Author Topic: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?  (Read 4056 times)

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Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« on: July 04, 2016, 10:31:47 AM »
I'm having a 24x24 two car garage built. Not DIY. Total cost, including concrete work (driveway addition), and some miscellaneous stuff like a new section of privacy fence and a 12' wide vehicle gate (I will DIY the fence and gate) will be $20,000.

The garage square footage will be half as large as my house, and will cost 25% of my current house taxable value of $80,000.

I've wanted a garage forever. I grew up in a house with a garage, but I have never owned one.

I'm handy with DIY, both vehicle repair and household projects. In the past, I've had to work on my vehicle in the driveway, in the winter, in the snow. One time, I had to replace a starter right after an ice storm. I had to chip the ice off the driveway, so I cold get the jack on bare pavement and not suicidally placed on ice.

For those who haven't done it, working on metal items in the cold really sucks, literally. The metal sucks the warmth right out of your fingers, and some things just can't be done with gloves. In those conditions, I feel a need to go inside and warm my hands up every 30 minutes or more often.

A warm and dry place to work on my vehicles will be wonderful. Not to mention, I currently have to lug my tools up and out of the basement, including a 60 pound floor jack that I have nowhere else to store. And then back down to the basement when I'm done.

On the other hand, Twenty Grand would pay for a whole lot of hired vehicle maintenance and repair, even at dealer prices.

What do you all think?

snacky

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2016, 10:45:46 AM »
A garage adds value to your home. Maybe not $20k in value, but there is unquantifiable value to having that amenity. you have already described how it will improve your quality of life. In your shoes I would do it.

JLee

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2016, 10:47:42 AM »
Garages are amazing.  $20k is incredibly cheap inclusive of concrete. I'd have gone bigger, but that's me. :D

bacchi

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2016, 10:49:33 AM »
Can you afford it? Are you going into debt for the garage? Have you saved up for the garage or is coming from your Roth contributions?

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2016, 11:05:19 AM »
Garages are amazing.  $20k is incredibly cheap inclusive of concrete. I'd have gone bigger, but that's me. :D

You sound just like the guys at garage Journal.  :-)    Over there, I learnt that a garage is never too large, or too tall, or has too much electrical service, nor is a garage ever too well accessorized with things like built in vehicle lifts, welders, compressors, HVAC, and lighting with so may lumens that you may need sunglasses.    :-)

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2016, 11:07:53 AM »
Can you afford it? Are you going into debt for the garage? Have you saved up for the garage or is coming from your Roth contributions?

I can afford it. My house is paid for. I'm paying cash for the garage, and I have budgeted the cost of the garage into my FIRE date.

Dicey

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2016, 11:43:35 AM »
Weeellll, we have a 1050sf garage that rarely sees a car. It's not just filled with piles of crap either. DH is handy, so there are a lot of tools. There is space to work. I store the library's book sale signs and the Art League's hospitality supplies. We entertain a lot, so there are 6 6' tables and more than a dozen matching garage-saled wooden folding chairs. I have a lovely series of repurposed pantry cabinets and countertops, plus the extra refrigerator and freezer. When we have big family gatherings, the garage gets turned into a play/craft area for the kids. The garage even has an upstairs storage, which is full of DD's stuff. Sigh, we even put in a shed out back because the lawn mower was stinking up the garage.

There is always a market for homes with large garages and workshop space. Seems like you can afford it.
I'm sure you can guess which way I'd vote. ;-)

MrDelane

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2016, 11:51:43 AM »
Whether or not its 'unmustachian' is somewhat of a moot point.
Whether or not it fits within your own personal FIRE plans seems to be more apt a question.

You are not in debt.
You are paying cash.
You have budgeted the costs into your FIRE plan.

If the benefits outweigh the expenses for you and the added time before FIRE is worth it to you then I say go forth and enjoy your new garage, sir.

My impression has always been that this site is not about cutting expenses to the bone, but cutting them intelligently while keeping what each of us would consider a good 'quality of life.' 

Personally, I wouldn't spend 20K on a garage.  But I can only assume that personally you might not spend much of what I do on the things I choose to spend them on.  But the point is to be smart on what we choose to spend our time, money and energy on. 

You've clearly given it thought, you will clearly get much value out of the space and it will undoubtedly make your FIRE days more enjoyable.

Go forward guilt free and enjoy.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2016, 03:50:25 PM »
Excuse my ignorance on the subject, but is this a type of "pre-fab" garage, or is this custom built by a builder?  If not, have you looked into pre-fab?

