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Old 07-16-2017, 10:20 PM   #1
langss
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Default Questions About Adding a Garage

I have not quite 50' of space to the back fence, with an Alley on the other side. I am considering adding a Detached Garage with a Breezeway between the current Garage and the New Garage. I don't know how much area is required for a Breezeway but the lesser amount I could get away with, the better. I tried looking at the Building and Safety website for Los Angeles, but apparently they don't get into specifics. I'm pretty sure that a setback in the alley would be required, but I find no information about that either. Bottom Line I would like to end up with a 20X40 Garage. That and the one I already have would be great. Has anybody any experience with this sort of thing.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

I would think 48" wide would be the breezeway you want. The American Disabilities Act prefers 42" wide but will accept down to 36" and then also has an * for 32" minimum but only for 24" length....i digress. The 48" width would be fine for moving potentially large things like a pool table or a large appliance and not have to stuff it thru. Two people could easily pass without having to "take turns" like you would with a portal-door.

Along those lines, make sure you aren't sealing off access to the backyard forever....do you have to get a mower, a septic tank pump truck, a concrete truck, a skid loader, a standard pickup truck or ? back there someday.

I also caution you on the 20' width. I would build 24'-30' wide, keeping your 40' length. While it might seem big now, if you ever have a crew cab truck (etc) its going to go in with ease. I also recommend 8' tall doors, despite the prevalence of cheaper 7'ers. Benefit is less grass to mow
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

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Originally Posted by matt_i View Post
I would think 48" wide would be the breezeway you want. The American Disabilities Act prefers 42" wide but will accept down to 36" and then also has an * for 32" minimum but only for 24" length....i digress. The 48" width would be fine for moving potentially large things like a pool table or a large appliance and not have to stuff it thru. Two people could easily pass without having to "take turns" like you would with a portal-door.

Along those lines, make sure you aren't sealing off access to the backyard forever....do you have to get a mower, a septic tank pump truck, a concrete truck, a skid loader, a standard pickup truck or ? back there someday.

I also caution you on the 20' width. I would build 24'-30' wide, keeping your 40' length. While it might seem big now, if you ever have a crew cab truck (etc) its going to go in with ease. I also recommend 8' tall doors, despite the prevalence of cheaper 7'ers. Benefit is less grass to mow
Thank you for your reply. Th reason for 20' is setback from the property line on one side and approx 8' of the existing house on the other. I'm really just exploring the possibility of doing this because as it stand now its just wasted space that I could be enjoying. As for the access, a 16' gate with a pad next to the Garage would take care of any access problem as well as add a nice patio. It all depends on what the City will allow. The house will be paid off in less than 4yrs and once that burden is gone, I will be able to do this. It will probably take at least that long to get all the ducks in a row.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

I suggest you prepare a site plan showing existing improvements, proposed improvements the alley and approximate location of the neighboring building, then bring it into the City for feedback. Often times there are special requirements depending on your particular location hidden in the development code. For instance, in a particular area near me a detached garage has to be 60' from any neighboring structures. My parents have room on the side of their lot for an RV garage (meets all setback requirements) but it would be closer than 60' to the next door neighbor's house so its not allowed. It will be worth your time for due diligence, it will likely save you grief in the future.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

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I suggest you prepare a site plan showing existing improvements, proposed improvements the alley and approximate location of the neighboring building, then bring it into the City for feedback. Often times there are special requirements depending on your particular location hidden in the development code. For instance, in a particular area near me a detached garage has to be 60' from any neighboring structures. My parents have room on the side of their lot for an RV garage (meets all setback requirements) but it would be closer than 60' to the next door neighbor's house so its not allowed. It will be worth your time for due diligence, it will likely save you grief in the future.
Thank You.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

is there a minimum separation between buildings in your area?
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

Any buried or overhead utilities in the way? Do you have a maximum coverage area for your lot? Some areas have to have open space on the property for water to soak in.

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Old 07-17-2017, 04:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

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is there a minimum separation between buildings in your area?
To find any of this out, I have to drive clear across the Valley, they will not talk to you on the phone.

