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Old 03-06-2011, 06:31 PM   #1
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garage plan

My challenge of designing a garage hasn't been met by the plans I see online. I found my way to his forum because a post on saltbox roof construction was on Google. It was an experienced Joe Carola who nailed the question with the drawings that the builder needed.

Before I can have the electrical lines reconnected to the duplex by the power and light company, who do the trenching, I have to have the garage plan. My education in Interior Design gives me some skills but the engineering of a sound structure is something I haven't tackled yet. Paying for a plan to be adapted to my needs requires that I can find one that is similar. Other than here, where Big Dog Dan who started with old firehouse doors and his own design, I haven't seen anything similar. I have a clear idea of how much space there is to work with and what I'd like the finished garage to be. Where do I start?


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Old 03-06-2011, 08:01 PM   #2
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Pay an Architect for the plans you need.


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Old 03-06-2011, 08:08 PM   #3
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Welcome HoweD, to the best darn DIY'r site on the web.

You could start by writing down a short rabble of what it is you are looking for, like dimensions, # of doors and window, special requirements, roof style, you know those kind of things that will get the creative juices of this forum started.

Your location may be helpful for those interested when it comes to state or local codes.

There is a real good designer here by the name of Andy Gump, he may be interested in helping you directly.

When its all said and done there is usually more said than done
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:59 PM   #4
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Big Shed

To Andy and all concerned: the basics for me are a combination of art and science that takes shape from what I know is possible from antique photos of Chief Shake's house with totem pole from Alaska and an simple shed design. Big Dog Dan calls this "saltbox".

I have a back yard space that is approximately 39' wide and 56' deep behind the house which is fenced right now. There are no trees that will be kept that should interfere. Neighbors on both sides have mature trees that give shade and crowd in on the property lines. One, within 10' of the rear of the house has three trunks in one which has to be built around. The site is level, if at all it slopes away from the house at the rear of the property.

A proportion of 3 wide to 4 long is pleasing to me but there is no other reason that makes this an exact requirement. If no one helped me I'd be aiming to enlarge the small shed plan because at least it would stand if an architect designed it.

I own a Ford F-350 custom flatbed dually which has been modified from a car hauler. It is about 20 foot long. The mirrors add some width that didn't fit in the previous antique garage That makes having a 10 foot wide opening for the rear entrance with at least 8 ' overhead clearance for the garage door important. I don't want much roof overhang on any side of the garage especially above the garage door.

I'd like 4 vertical panels that slide for a garage door on the south side. They could be made of wood with no windows and could be barricaded from inside with a horizontal member when closed. A carriage door style with no handles but bracing deep enough to hold on to would be my low-tech option. Upgrades are possible with an automated door opener but I do not want a door that lifts overhead. Having the opening placed to allow the sliding panels to not obstruct the entrance requires at least 30" of wall to the east side and at least 5' of wall to the west side of the garage door opening.

I would like to have the garage built well enough, using some steel, to have a wench that can be used to lift and lower pallets from the flatbed centered at the highest point. Perhaps the attic space could be open, making the wench do double duty.
I may use 3 identical Andersen windows on the west side and window guards that swing or slide away and lock from the inside.
I have a 300 lb. capacity metal attic stairs kit that could give more storage options to part of the garage. On this part I don't have a clear idea of where this storage space would be because I don't have dimensions relating to roof pitch exact.
The north east corner of the structure is the closest to the back of house and the desired location for the ( people ) entrance door.
The north side of the garage is the side that faces the house and yard space which should be preserved is a 36x36' to 33'x 33 foot square area. The roof line is to be the closest to the ground on the north side at about 66" high. An eye level wood shingled roof would be unbroken and visually appealing. Child's play space is highlighted and safety.
On the east side of the garage is to be another important feature, the green house. It is from Charley's and is pre-made and includes a 400 pound box of glass with the kit, enclosing a small space four foot deep and about 7'10" high. it has to be built along side of the garage as it is not free standing. It has a curved roof that slopes away from the garage and its own entrance door which locks. Including minimal space around the greenhouse for maintenance and walking inside the perimeter of the fenced yard makes the placement of the garage on the plan something to be determined.
The balance of the width of the yard to the west of the garage is to be the vegetable garden plantings. To keep the size of the garage down makes for a bigger garden.
The south side of the property is bordered by a common alley which gives access to the property from the east , west and south with ample room for maneuvering.
Heating the slab that has to be poured is a possibility with radiant heat coils for both the garage and greenhouse. A garden hose would supply the water to a sink in the green house. Drainage is a question.
No living areas are intended in the plan of the garage or attic space. Space heaters would be adequate when in use. Ventilation could be enhanced with a thermostatically controlled roof vent fan, if it is advisable.
Replacing the existing 6' tall wood privacy fence with three courses of blocks below grade and topping newly built block wall with wrought iron fencing gives much needed light to yard space if blocks are spaced with cast iron garden panels on the second course of blocks. Using the scrap fence for anything is a question I asked about at the local lumber supply. Is it a good insulator?
What have I forgotten? The shed plan and the Alaska house that inspired this might say the thousand, or so words, just as well. I 'll have to find a way to include them, if anyone needs more information. Diane Howe
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:10 PM   #5
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You don't necessarily need an architect, but you will need to get together with a design/build outfit.
You have a wonderful wish list. Good for you.
It will take someone with a creative skill-set to get these ideas on paper.

Expect, and have a budget, to pay for a set of plans and a consultation.

You'd be amazed at how creative contractors can be with when you're willing to pay something for their time.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:52 AM   #6
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Will this work?

Hi again, Since I began taking on this property I had a helper, my friend, an engineer for 10 years who did presentations frequently. She could help me blueprint the house which is a step beyond my design skills and I have a very current technical computer support person in my sister. Builders were in the family but I probably won't get their attention. Library resources tell me that the value of a garage is a positive $18,000 to a home. Materials are one expense and labor another. Plans and permits cost something too. Of course, I expect a quality result but having someone with all the know how may tend to "take over". This is for my portfolio, showing what I can do. Using the need to file taxes quarterly as a guide to contractor's motivations in getting work and advances for projects; I don't know how to not get the "this is old hat to us" and "you don't know what is what" attitude form interfering with the experience I need to have. I'd like to have a clear plan that will work that will have the respect and interest of others before I get them involved. I've been around the "we know what we're doin'" guys as the go between with the owner and I did get to prevail sometimes with extreme craftiness. I also enjoyed learning what I didn't know by planning in advance and getting things righted before they took place. It is fun to have authority when you know less than others but this time I have to pay for it. "Good Luck", may be a comment in reply, but seriously, what do I look for in some one who will listen who still is sizing up what it will take from them, in a time frame they are comfortable working within? I haven't gotten the circumstances to have the "urgency factor" worked into my thinking just yet. That, you can tell from how long it has taken me to get back to emails. I'm trying to bear the situation patiently waiting to hear the news from my lawyer on the status of the deal. Money is still critical at this point.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
Pay an Architect for the plans you need.

You might save money by just hiring a good house designer or draftsman. If you know what you want and it isn't pushing new ground from an engineering perspective, there may be no need for a licensed architect or engineer - except for a possible engineers stamp on the plans if you have to have it.

We're still torn between all these options. I am still meeting with architects, engineers, and designers so I'm not saying any one of them can't add value but if you don't have special requirements the value they add may not match the cost.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:14 PM   #8
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enjoy it

What I know is that I like everything that I'm faced with, all the decisions, the process, the work and results. Having a specific question makes it easier for others here to get involved . Right now, I'm just chomping at the bit.


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