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Old 09-28-2011, 10:51 PM   #1
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Expanding Garage INTO house (goodbye Den)


I've just been offered to buy my first home (a two story 4/2 3400 sq/ft demo home from a near bankrupt builder). It's an exclusive deal at a great price. The only downside is that it currently has a one car garage - which when you're used to parking 2 cars in the garage + having a small work area/storage, it blows. There isn't access to the backyard from any street. Sadly, it's on a tight lot, so there isn't room to expand the garage out to the side (or have a driveway 'around the side of the house'. So no backyard garage. Driving around the neighborhood, and seeing the 'same' house over and over with a 2 car garage, I went online and checked floor plans offered by this builder. I discovered that the same house is offered with a 2 car garage (using 2 single external doors). In my house, instead of a odd 'lower family room' at the front of the house, I'd like to expand the garage into this space. The house is huge. I can afford to lose the 300-400 sq/ft. Its seems easier said than done. I've worked out most of this in my head, on paper, etc. There isn't much help online (most want to turn their garage into living space or build a new one).

In my head, most of the issues are solved except these four (from 'easiest' to 'deal-breakers'):

  1. Demoing old garage/internal wall (2 story house - Load Bearing? Transferring load to new Internal Wall[s])
    • Requires a Structural Engineer to look at it
      1. Demoing an internal wall on the bottom floor of a two story house.
      2. Load bearing? Transferring load to new internal wall.
  2. Cutting an opening for a new garage door (2 story house)
    • Requires a Structural Engineer to look at it
    • Demoing an external wall on the bottom floor of a two story house.
    • Load bearing? Transferring load across the opening.
  3. Pouring 'New' Driveway
    • Issue: The water meter and sewer access pipe (for unclogging the line) would be in the middle of the 2nd driveway.
    • Question: Can I just put these in a box flush with the driveway?
  4. Difference in foundation height between garage & room floor.
    • The garage floor is about 2 inches lower than the inside floor.
    • If I can, I'm considering leaving it at two levels.
    • If I do anything, to keep costs low, I'd:
      • Give garage new 'lip' around edge to prevent spills.
      • Considering either light shaving/sanding to give floor a slope for drainage OR
      • Using one of the garage flooring kits to accomplish the same thing.
    • If I have to match the foundation heights:
      • Fill in the garage floor to raise the height to match
      • Otherwise, this project is pretty DOA (not going to jackhammer old Den floor and lower it [$$$$$$])
#2, 3, and 4 scare the life out of me. #2 because that is one BIG hole in an outside wall. #3 trying to work around existing pipes (frugally). and #4 because it is the stealthy deal breaker to the whole thing.

Anybody do anything like this (or even parts?) or can tell me if any of this is possible? I'm thinking I could DIY this for about 6-10k on the whole affair. I can frame walls, hang sheet rock, install garage doors, even pour concrete... but cutting into outside walls, respecting loads, garage foundation questions, etc.. its a tad overwhelming.

Thanks,
IJ

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Old 09-28-2011, 11:30 PM   #2
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Expanding Garage INTO house (goodbye Den)


Why is it overwhelming? It sounds like your plan is just fine. To demo bearing walls, you need to figure out which direction the joists are going above the walls and build the appropriate shoring. Then demo away and add your beam or whatever replaces the bearing wall. Sometimes engineers will draw up shoring designs as well, you can ask them for that if you're not sure how it's properly done.

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:24 PM   #3
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Expanding Garage INTO house (goodbye Den)


Interesting project!

I just skimmed through your message and am relieved of course that you'll be working with an engineer. I'm sure there are a lot of structural issues to be considered and let them handle it.

One issue not brought up is building code as it relates to passage of carbon monoxide and the passage of smoke and fire. BC bldg code requires 3/4" gypsum instead of 5/8" on all garage walls and ceilings that meet the living space. All passages -such as the door into the house and attic access- are to be weather stripped and I'm not sure but I think they're all to be self-closing. Check your local codes and call city hall plan checker to confirm what you find.

Best of luck too.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:26 PM   #4
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I just skimmed through your message and am relieved of course that you'll be working with an engineer. I'm sure there are a lot of structural issues to be considered and let them handle it.
It seems like a lot of structural changes (which could easily cost lots of $$$) - and that's what worries me.

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One issue not brought up is building code as it relates to passage of carbon monoxide and the passage of smoke and fire. BC bldg code requires 3/4" gypsum instead of 5/8" on all garage walls and ceilings that meet the living space. All passages -such as the door into the house and attic access- are to be weather stripped and I'm not sure but I think they're all to be self-closing. Check your local codes and call city hall plan checker to confirm what you find.
Luckily, the door from garage to house wont be moved (bonus). I've also noticed that there isn't any electrical outlets on the internal wall that I want to demo & move - which gives me some hope.

I guess that part of me is just wondering if my budget is about right - or am I looking at 15k+ of work.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:02 AM   #5
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Expanding Garage INTO house (goodbye Den)


I see #3 as being your biggest issue....not technical...but code.

If that is not a code issue, then I wouldn't let the other stuff bother you....it's work...but nothing that a good engineer and contractor can't handle....

On your floor....I wouldn't worry that much about slope. When I built my garage, I was concerned....ended up with about 1/2" drop over 20'. Guess what...water flows out. Slowly, but it goes out....even if you don't have a slope....no big deal....

On that 2" difference....I'm going to bet that your 1 car garage is pretty big....so instead of tearing out the adjacent wall completely...maybe you can turn it into sort of a central island/work area. You could have work benches covering the offset....and except for the pathway, the 2" offset would be covered.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:14 AM   #6
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I see #3 as being your biggest issue....not technical...but code.

