I bought a 3/1 1250 sqf home and there's an attached shed with finished roofing right beside the guest room and you can see how the framing is attached to the home. It's on a concrete slab. It's about 100 sqf. The goal is to convert the attached shed into a small walk-in closet for the guest room it's attached too and the other 50 sqf as a utility closet for the washer, dryer, and water heater. The water heater is already in there. The framing is flat on the slab. I think I have to cut a wall in the guest room for the door frame, construct floor joists for the flooring in the closet, put up a wall to divide the closet from the utility closet, and finish the walls in the closet.
The reason I'm doing this is because the guest room is small (12x11) and has no closet and the appliances are being relocated to the attached shed to convert the laundry room into a full-bath connected to the guest room (laundry room is 9x7.25). It'll make the house a 3/2 1300 or 1350 sqf home.
What generally overlooked costs are there for this conversion? Should I consult with a contractor? What concerns would you have about this besides the appraisal? Can you think of a cheaper way to build a 3/2 while relocating the appliances and still having a closet in the guest bedroom?
Bathroom: +$4000 (appraisal report) +$??? (Market) SQF: +$35 (appraisal report) +$100 (Market)
C+/B- Neighborhood rural
Interesting concept. I don't know the answer to your question, but I'm going to follow the thread to see if I can learn something new!
Without seeing a floor plan it is hard to say. But gut reaction is that it sounds a bit sketchy. There seems to be a lot of red flags in this idea... such as the framing of the shed sitting right on the slab. There is also some major unknowns such as the shed may have 2x4 studs on 3 foot centers. Also, you will need to run a HVAC vent into that shed now to keep the washer pipes from freezing and to keep the rooms from being 80 degrees in the summer.
Speaking of that how well insulated is this shed? Does the houses attic attach to the 'attic' of the shed?
OOoph... if this was me I would just keep the washer and dryer in the new bathroom (a nice stackable unit) and put in a small corner closet in the guest bedroom. That shed just seems like a can of worms.
@Jon Reed thank you for the response. See, I didn’t think about the vents. I’ve never been around cold weather so it was never a thought about how well insulated it has to be to connect to the house. I don’t have a construction background either. I did budget for insulating and framing but not for the vents.
@Jerel Davis would you be doing this work yourself? From your description of you scenario, it sounds like you could end up in trouble pretty quickly. If you plan to start cutting holes in walls, do you know what kind of live and dead loads the walls are carrying and how the headers should be sized? If not, you could potentially kill someone if your assumptions aren’t correct and the wall comes crashing down.
Construction is serious business and I see way too many people try to do things half-assed when they have no business messing around with framing, plumbing, electrical, etc that they know nothing about.
I’m not saying that you are one of these people, but you need to make sure that whatever you end up doing in this situation is done properly
@Jerel Davis unless you pull permits for the bathroom conversion and shed 'conversion' into living space, neither will increase the appraisal and may, in fact, pose issues in the future if you go to sell (or even refi). Some states hide their permits and property records to where you have to go in person to seek them out so it is a little harder to tell. Other states demand permits for all sorts of finite details like flooring and drywall. In Florida, at least the counties I operate in, permits are easily accessible online public record. There are a lot of interior changes that can be done without raising red flags without permits: flooring, enclosing a dining room or other interior space into a bedroom, building closets, changing out cabinets and fixtures, etc. None of that changes the important data on what is and isn't 'permitted'. Property records here don't have the exact interior wall layout, they don't specify where sinks and toilets are, but they do have perimeter, number of bathrooms, fixture count, etc. Bedroom count is on the records, but it is often wrong and not a big deal. I doubt going from a single to a double vanity would raise alarm with many since they can be worked off of one supply and drain out of the wall. I bought a 4/2 house from a builder in 2009 that was recorded as a 3/2. No big deal, square footage and bathroom count is right.
However, the property appraisers website can tell me or anyone curious in about 2 minutes how many square feet the home has (including the footprint sketch with measurements of perimeter), and bathroom count (including full or half), and those are very rarely, if ever, wrong. It'll also show footprint dimensions for non-interior space like garages, carports, sheds, etc. and label what they are. When those spaces are properly permitted to be living space, they then appear as 'finished' spaces and are reflected in the 'heated' or 'living' square footage. It's one of the first things I check on any potential house for a buyer and also part of my due diligence before listing a property. A nicely insulated porch is still a porch if property records calls it a porch. Those same records will show important things like re-roof date, new windows, HVAC (usually...not as big of a deal if not permitted), etc. They are also the first piece of info that an appraiser pulls before coming out to the house to appraise. They measure and compare to the official footprint.
If you make the laundry room into a bathroom without a permit and add 100 square feet in the shed, even if all is done 'to code' with insulation, HVAC, weather protection, it won't officially count without a permit being pulled. If you live in the house as your primary residence, in FL at least, you can pull your own permit as the homeowner. You can do the work yourself as an unlicensed homeowner and if it passes final inspection, all is good. If it's not your primary residence, you need a licensed contractor to pull the permits. The shed may show on permit records as 'unfinished storage'...maybe, but you'll need that to be 'living space' or 'finished storage' to count, and that is done through obtaining a permit and passing final inspection.
