits. Most homes in this neighborhood have 3-4 bedrooms and 2 baths. This tiny home only has 2 bedrooms+ den / 1 bath.  I am planning to submit a bid, but don't want to buy a $ pit.

 

Basically, I am considering converting the existing garage (attached to back of house) into living space (family room with an added bath/powder room) and then later building a new garage towards the front of the lot. The reason is that the main house is very small and the screwed-up layout/lot shape doesn't allow for an easy bathroom addition. This home also needs a new roof ASAP and therefore it makes sense to consider the expansion of square footage now rather than later, so that any necessary changes in the roof line/shape are done now to accomodate for the expansion. 

 

 

 

Silver Contributor
sakidd1
Posts: 405
Registered: ‎12-19-2009
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Re: Adding laundry hookups / bath in attached garage

[ Edited ]

to run hot/cold water the length of the house plus drain plus gas line?

 

probably about $500-$800.

 

actually that would be the cost if it's all underneath the house but since the garage is probably on 

a slab and you have to run the plumbing through walls the cost could be more like $1200-$1500.

Silver Super Contributor
El_Katz
Posts: 1,331
Registered: ‎04-26-2009
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Re: Adding laundry hookups / bath in attached garage

[ Edited ]

 


sakidd1 wrote:

to run hot/cold water the length of the house plus drain plus gas line?

 

probably about $500-$800.

 

actually that would be the cost if it's all underneath the house but since the garage is probably on 

a slab and you have to run the plumbing through walls the cost could be more like $1200-$1500.


 

I'd say that $5-800 amount was light... waaaaay light.  Keep in mind you need a drain for the washer... and the drain needs to be vented through the roof as well as connected to the sewer main under the house.  The hot water situation can be remedied by running a larger than required cold water source and using an on-demand water heater.  Gas fired?  You have to vent that as well... and the cost of the water heater and the proper flue (these burn very hot and the usual Home Depot flues are not sufficient) doesn't come cheap.   Then there's the issue of the electrical.  Most garages do not have a sufficient number of circuits to support both a living space (your family room) and appliances that will most likely require a separate 20 amp service for code reasons. 

 

The tankless water heater unit is about $1,000 by itself (depending on the size).  The gas line?  I'd guess about $1,000 - depending on where the gas line source is and if it has adequate flow to power the additional heater (which may require additional service to be brought to the house).  Electric water heater?  Then you'll need 220V to supply the water heater... and also the dryer (if you don't want to bring the gas line due to expense or lack of sufficient supply line gas pressure).   Electric?  Depends on the service in the house.  If you're 100 amp, you'll probably want to go to 200 amp service and put in a subpanel to feed your addition.  That's probably $800-$1,000 for the service and the subpanel.  That hasn't even addressed the sewer and venting (for both the laundry and the loo) nor the water supply lines. 

 

There's fire codes that need to be considered.... (dry wall thickness, fire blocking as you're doing an addition - so it requires being up to current code). 

 

If I were you, I'd contact a contractor and get a bid.  You can do this after your offer is accepted.  If you don't like the answer, you can bolt based on your inspection contingency. 

 

The leaky roof?  I'd imagine that is a complete tear off, probably with new sheathing.... I'd want to have a contractor quote that little jewel too.   Flat roof leaks aren't the same as a roof leak in a gabled roof.  The water can get trapped between the sheathing and the tar paper.... and mold, mildew, and rot to it's heart's content.  You won't know the extent until you tear the roof off....

 

Not being able to see the house, nor know much about it, it's difficult to give you a guesstimate of what it would cost. 

Silver Contributor
sakidd1
Posts: 405
Registered: ‎12-19-2009
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Re: Adding laundry hookups / bath in attached garage

[ Edited ]

There's a lot of parts but they're all relatively cheap.  You're right about the venting but the vent doesn't need to tap into the sewer main just an existing drain.  (I think).

 

It would be much cheaper to just run hot water line than setting up a tankless water heater.

 

I had a job like this done a couple years ago and it cost around $3k but that involved digging a 30ft long trench and running hot/cold/drain.

