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Old 11-02-2011, 05:03 AM   #1
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semi garage conversion


First of all, hello everyone., now on to my delima......got a new baby on the way,and for years have been kicking around the idea of converting one bay of the garage into livable space, now with the need for another bed room for my oldest son, I need to do more than kicking the idea around and find out how feasable it really is, i have an appt with our local permits and inspections people friday, but have some basic curiousities.


Im guessing sealing the concrete slab a must,is putting down a paint of epoxy the next step? and which flooring would get along better with slab?,

Since im already at 8 feet in height raising the floor isnt an option.As far as framing the walls, the top plates , do i cut and remove the drywall ceilings directly above the top plate and connect to the 2x material used to frame ceiling/roof for above room, or screw / right thru drywall into 2x material? Hope you all can help me out, im sure ill have tons of questions as it goes hope i dont become a pain

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Last edited by oh'mike; 11-02-2011 at 08:13 AM. Reason: Added spaces
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:11 AM   #2
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semi garage conversion


You better go to the code department and read that code book before you talk to them.

Garage floors must be lower than the living area----I don't know how much lower but I believe it's a substantial amount. Find that out.(your ceiling height might not allow the conversion.)

Most areas require masonry curbing to separate the garage floor from the living space---find out how high,

Your building codes may be available on line----your idea may not work,so brace your self for that.

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Old 11-02-2011, 09:20 AM   #3
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It sounds like you want to convert one bay of the garage to living space, while presumably leaving the second bay as garage space. This is effectively an addition of living space, as the garage is typically not classed as habitable space, so the code for livable space is normally quite different than the code for uninhabited space.

We looked into this for our house, and ran into all sorts of interesting issues. For example, the demising wall between the garage bay and the bedroom has to be fire rated, as do all the doors between the two rooms. The garage bay needs to be at least 4 inches lower than the living space. The ceiling load for bedroom space is 30 psf in my town, the load for garage space is only 10 psf, so the ceiling framing needed to be addressed. The foundation for living space needs to extend below frost, not so for the garage. The bedroom space needs to be heated, not so the garage. There are minimum window requirements for bedroom space, no requirements for the garage.

These are just the requirements in my town, no doubt your requirements are different. Simply pointing out that converting from garage to living space was going to cost us a lot of time and money due to the need to add heat, light, fireproofing, upgraded foundation, upgraded ceiling, not to mention the issues with staircase entrance to the house. We decided to build a deck instead.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:08 PM   #4
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thanks both of you, you just smacked me with the reality stick, some of that stuff I had no idea. In my fairy tale it went something like this, framed in wall floor to ceiling running front to back ,placed in the middle of the two garage doors, insulate it , put proper sheeting to meet fire rating,original garage backdoor and door into my house would stay as they are on the same side as the proposed new room,figure a flooring scheme.Thank ya'll for pulling be back to earth before i went and talk to them, that gives me time to take a look at all of those issues and see if its still feasable,.....thanks
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:11 PM   #5
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as it sits now, my garage is very well insulated, its heated pretty good in winter and summer is cooled and serves solely as my woodworking shop, above the garage is finished full size bedroom

Last edited by jpc; 11-02-2011 at 01:13 PM. Reason: added on to it
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:03 AM   #6
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You are always in a better position if you know most of the answers --before you ask the questions!!!

Good luck and keep us posted.

A neighbor asked about something similar---His solution was to convert the whole thing and build a new garage---

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