View Full Version : Need some advice on adding a room to my garage.
01-08-2012, 08:18 PM
I've been pondering on adding a room on the back of my garage to store my toys in for a few weeks now. I have so much stuff in the garage that my wife can't fit her car in there and I don't want to put all my stuff out in the weather.
I already have a pre-existing slab on the backside of my garage that runs the width of the house. I was thinking of framing in a building with wood and using sheet metal for roof and sides. Then I'll put one large door on the front.
I want to make this structurally sound and want to do it right the first time so I'm asking for the advice of you guys. I don't want to be like the guy who built the metal building for his parents at the bread and breakfast only to find out he had some major flaws in his design.
I wasn't for sure if channel would be cheaper than wood but assumed it wouldn't. I can weld if that's the cheaper route.
I apologize for the sorry examples in the pics. Paint is all I have on this laptop to edit pics with.
Thanks for the help.
What I have to work with:
01-08-2012, 09:02 PM
I can see if I can help you out, but I will need to know your location (city and state is fine), the slope of your existing roof (if you want to maintain that), and maybe some details about the existing slab.
If you want to PM me the info to keep it off the internet, I can totally understand.
Most municipalities will not let you enclose a patio unless it has footings under it today. Adding your location to your User CP would help.
Footings would be the 1st issue I see with this. Not insurmountable. 2nd issue I see is existing grade. 2x's or steel set on the existing patio will probably have water issues. Both of these issues could be solved if you rip out and pour a new slab with footings. Money wise, it's usually cheaper to rip out than try to undermine and then pour footings.
3rd issue will be roof pitch. You probably want at least a 3/12 pitch if not more to avoid water issues with a roof. That means for your 12' wall length you need 3 feet of rise above the end wall. If you have 8' at the house, you will end up with a 5' end wall. Way too short in most municipalities. If you go with a 7' wall you will be at least 2 foot above the existing wall line and need to tie into the existing roof.
Electric may be another issue. They may or may not require you update your service etc depending on what you have currently and how close to existing code it is.
My township also requires every contractor on the job have full workmans comp as well as current licenses in order to pull the required permits. keep in mind if you ignore permits, that most home sales now require you disclose any work that was not done with proper permits and is usually a red flag at sale time. Local municipalities are also cracking down on these sorts of things trying to pull in more income from permits, fines as well as reassessing taxes for "improvements". It can get VERY costly if you roll the dice and they catch you without all the proper paper work in order.
A lot of municipalities are taking a much longer term look at things than they did in the past. People would build on patios as a "shed" and then later convert the "shed" to living space. Where I live every municipality will want full footings under this and most will want at least 4-8" of block or concrete out of the ground if you are building slab on grade like you have. Interior height will probably be at least 7'6" but with a slanted roof you can get away with a bit less within 3' of the wall. All of this is being required "in case" this is ever converted to living space, whether or not it ever happens. There's been too many issues with additions done with out this in the past.
I'd frame this up in wood. I'm working up a quote for a similar addition as a 3 season porch for a neighbor when they finally make up their mind exactly where they want windows and such. All the above are issues I have to work with for that project.
01-08-2012, 09:21 PM
Thanks for the quick replies guys.
Wow. More that I thought it would be just to build a storage shed.
I live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. 72903
I didn't want to invest a whole lot of money in this. Just figured it would be a fairly cheap way of storing some four wheelers, go-carts, mowers and boat engines. Basically to keep them out of the weather.
The slab is 4" thick.
Continuing the existing slope isn't what I had planned to keep but was going to plan on enough to keep the rain running off without backing up.
01-08-2012, 10:24 PM
Seems to me you could put your bearing wall on some sonotube just outside that slab to get a good bearing, don't know what your soil is there. Also you can tie into the roof farther up the existing pitch to maintain some head room in that shed. Very do able and should not cost that much. I believe they also sell a metal frame prefab that is basically a half of a shed, designed to be a lean too off of existing structures, try a search on the computer.
If you build a "carport" rather than a shed you might be able to work around a few issues ( kolots idea). By going to a post and beam type frame you avoid full footings. Usually the municipalities treat these a bit different ( don't ask me why). You can then add "screens" to the sides to hide the stuff inside. Frequently as long as the "screen" doesn't touch the ceiling and/or ground they will not treat it as a "room" and codes are different.
Also some municipalities treat free standing prefab "sheds" different than site built units. They consider them "temporary" In that case you might be able to simply have a prefab lean to type shed built and dropped off on the slab and avoid some issues. At least one municipality near me still wants footings or piers however even for a prefab shed. Where I live I don't need footings for a shed that's at least 15 foot from the house, but I still need a framing inspection and permits/licenses.
