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Old 12-02-2008, 05:18 PM   #1
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Questions on Building apartment On top of existing detached garage

I was talking to my father In law last week about building an apartment on an existing detached Garage. the Garage holds Four Cars and the inside space is 920 square feet and the inside height is 12 feet high open space. The structure is made of hallow cement blocks and stocco I believe the foundation is 1 foot thick but not sure,roof is flat pitched back so the water runs off.

I am a handy man but not an experiance contractor but I was driving around my neighborhood and notice a few people had done this too there garage and was wondering if I wanted to do this in the future if i had to start from scratch knocking the building down. my father in-law was saying I could use steel I-Beam agaist the walls in each corner and the middle to make a steel cage to support the weight of the apartment above.

Is this at all possible? I'm located in westchester NY I believe the Constuction Cost is about $110.00 per square foot


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Old 12-15-2008, 10:53 PM   #2
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No one have any opinions?



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Old 12-15-2008, 10:58 PM   #3
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It is certainly a possibility. Is there any chance you can post pictures of the garage, the wall framing, and especially the attic framing? There are a lot of variables that must be taken into account when determining the feasibility of this.

There are also things to consider such as zoning regulations, fire separation issues that must be dealt with, egress, etc.

Start with pics, we'll go from there.
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:02 AM   #4
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If the garage is framed comparably to a one story house and has a comparable foundation, adding a second story is generally not a problem. You would have to construct a proper floor; possibly needing columns on footings in the middle of the garage space below.

A flat roof is not perfectly flat. So you will have to add to it in order to make the upstairs floor anyway. You might look into prefabricated trusses.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:36 PM   #5
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The main problem will be the footings! Will they be adequate?
You will have to excavate down, to evaluate these! In your climate, I would expect that these would have to 4 feet deep.
The next problem would how the present roof is constructed?
Does it have steel trusses with a steel deck? Or are they wooden joists supported by a beam(s).
And how about the electrical devices for lighting and garage door openers!
I would expect that when you apply for a building permit, that you will have to supply signed engineering drawings.
Additional wiring for a living unit, would probably require a 100 amp service, to look after the heating and cooling!
And as KCT has mentioned, how about zoning regs!
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