If that is not a code issue, then I wouldn't let the other stuff bother you....it's work...but nothing that a good engineer and contractor can't handle....
I may have lucked out. The house happens to be outside the city limits and doesn't require inspections/code to do the work.. BUT it uses city water/sewer. I've heard about (and seen the ads) for concrete boxes (and some other composite boxes) for water meters. Most use metal covers. Anyone use something like this? I'm trying to avoid an eyesore (and still be as frugal as possible).

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On your floor....I wouldn't worry that much about slope. When I built my garage, I was concerned....ended up with about 1/2" drop over 20'. Guess what...water flows out. Slowly, but it goes out....even if you don't have a slope....no big deal....
The only concern I've got is making sure any liquid wouldn't pool back towards the house - or if it did, it wouldnt come in contact with the sheetrock. I've been poking around here for awhile and some other suggestions are using some sort of rubber baseboard w/caulk to create a waterproof seal

Quote:
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On that 2" difference....I'm going to bet that your 1 car garage is pretty big....so instead of tearing out the adjacent wall completely...maybe you can turn it into sort of a central island/work area. You could have work benches covering the offset....and except for the pathway, the 2" offset would be covered.
Sadly, the one car garage is seems pretty tight...but I see where your going... and its worth exploring. If nothing else, it could save me the expense (and time) filling in the 2" difference.

Last edited by texaopian; 09-30-2011 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:21 AM   #7
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Expanding Garage INTO house (goodbye Den)


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....Sadly, the one car garage is seems pretty tight...but I see where your going... and its worth exploring. If nothing else, it could save me the expense (and time) filling in the 2" difference.
Another point....it would be easy to keep that a load bearing wall....a few posts in the right place.....could keep the cost down quite a bit....
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:12 PM   #8
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Another point....it would be easy to keep that a load bearing wall....a few posts in the right place.....could keep the cost down quite a bit....
I like that idea. I was thinking that I could always put a couple of posts up (front between garage doors and the other at/near the rear wall) with a beam (wood/metal) to replace the support provided by the existing wall. Price factors a lot into this along with ease. I know that anything is near possible - with the right amount of money... my pockets aren't that deep.

Where the 2nd garage door would go currently has a double window. I was thinking that might help (a little) with the structure calculations.

I'm beginning to worry about the water / sewer lines that I mentioned before.

No matter what project I ever do, there is always a gotcha (or 2 or 10). Just trying to move forward with both eyes open.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:25 PM   #9
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Expanding Garage INTO house (goodbye Den)


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Where the 2nd garage door would go currently has a double window. I was thinking that might help (a little) with the structure calculations.
The header for that window will do you no good unless it's about 10' wide. Just plan on putting up a garage door header....that is the easy part.....
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:37 AM   #10
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OK, I'm thinking that I'm going to run into issues with the internal wall between the garage and the den. It could be load bearing. If it is, I might need to find a creative way to brace it (as its located 2 - 3 feet into the middle of the new garage door.

Here's the current layout - measurements are approximate. Light blue/grey is the top floor.






I think that wall might be load bearing because there is a wall directly above it (master bedroom wall). I'm getting an engineer to look at it next week but I'm trying to come up with a Plan B, C, D, etc. Plan B is below.




The down side to this is how much space that this takes up for the walkway (inside the house)


I was hoping that I could do something like this below (my Plan A)



IF I had to provide a replacement support for a load bearing wall, could I 'cross brace' it with something over the openings like this?

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Old 11-06-2011, 11:08 AM   #11
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You will want to meet minimum safety code: “The area of floor used for parking of automobiles or other vehicles shall be sloped to facilitate the movement of liquids to a drain or toward the main vehicle entry doorway.” From: http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...9_3_sec009.htm

This is to move gasoline out of the area in case of a spark/fire, your H.O. Insurance will want it…… the drywall getting wet is minor compared to burning gasoline going under your garage/house wall.

See an Engineer; he/she will take liability for the design, not anyone on a forum.

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Old 11-06-2011, 12:38 PM   #12
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if i got this correct, you want ot eliminate the garage. not a big deal ive done it.

5 years ago we did a $800,000 reno on a house that had a two car garage. the addition was 25x48,, the ground level was a 3 car garage.. we converted the 2 car into a full bathroom, laundry room and office with room to spare.that was now a storage room

you'll have to elminate the garage door and frame it in, since the garage door header is already in place. all you need to do is stud it in and sheath it

btw heres that house, the field stone wall with two windows was the two car garage
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:02 PM   #13
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woodworkbykirk

That looks amazing. I don't want to eliminate the garage, but more like eliminate part of the den to make the garage bigger.

GBR

While I'm planning on getting an engineer, I was curious if anyone had ever run into the problem of supporting one end of a header (that replaced a load bearing wall) over an opening (like a garage door in this case). If I went with a traditional header that was supported by a beam on each end, one of those beams would be about 2-3 ft inside the opening of the garage door.
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:48 PM   #14
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ahh.. ok then.. well in the case of eliminating some of the living space then you will have to have a exterior grade door with weatherstripping to keep gas's and smoke from entering the living space. along with two layers of 5/8 board both with the joints and screws filled. but the floor drainage would still be an issue but could be dealt with via some funky concrete work
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:21 AM   #15
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While I'm planning on getting an engineer, I was curious if anyone had ever run into the problem of supporting one end of a header (that replaced a load bearing wall) over an opening (like a garage door in this case). If I went with a traditional header that was supported by a beam on each end, one of those beams would be about 2-3 ft inside the opening of the garage door.
A beam -or header- supporting a beam is common practice. Just make sure the engineer spec's the beam -and header- sizes.


Last edited by househugger; 11-07-2011 at 12:23 AM.
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