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Old 12-02-2014, 10:38 AM   #1
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Garage conversion


I am in the process of converting my garage in to a family room due to my daughter and grand daughter moving back in.
I've had the electrical completely done and a professional team is coming today to spray foam insulate exterior walls and above ceiling. Its an attached garage.
I want this conversion to be easily convertible back to a garage so I want to keep the garage door in place. I had a brand new insulated garage door (R16) installed. Its a roll up door on a track. I would also like to put a false wall in front of the garage door to #1 provide more insulation and #2 keep about 3 to 4 feet of the garage as storage. Snow shovels, etc.
There isn't enough space to place the wall completely clear of the garage door track. The length of the track is pretty generous and I could probably cut 6 to 8 inches from the track but when I go to sell the house 10 years down the road I would prefer not to have them shorter.
I've been thinking how I could build the wall so that it would be under the garage door when its rolled up but still have fairly good insulation. I guess the wall wouldn't have to be air tight as the garage door is insulated and if the wall is mostly built up I figure the 2 together should be fine. The garage will be heated so this may prove some inefficiency the times in the cold Canadian winters when I have the door up. Although I wouldn't have it up for long periods. Just to get some tools etc.
So my question is, is this a good idea? Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how I could best accomplish this?
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:48 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by guitarman55 View Post
I want to keep the OH garage door in place.
I had a brand new insulated garage door (R16) installed.

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions...?
EVERYTHING you do from this point will be a compromise.

I'd suggest that you dismantle the OH door and store or sell it.
Then close up the opening as the floor plan calls for.

(advertise for the BUYER to take it down so they know they have all the parts)
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:52 AM   #3
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EVERYTHING you do from this point will be a compromise.

I'd suggest that you dismantle the OH door and store or sell it.
Then close up the opening as the floor plan calls for.

(advertise for the BUYER to take it down so they know they have all the parts)
Someone did that in our neighborhood and about a month later, they had literally nailed it back to the door openings. The homeowners assoc must have frowned on it. In fact, I am sure it was a violation of the HOA.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:15 PM   #4
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Someone did that in our neighborhood and about a month later, they had literally nailed it back to the door openings. The homeowners assoc must have frowned on it. In fact, I am sure it was a violation of the HOA.
Yes this is what I'm trying to avoid. For 20 years I've never kept my car in the garage. Just a whole bunch of junk. So I went and had great big shed built for the backyard and stored all my junk there.
I've had the electrical all set up professionally, pot lighting and today I'm waiting for the insulation pro's to spray foam the insulation. Next week I'll have my HVAC guy cut a duc for heat. He's already green lighted the furnace\AC as capable of taking on the garage. He's the same HVAC that replaced my furnace and AC a couple years ago. I'm having a 6' patio door built in to the back of the garage for dayligh and a better entrance out to my deck
For flooring I'm going to either lay moisture barrier, build a sleeper frame and lay durofoam or some other board insulation then subfloor and flooring or I may go the dricore route.
So really the only thing is a false wall infront of the garage door. I could probably get away with out the false wall as I think my insulated garage door would be adequate as long as I never opened it. I could further add some insulation to the insides and over the seams as well as its got good weather sealing from the outside. As for looks My home entertainment center, speakers, etc would completely cover it and you wouldn't even see it. But the big caveat to this is I couldn't utilit the 3 feet by the door for storage.
I could simply build a wall as high up to the door when its rolled up, as possible but for opening and closing it might let in too much cold air.
I don't mind some compromise. This doesn't have to be perfect it just has to be adequate. In 3 to 4 years my daughter and grand daughter will move back out and I'll move my home theater back in to the lower level family room. Then I'd probably just use the garage as a nice transition to the outside deck. Thats one thing I always wanted to fix about my house. Its a raised ranch with no direct access to the backyard. Always had to go through a crappy looking garage to get there.
I'm not looking to do anything requiring permits. I figure I used to keep junk out there. Now my home theater and a couple chairs will go out there. Still just junk. Better quality junk but who's the HOA to tell me what kind of junk I can keep in my garage. I just want to be able to sit out there when its freezing or boiling out.

