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Garage Conversion


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Life is sure testing people and mostly me. In June 2009, we moved back to South Florida from Missouri because mother-in-law needed some help and father-in-law was dying. Father-in-law died the day after we left on the 3 day journey home. It was expected. He had melanoma and had been having spots removed for 12 years and there was no end in sight. He decided to stop any further treatment as it was taking all of their saving. He also had Alzheimer's and diabetes. Well, for 3 years, we have been living with MIL in her house. We, as being, my mother, my hubby, me, and our 2 teenagers. We are all currently living in her 3 bedroom house and it is cramped and stressful. About 1 1/2 years ago, MIL decided to give us her huge garage and the lot next to her where the garage is and got a loan for us to convert it into a house for us. So begins the journey.

After getting the loan, we make arrangements with the architect. Now, this garage was a large 3 bay garage with storage area. It is one big rectangle. 1344 square feet. 32 feet by 42 feet. I looked and looked and found a floor plan that with a minor change will fit this foundation. The architect works it in and we have the plans done. We have the contractor hired and all. We get the survey done for the septic tank and such. Then find out that MIL had the lots combined for the property taxes and so we have to have more surveys done to split the lots again. Then the Town Hall claims that they told us that we had to have a minimum of 1750 square feet for the house. So back to the architect and it was an easy change. The back patio I was planning became the "playroom" (extension). After more and more issues with the Town Hall we finally get the building permit.

Foundation cut for the plumbing. Septic tank delivered and installed. New regulations mean that it has to sit higher therefore we have to raise the foundation. So the existing garage had to have another 4 inches of concrete added to the existing 6 inches that's there. The extension has 4 inches. The extension is then closed in and a roof put on and the garage bay doors were closed in. Now, the main part of the house has 11 foot ceilings and the extension has 8 foot. The 8 foot is a little low for my family as hubby is 6'5", daughter at 18 is 6'4" and son at 17 is 6'3". I am a measly 5'5". Ah well - it's what the codes say we have to have. Windows came in after that and here's a great thing. We live in South Florida and I am a whopping 10 miles from the ocean. Think hurricanes. Now, the walls of this building, garage and extension both, are concrete block, rebar every 4 feet and then filled in with concrete. Very solid. The existing garage had already gone through 5 hurricanes with no damage. These windows are hurricane rated for up to category 4 winds, burglar proof, tinted, noise reduction (airport runway is 1 mile away) and we do not have to have hurricane shutters. Next came the interior wall framing, the wiring for the walls and then the A/C duct work. Now, the drywall has been installed and the ceiling put in. Kitchen cabinets and counter are now installed. Painting is 95% completed and the tile floors are 90% completed. Next week, we are hoping to have the appliances installed, the bathrooms completed, the A/C installed, the water heater installed and if the weather cooperates, the outside painted. Contractor has been stating that he hope to be done by my wedding anniversary in February. Just today, he told me I will be able to have Thanksgiving dinner in my new home. God is so good!!

We made the floor plan as open as possible since I am deaf and need to be able to see as much as possible. If you think of the 3 bays of a garage, each side bay has 2 bedrooms with a bathroom in the middle. Down the center bay is the great room and kitchen with laundry access and the door to the extension. The home is 42 feet wide and 32 feet from front to back. The extension is 13 feet from the back of the existing garage and goes down the 42 foot wall for just 32 feet, so it is 13x32. In that room we will have the dining room, video game area and then my craft area for sewing, quilting, scrap booking, card making and art.

I am so looking forward to this. I will finally have room to exercise without feeling self-conscious. I will have all my stress relievers in place and can cook healthy meals without running out of places to keep food. Amazing what your own home can do. Gee, this just reminded me of another inspiring blog I can post another day. Amazing what opening you mind will do.
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TIME2BLOOM4ME 1/3/2013 5:15PM

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STHAX10 9/21/2012 8:30AM

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YOBOELI 9/20/2012 9:46PM

    that is great I know it is nice to have your own space my husband I and one teenager and an eight year old live in my mil's house. So I feel you. Hope you have a great time exercising without an audience

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