I want to build an exercise room addition alongside my garage. I have only 6 feet by 14 feet available. I'd like to do a cement floor. The roof can tuck under my existing eaves. I plan to do insulation, drywall, and a through-the-wall AC/heater combo. Roughly what would the room cost?
Alex ~ Montgomery, Alabama
Hi Alex. Adding a small exercise room onto the side of your garage sounds like a very simple project. I would budget about $8,400 for the job. It is probably not going to cost anywhere close to that much, but I don't know what the site looks like, nor the exterior finish on your garage or the finish you plan for the new addition.How many doors and windows you have planned will affect the cost, too, so I prefer to err on the high side.
I don't know if you are a DIYer or have any inclination to become one, but this would be an ideal beginner's project. You should use a contractor for the concrete footings and slab and the electrical work, but it appears that everything else should be fairly easy. I assume you are thinking of a shed-type roof to tuck under the eaves--and with an extension of six feet, that would be simple to frame. The walls would also be very easy, and if you are planning windows, the manufacturers provide rough framing opening sizes.
Cutting the door from the garage to the new addition shouldn't be a big deal, but remember you'll need a header to support the weight above it. If your garage wall happens to be block, then you should have a contractor do that part. I think you could probably cut your costs by at least a third if you do a lot of the work yourself. You might want to find an independent contractor around Montgomery who would be willing to handle the parts of the project that you can't. They might also be able to point out some areas of concern that are only obvious when visiting the site.
Don't forget that you are going to need a building and electrical permit. It's going to be pretty obvious that you are doing some work if you are adding on to the garage, and without a permit you may get a visit from a building official. Getting a permit means you will have to get the work inspected, which is also a good idea when dealing with structural and electrical issues.
So I would estimate the costs at about $8,400, but it could be much less. Even if you hire a contractor to do the whole project, labor costs in Alabama might be less than where I live, which could also lower the cost.