Expanding the Man Cave (build thread)

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by John Smallberries, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    After 25 years of subdivision living, my wife and I moved "out to the country" just north of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her vision was to have a big garden. I wanted the motorcycle-dedicated Man Cave. She got the garden and I got a "tiny house" version of my Man Cave:
    [​IMG]
    The previous owner used it to store his lawn stuff (riding mower, etc.). I moved all of that into one of these:
    [​IMG]
    It worked out well. I could then insulate/heat the single-car garage for a workable Man Cave:
    [​IMG]
    That's my son, Colin, working on a project bike: 1971 Suzuki TS250 old-school 2-stroke dual-sport.
    [​IMG]
    The small shop works OK for bikes, but it is very crowded. My son also keeps his big toolbox there and works on auto side jobs from time to time. It gets mighty cramped with a car in there. So, I need more space.

    I had considered many alternatives from a pole barn to a "build it yourself" Versa-Tube garage. My wife wanted something that LOOKED like it belonged in the yard. The answer for us was to extend the existing garage from 1-car to 4-car with a 34x24 extension.
    [​IMG]
    I know that I'll get many recommendations to make it bigger - but I have some physical lot restrictions and a budget. I had to draw the line somewhere to preserve the marriage! I settled on a 34' wide by 24' deep expansion that will tie into the existing garage. While my city has few rules, they don't allow more than 2 out buildings. If I built this separately, I'd have to get rid of my little garden shed - which my wife still wants.

    I'm making the walls 10' high to make room for a car lift in one of the bays.

    So I signed a contract and then waited several weeks for permits. They started yesterday:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I rushed home from work just in time to stop them from cutting through my buried power cable! I shut off the power and they snipped the line. This will get redone after the expansion anyway.
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    The ground is sloped, so they will need to build a wall around the back to get level.

    As I studied the project, I realize how much additional cash I COULD sink into this project. BUT - I'm sticking to my agreed budget and will NOT be doing the following:
    - hot water underfloor heating
    - plumbing for sink/toilet

    I am debating running a gas line out from the house. I heat the little garage with propane and did not plan to heat the entire garage. We'll see....

    I'll keep posting pics as the project progresses
    #1
  2. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    I honestly believe you will regret the sink. You have bushes out back, so the toilet is taken care of.
    It's going to be awesome! Congratulations. I'm jealous! 16'x17' garage for me and no expansion possibilities.
    #2
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  3. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    Thinking about the water.... By dumb luck, my well is just a few feet away from the new garage. I could tie directly into that and deal with the hard water and added accumulator. OR - I could run a line 100 feet out from the house...
    #3
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  4. Johann

    Johann commuterus tankslapperus

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    Thinking outside the box here. if you want to save money and have a well insulated working space have you considered used tires? Most garages have to pay to get rid of tires, the odds are not only could you get them for free, they would pay you to take them away. Tamp down with earth inside, render inside and out and add any roof you want. Total cost, cement for render, sand and your time. (Plus roof)
    #4
  5. Deans BMW

    Deans BMW Granpa Hoon

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    A gas line for heat and plumbing for a sink and toilet are worth their weight in Gold. The cost would be much higher after the fact.
    #5
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  6. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    I called the builder to add the gas line. Still debating the water..... I don't have any in my current Man Cave and it has been no problem for the last 2 years.
    #6
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  7. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

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    Adding water/toilet will add what? 2-5% to the cost of the overall project?

    Doing it later will be a whole bunch more.

    I say add it now. At least put in the lines. You can add the fixtures at a later point.
    #7
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  8. Project84

    Project84 I can haz adventure?

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    For $500 a person could easily get vanity/sink/faucet and toilet.

    No idea what the lines would cost to run.
    #8
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  9. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    Pressurized hard water: very easy (run line 10 feet from pump)
    Pressurized soft water: harder (run line 100 feet from house)
    Code-approved sanitary drain line for toilet: mucho harder. My septic field is 300 feet away up a grade. Perhaps a chemical toilet instead!
    #9
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  10. DHC-2

    DHC-2 Adventurer

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    Run the gas/water lines, and an extra conduit that's empty!!! I ran gas and electric plus 2 extra empty 2" PVC conduits with a string inside. Priceless. Especially after the landscaping was done. But I didn't run a water line. What a dumbass.
    #10
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  11. Salsa

    Salsa Been here awhile

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    It will cost you nothing to just stub the lines from inside to outside and finish later if ever.

    Don
    #11
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  12. Garbln

    Garbln Been here awhile

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    Even if you don't put heat in the floor, insulate it with 2" foam, it will make a huge difference!
    #12
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  13. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I'd just take a leak behind the shed or take a break and go inside for a dump.
    #13
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  14. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Man you guys like to spend this guy's $.
    #14
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  15. DHC-2

    DHC-2 Adventurer

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    So maybe the plumbing is a bit of a luxury but the insulation under the floor will save him $
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  16. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    A buddy of mine in NY who is a concrete/foundation contractor always puts supply and drain lines in a garage and leaves them just below the top of the slab. A few taps with a hammer and instant plumbing that the inspector knows nothing about. Even if you run the lines to the perimeter for the time being it is always good put the plumbing as well as a few extra service entrances in before pouring the floor.
    #16
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  17. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

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    Absolutely put down rigid foam insulation under the floor slab.
    I would run PEX heat tubing through the floor for possible future use even if you don't hook it up now.
    A warm floor is so nice and can be done very inexpensively if you DIY with a very small, simple boiler and pump.

    I am sad my new-to-me shop doesn't have water run to it.
    My little shop in the last house had hot and cold and a floor drain.
    That was so handy! This house doesn't and I miss it constantly.

    I agree with the other comments to encourage you to at least stub the plumbing, even if you don't hook it up soon.
    #17
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  18. 3shot

    3shot Been here awhile

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    what others said, pvc is cheap.... do it now rather than later
    #18
  19. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    I'm thinking 2 stories too... a few guest rooms, a kitchen, upstairs shower/bathroom, elevator that lets you store bikes and such on a 2nd floor loft, solar power, built in bar, dehumidifier to keep tools dry...

    Oh, an air exchanger so you can get the fumes out while running the bikes on the dyno we will talk you into.

    Have you considered room for a couple couches, a pool table, darts, big screen tv, stripper pole and emergency evacuation tunnel/hidden basement in case the wife comes looking for you and the boys to do some chores?
    #19
  20. ilikadabika

    ilikadabika Adventurer

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    Now you're talking :)

    I know nothing about the costs involved, but if any of the options that the OP spoke of were a future possibility, I would just get them done now. It's not like he will regret having a toilet, is it.
    #20
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