Replacing the Garage with a Two Story Extention

A preliminary project I did for a family of six with four children from newborn to preteen.

The problem

Their situation was that they had outgrown their house and some of the rooms were too small (kitchen, bathroom and laundry-room). They needed more space for a new main bedroom and bathroom. They planned to finance an extension in part by building a rental apartment in the basement.

In their (then) current situation they had a double carport/ garage at the side of the house, which they considered repurposing into rooms for living.

A close up of the situation between the house and the carport, to the left. As you see the roofs were nearly overlapping each other, and the carport was two steps down from the main house. The inhabitants also wished to transform their house so it got a more modern expression, and tone down the huge fascia boards. The neighbour’s house, which you see on the picture above, was pointed out as an example of what they liked.

The solution

Instead of repurposing the old garage, I suggested tearing it down and replacing it with a two story building structure. The extension was separate from the main house, but connected with a sort of passage on the first floor – as shown on the illustrations to the right.

The existing building (illustration above) was simplified by removing the window lattice and the fascia boards were made less dominant by having all the panel vertical. The roof was slanted away from the main house and the fascia board were kept to a minimum to give a more modern expression, without making too great a contrast.

The original floor plan is on the drawing underneath. The new ground floor plan, with the little apartment to the right.

The kitchen, laundry room and bathroom were all made a little larger. The small apartment on the ground floor would get its own entrance away from the main entrance. These rooms might have be incorporated into the main house if the family needed more space at a later time (when their children become teenagers or young adults). For instance; the small bedroom, in the upper right corner, could be included in the main house as an extra bedroom or a larger laundry room. Or, the whole apartment could be used by a member of the household instead of being rented out. The doors that supported this flexible usage would have to be fire-resistant and sound proof according to the building regulations.

By building the extra apartment on the ground floor instead of squeezing it into the basement – where the ceiling was too low and there wasn’t sufficient daylight – they get a much more attractive place to rent out. They also got a better solution for the new master bedroom, which was on the first floor near the children bedrooms, instead of on the ground floor where they would have to walk across the entrance area or laundry room to enter their room.

The original first floor plan is shown below. Later there was added another bedroom in the lower right corner. The small toilet was never built. The new first floor plan is to the right.

Instead of the little toilet I suggested a sort of passage connecting the main house with the rest of the extension. The inhabitants were anxious to avoid the impression of a corridor, so I suggested the space be furnished as a well lit library with a workspace/ home office, as illustrated in the drawing above. The master bedroom would be big enough for a walk-in closet, or, if they preferred, a nursery, in the inner part of the room.

I designated a so called dynamic room on both main floors, which could be made suitable for one or more of the following functions; guest-room, gym, playroom, computer-room for the older children, or storage.

The family wanted to shield the garden at the western part of their site. Therefore the extension was adjusted to the perimeter of the site to the north, as shown on this illustration. The lighter color indicates the new building structures. To replace the garage I suggested a single carport or garage where there’s a “C” on the map.

This solution was dependent on getting acceptance from the neighbours, since it was closer to the border than 4 meters.

If the neigbours should refuse there would still a chance to get it accepted by the municipality. Because the existing double garage is actually on top of the borderline, the chances should be fairly good.

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