I'm finishing up a JV flip of a 1319sf 3/1 house that we turned into a 3/1.5. Adding a second full bath would have been exponentially more expensive due to floor plan limitations and space needed for a shower or tub. There was a garage conversion into living space that was permitted, so it was officially included in 'interior space' when we bought it. In the front end of this converted garage was about a 15' x 5' laundry....space. I won't call it a room since it was just open to the living area that was once garage. Washer/dryer/water heater used to simply be at the front of the garage and they left them there when enclosing to living space. We had our GC pull the proper permits to carve out a 5' x 5' half bathroom on one side of that space and do the plumbing work to move the washer, dryer, and water heater down to the other end of the space closer together and enclosed into a proper laundry room. No walls taken out, but some added with doors to split the two spaces and make entry doors to each. It's a tight fit, but everything fits and now shows on property records as a 3/1.5 house of the same square footage as before since this was already interior space. From the property appraiser site you can even link to the plans of the layout of the new half bath and new laundry room that were submitted to get the permits. Physically speaking, it was a 'simple' slab cut to tie into the drain lines and access plumbing supply lines from an adjacent bathroom a few feet away, and some walls/doors to finish it off. What the GC called 'simple' the county put us through the ringer for. GC's sketch wasn't good enough so we needed an architect to draw a plan....for a half bathroom that in no way compromised structure and was already going to have all the trades pulling permits and having inspections. So we had to hire an architect for that. On the slab cut for new plumbing drain lines, which was maybe only 5 square feet of slab cut away, nowhere near the footers, exterior walls, or any structural elements, they not only had to inspect the new drain pipes in the ground as expected but then also to inspect for termite treatment (totally ridiculous), rebar (in a slab with no existing rebar), vapor barrier, and then the final pour. Even our contractor was shocked at how ridiculous they were being over a very straightforward half bathroom involving no removal of structural elements. It added some unexpected cost but also several extra weeks in delay to what was supposed to be 'simple'.
It's not that it can't be done, but the process involves much more than just knowing how to do some plumbing and drywall in order to get it to 'count' for the value. After this experience, we're going to put a priority on finding houses with a second bathroom already in them. Given two houses, both at 1250sf, one a 2/2 and the other a 3/1, I'd now much much prefer the 2/2 since even I could personally frame and drywall a third bedroom without anyone knowing or caring. That added half bath was a b*tch!
Also to @Parker Eberhard 's point on cutting a hole in an exterior wall, even if you are the homeowner and can pull the permits yourself legally, please consult a structural engineer or at least a licensed contractor before cutting into what could be a load bearing wall. Adding walls is never a structural issue, but removing all or part of a wall definitely can be. Depending on how accessible the attic and other framing is, a contractor may be able to tell if it's load bearing or not. Failing the framing inspection could be too late to prevent damage if you chop through something important. Same goes for knocking out interior walls to open up a kitchen or dining room. You may not necessarily need to pull a permit for those types of things, but you definitely want to know the wall you're about to blow through isn't holding the roof up! A couple hundred dollars spent on an engineer to take a look is money very well spent and can save a fortune or at least buy peace of mind.
I have a client finishing up a rehab on a mid century home in town where the county was wanting him to completely rip off about a third of the roof, after the new permitted re-roof. The inspector was overreacting and was not an engineer, but neither is my client or myself (or his GC for that matter). Before spending $20k on that demo and rebuild, my client spent $500 on a structural engineer as a second opinion. The engineer was able to tell that with some reinforcement and proper bracing, it could all be brought to code without demo. $1500 in calculations and plans and about $1000 in brackets, doubled lumber, and screws/nails saved from spending $20k. When the structural engineer signs off to say its good, the county has to accept that. When in doubt, hire a structural engineer!
@Russell Holmes man I love you guys. Great stuff! I will definitely get a contractor to come out and have permits pulled. I will not be the one doing the work except for tiling, paint, and the miscellaneous. I’m trying to check my numbers on the renovation before I start.
@Russell Holmes I will not be the one cutting holes into exterior walls. I’ll consult with a GC and keep the structural engineer in mind.
Get a licensed GC in there and have them pull permits for the work, its an exterior wall cut out & that's a big deal. However, looking at your description maybe you can separate the laundry room where you don't walk into a bedroom to access it, redesign it. Regardless of the neighborhood type (A/B/C/D) these home additions cost the same, just make sure whatever materials you're finishing the interior with will match the type of neighborhood.
I've seen so many crappy conversions, probably DIY by owner or friend. Ugh. Roof is low. Temp is never consistent with house. Plumbing might be exposed. The shed or whatnot was never built to be living space so there's a step down to slab or the walls weren't framed right. The roof leaks at the junction. The list goes on. It's just crappy and then future owners have to deal with it.
all this for 100 sf? Not worth it.
hire a gc and build a proper addition. And for the love, no flat roofs. Reframe rafters if you have to.
Good luck with permits. Sheds are not built to code of dwelling units. The concrete slab is not a footer. Usually when I flip a house one of the first things to do is restore it back to its original condition if there are modifications that are not up to modern construction standards.
@Anthony Rosa so I’ve figured out another way it could be done with less structural work. Converting the laundry room into a bathroom and just buying a smaller stackable appliance. I’ll keep the shed as a shed and build a corner closet in the guest room. End result would still be accomplished: 3/2 with a closet in the guest room. Washer and dryer would still be in the house and structural changes.
@Jerel Davis and NO structural changes*
Free eBook from BiggerPockets!
Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!
- Actionable advice for getting started,
- Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
- Learn how to get started with or without money,
- Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
- And a LOT more.
Sign up below to download the eBook for FREE today!
We hate spam just as much as you
Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate
Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing