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Old 03-21-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
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Garage Extension

My garage is fairly small (built in 1933) and one side wall is 35" from the property side boundary.
Some years ago (over 4 years) and in order to make use of that 'wasted' space between the garage wall and the concrete panel wall belonging to the neighbour, I built a long thin 'cupboard' in that space.
I made a concrete base, the side wall is wood framed with uPVC cladding on the outside which is approx 3" from the concrete panel wall. I made the door from aluminium chequer plate. I extended the garage roof rafters by bolting on extension pieces and so the roof of the cupboard follows the slope of the original garage roof (standard A shape). As per the original construction there is no guttering on that side.

I would like to incorporate that long thin space into the garage and make it wider. This would involve demolishing the long thin cupboard, digging out the concrete base, laying an appropriate foundation, building a block wall 3" from the neighbours concrete panel wall to connect with the existing extended roof, demolishing the existing garage side wall and sorting out the interior concrete base.
The garage door would end up as an odd size so I'd have to build a bespoke door but I am capable of that.

I'm sorry for the long story, but my question is, are there any planning or building regs traps waiting for me?


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Old 03-21-2012, 11:32 AM   #2
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Traps, no, I personally would not call them that, but regulations, yes, probably so. No cost, no hastle, just a matter of stopping by your local jurisdiction, and inquire about zoning regulations for a garage, in your particular area. They very likely will have a copy of the pertinent regulations available to give you. Some communities will have this information posted on their website as well.

As for demolishing the old and constructing the new, size of footings, and things like that, you are then into the permitting and compliance stage, but the first step is to check zoning requirements.


Last edited by DexterII; 03-21-2012 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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Like Dexter said, zoning requirements yes.
Also the Building Department will have something to say about possible fire separation issues.
My guess is, and it is only a guess since we don't know where you are or what codes pertain to you, you will have big time issues on both fire separation and zoning.
A lot of my work day is spent in tracing down issues like this for clients all over the country.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:37 PM   #4
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Where I live (Los Angeles), structures used to be allowed to go right up to the property line. But if I wanted to change the footprint of my garage, I would need to have the new edge of the building five feet from all edges of the property.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jack Olsen View Post
Where I live (Los Angeles), structures used to be allowed to go right up to the property line. But if I wanted to change the footprint of my garage, I would need to have the new edge of the building five feet from all edges of the property.
Correct.....for some areas.....

But more importantly.....what part of the country are you in? It plays a big part of the final outcome.

Case in garage is 6" from the property line...I could have gone closer but I did not want the rain gutter (if I ever get around to installing it) to stick out over the property line.

Important point here....Jack and I both live in the same county....he lives in an incorporated area while I live in un-incorporated area...I'm not talking 'out in the country'....I mean, my house could be 100' from his, but I'm not part of a 'city'.....

My garage can be right up to the property long as it stays a 'garage'. Nothing more....the moment it is used for anything other than 'a garage', I have to be at least 5' from the property line. Belive me....I'm somewhat of an expert on this subject now....I spent enough time at the plannning office to know.

So....getting to your problem....

1. What state do you live in?
2. Time to make a trip to your planning office.

Don't be afraid of them....they are not out to 'kill your ideas'....they just want to make sure that what your doing is sound and meets the local regs....

Think of it this way....would you want someone building a comercial building next to your house?

One last piece of advice.....your only building a garage.....nothing more...."just a garage". You are going to park cars in it. "It's just a garage". Do not mention 'hobbies', 'storage', 'lifts', etc. It's just a garage. The moment you mention any of the above, then the structure is not longer 'just a garage' which means 'other uses', and ends up needing to be at least 5' from the property line.

"It's just a garage'. Got it?
Even if you are on the right track, you will still get run over if you just sit there.

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