 

I had another plumbing job done where they moved the water heater from one end of the basement to the other.

which involved re-plumbing water and gas lines and adding the vent and some minor electrical work.    I paid about $800 for that.  It took 1 guy entire day to

do the job I imagine the parts were no more than $200.   passed inspection too.  :smileyhappy:

Silver Super Contributor
El_Katz
Posts: 1,331
Registered: ‎04-26-2009
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Re: Adding laundry hookups / bath in attached garage

 


sakidd1 wrote:

There's a lot of parts but they're all relatively cheap.  You're right about the venting but the vent doesn't need to tap into the sewer main just an existing drain.  (I think).

 

It would be much cheaper to just run hot water line than setting up a tankless water heater.

 

I had a job like this done a couple years ago and it cost around $3k but that involved digging a 30ft long trench and running hot/cold/drain.

 

I had another plumbing job done where they moved the water heater from one end of the basement to the other.

which involved re-plumbing water and gas lines and adding the vent and some minor electrical work.    I paid about $800 for that.  It took 1 guy entire day to

do the job I imagine the parts were no more than $200.   passed inspection too.  :smileyhappy:


 

You're assuming that there's an existing drain... which there may not be.  Notably, the drain may not be sufficient to handle both the existing appliance and the washer discharge.  The existing drain may be 1.5" - sufficient for a sink, but current code for a clothes washer is 2".   

 

Yes, it would be cheaper to run a hot water line.... but, if their intention is to live there for long term, the tankless water heater may provide a payback in both less cost to operate and less water wasted while waiting for hot water to make it's way to the washer/half bath.  With a low water consumption washer, you may never get hot water if the run is too long as they don't use that much water.  Without a sink to run the water until it's hot, you may not ever be able to wash anything in hot water.  That's something most people don't ever think of....  until it's too late. 

 

Keep in mind that there's also different quality of copper pipe, different quality of fittings, and fixtures.  Yes, you can get cheap bits, but you get what you pay for.  Noisy plumbing, for one.  Type L copper is @ 50% more expensive, but it's also quieter because it's walls are thicker.  Many municipalities will not let you use Type M (thin wall) in exposed areas as it's less rigid and gives you the added bonus of hammering and vibration.  You also have to use copper or plastic brackets to secure the pipe to the framing (not galvanized), brass couplings, and brass valves to do the job right and avoid corrosive metal reactions.  Some knuckleheads use galvanized couplings and valves on copper - which eventually eat each other as they are not compatible. Gate valves are cheaper, but the packing nuts will eventually leak.  For a few bucks more you get a ball valve - which are far less likely to fail.

 

Lastly, because it passes inspection does not mean it's quality work.  All an inspection does is confirms that it meets MINIMUM code, not that the quality of the work is any good.   

Silver Contributor
sakidd1
Posts: 405
Registered: ‎12-19-2009
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Re: Adding laundry hookups / bath in attached garage

I expect most plumbers are using minimum to code work since average homeowner wouldn't even know the difference.  At least in my case I've never even been given the option 

of upgrade materials.  everything seems to be working I haven't noticed any noisy plumbing.

 

The guy who did my water heater did an amazing job.  Korean guy, didn't speak any English and worked like a master plumber.

Platinum Super Contributor
Nanomug
Posts: 10,050
Registered: ‎05-30-2009
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Re: Adding laundry hookups / bath in attached garage

While a half bath makes sense for a family type room I'd put a shower in for the flexibility of using it for guest quarters or even for cleaning up dirty kids without going through the whole house.  

Silver Super Contributor
El_Katz
Posts: 1,331
Registered: ‎04-26-2009
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Re: Adding laundry hookups / bath in attached garage


sakidd1 wrote:

I expect most plumbers are using minimum to code work since average homeowner wouldn't even know the difference.  At least in my case I've never even been given the option 

of upgrade materials.  everything seems to be working I haven't noticed any noisy plumbing.

 


This is why it's important to know what you're asking for.   People get sheared regularly, and don't even know about it.   As the old saying goes, experience is something you get right after you need it. 

 

You may not notice any plumbing noise because you never had a home with quiet plumbing.....  :smileysurprised: