VizslaDad

New Shop Build in NE Ohio

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My wife, dog, cat, tools, and I moved to Ohio from Washington State in November. Our house was built in the 20s, with an addition sometime in the last thirty years. The detached two car garage appears to have been built at the same time as the house. My beautiful, intelligent, and incredibly thoughtful wife has given the thumbs-up to my building a shop addition to the garage (so long as I also build an enclosed breezeway between garage and house). Sounds pretty straight forward, right? Well, there are a few complicating factors I need to sort through, and hoped the fine WoodTalkers would weigh in with thoughts. If you read what follows and think I ought to proceed in a different direction, don't be shy!

My current task is to get my general plan together so I can go to the building department and get the process started with them. I will be doing the bulk of the work myself once the weather allows me to begin in earnest this spring. 

The garage is approx. 18'W x 26'L. The roof slopes continuously front-to-back, leaving a floor to roof rafter height of ~7'4" at the rear. The structure is uninsulated, with 2x4 walls, plank sheathing, old asphalt shingles, and new roof. There's a beam supported by a lally column spanning the width of the structure approx. 2/3 of the way to the rear. Someone sandwiched more 2x8 laminations onto the original beam at some point in the last twenty years, for a total of five 2x8s bolted together to help hold up the roof rafters.  There's a hokey little roof peak in the front of the garage to help its roofline blend with that of the house from a visual standpoint, despite the actual mono-pitch roof out back. 

pic_of_house_garage.thumb.jpg.871a296818d2fdfa5b83fd2dd296c87e.jpg rear_garage_no_shop.thumb.jpg.85fd78ce5c0a7713ec6cee6801c16d4f.jpg

What I would like to do is add an approximately 20' addition to the rear of the garage to serve as my shop space. I want the roofline of the structure to look appropriate relative to the house from the street. I think the way I can achieve this is to raise the front 8' or so of the garage and add a little saltbox roof to that section (the space itself will be used for storage). This would hide the continuous roofline for the remainder of the garage, extending onto the shop, that would be behind it. I would tear off the existing roof, eliminate the beam and lally column, and sister in 2x6 studs and new headers. I will air seal, insulate, and drywall the retrofitted garage. 

The new shop room will be built on a CMU foundation (matching the garage) behind the garage, and a simple breezeway would be built between house and garage (approx. 18'L). The garage and shop will likely be heated and cooled via ductless minisplit. I can have our hydronic baseboard extended to the breezeway due to proximity. My wife likes the saltbox style roof for the rear as well, even though I think a simple gable roof would be preferable since I am likely going to be cutting my own rafters vs. trusses as I could set a few over the course of several mornings vs coordinating a crew and crane  (I work on Pacific Time, so I have a nice chunk of time every morning where I can do what I like before I have to fire up the laptop). 

added_breezeway_shop.thumb.jpg.113569b6b40048602aa76178f5de4391.jpgroof_off_view.thumb.jpg.3c44bca1308218560e97d9eedfb0370c.jpggarage_shop_plan_view.thumb.jpg.a79b614664906fe7a7a4ced31a9573c4.jpgshop_breeze_from_rear.thumb.jpg.66e8752e0612d8790dbc033b4cd09291.jpg

What do you all think? How does this plan sound? Happy to answer any questions that you have.

Thanks!

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Might want to double check your setbacks and easements to make sure that you won't be getting into trouble there. Also your changing the lot a lot so you might want to make sure that you aren't impacting any drainage. Not sure how big the lot is but it'd be worthwhile to make sure that you aren't exceeding the allowed developed space or if there is a percent impervious surface limit.

I"m not a builder so i don't know how slabs work. Can you insulate under the slab? Have you put a thought to in floor heat? I know someone that has that in their shop and they say it's cheap and heats really really well. Then you could run the mini split for AC. I guess the cost would be significant but it's a thought.

Were you planning on taking the tree down? That seems awefully close not sure that i'd want to do that. Odds are if you disturb as close as your model makes it look that the tree will die anyway so you might want to consider just taking it down now while it's easier.