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2016, 03:25:40 PM »
Excuse my ignorance on the subject, but is this a type of "pre-fab" garage, or is this custom built by a builder?  If not, have you looked into pre-fab?

I'm going wood frame, site built. I don't consider it a custom build in that it is a very standard plain jane build.

Prefab is the one thing I did not consider. I did consider concrete block, DIY wood frame, DIY metal building, and even briefly considered a pole barn structure.

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2016, 03:28:15 PM »
Thanks Diane C and MrDelane.

Dicey

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2016, 09:52:51 AM »
You're welcome. Just wanted to add this bit. DH had a work acquaintance who hired a painter the do his kitchen cabinets but he wasn't pleased with the results. DH said he'd take a look at them, so colleague brought some of the doors to our house yesterday. After introductions on the front porch, he and DH headed into the garage. As I turned back toward the house. I heard him exclaim, "Man, nice garage!", which made me smile and think of this thread.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2016, 10:29:13 AM »
My impression has always been that this site is not about cutting expenses to the bone, but cutting them intelligently while keeping what each of us would consider a good 'quality of life.' 

I really like what you've said here. I've seen some threads lately that make me question the "quality of life" part, so it's good to know I'm not completely out of place on this forum.

Dicey

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2016, 11:29:42 AM »
Lol, Miss Piggy. Here's a dark little secret: once you reach FIRE, you've won! You get to spend whatever income stream you've set up for yourself in any way you choose.

So, just for the hell of it, here are some un-mustachian things I am now free to enjoy:
- I grocery shop without a budget! Yup, I buy whatever I need to cook virtually every meal at home. Still puts me ahead, and I have zero guilt when we infrequently eat out.
- We entertain friends often. Twelve for a Fourth of July picnic at the free concert in the park? Check. Taco Tuesday for a crowd any day of the week? I can set up a full, scratch cooked taco bar on our eleven foot dining table in thirty minutes flat. Two nights in a row? Yup, done that.
- I hate to shop for clothes, so when I do, I make it worthwhile.  Did I really buy 17 dresses on a super clearance sale last year? Yup, sure did. Love and wear 'em all. Won't need to shop again for years.
- MIL and her pal Al Z. Heimer live with us. She gets a pedicure once a month to ensure foot health. I happily plop myself in the next chair (partly so she doesn't bolt) and we both get pretty toes.
- I also have a biweekly cleaning team. MIL and I run errands and the whole house gets clean at the same time, with no angst on her part. Love it so much! (Last week I was cleaning toilets in our newest rental/rehab*, luxuriating in the fact that I don't have to do it at home!)
- I live in a lovery custom clown house. Paid cash for it, because we sold two other houses that were bought way back when with 20% down and 30 year mortgages. Cheap leverage plus years of appreciation, baby!
- There are three vehicles in our driveway. All paid for. (College student son still lives at home.) DH walks to work, but his 2002 Ford F150 has only 80k miles and still looks new. We have rental property and use the truck often, just not for commuting to work.
- We give a LOT to charity, because we can. Pre-FIRE it was more time than money. Post-FIRE it's more of both, woot!

So yeah, all that penny-pinching and investing paid off in spades.

Sheesh, can hardly stand how braggy this sounds, but I hope I've made my point. We were never huge wage-earners, but we succeeded beyond our wildest expectations, in large part through simple management of wants vs. needs and diligent saving and investing. We are living proof that it can be done. And that it is so worth the effort.

Now, back to our scheduled programming:
* We chose our latest rental in part because it has a 775 sf garage. It will rent well for now and we may move into it one day when we don't need the clown house any longer.


Miss Piggy

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2016, 11:42:07 AM »
Diane C, thanks for the reply!


Dicey

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2016, 12:52:12 PM »
Diane C, thanks for the reply!
MP, you're welcome. It was surprisingly fun to write. I'm going to ride that wave for the rest of the day! That way I can also avoid any potential stone throwers, lol.

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Re: Is Building a Garage Un-mustachian?
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2016, 04:55:27 PM »
You're welcome. Just wanted to add this bit. DH had a work acquaintance who hired a painter the do his kitchen cabinets but he wasn't pleased with the results. DH said he'd take a look at them, so colleague brought some of the doors to our house yesterday. After introductions on the front porch, he and DH headed into the garage. As I turned back toward the house. I heard him exclaim, "Man, nice garage!", which made me smile and think of this thread.

Great story.

Weather permitting, construction starts tomorrow for mine.