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Regular Visitor
REd_Fan
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎02-20-2013
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Any contractors or Real Estate gurus? Please I need your opinion on a studio addition.

[ Edited ]

Hi all,

 

I have this old 2-car garage attached to the house, the garage is currently used as storage because the door is broken and I don't want to invest in a new door for this old garage. I have this idea of tearing the garage apart and building a new one on its place with a studio on top of it, on the 2nd floor.

 

The garage is about 20x16ft, house is on a flat lot in Granada Hills South. The unit on top would be nothing fancy, with some basic kitchen and bathroom. I expect to rent such unit for about $800/month.

 

I wonder what do you guys think about possible cost of such project, if it would be easy to obtain permits, and if it makes any financial sense at all. Thanks all in advance for your advise!

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PhilipC
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎08-15-2011
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Re: Any contractors or Real Estate gurus? Please I need your opinion on a studio addition.

the math is $150-$200 per sq ft
Philip Chang | Redfin Partner Agent
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Regular Visitor
REd_Fan
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎02-20-2013
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Re: Any contractors or Real Estate gurus? Please I need your opinion on a studio addition.

Thanks PhilipC. But do you do the calculation with the area being 320sqft (since the garage is 16x20)? or twice that: 640sqft (assuming the studio has, at most, the same area as the garage)?

Silver Trusted Contributor
HarryV
Posts: 826
Registered: ‎03-20-2008
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Re: Any contractors or Real Estate gurus? Please I need your opinion on a studio addition.

You need to look at what is feasible in your city / county. For example, in my county it would not be possible to build straight up due to lack of clearance from the neighbor. These type of restrictions will be a dealbreaker.

Super Contributor
StudioCityGuy
Posts: 229
Registered: ‎10-10-2009

Re: Any contractors or Real Estate gurus? Please I need your opinion on a studio addition.

 

Most garages like the one you describe are not designed/built to have another story on top (plus not up to curent code, which the addition the garage would support needs to meet). Can eaily see you not only spending money building the top story, but also re-doing completely the garage....

 

 

Contributor
AeroEquestrian
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-21-2013

Re: Any contractors or Real Estate gurus? Please I need your opinion on a studio addition.

A garage door is not all that expensive and even a DIY project not requiring a high level of skill. 

 

The biggest issue I see is if the potential rental income can offset the cost of the project.  Beyond that there are some other huge issues such as if you can even get a permit to do it.   Also don't over look the concrete pad for the garage.  It may be ok or it may have been poured to just meet the standards for a garage foundation.  If it is not up to the task of supporting a garage and in-law style apartment you will need to redo the foundation.

Regular Visitor
REd_Fan
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎02-20-2013
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Re: Any contractors or Real Estate gurus? Please I need your opinion on a studio addition.

Why is there a chance of not getting a permit? I thought it's just a matter of satisfying the codes by adapting whatever design you have in plans so it meets the codes. Or, the city of Granda Hills (or LA?) may have restrictions on how much extra living area you can build? Would a contractor be able to predict whether a permit would be granted?

Silver Contributor
troy-mclure
Posts: 443
Registered: ‎02-26-2010

Re: Any contractors or Real Estate gurus? Please I need your opinion on a studio addition.

so,me municipalities dont allow "in law" units above garages

architects are charged with commiting to their clients that what they design meets all applicable codes.

contactors build what they are instructed to build

Super Contributor
StudioCityGuy
Posts: 229
Registered: ‎10-10-2009

Re: Any contractors or Real Estate gurus? Please I need your opinion on a studio addition.

 

There are 2 aspects to this:

 

1.) Zoning and applicable limitations: Whether the applicable code (my guess is that it's the City of Los Angeles Building Code) allows for rental units to be built as REed_Fan proposes for the lot he owns. Zoning for the lot can be looked up and limitations verified by looking at the building code online if available or by contacting Building & Safety. An architect can do this if REed_Fan cannot figure this out on his own.

 

2.) The technical aspect:Whether the whole garage holds up for an addition on top of it. Whole garage meaning roof framing, wall framing, and foundations. My guess is that it doesn't for a typical 1-story garage built decades ago. Can be looked at by a structural engineer. If it doesn't hold up, REed_Fan can have the garage either strengthened to take another level (probably not worth it as too much to be done) or torn down to build a new garage with a unit on top (more likely).