If the existence of luxury panic rooms tells us anything, it’s that there is no area of an affluent person’s domain that can’t be pimped out. So why should a home’s garage be overlooked?
The Wall Street Journal turned its gaze on homeowners who spend six figures or more to upgrade their garages — complete with high-end finishes one would typically see in the rest of the home. Marble countertops and hardwood floors are just a few of the latest renovations to grace the area, which now many homeowners are making over to house aging parents, in-laws, nannies and their returning millennial children (a.k.a. boomerang adult offspring.)
Around the country, architects are reporting an increase in requests for garage renovations. According to the National Association of Home Builders’ remodelers council, garage apartments tend start at about 400 square feet, which is roughly the size of your Manhattan studio apartment, but far nicer.
And for homeowners who — quite literally — want to take the garage remodel to a whole other level, a more serious option is to build a separate apartment over an existing garage. One couple even went so far as to have an elevator put into the 700-square-foot space above their garage and of course, the new domicile will have the same luxury finishes as their main home. All of which comes out to roughly $300 per square foot. Puts your walk-up studio to shame!
The pluses to these pricey investments are many: it’s possible to rent them out on Airbnb; renovations that make more livable (and rentable) space add to the overall property value; and once finished it is a great place to take refuge while the main living areas are also being renovated.
One San Diego homeowner, Wes Wasson, who has taken to letting visiting friends use his garage guesthouse as an oceanfront getaway has cheekily dubbed the space, “AirBNFree”. His newly renovated space is so nice, in fact, he says “The subcontractors joked about how it was nicer than some of their homes.” [WSJ]