To F.R.O.G. or Not To F.R.O.G.

One of the hardest decisions our Carolina Plantations clients face while employing the Martini Theory is when it comes to building their Dream Home. Yes, finding the right geographic area is without a doubt the most important and time-consuming part of one’s search however, with all due respect, does one add on a FROG or not????

In the south, the Finished Room Over the Garage, aka FROG, is the bonus room located directly above your garage. Not sure how this acronym started or how the rest of the world has yet to catch on, but if you are going to make a trip to the south in search of a place to retire to, well, you sure as heck better know your lingo!! CLICK HERE for a dictionary of important terms:

Here are some criteria to consider with regards to adding a FROG:


  • Building upwards is one of the more economical ways to achieve more space for less money.
  • Conversely, building horizontally (as in increasing the size of the footprint of your home), is one of the most expensive solutions to adding square footage to a home.
  • For example. The range to build a square foot on the main level ranges between $130 – $200 per square foot in Coastal NC. A garage is usually 400’+, so the room upstairs, less the knee walls, is usually about 300’, with an average cost to build at $25,000 (including full bath). Therefore, the square footage cost for a FROG is approximately $83’.
  • Another frequent question we get is when people ask if the builder would just build an unfinished are over the garage just for storage. Well, the majority of the real costs in building a FROG are raising the roof approximately 5-6’ so as to achieve walking clearance plus, the cost of the stairway. If the cost is $25,000 for a finished 300’ FROG w/full bathroom, the cost to build it but, not finish it is probably around $18,000 – $20,000.

Basements in the South

  • We are always asked if we have basements here in the low country, and our answer is always the same. “if you had a basement, you’d have an indoor pool”. See, the water table in the Low Country of the Carolinas is relatively high plus, our land is very flat, so there are few opportunities to build a basement and if we do, it is on a homesite that slopes away, which provides us with a Walk Out Basement.
  • Many who build FROGS, use them like they did their basements up north.

Popular Uses of a FROG

  • Might be a tie here for top uses for a FROG, but certainly that of a Man Cave ranks right up there, as heaven knows that women need to send their men away every couple of hours so that they can have some peace and quiet!
  • Children/Grandchildren/Nieces/Nephews – when they come to visit, be it for an hour or a week, just send them to the FROG and problem disappears! Plus, the kids love having their own 300’ Romper Room which is above the garage, so the cars also don’t complain of the noise above!
  • When it is not being used as a cave or playroom for the kids, these ample bonus rooms can be set up for offices, Arts & Craft rooms, Theater rooms or, just for storage.

Other Advantages to Having A FROG

  • One of the most important advantages to adding on a FROG, is resale, as homes without this mighty utilitarian room can take longer to sell, especially if the home is in a community with a fair number of retirees and or younger families.
  • Children that come back home to roost is not just a myth anymore, as more and more seem to find a way to stay permanently on Mom & Dad’s generous payroll. If/when they do move back, be it for 2 weeks or 10 years…, the perfect place for the wayward child is The FROG!!
  • Aesthetically, a home where the roofline of the garage is raised 5-6’ can have a very appealing look to it, not to mention the pleasing look of a large dormer.



With so many functionality options, the multi-purpose FROG is one of the best features of any home you can purchase or build, providing of course the room keeps you within your budget.

Realtor Copyright © 2023 Carolina Plantations. All Rights Reserved. Website Design by InterCoastal Net Designs