convert to garage or leave as car port?

7 Replies

convert to garage or leave as car port?

Is it worth the investment?

SFR or plex? Do other properties in the area have garages? Can you charge higher rent for a garage? In my market I estimate a garage is worth about $25/month incremental rent, so it's not worth the trip. But people love them when we have them, so we market it. One of our SFR rentals has no garage. We added a shed (where does the lawn mower go?) and would only add a garage if there was enough appreciation/neighborhood revitalization to market it to a home owner rather than investor. We would not add/convert for our duplexes.

Having worked in the Manufactured/Modular industry for many years, I have seen this done hundreds of times...usually with negative results (not suggesting your home is a manufactured home or that your results will be negative). Here are the list of questions I used to rattle off to clients who talked about enclosing their carport... for what its worth:

How many windows are looking into the carport? How do you plan to eliminate these windows and still meet light and vent rules or emergency egress rules? You cant just leave the windows...causes an issue with co gases entering the home.

Is there a main door from the home into the carport? Is there another easy way to access the home once this is hidden inside a garage? What is the firewall/firedoor code for your area? Usually higher for an enclosed garage than a carport.

On another note, how about these questions... Where does the dryer vent exit the house? How about the bathroom vent? Is there a hose bib under the carport that will now be in your garage? How much headroom is there to put in an overhead door? What size is the support beams that hold up the carport...will they support the added weight of a moving overhead door, hardware, opener, etc? Is there a perimeter footer run down the length of the carport to build your side wall on (usually not). Is the current carport roof a pan roof or a SIP panel? Will the current roof meet the code for a garage roof?

There is a lot more than just closing in 2 walls and hanging a door... end result usually costs more than it is worth... That is why so many people simply plant hedges or hang lattice along the length to give an opinion of enclosure without the actual cost.

Your mileage may vary... this is just an example of the questions I have had to face in Florida.

What does your building department say is needed?

It usually takes a permit, a permit usually requires plans, plans usually require an architect or engineer.

@Edward Hamill Nice answer ! You got my vote !

I would leave it as is around here its not worth it to convert.

Is it a rental or a flip? If it is a rental I'd say no. Not worth the investment. If it is a flip, I'd take into consideration what @Edward Hamill posted. He brings up lots of great points. You can also see if your city has any subsidies for owners converting carports to garages. Many do. I'm pretty sure my city will give out free plans or something like that. I don't recall exactly what the perk was as I haven't looked into doing that type of conversion for a couple years. Any good city would rather have houses with garages than carports so it's worth asking down at the building dept.

Anyway, back to my original thought - if it is a flip, I'd see what the comps tell you. It should be pretty easy to figure out what to do based on recent sales in the area.

Thanks for the input guys. It is a rental. 50% of properties in area converted. I figured it will Probably bring an extra 30/month incremental. However after permits and building expenses I'm beginning to think it's not worth it.

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