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Any buried or overhead utilities in the way? Do you have a maximum coverage area for your lot? Some areas have to have open space on the property for water to soak in.

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Doubtful this is Los Angeles..... they just let the water run out to the Ocean....lol.....
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

Check out their info online. Most municipalities have what you need available for download. Are you in the City of Los Angeles?

Last edited by ptgarcia; 07-17-2017 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

One option is to add on to the existing garage- like tear off the roof, and just make one large structure. Might create a better space, might avoid some issues with city codes. Just saying.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

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To find any of this out, I have to drive clear across the Valley, they will not talk to you on the phone.
.
Not to be an abject wise ass...but sometime in the next 2,3 years you could swing by...

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Old 07-17-2017, 07:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

Go to the city -planning or building or whatever agency and have them give you a copy of the requirements. They will need your parcel # to see what regs apply.
Don't go by over the phone info. Expect to be there a while- no one is in a hurry. The good news is they have air conditioning. A drawing to scale would be helpful to take
with you showing parcel size, existing house location and size and any structures - location and size, and location and size of your proposed structure. Then you know, and can plan from there.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

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Check out their info online. Most municipalities have what you need available for download. Are you in the City of Los Angeles?
No I live in the San Fernando Valley, which is part of the City Of L.A. I did exactly that and they have page after page of Question and Answers that are of no use to my situation. I got more information from other city's on line that gave me the info to ask the questions.

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One option is to add on to the existing garage- like tear off the roof, and just make one large structure. Might create a better space, might avoid some issues with city codes. Just saying.
Not an Option.

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Originally Posted by ard View Post
Not to be an abject wise ass...but sometime in the next 2,3 years you could swing by...

I Figured that out when I talked to the guy on the phone. Problem is if you don't live here, you would not understand where you have to go. I would need to make the trip worth the time and trouble.

Quote:
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Go to the city -planning or building or whatever agency and have them give you a copy of the requirements. They will need your parcel # to see what regs apply.
Don't go by over the phone info. Expect to be there a while- no one is in a hurry. The good news is they have air conditioning. A drawing to scale would be helpful to take
with you showing parcel size, existing house location and size and any structures - location and size, and location and size of your proposed structure. Then you know, and can plan from there.
I have all that, its all available, just getting questions answered seems to be the hard part.
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Old 07-21-2017, 04:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

Ok here's what I have found out so far. "Backing into alley is allowed if garage is 26 ft. from far side of alley". My fence is 21 ft from the fence across the Alley.

Building Separation

Between 2 primary structures…………………….10 ft.
Between primary & accessory structures…….6 ft.

So going with 10 ft, It look's like I will end up with about a 20 ft wide x 30 ft long structure. Going wider will cut into the Patio and Cover, so I don't think that's an option. I just did a quick workup on Tuff Shed, and just the basic structure is a little over 20k. I only did this so I could get a rough idea what I would be looking at. I was expecting more $$$$. Now I have an idea what is involved. Thank You all for your input and advise.
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

It has been eluded to (or that's how I interpreted an earlier comment) but the next part of equation will be to verify your lot's zoning pertaining to how much of the lot is developed vrs how many square feet the lot is. Chewing up another 600 sq ft of land may not be a big deal for you in a practical sense, and as you said would put to use some wasted space, but are you maxed out before you add a portion or all of that 600 ft on your property?
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: Questions About Adding a Garage

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It has been eluded to (or that's how I interpreted an earlier comment) but the next part of equation will be to verify your lot's zoning pertaining to how much of the lot is developed vrs how many square feet the lot is. Chewing up another 600 sq ft of land may not be a big deal for you in a practical sense, and as you said would put to use some wasted space, but are you maxed out before you add a portion or all of that 600 ft on your property?
It should not be a problem, the house next door went not only out 40 ft but second floor from the Garage back, as well as the whole back side of the original house. Original sq ft 1431 just like my house. Now 2768 sq ft. Other houses have also added on over the back of the Garage or the back of the house so I do not see that as a problem.
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