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Old 02-23-2011, 09:02 AM   #1
Bustedwheel
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Default Adding a garage in the basement

So I am going to put an offer on a house today. Sadly, no garage. The house is built into the side of a hill, and therefore the front side of the basement is exposed to the driveway. There is another similar house up the hill with a garage in the basement, and I am guessing that they just did not add this when they built mine, and added an extra bedroom down there. I took some rough measurements, and with moving and internal non-load bearing wall, a standard 2 car garage fits perfect. The ceiling (once the drop ceiling is removed) is about 9 Ft from the slab to the joist. Not perfect, but doable right?

Obviously I am not just going rent a jackhammer and have at it. I'll get and A/E company to come and design and then have it professionally done.

The wall I would plan to cut open runs parallel to the joist as well, so I would think it is the easier of the walls to cut.

I am sure that building codes are different, but has anyone ever done this, and what will I need to consider when sealing up the garage from the rest of the house. The garage will abut a playroom type space, and will be below the living room.

I attached a pic. The red box is where I am thinking it should go. The pic is deceiving because of the small hill covered in snow blocking everything, but the driveway is behind that. I would have to move the stairs, but no big deal there. The yellow box was where I originally planned, but there is a bathroom behind that and I thought it would be more work to move that.

Any thoughts?
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

Well you do not show where you are so it will be hard for members to make informed recommendations.
That being said, building a garage into a basement legally is no small undertaking. There are many codes (in most places) regarding separation of the garage from living area with regards to fire codes, HVAC etc.
Not to mention any structural considerations you may run into.

Keeps us informed as to how this goes. I have always liked the idea myself for parking but with the amount and kind of work I do I would still need a separate working shop.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

Do soil test before actually buying the house.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:52 PM   #4
Matt M, PA
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

I hate to sounds like a naysayer....but I'm thinking it's going to be costly and likely hte township will frown on it happening at all due to fire, vapors, etc.

If there isn't room for a detached...(and we are on the "Garage Forum")....I'd pass on the house. For me, a garage was a must when looking for a house.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

With enough money most anything can be done. I would sure have some professional input on the idea before buying the place. If you can find the origional builder have a talk with them. You may get lucky and find out the garage was just walled over in that building because the owner wanted it that way.

All that said I would not buy a property that did not have all the basic stuff in place, that includes a garage or an easy place to build one. Garages should be cheap storage. What your talking about doesn't sound cheap.

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Old 02-23-2011, 01:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

The House is in Manchester MA. Most of the houses we looked at do not have garages. They are smaller capes and it doesn't seem to be to common on those types of houses. Manchester is small, so finding everything we want is not going to happen. Compromises are a must.

Last edited by Bustedwheel; 02-23-2011 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

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Originally Posted by m.james View Post
Do soil test before actually buying the house.
Could you elaborate on why? The house is set in a rocky hillside. There is a lot of that around here.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

It will probably all come down to what the property Nazis say and the size of your wallet. I once sold a car to a guy in North Carolina with a garage basement. He stored his then-new 1986 Trans Am. Like yours, the house was built on the side of a hill. The driveway went down the hill a bit and right up to the garage door in the side of the basement. The whole basement was garage space.

Additionally, I've toured a new home in the Houston area that had the entire first floor a garage space. It was really cool. Likewise, there's a home in my neighborhood with a garage first floor. I think it holds like 6 cars.

But yeah, you'll probably have to fire barrier the walls and ceiling of the garage space and make sure no HVAC ductwork is open to the garage space.

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Old 02-23-2011, 03:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

In New England it is very common to have garages in the basement, or at least below some portion of living space. I figured about the fire proofing as well. Need a steel door and fire-stop insulation in the ceiling and adjoining walls etc.
I am going to talk with the town inspector and building Dept tomorrow. I'll let you know. Have the offer in on the house, so if my basement Idea doesn't work, guess it will be a detached.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

I would buy a different house.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

I have never understood what the big problem is with having a basement garage. It my mind it is no different than any other attached garage. I understand the need for firecode rated drywall (5/8") and firestopping, and no HVAC that is common to the living space. However, plenty of new house and old have bedrooms, bonus rooms etc. on the second floor over top of the mainlevel garage. Our current home (until we move in Spring) has our masterbathroom over top of a portion of the garage.
I say, go for it, of course I'm a newbie here and I'm here for plenty of advice myself! LOL!
I have a few friends with basement level garages. The only down fall I see is the relatively low ceiling height and also no sure about the existing slab. It would be intersting to know how thick it is, etc.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

I bought my house last year and it was built about 5 years ago. I have an attached 2 car on the main floor and a second driveway on the other side of my house that goes down to a large 1 car garage in the basement. I don't see a difference between the 2 garages. Both have a bedroom over them. I would do your homework before you place a bid. As long as the price is right and you have no problems with local codes go for it.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:55 AM   #13
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

So after moving in and getting settled, I decided that the garage basement is not worth it. It would still be small and is not worth losing the living area to me, or probably to future buyers. I have figured out I can just barely fit a small detached in the front where there is a shed now.

What do you all think of this? It would match the house pretty well and seems to be reasonable. I would have to pour my own slab of course.

http://shedkitstore.com/20x22-ft-new...kit-p-267.html

There is a 24x22 as well, but it would be real tight, and it has 2 doors instead of one big one. I thought that I would rather have the one big as I can pull the car in at an angle to do work. I would be putting one normal car in it and then my MGB and motorcycle. I also have a workshop area in the basement already.

I priced out the doors and windows at local stores, and they seem to be about 10% cheaper from the Depot or Lowes. I wonder if all the materials are marked up about the same. Would I be better off just Stick Building it instead?
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:31 AM   #14
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

Busted your local Home Depot and Lowes stores should have basic plans over around their pro desk and should be able to get you a cut sheet with a list of materials and cost for them.


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Old 04-15-2011, 11:57 AM   #15
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Default Re: Adding a garage in the basement

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Originally Posted by rickairmedic View Post
Busted your local Home Depot and Lowes stores should have basic plans over around their pro desk and should be able to get you a cut sheet with a list of materials and cost for them.


Rick
Sweet. I am thinking it may not be that hard to build from scratch as it is small and simple, plus I have help from a friend who used to be a contractor. I like the Kit, but I may have to do a Cinder block Knee wall because of the slope, so i would be customizing that anyway.
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