Remodel & Renovate in 80906>Question Details

Pandora, Home Owner in 80906

I have a 2 bed 1.5 home with 1100 sq feet. Not allowed to add on because of zoning. If I convert my 1car garage legally will I lose value on the home?

Asked by Pandora, 80906 Tue Aug 9, 2011

I have to free up space somewhere because I had another child since we bought it. If I convert the garage it would free up space enough for me to create another bedroom downstairs which is not ideal but is the only option for adding any space because of zoning.

Help the community by answering this question:


Don't do it - You most likely not recoup your investment.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 22, 2011
My answer is always to consider how long YOU plan on using the home. If it is more than 5 years, I would pursue what will make living in the house more enjoyable. Only if your home is the ONLY one in the area without a garage would this be a potential negative. Otherwise, I would pursue the conversion. I would be sure to contact a designer/architect to help you with the redesign. A trained eye may see more potential than you might have imagined in the space you have to work with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 15, 2011
Depending on where you are located in 80906 what your are considering might be a norm. If you can be more specific in your location (you can just send us a message) we can give you a better idea. This is also something you want done professionally, because if it's easy to tell you simply converted a garage and have 1 vent for heat going to it, no one is going to see value in that and it can hurt you. Also, do you still have available parking, or is a carport an option?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 26, 2011
In Colorado Springs and El Paso County, which both fall under the Pikes Peak Building Department's authority, it is challenging to convert a garage to "living space" that can be sold as living space as it must have certain things, such as heat, to be considered living space.

You must also keep in mind that for any room, for instance the one in the basement you mention, to be considered a bedroom for the purposes of sale it must be at least 90 square feet, have heat, a door, a closet and a window.

While these restrictions do not keep you from utilizing these spaces yourself as you need them, those restrictions will most likely affect how the property is valued for sale. Garages are valuable to most buyers and I've seen homes where owners have tried to convert the garages of generally 1940's to 1950's era ranch style homes to additional living space not be very well received by buyers unless the conversion had been professionally done and an additional garage had been built detached from the house itself. Garage space, even a 1 car, is considered valuable to most home buyers…even first time home buyers.

Something else to keep in mind is that all your neighbors are living with these same zoning restrictions and if the majority of the properties in your area were all built during the same era, they are most likely of similar styles and construction. As a property owner looking for equity, you don't want to have the largest, most extravagant property in an area because you will not be able to gain as much equity with all the comparable properties in the area being smaller and less extravagant, thus pulling your home value down.
In any event, the probability of increasing the value of the property to the point where such changes have the likelihood of the owner recovering much of the expense of these additions in the sale of your home is slim and even the likelihood that there would be enough value added to the property where they would be economically justifiable is even less…especially in the current market which is going to be with us for years to come.

The best advice I can give in your situation is to LIVE IN YOUR HOME. Make the changes you need to make for the comfort of your family, but make sure that any structural additions, electrical or plumbing changes that are made are done by licensed professionals who pull building permits. Contrary to some popular TV, most buyers do not like “Do It Yourself” structural, electrical or plumbing changes that don’t look professional and haven’t been inspected by the local building department. Also be prepared for the possibility that when you eventually need to market the home for sale, the changes you have made to customize the home for your use may give you a much smaller pool of buyers who will be interested in purchasing your home which could lead to lower sales values and extended marketing times.

Hope this Helps
Brian L. A. Wess
Realtor®, Broker Owner
Military Relocation, Residential & Investment Specialist
Infinite Horizons Realty - Metro Brokers
Colorado Springs, CO
Direct: 719-528-6672
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
Due to similar constraints, many people in the Bay Area also choose to do garage conversions. In general, such conversions have little to no impact on the value of the home upon resale, as I've seen neighboring homes sell for nearly the same price, since it's pretty easy to convert a room back into a garage shell. However, the money you put into the conversion may be wholly lost as few people add value with a conversion.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
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