Your home is your castle but sometimes that castle can feel a little cramped. Your kids grow up or you have more children and naturally over time, we accumulate more stuff and more things so you’ll need more space to accommodate for it all. Instead of putting in an addition to the house, consider building a garage with an attached apartment.
As well, this can be a great opportunity for an art or work studio, an on-site apartment for a high school or college student, a rental apartment to earn extra income or just a place to get away in luxury. You don’t need to own a stand-alone home to build a garage with an attached apartment — if you own a home or just own land or are considering purchasing land by itself, there are options out there.
If you have property or plan on buying land but don’t have the budget to build your dream home right away, you can become a homeowner at minimum cost by building a garage with apartment above. You can have about 500 square feet available on the second floor alone with room for 2 cars on the bottom and a separate entry for the second story.
Maybe you want to downsize after the kids have all left the nest — build a garage apartment and keep your independence while you enjoy apartment living without the maintenance and expense of a large home. A garage with apartment above can be a good way to spend weekends, even weeks or months, in your favourite vacation area.
In areas where affordable housing is a premium, such as college towns or fast-growing communities, your garage and/or apartment will be in demand and the rental income can be a welcome supplement plus maintenance expenses are tax-deductible.
An apartment over a garage can provide a measure of privacy and independence for in-laws, older teenagers or occasional guests. In many cases, the upstairs living quarters in a garage/apartment has a separate entrance that can be closed off from the ground-level garage.
Better than a studio or one-bedroom apartment that you rent, your own garage/apartment can be home. Because it is a stand-alone building, your garage/apartment is less expensive than building a traditional home and because it is detached, offers more privacy than apartment or duplex living.
Since a garage/apartment is often a smaller project than building a home, take advantage of your own skills and those of family members, to help complete the project. By borrowing skills in such areas as framing, plumbing, or electrical work, you can save on out-of-pocket expenses while building your garage/apartment.
With the right layout, a garage/apartment can provide space for anything from an auto-repair shop to an artist’s studio. Simplify your life, reduce living costs and create the shortest commute. A garage/apartment can be more than just functional — it can have standalone curb appeal or a style that complements and adds value to your existing home. The second-floor apartment that suits you today can become an open loft in the future or a game room, hobby studio, or business office — all the amenities are already there, in a flexible space.