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Old 11-21-2007, 08:15 AM
F&J F&J is offline
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Converting a store into a garage.

My offer on a house with some "outbuildings" is supposed to have been accepted. In case I do end up with it, here is the dilema(s). The biggest outbuilding was a home based furniture store with no garage doors.

The bad;
-low headroom 7'3"
-concrete floor overlayed with 2x4's laid flat with boards or plywood over that.
-Built before trusses, so it's got a middle row of posts & carrying beam. Posts are 9-1/2' on center.
-HUGE trees block the front gable end and the main power leads & panel are on that wall.
-one long side is too far above ground level. The other long side is a little high in some spots.
-the back gable is close to the angled propery line; I could make one garage door on one side of that gable end, to have enough "land" to make the swing into that door. I can't put a door on the other half of the back gable because the property line is too close.

The good:
-It has it's own 200amp service with welder plug
-It has a commercial propane heat.
-It is 25' x 90'

I'm going to be broke until my home sells...maybe in late spring if I am lucky, but I am looking for ideas on what to do with this. Maybe try to redo half the building with trusses to eliminate the posts...and raise them higher? What about doors, and where??

here is the front end and the long side that is too far above ground. It looks deceptive in the pic...a lot of fill would be needed.



Here is another pic of the long side that it too far above ground.



Here is the other long side that the ground is too high.



Here is a view looking down the long side that the ground is too high.



I'm not going to need to store spare parts in there because there is another outbuilding that is narrower but 70' feet long. So I just need to make the big building able to work on & store cars.

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Old 11-21-2007, 08:33 AM
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That's a nice problem to have, congrats on such a great purchase....

Maybe put garage doors or barn doors (swing out) on the side?
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:43 AM
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That would make a very cool shop. I think I would pick where I wanted my entry, use 1/3 - 1/2 of the shop for the work area, and remove the roof over that section. Raise that section about 2 feet, (more if you want a lift, think 1 1/2 stories tall) reroof it, and frame out for a good sized garage door. use the back half for storage and work benches, etc. As far as the ground around the building and elevation, remove or fill the dirt as needed. Nothing some lumber, dollars and labor can't fix. Dan
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:02 AM
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Looks like a cool setup, congrats! If it were me, I'd whack down that huge tree in front for sure. If that thing falls, it'll cause some hefty damage. Add a garage door to the front gable wall. Then as others have suggested, add a dormer (25 ft or so?) above the area where you plan to work on the vehicle (just behind the garage door?), and leave the low roof area for the workshop area. Oh, and get rid of the wood floor/sleepers in the area where the vehicle will be. You'll pick up some precious inches that way too. I'd leave the wood floor in the workshop area, it's more comfortable/nicer to stand on/work for extended periods than cold/hard concrete. That's just me though. Good luck on the purchase!

Antny
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:18 AM
F&J F&J is offline
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Quote:
add a dormer (25 ft or so?) above the area where you plan to work on the vehicle
Now that's a good idea. Would it be like a higher pitched roof going the opposite way that it is now, about 3 bays wide, so that there would be only "gable end wall weight" over the bay doors? That just might be the easiest way to go. I suppose I could frame that so I would gain a lot of headroom in a 3 bay work area.

If I could do that and get a super wide roll-up door, then I could maybe drive in at at angle to get stored cars down into the low-ceiling end of the shop. I'm glad I asked for ideas
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:19 PM
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I've got a garage that is 24 x 50. I've got 2 18 ft overhead doors on it. I can't picture being able to drive in at an angle to store a vehicle if I had a center post. You may want to think about something like what I have for, say, half of the building (with the dormer) and use the other half for your work/parts storage stuff. You'll be amazed how quickly you can fill that building.
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F&J
Now that's a good idea. Would it be like a higher pitched roof going the opposite way that it is now, about 3 bays wide, so that there would be only "gable end wall weight" over the bay doors? That just might be the easiest way to go. I suppose I could frame that so I would gain a lot of headroom in a 3 bay work area.

If I could do that and get a super wide roll-up door, then I could maybe drive in at at angle to get stored cars down into the low-ceiling end of the shop. I'm glad I asked for ideas
If you build the roof pitching the opposite way, you'll need to add structural support at either end of the dormer to carry the weight of the roof/end walls. Not a big deal, but if you're after a column-free space, that structural member will need to be huge due to the span.

Cheapest way to go would be to dormer the area with the roof going the same direction as the existing. This way the roof load will bear onto the existing long walls. The garage door opening at the gable end will require a header, but nothing major. A couple of 2x12's with a steel flitch plate in between should be plenty strong.

I built my garage with a 14-foot ceiling so I can install a lift to double-deck 2 cars. Haven't gotten that lift yet....Christmas is coming though, right?!!

Antny
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:39 PM
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One if you were to only fill the area going up to the garage doors that would no ttake so much..I would start by getting the false floor removed down to the concrete and then take some measurements as to the ceiling height so I could plan my garage door install..You will need 7' of clearance for a std garage door and usually a foot above that to accomodate the tracks and such for an overhead door..So allow for that in your structural plans..

One thing you may wish to consider is putting a lean to on one side of that building as it looks like there is plenty of height for one to allow for a garage door..shoot some grades to see what your heights are first..

Sam

Good find of that property..

Sam
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Old 11-21-2007, 02:58 PM
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there's a lot of good ideas already , but here's one to consider. You can put concrete ramps up to the entries on the low side of the building. I do it for forklifts all the time. some are 8 inches high , some are 4 feet ! The higher you have to go , the longer you'll want the ramp to be , but it'll save on a lot of fill , and last the life of the building. If you place your entries side by side , you can just have one really wide ramp put on .
just more food for thought.
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Old 11-22-2007, 06:00 AM
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After reading the ideas & thinking more, I will most likely put one door on the back gable end to be able to store my project cars indoors this winter. That would only allow me to get into one side of the center posts for now.

But I would like to know about the "dormer" idea. I don't understand how that gets built onto the existing roof. If I do try to put 2 work bay doors on the long side, then there is NO room for a header of any size at all. (the doors would end up at only 6'+ tall if I put a decent size header in the existing wall). I guess that could be fixed with that dormer, but i can't visualize how that works.

I think very little fill would be needed if I put the work bay doors at the very front part of the long red side. I could get fill from the other high side with my sons big tractor to make a slight ramp.... But I am lost on the needed door headers.

What is the easiest solution for getting in there this winter? I would have more $ and time after my house sells later. I am self employed doing old car welding and need to commute back to my old house shop to earn a paycheck until I can get into this garage.
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:22 AM
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I would remove the existing roof, raise the walls 2 to 4 feet, put in trusses and put on a new roof. You have the basic foundation with the slab which would be the most expensive part. For about $3000 to $4000, and some grunt work from you and your buddies it could be a dream come true. Good luck.
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Old 11-22-2007, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F&J
After reading the ideas & thinking more, I will most likely put one door on the back gable end to be able to store my project cars indoors this winter. That would only allow me to get into one side of the center posts for now.

But I would like to know about the "dormer" idea. I don't understand how that gets built onto the existing roof. If I do try to put 2 work bay doors on the long side, then there is NO room for a header of any size at all. (the doors would end up at only 6'+ tall if I put a decent size header in the existing wall). I guess that could be fixed with that dormer, but i can't visualize how that works.

I think very little fill would be needed if I put the work bay doors at the very front part of the long red side. I could get fill from the other high side with my sons big tractor to make a slight ramp.... But I am lost on the needed door headers.

What is the easiest solution for getting in there this winter? I would have more $ and time after my house sells later. I am self employed doing old car welding and need to commute back to my old house shop to earn a paycheck until I can get into this garage.
I know this is over-simplifying the work, and has no hotrod content, so I apologize to the moderators and members in advance. To add a dormer, remove the roof shingles, underlayment and roof rafters, remove the ceiling joists. Leave the existing outer walls in place. On top of the outer walls, build new walls to whatever height you want. Atop those walls. install new roof rafters and ceiling joists and button her up. A quicker way to go would be to order engineered roof trusses. Your local lumber yard should be able to help you design/order them. You might want to throw in a steel trolley beam too while you're at it....they are great for lifting engines/frames/bodies/etc. The garage door header designs depend on the width of the opening and the weight it needs to support. Again, your local lumber yard or local architect/engineer can size those up pretty easily. If not, check back with me, I'm a PE (Professional Engineer) and can size them up for you if you give me the info. And naturally, check with your local building department for any specific requirements they may have.

You asked for the easiest way to get your car in there for the winter: I would simply cut a 7 or 8-foot wide barn type garage door into one of the gable ends. Since you have only 7"-6" of head room (after removing the wood floor system), I'd install a double 2x8 header (glued with PL400 and triple-nailed 12" on center) posted on each end (with triple 2x4's or 2x6's depending on the existing framing lumber) down to the foundation plates to frame the opening and carry the load. That will give you just under 7 feet clearance, which should be fine for most cars.

First thing I would do is cut down that monstrous tree before it takes out the garage and house! We had one come down onto our house and my temporary shelter for my 55 Chevy. Made a mess of things, but was only 6" in diameter, nothing like that monster. Split it up for firewood to help heat the garage for a few years!

I hope this helps!

Antny
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Old 11-22-2007, 09:04 AM
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This is the Garage section, so your post is welcome and right on the money even though there's no hot rod content.
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Old 11-22-2007, 09:48 AM
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F&J............I know money is an issue, and you want this mainly for storage........but, I wouldn't be sinking too much moola into this building. Chances are, you will end up knocking it down in the future and putting up something that more suits what you need. You are going to have trouble even putting in a 7ft door. You should have at least another foot for a good header above door. I also see that big tree having to come down to put a door in.

Is the other building on the property taller?....
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:04 AM
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I would remove the existing roof, raise the walls 2 to 4 feet, put in trusses
Lets say I do exactly that on the front 1/3 of the building to make a nice work area....What is the "correct" way to make the side walls taller? Do you just add a 2-4 foot wall section with a bottom plate and double top plate and nail it to the existing wall top plate? I've never done one. What would keep those extensions stable?? Will it work & pass code? What I mean is that it is sort of like "platform" framing for a 2 story home, but that second wall is always built on top of the second floor deck....not just added to a wall.

By the way, the existing roof is corrugated metal, no eaves, no soffits, and most likely can come apart real fast. There is a full ceiling so I can't see what the roof framing is built like, but that's not an issue if I go with trusses.

I am familiar with straight foward, building, remodeling & demo, as I nearly tore my former house down to the sills. Back then the town let me do the plans and passed all my work that I did. Not the case in this town or date.
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