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Old 10-22-2017, 07:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Garage Addition

When we bought our split foyer we purchased it for the layout, location and space. Everything was in great shape, but nothing was very aesthetically pleasing to my wife or myself. Since moving into our home a little over a year ago, we have remodeled the majority of it to my wife's liking. I think I have finally convinced her that a garage addition is the next feet to tackle.

We currently have a two car + garage. Since the house is a split, there is no door between the garage and the house (the garage floor is about 4' above the basement floor). The garage measures 24x25 and fits our small cars in there with enough room for my run my benchtop mill and a few wood working tools. However, it is a bit tight and I plan on adding a lot of tools in the future. So I convinced her it would be advantageous to put an addition onto the garage. This addition would be for an additional car when the currently nonexistent kids are of age and for me to have a dedicated work space for a machine shop. The addition is the blue outline. It would come out the back of the garage 16' and out the side by an addition 8-12' (Out the back being in line with the car in the driveway, out the side is running along the current roof line). The orange box is a sun room. We will be boarding up one wall of windows for the addition. The other important piece that helped me convince my wife that an addition is a good idea is that we could finally have a door directly into the house from the garage. There is currently a door to the outside in the sun room. It is in the corner where the addition and the sun room meet.


The red line points to our house and the green line is the property boundary.

I only convinced my wife this weekend that it was a good idea (and her dad mentioned we might as well go out 8-12' on the side while we are at it). So we are in the early planning stages of this addition. This is not something we currently have the cash to do and I'm not 100% certain what the cost is going to be. We are thinking 2-5 years from now. My questions are, has anyone here ever lived through a garage renovation and if so, what advice can you offer? Have you had any moments since it was complete where you thought, "I wish I would have done XXX?" What is the best way to get an estimate on cost without having a contractor coming out to look at it, or will most come visit for a project a few years away? Any information is welcomed.
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You might want to check with your codes dept first to make sure that you can add out toward your neighbor. The property setbacks are city/county specific. I know here they are 30'.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Step one would be to retain an architect to help you quickly draw up what you want and make sure you are code compliant. Drawing it up will also help identify work involved to modify the existing garage (roof, walls, slab, etc). You can then use the ‘pricing’ set of drawings to more easily get an estimate from a couple of contractors whenever you are ready.
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Why not build a small outbuilding that suits your needs? To me, a garage that had multiple purposes is often not very good for any of them, while a dedicated shop can be used much more effectively.

It looks like there's a lot of room on the property.
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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As a Land Surveyor in Connecticut there are many restrictions that come into play here. There are building setbacks. Which are set distances from the property line in which there cannot be a structure. Also set distances from septic and well. Not sure what state your in but check with your local building and zoning office at your city or town hall. Most likely a survey will be needed to reastablish accurate property lines if a current map is not available. Just a bit of info for you to figure into your costs. Defiantly talk to town official before you do anything.
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Old 10-22-2017, 03:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Only downside I can see to doing it as an expansion to the garage vs an out building has to do with what are you planning to use it for. I do woodworking and automotive and a ton of other things, starting anodizing. That being said when I do this work in the garage my wife has an issue with the noise traveling through the house, even though I did sound proof insulate it the noise still travels through the duct work. In addition to the noise any odors or dustmakes it way through to the air system and into the house. In this case an outbuilding is better seeing that the air system is separated from the living space and being set apart, the noise is more of a non issue. In the house I just sold, all I had space for to do this on that property was a 12x10 shed that I ran power to, insulated and boarded up the walls, and set it up for a vent fan. The new property I’m getting has a shop that will need the specific rooms sectioned off and wired/laid out how I want it. The shop is going to be a good distance from the house not to be an issue.
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mann View Post
You might want to check with your codes dept first to make sure that you can add out toward your neighbor. The property setbacks are city/county specific. I know here they are 30'.
Added to the list of questions I have for my county.

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Originally Posted by Law View Post
Step one would be to retain an architect to help you quickly draw up what you want and make sure you are code compliant. Drawing it up will also help identify work involved to modify the existing garage (roof, walls, slab, etc). You can then use the ‘pricing’ set of drawings to more easily get an estimate from a couple of contractors whenever you are ready.
Where would I start to look for an architect? Do counties usually have lists or is there a good website to find someone local?

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Originally Posted by Jordan View Post
Why not build a small outbuilding that suits your needs? To me, a garage that had multiple purposes is often not very good for any of them, while a dedicated shop can be used much more effectively.

It looks like there's a lot of room on the property.
I agree with the statement above. However, my wife is really looking forward to not having to go outside once in the garage to get inside the house. Currently my mill is setup in the garage and i has been working fine. I plan on dividing the garage up to have an actual dedicated room once all the construction is completed.

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Originally Posted by NONOBLITUS View Post
As a Land Surveyor in Connecticut there are many restrictions that come into play here. There are building setbacks. Which are set distances from the property line in which there cannot be a structure. Also set distances from septic and well. Not sure what state your in but check with your local building and zoning office at your city or town hall. Most likely a survey will be needed to reastablish accurate property lines if a current map is not available. Just a bit of info for you to figure into your costs. Defiantly talk to town official before you do anything.
Thanks for this information. We did not get our land surveyed with we bought the place (probably a mistake), but plan on paying for it during the process. We have some rough sketches of where everything is located so Ill dig into that before we hire anyone.

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Originally Posted by Blue64 View Post
Only downside I can see to doing it as an expansion to the garage vs an out building has to do with what are you planning to use it for. I do woodworking and automotive and a ton of other things, starting anodizing. That being said when I do this work in the garage my wife has an issue with the noise traveling through the house, even though I did sound proof insulate it the noise still travels through the duct work. In addition to the noise any odors or dustmakes it way through to the air system and into the house. In this case an outbuilding is better seeing that the air system is separated from the living space and being set apart, the noise is more of a non issue. In the house I just sold, all I had space for to do this on that property was a 12x10 shed that I ran power to, insulated and boarded up the walls, and set it up for a vent fan. The new property I’m getting has a shop that will need the specific rooms sectioned off and wired/laid out how I want it. The shop is going to be a good distance from the house not to be an issue.
I currently run my mill and air compressor in the garage and while you can hear the compressor, it isn't that bad. The garage is not heated so there is no duct work between the house and garage.

We are a few years away from pulling the trigger on this and I imagine we will continue to weigh the pros and cons between an addition and a stand alone building. My biggest (and unfounded) concern is the cost to get electricity to a stand alone building. The meter is right outside of the garage so I believe (again, unfounded) that adding a breaker to the garage will be much cheaper than adding a line for a stand alone building (100+ feet away).
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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you should be able to find a plat and deed for the property on the GIS system that you drew on top of. Next you can look at the local development regulations and or ordinances for residential property.

look for building setbacks, yard setbacks etc.

The plat should show the location of the property corners on your property. you may be able to string it in off of that to get a rough idea of what your looking for before and if that space will actually be large enough for you.
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My present garage has minimal stringers to hold the walls together. Not much for storage nor for hanging a ceiling. I want to box in a space for air conditioning, but it really needs the extra support added first. It is more irritating due to the fact that our last house was built with the ability to make an add-on above the garage and had a very overbuilt ceiling in the garage.
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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We added a detached 2-car garage two years ago that is workshop with a garage door. 2x6 studs, good insulation, 200 amp panel (120 and 240), mini split AC and heat, bathroom with mess sink, skylights (don't have to turn on the lights til the sun goes down most days), and insulated garage door.

I love it. My bedroom wall is 10 feet away and I can be cutting on the table saw and my wife can be napping and never hear it.

Here's what I would do in your situation:
1. See if you can build a detached garage/structure that checks as many boxes as you can.
2. Add a well insulated door that goes between the garage and the house and maybe insulate the garage with spray foam as that seems to be the least invasive way to do it.

Best of luck no matter what, more project space is always great!
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