Garage with Apartment Plans
aka Eric’s Dog House: a flexible, multi-purpose space for one lucky dog
They say the best-laid plans often go awry. In the case of Eric Morley, who founded and runs Carolina Timberworks, it was more a case of mislaid plans. All Eric wanted in his new house was his woodworking shop—with windows to the outside! But somehow, between running the business and overseeing the construction of his new home, Eric’s workshop never quite made it into the plan.
“My fiancé Gesche and I were five months into constructing our dream home. Early January was cold, and our upcoming marriage in May was still in the planning phase. We visited our build site as often as possible, excited to see the progress. One Saturday at dusk, walking through the cold, dark, uninsulated house, the newly framed interior walls finally bringing the final plan fully into focus, something began to bother me: Where was my workshop space? Somehow, in the planning phase, I decided it would be enough to relegate it to the unfinished, windowless basement along with the HVAC system, the hot water heater, the ERV (energy recovery ventilator), dehumidifiers, electrical panels, and air filtration system.
Now, as I stood in the cold, dark space trying to picture where to squeeze in my workbench, I was crestfallen. After all this, I didn’t get my workshop! Then, a terrible, awful, and wonderful idea began to form: What if we built another building for my workshop right here on our property? I even envisioned a dual purpose for the structure: my workshop downstairs and guest quarters upstairs. Our builder, a good old North Carolina boy, howled with laughter when I explained the predicament and handed him some preliminary garage apartment plans. “Sure,” he said, slapping me on the back with his big hands. “We’ll build you Eric’s doghouse!”Eric MorleY
This great garage with apartment kit is the happy result. It’s a hefty and satisfyingly challenging project you’ll enjoy tackling with a few friends.
What Can You Do With a Timber Frame Garage Apartment?
Build it as a guest house, detached home office, ADU, in-law apartment, man cave/she shed, or live-work space. Heck, build it as your personal doghouse!
In other words, one of the biggest perks of a timber frame garage apartment is its versatility. Here are a few ways you can use this timber frame structure to future-proof your home:
- Man Cave or She Shed: Can’t seem to carve out a space in the house for relaxation or hobbies? A timber frame garage apartment can make the ideal she shed or man cave. Think about adding a smart TV for entertainment, a comfortable couch or armchairs for friends, and a wet bar for drinks. Voilà! You’ve got a weekend sanctuary just steps away from the house.
- Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU): You may already have a spare bedroom for hosting guests or in-laws. But what about longer-term stays? With an ADU, you can set up a separate space to welcome guests while offering a little extra privacy. A timber frame garage apartment has plenty of flexible space so that you can add a bedroom, a living area, a mini-kitchen, and a bathroom.
- Workshop: Is your backyard shed overflowing with projects and ideas? A garage apartment gives you more space to bring those ideas to life. It can also double as an equipment storage area so you can keep the yard clear of clutter.
- Live-Work Space: Who says a garage apartment has to be one or the other? This timber frame kit can be both. It can easily be divided into a living area and a workspace as a flexible, multipurpose structure, allowing you ample room to relax and tinker with projects.