Last edited by guitarman55; 12-02-2014 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:21 PM   #5
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I have or will have HVAC, Insulation, Electrical and Patio Door all professionally done. I will be doing the floor and drywall my self. As for the false wall if I decide to go that way, I may opt to have it professionally done.
What I want is an easy to convert back to garage conversion.
Basically all I should have to do to convert back is to rip out floor, take down wall and have the duct for heating\AC capped off.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:48 PM   #6
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Someone did that in our neighborhood and about a month later, they had literally nailed it back to the door openings. The homeowners assoc must have frowned on it. In fact, I am sure it was a violation of the HOA.
I think you may be describing a zoning/permit issue about the job.
My comment assumes that the owner is following the law...

ps: F! hoa's ( they're worse than zoning laws)
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:12 PM   #7
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Someone did that in our neighborhood and about a month later, they had literally nailed it back to the door openings. The homeowners assoc must have frowned on it. In fact, I am sure it was a violation of the HOA.
Violation of what? Having a car parked outside?
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:29 PM   #8
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I made the mistake of buying one house that was subject to HOA rules... never again! Those idiots wanted to make everyone submit a sample board of house and trim paint for pre-approval! Nearly came to blows with one of the directors when he showed up at my door, demanding to see the landscaping I was doing in my back yard. He tried to file assault charges against me (which would have stuck, had a sympathetic cop not talked him down).
Apparently, telling someone you have a mulcher and a strong dislike for him constitutes assault in California... who'd a thunk, eh?
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:45 PM   #9
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Violation of what? Having a car parked outside?
NO. Removing the garage doors and closing in the opening with a wall or walls.

OP>>>my garage is a single car size. I have the walls and ceiling insulated. I replaced my metal garage door with an energy efficient door. I don't have any problem keeping it cool/warm. Down here, the heat is more of a problem.

Even raising and lowering the door shouldn't be a problem for you. That is unless you keep it open and let the world see what you have going on. :-)

Note: I have a split system AC w/heat pump. Nothing visible to prying eyes, except for a small plastic duct the lines run in to the condenser unit behind the privacy fence.

Last edited by MT Stringer; 12-02-2014 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:35 PM   #10
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NO. Removing the garage doors and closing in the opening with a wall or walls.

OP>>>my garage is a single car size. I have the walls and ceiling insulated. I replaced my metal garage door with an energy efficient door. I don't have any problem keeping it cool/warm. Down here, the heat is more of a problem.

Even raising and lowering the door shouldn't be a problem for you. That is unless you keep it open and let the world see what you have going on. :-)

Note: I have a split system AC w/heat pump. Nothing visible to prying eyes, except for a small plastic duct the lines run in to the condenser unit behind the privacy fence.

Yes I just put in an energy efficient garage door. The only reason for the false wall is so that I could use about 3 feet of the garage for a bit of storage. I don't live in a house with HOA rules. But I"m sure if someone sees what I'm doing they could report me to the city for zoning violations.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:50 PM   #11
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Yes I just put in an energy efficient garage door. The only reason for the false wall is so that I could use about 3 feet of the garage for a bit of storage. I don't live in a house with HOA rules. But I"m sure if someone sees what I'm doing they could report me to the city for zoning violations.
In that case, I would put up a short wall with a doorway pass through and be done with it.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:13 PM   #12
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I have been told that in our jurisdiction this type of conversion requires a permit - then again these days it seems everything beyond painting does. It seems like you've covered all the bases unless somebody else can point out a deficiency. As an aside, others have mentioned "HOA". If this is what is known as a Subdivision Agreement (or a few other terms) in Ontario, I am told by lawyers up here that, after the original owner, they aren't worth the paper they're written on.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:57 PM   #13
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they aren't worth the paper they're written on
lenaitch, if that's the case in Canada, then good on ya! They cause a lot more damage than good, in my opinion.

I think a garage conversion would require a permit in most jurisdictions, simply because garages are normally considered storage space, and this is being converted to habitable space. Rightfully, so, IMO.
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:47 AM   #14
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I kept about 6' of garage for a small workshop. Kept the garage door. Created some closet space between my new "mini" workshop and my new living space. I had to create a box around the garage door opener. I used a plastic opaque ceiling panel to both provide some light and access if I ever needed to replace the motor
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:51 AM   #15
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I have pictures, but the site says I need at least one post before I can post them. I guess the post above does not count

The site let me post them in the next entry

Last edited by snooter; 12-04-2014 at 07:01 AM.
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