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Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

  1. Bullet A typical 1960s to 1990s-era home requires one ton of air conditioning for every 400 to 500 square feet of conditioned space; so, converting a two-car garage to living space should require an additional ton of a/c capacity. When this doesn’t happen, the existing system may prove inadequate for the hottest days of summer. Occasionally we find that there are not even ducts run to the new room with service registers, or a former two-car garage that’s approximately 20-feet square has only one small register supplying conditioned air to the room. In either case, the newly-created living space is always hotter or colder than the rest of the home.

  2. Bullet Every exterior entry door into a living space in a home is required to have two switches at the interior wall near the door: one that turns on an exterior light so you can walk safety out at night, and one that turns on interior light so you won’t stumble in dark trying to turn on a lamp when entering. When a door into a garage becomes a door into a room of the house, it should meet this safety standard.

  3. Bullet Many homes in the Gainesville area are wood-frame construction and, to avoid moisture intrusion and wood-rot, the wood framing is kept a minimum of 6-inches above the ground by a stem wall or elevated concrete slab. But the floor of a garage must meet the level of the driveway at the overhead garage door and, when the garage door is framed-in to create a new room, a short masonry or concrete stem wall should be built to set the wood wall framing onto. But homeowner remodelers often put the base plate of the wall that frames-in the garage door opening directly on the floor slab--which is at, or very near, ground level. Moisture intrusion and wood-rot problems typically begin within the first year.

   Several of the most elegant garage conversions we have seen convert the space into a master bedroom/bathroom suite at the opposite end of the home from the original bedroom cluster. Others become a game room or home theater. As long as a few basic building standards are applied to the remodeling, they are an excellent home-improvement project.

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.

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