You will need to check and see what the requirements are for your area and what they will allow.
01-09-2012, 11:52 AM
SHEITE- anything over 100 sq ft requires a permit here.:dizzy:
01-12-2012, 12:39 PM
It's anything over 200 sq ft requires a permit in my county. they wanted over a grand for permits for me do do a 16'x24' shed/shop. I went with 12'x16' instead.
I think a car port with some privacy screens is going to be your best bet. and the least expensive. All you're looking for is some weather protection with a little built in security. "out of sight, out of mind"
12x20 isn't a tone of space, especially for all the stuff you're talking about, but it can be done if thought out properly.
I would look into metal car ports. there are lots of options out there. just a quick google search and I fould that you can get a 24'x20' with three enclosed sides and a gable top on the 4th for just over $3000 installed. You may need to contact the company to get exactly what you're looking for, but I think it's deffinately doable.
hi, could you buy one of those overseas cargo trailer boxes and leave in driveway ? Or buy a enclosed trailer and sell later.
01-14-2012, 01:22 AM
+1 for a free standing shed.
Additions are pretty common in my neighborhood. When done right they're great but most don't turn out that way. There are a ton of potential pitfalls in a project like this.
If your determined to add on I would suggest coming off your roof with a gable. That will give you the necessary eave height and will reduce the chance of leaks where the slope transitions.
You also need to make sure that water will run away from your house. I would plan on adding gutters at least on the back of the house. You would be surprised what kind of impact a structure like this can make on drainage.
For most people your home is the most expensive thing you'll ever buy. You don't want to do anything that could potentially devalue your home.
01-18-2012, 12:27 AM
Another +1 on the freestanding shed. Simply adding square footage can be done on the cheap, complying with the laws and building codes, making it structurally sound and giving the addition the same longevity as the house, and making a room addition look like it has always been a part of the house (and thus preserving the future value of your house) can be very costly and that cost is unlikely to be returned to you when the house is sold UNLESS everything is done correctly.
I would also consider a shipping container, a crane could easily lift one over your existing garage, set on enough of a footing to keep it above the soil and you're good to go! My Dad has a shop on his property that was built by a company called "Tuff-Shed"...basically two pre-fabbed two car garages joined together. Pretty nice, truss roof structure covered with comp shingles, wood siding, and a bathroom. Tuff-Shed will build any type of shed you like and can turn out a decent product for the money. Generally, a nice shed is worth more than a crappy (read: underfunded) addition.
YMMV...been a general contractor for 27 years now....
p.s. - if I had the budget I would make the garage into a three car garage...assuming you have two spaces now...more $$$ but you will have a superior result!
01-21-2012, 02:34 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions, gentleman.
After talking to my local inspector, he told me that I could get a permit for around twenty bucks for what I'm wanting to do. I have enough 1/4" 3x4 angle iron that I picked up from work several years ago. I was originally going to build a tandem axle trailer with it but times have changed and I really wouldn't have a use for it. So I'm basically just going to frame it with the angle and top it with some sheet metal. I'll probably put some 6x6 plates under it for footings and then anchor it to the concrete. The inspector in a round about way told me to just frame it out and put the roof on it and get it inspected. Then "later on" he suggested I enclose the walls. I got the hint.
01-21-2012, 04:11 PM
There are times when I probably need to shut my mouth. Undoubtedly, this is one of those times. Single angles are not recommended for use as compression members (columns). When loaded concentrically, they can be acceptable, but this is not easy to do. There are many people who have been bitten by trying to save money this way.
If you use double angles (think of a T shape), nearly all of these issues go away. If you would like some design detail pointers, I would be more than happy to oblige, just shoot me a PM.
02-25-2012, 06:41 PM
Framed it out during the week and put most of the hat channel and sheet metal up today.
02-26-2012, 08:47 AM
Framed it out during the week and put most of the hat channel and sheet metal up today.
What exactly is hat channel? Is that the horizontal pieces that the sheet metal screws to? I was looking at your post on the hinge question for this project and I was not sure what it is. Do you have to have the hat channel to make the doors? I built double doors for my shop with 1 1/4x1 1/4 square tubing and covered it with expanded metal. Then to attach the sheet metal, I added some 1x4 pine on the inside to screw the sheet metal to from the outside. I'll get some pix to show what I did if you need it. This would simplify the hinge problem you are having.
02-26-2012, 09:21 AM
It's basically furring... something to screw the sheet metal to. The guy I bought the sheet metal from had a bunch of it sitting around for a good price so I used it on the whole building. Made the construction go a lot faster.
I would like to keep the doors the same as everything else so it all looks the same. I've seen hinges before that can do what I'm wanting.. just been a long time since I messed with them and I can't remember.
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