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Old 02-23-2012, 12:22 AM   #1
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Raise Garage Floor to Meet House


Im going to convert my garage into a bedroom. Its approximately 12'x20', the foundation is in good shape but I will probably reframe the walls and roof. My question is this...

The floor of the garage sits about 4" above grade but about 3.5' below the floor of my home. Since I will be reframing the the walls and roof, is there an acceptable way to frame the floor in such a manner that I could raise its height closer to that of the homes? I understand I might not be able to make up the entire difference but I would prefer a small step down as opposed to a set of 5 stairs.

Any help or advice is much appreciated!!

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Old 02-23-2012, 01:06 AM   #2
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How about constructing a wood floor framing system on knee walls on top of the existing concrete slab. The floor joists could span in the 12 foot direction. That way you could match the floor height of the existing room exactly.

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Old 02-23-2012, 01:40 AM   #3
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how high is the ceiling in the garage? you could bring the floor up 3 1/2 feet but it all depends on how much headroom you have in there
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:08 AM   #4
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I figured that since I am reframing the walls and roof i can raise the height of the roof as well, there is nothing on the side of the house (that i consider) to be in my way of moving the roof line up.

I would like to construct a small knee wall, but i wasnt sure if that was to code or how to go about it. Is it possible to construct a small wall, maybe 3ft high, as if it was a "first story" wall, and then floor joists, then the "second story wall"?
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:59 AM   #5
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You are going to pull a permit for this, right? If not....and your local building and safety finds out....you will be riping it out.

Better to do it right the first time than have to do it over....

I'm bringing this up because there seems to be a surge of converted garages....which in many cases are being used a rental room....which in many cases brings down the quality of life in a neighborhood....which brings in complaints....which brings in the code enforcement people....

On your original question.....

If your existing floor is pretty flat....then 2x4 PT lumber on edge would make for a decent floor....it would also make for a thermal barrier to help with floor temp. If the floor is not level (slopes out to the driveway) then you could rip the 2x4's as necessary to make it level.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:34 AM   #6
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I absolutely intend on pulling permits, and contracting licensed pros for electrical and HVAC but my concern is the proper way to frame. My township will want drawings before any work is started.

I'm not sure how 2x4s on edge will help me make up a 3ft difference?

Can I construct a 3ft high knee wall around the perimeter of the room and then frame out my floor joist on top of that? And then continue with regular walls?
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:42 AM   #7
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3.5 feet? Oh.....I saw the 4" above grade and just assumed the 3.5 was inches as well.

How about split level? Do you have enough height to put storage up above?

Otherwise....make the floor out of 2x12's sitting on posts anchored to the walls. That would give you about 2.5' of space under the floor to junk storage....
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:21 PM   #8
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Raise Garage Floor to Meet House


He said that he was going to re-frame the walls too. This sounds like a rather common platform framing scenario. It is done quite often and can be planned and designed using conventional light frame construction methods.
When you have the plans in-hand take them to your local Building and Planning Departments for approval and permits.
Any good designer should be able to make you plans for this that you can follow to do the framing and maybe some of the other rough stuff.

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Old 02-23-2012, 06:34 PM   #9
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Do I have to hire an architect or designer, or can I come up with the plans on my own. If this is a common scenario as you say, and it can be typically framed wouldn't I be able to draw the plans?

its something i feel comfortable with, if there is nothing special about this build which was my concern
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:36 PM   #10
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I'm sure you already thought of this, but if not:

By adding a wood floor 3 feet above a concrete slab on grade,you are creating a crawlspace with a concrete floor. So you should consider adding crawlspace vents around the exterior walls. It would also help to apply a vapor retarder to the concrete slab surface to reduce water vapor from transpiring through the concrete slab into your new crawlspace.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbrookst View Post
Do I have to hire an architect or designer, or can I come up with the plans on my own. If this is a common scenario as you say, and it can be typically framed wouldn't I be able to draw the plans?

its something i feel comfortable with, if there is nothing special about this build which was my concern

Yeah, if you know how to draw up a proper set of plans that the Building and Planning departments will accept, of course you can draw your own.

Good luck, I mean that.

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:41 PM   #12
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Ball park, what could I expect to pay for drawings?
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:49 PM   #13
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Raise Garage Floor to Meet House


I would concider using floor trusses.
http://www.selecttrusses.com/floor_trusses/index.php
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:25 PM   #14
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One of the issues with converted garages can be water/rain getting in, especially where the door used to be. I like to treat the bottom 2' of the garage wall like a wood basement and waterproof it.
Use Pressure treated wood in the door openings you fill in and treated plywood. Then on the bottom 2' of the rest use and across your old openings use a basement membrane.

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