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4 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

Might want to double check your setbacks and easements to make sure that you won't be getting into trouble there. Also your changing the lot a lot so you might want to make sure that you aren't impacting any drainage. Not sure how big the lot is but it'd be worthwhile to make sure that you aren't exceeding the allowed developed space or if there is a percent impervious surface limit.

I"m not a builder so i don't know how slabs work. Can you insulate under the slab? Have you put a thought to in floor heat? I know someone that has that in their shop and they say it's cheap and heats really really well. Then you could run the mini split for AC. I guess the cost would be significant but it's a thought.

Were you planning on taking the tree down? That seems awefully close not sure that i'd want to do that. Odds are if you disturb as close as your model makes it look that the tree will die anyway so you might want to consider just taking it down now while it's easier.

My property goes a few acres back, and per my (admittedly naive) reading of the rules for our town, I think I should be okay. My neighbors have gone through the rigamarole of doing an addition here and said the building department was great in terms of thorough and candid answers to their questions (hopefully the BD won't hate me by the time spring is here :D ).

I have to dig the footings below the frost line (32" in our area), and given the grade of the property that will render a foundation wall that's approximately 7' high. I don't know how to build a suspended concrete floor, so my plan was to build a wooden framed floor level with my garage floor. The slab poured in my shop's "basement" will be insulated. I have thought about running floor heat (there's a gas line right by the garage, too) but will definitely turn to pros for that aspect. 

That tree is coming down, and will turn into something nice for the house someday.

Thanks for your notes! 

 

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Oh if that's the case is there any thought to dropping the floor of the shop and increase the ceiling height?

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31 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

Oh if that's the case is there any thought to dropping the floor of the shop and increase the ceiling height?

Maybe. There is a garage floor drain that just shoots out maybe 20” from grade at the back of the garage. I have to reroute that beneath the slab anyway, I assume. I was just thinking that keeping the floor level with the garage would be convenient. That extra height could make it feasible to put a loft office and more storage in the shop, but I would have to contend with our clay soils and highish water table. 

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9 minutes ago, VizslaDad said:

Maybe. There is a garage floor drain that just shoots out maybe 20” from grade at the back of the garage. I have to reroute that beneath the slab anyway, I assume. I was just thinking that keeping the floor level with the garage would be convenient. That extra height could make it feasible to put a loft office and more storage in the shop, but I would have to contend with our clay soils and highish water table. 

Oh i guess i wasn't thinking that drastic. I was more thinking drop the floor 2 feet save some block wall height and have 10' ceiling in the shop. I know standard 8' works but i've always had over 8' and it's super nice. Plywood can be stood on end and have room to move it around.

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My little drawings don’t make it clear but I am planning on 9’ ceilings. My last shop was right at 8’ and it was a pita!

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Looks like the design will work fine, and be easy to build.  At only 18' wide, there is no need to get complicated with the roof framing, to make it into trusses.

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First thing when you go meet with the building department bring donuts and coffee.  Personally the addition to the front part looks funky in the sketch.  I would find a way to build a complete second floor over the garage, make it an office, bonus room or something.  That should allow you to create a similar roof line as the house, then for the shop addition you could do a sloped roof.  All that said, you and the CEO need to decide what looks best.

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11 hours ago, Woodenskye said:

First thing when you go meet with the building department bring donuts and coffee.  Personally the addition to the front part looks funky in the sketch.  I would find a way to build a complete second floor over the garage, make it an office, bonus room or something.  That should allow you to create a similar roof line as the house, then for the shop addition you could do a sloped roof.  All that said, you and the CEO need to decide what looks best.

The CEO is worried about the garage + shop looking too massive. That said, a bonus room would be nice. I agree the little pop up in front looks funky; the intent is to hide the gable end of the garage+shop roof. The house does not have any gable ends facing the street, and the BD here is super picky about rooflines. I don’t know if they will care in this case though. The house itself has a, shall we say, interesting roof.

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(View from street, garage closeup, rear view)

Great call on the coffee and donuts!

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Tell the CEO the extra room will be her studio with a second floor view if the woods.

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This is just a note but a well dressed up gable end can look sharp. It's all the rage in this area right now to mimic the craftsman/Bungalow style and dress up the gable ends with different color shake looking siding.

The more i think about it the more i think it's kinda odd to not have a gable end facing forward.... nearly every house in my neighborhood does if not every house. I personally like it better than seeing a big wall of shingles.

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Honestly I think it'd look better with a gable end facing the front.  And giving the size of the existing house and such... a garage with a second story would look perfectly in scale.

 

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Since the appearance is a big concern, have you considered consulting an architect?  Maybe just for the outside elevations.

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13 minutes ago, Mark J said:

Since the appearance is a big concern, have you considered consulting an architect?  Maybe just for the outside elevations.

I have considered it, and doing so is not out of the question. Cost control is top of mind, but I like your idea of using one just for the outside elevations. Thank you! RE: your comment about the extra room going to the CEO, let's just say I have essentially traded most of my say in decor and landscaping for the entirety of the house and property in exchange for the shop. She has complained that my conference calls are too loud, though, so maybe the prospect of my putting my office outside the house proper would be a good bargaining chip. :ph34r:

@Minnesota Steve @Chestnut I generally agree with you guys on this. The majority of houses and garages on our road don't have gable ends facing the road for whatever reason. The CEO is also adamant about the garage roofline matching that of the house, despite the structure being oriented perpendicular to the house. 

More doodles:

Two story garage, saltbox roof up front, little monopitch for shop out back. I'd probably need to use rafters to inexpensively get an appropriate ceiling height...CEO will not want the garage roof level with the house.

extra_room_abvgarage_two_roofs.thumb.jpg.9f2ec82e7a14f0b37597b5451f0abbc8.jpg

I just cranked out a 4:12 roof straight along the structure, which is probably not the ideal pitch or how it'd actually relate to the breezeway. It would be much less expensive, and much less complex, to do something like this, though. 

4_in_12_raised_walls_24.thumb.jpg.f1c9ddbe6c6e2bd7adab0dba71f0c3d3.jpg

All of your comments are much appreciated!

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Looking at your recent sketches, I now have to change my opinion and agree that having the gable end facing the street looks good.  I had another thought, depending on the age, construction methods, etc. of the current garage, it may be more cost efficient to tear down the existing garage, build a 24 X 48 post frame or prefab garage closer to the house.  I looked into doing a garage addition (24x28) with living space above (16x24) and the best estimate we got was close to $80k, granted I'm in the NY metro area.  I could have bought a 2 story prefab garage for around $36k, add in $6-8k for a slab, still cheaper.  

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Why windows out the front over the garage door? Is that a sun exposure? If not, I would try to copy the look of the house by carrying the roof slope down on the front and putting the windows to the rear. 

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36 minutes ago, Woodenskye said:

Looking at your recent sketches, I now have to change my opinion and agree that having the gable end facing the street looks good.  I had another thought, depending on the age, construction methods, etc. of the current garage, it may be more cost efficient to tear down the existing garage, build a 24 X 48 post frame or prefab garage closer to the house.  I looked into doing a garage addition (24x28) with living space above (16x24) and the best estimate we got was close to $80k, granted I'm in the NY metro area.  I could have bought a 2 story prefab garage for around $36k, add in $6-8k for a slab, still cheaper.  

The garage is old and rough around the edges but still functional (for an uninsulated, unsealed box with dodgey doors). I worry that a full tear-down will not be compatible with the CEO's wishes, as she is attached to the idea of rehabbing what may be basically functional vs. fully replacing it. Personally, I am also really looking forward to doing the work, and I think it will be less practically feasible for me to do it all if it's a full rebuild vs. an in-depth remodel and addition. I also worry that I would potentially need to fully rip and replace the existing garage slab, foundation, etc etc.

The prices you mentioned jive with what I have seen around here thus far. 

I have considered going the post-frame route, and if it is allowed for the shop extension I may do that. 

@Tpt life Good idea! Those little windows were just to break up the plane in the drawing. The garage faces north anyway.

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If you did a bagel end on the garage I'd increase the pitch to match the house... might look even better?

It's too bad they didn't put a shed dormer off the large section to the left when looking from the street. Like the look of the property, i'm jealous of the space.

Is there like a rack or something on your car it seems taller than it should be.

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6 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

If you did a bagel end on the garage I'd increase the pitch to match the house... might look even better?

It's too bad they didn't put a shed dormer off the large section to the left when looking from the street. Like the look of the property, i'm jealous of the space.

Is there like a rack or something on your car it seems taller than it should be.

I am embarrassed to admit I googled "bagel end" before I realized autocorrect probably corrupted "gable." If I do the straight gable end facing the street approach I will definitely go for a steeper pitch. Good call.

The large section you mention is simply one large room on the ground floor and our master BR and bath on the second. They laid it out so that the street-facing wall on the second floor contains the closets (we have wonderful big windows looking out back at the woods though). However, the CEO (I have totally adopted this moniker for my wife - thanks, @Woodenskye) has said she'd like a walk-in closet. A shed dormer on the road-facing side could make that all feasible!

The car has a roof rack and ski trays on it. 

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I agree with others that the front-facing gable on the garage looks better - breaks up that long face of shingles along the front.  Also agree with Chestnut about the steeper pitch - it will look better, and may get you some useful storage space.

18' seems pretty narrow for a two-car garage - ours is 20' 8" and I wish we'd made it wider.  Could you consider making the garage a little wider and making the breezeway a little shorter.  Somehow, the breezeway looks odd to me as wide as it is.  I would also set the breezeway back a few feet, if possible, to break up the line from garage to house.

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Could you put the shop inbetween the garage and the house? Have a breezeway on the front, hopefully match the roof line on the left side of the house? Maybe add in a 2nd story over all of it or just the shop?

I'm pretty good at spending other people's money so if you need more ideas let me know. You do have a lot of different roof angles going on which seems to make this trickier. 

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44 minutes ago, G Ragatz said:

I agree with others that the front-facing gable on the garage looks better - breaks up that long face of shingles along the front.  Also agree with Chestnut about the steeper pitch - it will look better, and may get you some useful storage space.

18' seems pretty narrow for a two-car garage - ours is 20' 8" and I wish we'd made it wider.  Could you consider making the garage a little wider and making the breezeway a little shorter.  Somehow, the breezeway looks odd to me as wide as it is.  I would also set the breezeway back a few feet, if possible, to break up the line from garage to house.

Lots of votes for the front-facing gable! I will let the CEO know. I definitely agree on the steeper pitch. 

It's definitely narrow (the garage was built in the 20s). It may be more complicated and expensive to widen the garage, as I'd have to expand the existing foundation and slab. Plus we can already park my truck and my wife's car in the existing narrow garage, so selling the expansion (when she already likes how narrow it looks!) is likely a no-go. I wanted to back the breezeway off from the front line of part of the house to which it will attach, but to do so would require removing a gas fireplace in that room, and the kick-out on the side of the house that accommodates it. A long narrow breezeway was designed by request. :D

30 minutes ago, legenddc said:

Could you put the shop inbetween the garage and the house? Have a breezeway on the front, hopefully match the roof line on the left side of the house? Maybe add in a 2nd story over all of it or just the shop?

I'm pretty good at spending other people's money so if you need more ideas let me know. You do have a lot of different roof angles going on which seems to make this trickier. 

I thought about that, but the CEO wants to minimize how much of our usable outdoor space adjacent to the house is sucked up by my shop. The spot immediately behind the garage is sort of a hidden pocket, hence her being ok with it turning into a shop. Plus the breezeway is a passage between the driveway + front yard to the backyard, which itself is split down the middle by a deep swale that runs into a ravine. The breezeway will be the only practical way to get from the front-left part of the house to the backyard, hence french doors on either side:

plan_view_swale.thumb.jpg.94b500f4ba1ddc35361e365e0e469533.jpg

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I'd tear the whole garage down, build it adjoining the house, make the ridge the same height as the other end,  and same roof slope, with a matching hip.  You could make it as wide as you wanted to.  Draw 24', and see what it looks like.

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