Print this page

Room Over Garage Design & Build

The space over a two-car garage was unfinished in the original construction. Doherty architected, engineered and built this project which includes new plumbing for a full bath, an electrical service capacity increase, and a separate HVAC system.

This 900sf space is now suitable as an office, an in-law apartment, or a bonus room and is completely integrated into the design an style of the existing dwelling.  The owner expects a 100% recovery on the cost in the appraisal value of the property.

Project Goal

In the original construction of this colonial home built in 1991, the owners left the space over the garage unfinished.   In 2005, they contacted Doherty to consider possible uses for this space as a second home office, a great room, or an in-law apartment.  After a few meetings and with the benefit of several options based on Brian's experience, it was decided that the most flexible use of the space was to keep an open floorplan but also install a full bathroom to maximize future use of the space.


Heating and Cooling

The existing HVAC for the residence was insufficient to supply heating and cooling for this new space.  Doherty's creative solution involved the installation of a Trane combined heating and cooling unit mounted on the ceiling of the garage, minimizing the duct work required to supply the space.   Twin propane tanks were installed outside the dwelling, adjacent to the air conditioning unit and in the same area as the existing units which supply the rest of the house.

Electrical and Lighting

The existing electrical service for the residence was already at capacity.  Brian's creative solution was to add a sub-panel in the garage - convenient to both the main panel in the basement, but also to all of the new circuits required in the room-over-garage space.   The lighting plan consisted of a wide range of user-adjustable lighting configurations, from the down-light LCD array at the level of the collar ties, two flood up-lights for indirect lighting of the ceilings, as well as a cupola feature that illuminates the cupola at night.  Brian was superb in helping the homeowners choose energy efficient fixtures and lamps that were seamlessly integrated into the entire construction.  A nice touch was the addition of a ceiling fan for the mild seasons of the year, and remote control of the windows up at the cupola.


The addition of a bathroom to the space was a big challenge.  The original builder had left stubbed copper service into the space, but nothing for drainage.   Brian and his team manged to navigate the framework of the house with new supply and return plubming that tied in very neatly to the existing hot and cold water supply as well as the drainage plumbing in the basement of the home.


Additional Project Photos