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On one hand, this just seems so wrong: converting a perfectly good garage — or workshop! — into a 250 square-foot home. On the other hand, when you read about the circumstances of its owner, Michelle de la Vega, and how she acted as a general contractor and went to welding school to learn how to build furniture and architectural fixtures, you start thinking that this is kinda neat.

And then you find out that many of this Seattle house’s furnishings were found in industrial salvage yards. For example, those gray units on the back right in the picture above, now serving as closets, were formerly old lockers from a United Airlines maintenance building; the metal ladder to the sleeping loft was once on a ship; and industrial latches are used as towel hooks in the bathroom and kitchen.

The picture above shows the beginning of the conversion. Ms. de la Vega raised the roof four feet for a sleeping loft, added space for a bathroom, and installed a wood-burning stove. The entire renovation cost $32,000.

Several more pictures are available at the slide show link below.

Now if it were just a bit bigger, and had room(s) for tools, it would meet most of my criteria for ideal living: a nice garage with a house attached.

Converting a Garage Outside Seattle [NY Times]
Garage Days Revisited [NY Times slide show]


12 Responses to Garage Conversion Into Tiny House

  1. Old Coot says:

    Bravo! Not mentioned in the linked NYT article was the likely fact that local bureaucrats went nuts over this; I’m glad she prevailed.

  2. Shalin says:

    Awesome stuff! Every so often I go to this blog and pick up clever ideas for keeping a tidy place: http://tinyhouseblog.com/

    hmmm…I wonder what I can do with that big shed on sale at the local big box…


  3. Toolhearty says:

    I can’t stand people with talent.

    (very nice, anyway)

  4. Rock says:

    I’m no Greeny but that place would suit me just fine if I was young and just starting out.

  5. Toolhearty says:

    Forgot to mention that, to me, this is loads more interesting than the money-is-of-no-concern deluxe multiple car garage from some weeks back.

  6. Mike47 says:

    Wow. This lady deserves a LOT of credit for surviving and prevailing superbly over a situation that defeats lots of women who go through divorce. Nice role model. Nice quarters, too.

  7. fred says:

    A heartwarming story – which might frustrate some in communities, like those in which I work, that have set much larger minimum size standards for permitting new construction or rennovation.

  8. Chris says:

    How in the world did she convince the inspector that a garage slab was up to code for a residential space? (Or perhaps it is just the California inspectors who are so picky about that one…)

  9. Jerry says:

    $128 a square foot for renovating. In Oregon, the average cost of new home construction is $115.33 per sq. ft. and that includes the land.
    No matter. This lady deserves a lot of hand clapping for her rather amazing efforts. Just getting the local inspectors to approve everything on such a project must have taken more effort than building the place.

  10. Randy Saunders says:

    Michelle certainly used her head! With the ever increasing costs of materials, heating 7 cooling and maintenance, smaller is the way to go. I just finished building a 24×24 first home for my sister, and wish I had of done so when I built my own.

  11. fstedie says:

    I agree with what Jerry says, the effort and money put into this puny space could have been used to build a “real” house.

    Also, the article mentions that she doesn’t even live in it. The whole thing was simply a project built with money she got from her ex.

  12. yashar says:

    it seems perfect . i like to have one of them . please give me more information about .

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