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kerroumn 02-06-2007 02:33 PM

Turn a Converted garage into a master bedroom
Hi folks,

I am considering this project and I need your opinions:

I have purchased a 1969 house with an already converted garage of 400 sq and I am wondering if it a good idea to make it into a master bedroom since the one that I have is a small one.
but I have a concern about the floor which does not have any crawl space and I don't know yet what underneath there yet. Changing the whole floor would be costly.

Is it worth it to convert such a room to a master bedroom? Where should I start? Should hire a designer first or should I go ahead and hire a contractor?

Thank you for your inputs


glennjanie 02-06-2007 03:55 PM

Welcome to the Forum, Kerroumn:
There are several reliable contractors who can do a design/build. Shop around, check out references, ask for proof of Worker's Compensation insurance and Liability insurance. If you have a local Home Builder's Association they can steer you to a certified remodeler.
A converted garage usually means a concrete floor. I would start off with a 6mil polyethelene vapor barrier (concrete is always cold and damp) cover with treated sleepers (2 X 4s) on 16" centers, fastened with powder actuated nails. Next I would lay tounge and groove, underlayment grade OSB, glued to the sleepers and glued t&g. Now you are ready for any floor covering you want. If there are concrete block walls I would want the polyethelyne to be turned up the walls and glued in place. I would want the floor and wall vapor barrier to be in one piece, no joints.
I'm sure, between your imagination and the contractor's creativity, you can come up with a beautiful room. Please post back and let us see your progress, preferably with pictures.

tabassumsaba 01-18-2009 12:19 PM

The best way is to find a contractor with good references or from your past experience. open an account with Lowes or home depot so that whatever supplies he or she buys you know what is the price and where the money is going. Have an attached bathroom as well. Master beroom with an attached bath is a luxary which you will enjoy in the years to come

jaros bros. 01-18-2009 04:01 PM

A good contractor should be able to give you sound advice. I must recommend about having the contractor buy everything from Lowe's or Home Depot. These are stores that sell to DIY type of people. A contractor is not a DIY. Also, most contractors don't like the homeowner nickle and diming them. If you have to look over their shoulder all the time you should have never hired them because you don't trust them. Get references, get a insurance certificate, get their license information if required and you should be okay.
Another reason not to set up the Home Depot or Lowe's account is that if you do get a good contractor and do this he/she will think that you are a hassle and will either charge extra to do the job or will just walk away because he/she doesn't operate that way. Also, these stores are notorious for poor customer service and materials quality. That could add a hitch to your product.
Josh Jaros (Jaros Bros. Construction)

esma 01-19-2009 12:44 PM

I am working on this remodeling project. The contractor has requested to open an account in lowes. This is semi rural area. I have not checked any insurance, license or refrences on this person. He is a kind of "handy man" but I think he is honest and trying to make a living. What is your advice?

jaros bros. 01-19-2009 12:55 PM

Just because you think he's honest doesn't mean he is. If that were true there woudn't be conmen out there and scams. Your state does not require contractor licensing. My guess you chose him to do some work because you thought you could save a little green. And you might and the job might turn out great. However, if there is a code violation or something goes wrong, you will have to deal with it if he doesn't have liability insurance. You also need to check references. There are just too many crooks out there to not justify doing some background checking. If you do get duped, you will have no one to blame but yourself. One the other hand, if he's a decent fellow, you will sleep well at night knowing he's checked out.

Josh Jaros The Woodlands, TX Jaros Brothers Construction, The Woodlands, TX

esma 01-19-2009 03:13 PM

the truth is i end up spending more and more money (not on this guy) but on others bec ause I end up getting their bad work fixed. Now keeping the state of missouri in mind give me an advice how to deal with this person as there is no license required what should I ask for? references? insurance? what else.
from where can I find the good contractors? because in this town even reliable handy men are difficult to find. I recently got the roof of my house change. The roofer put $7000.00 in his pocket, told me he will be back in a month. He finally came (after 4 months) and did the job otherwise I was convinced he will not come back
I think I have to blame myself. Probably I have to change my ways. and thank u for volunteers like u that you are helping people like me who have no time for DIY and rely on others and indeed there are so many crooks out there.

jaros bros. 01-19-2009 03:51 PM

You should be able to get a certificate insurance sent from his insurance company. Don't accept is via the contractor or some piece of paper. Only accept is from the insurance company directly. It is done this way to preven fraud.
Secondly, word of mouth is helpful. If you know that friends have had someone who is dependable, use them.
Always get a contract and don't put too much money out, only what you agree to in the contract. Some money is need up front to buy materials and get the ball rolling.
Check with the BBB. If something is fishy, others will have called and there will be a record. Just because he isn't registered with the BBB doesn't mean he's bad, many contractors don't register.
If you do get references, you need to ask for truthfulness. A lot of people don't want to give a bad report or mention problems.
Find out how long he/she has been in business. Do they have a steady business and address? Is there a criminal record?
Are they married? Do they have kids? Do they have a driver's license? Are they renting or do they own a house? Do they have a good kept appearance? Do they use slang? It's almost like you're a loan officer.
How did they start their business? Did they go to school, work as an apprentice, grow up working for the family business, or just pick up a hammer and call themselves a carpenter.
Your best bet in a small community is word of mouth, certificate of insurance, call the BBB, and references. If they don't come clean in these areas they probably are second rate.

Josh Jaros Jaros Brothers Construction, The Woodlands, TX

Daryl in Nanoose 01-19-2009 08:25 PM

Getting back to original posters post
Lots of people convert garages into living spaces mainly it's less expensive than putting on a addition and can be a great idea.
Addressing the floor thats there now theres no way to know how it was built so you will have to take some up to have a look and depending on what the finished floor is should not be to much of a problem putting it back especially if its carpet or click flooring.
There are 2 very common ways of building the floor correctly and Glenn Janie has mentioned one, the other way is 6 mil poly, 2x4 treated 4' on center and then floor joists 16" on center and then t&g plywood. There should be insulation in between the floor joist and most common is Styrofoam.

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