Downsizing To A Garagedominium !

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by dlrides, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. gmiguy

    gmiguy You rode a what to where?

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    I wasn't thinking of separate structures specifically, but rather a setup where the "house" portion of the equation is more conventionally sized rather than an apartment and possibly does not have its footprint based off of the garage dimensions.

    My previous calcs around this same question indicated that build costs are very non-linear with respect to living space size; and to build a ~900 square foot living space is not much less expensive than to build a ~1500 square foot living space to the same standard; but this will of course vary with time, location, and construction method.

    As far as heating cost is also non-linear as space increases. The surface area to volume ratio is more favorable for a larger structure; and if your HVAC is zoned you can just not heat/cool the unoccupied rooms, at which point they just become more insulation for the occupied part of the house.

    Unless the small living space is being dictated by zoning, land availability, preexisting structures, or some other practical concern I was never able to build a solid case for it to be a more-optimized option than a conventional house with large attached garage; especially when resale is included in the analysis.

    I'm trying to determine if my analysis missed something, if the results differ in this case due to location etc, or if this garage apartment approach is more of a lifestyle choice than a practical choice - which is fine if that's the case.
    #61
  2. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618 Supporter

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    My living space is what I determined to be efficient and easy to maintain, any other factor is insignificant to me.
    #62
  3. gmiguy

    gmiguy You rode a what to where?

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    Ok, sounds like in your case it's a matter of lifestyle choice and personal preference rather than an attempt to optimize living/garage utility vs costs.

    Which, again, is fine. You do you.
    #63
  4. Ray916MN

    Ray916MN Dim Mak

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    12' ceiling height in a garage is on the low side with a 4 post lift in my experience. For maximum flexibility most people buy 4 posts that are tall enough and robust enough to park a full size truck or SUV under and the same on top. This arrangement requires a minimum of 14' ceiling height. With a 12' ceiling height and one of these lifts if you park a truck on top of the lift you need to make sure not to run the lift to the top so it doesn't hit the ceiling and about 5' of walk under height. Much nicer and safer by design to have the ceiling height to lift to the maximum height without fear of hitting the ceiling and to have a walk under height where you can't hit your head on the bottom of the lift.
    #64
  5. gmiguy

    gmiguy You rode a what to where?

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    Sorry, I think you got the wrong idea.

    I encourage you to build exactly whatever you want. That's why I explicitly said that whatever you're doing is fine as long as you're happy with it.

    My intent was not to criticize your project, but rather to better understand the rationale behind it as part of what I thought was a friendly technical conversation about garages.

    I'm "doing the same" inasmuch as I'm actively working out the math as part of planning for a garage/housing project with what sounds like similar inputs. This is why I repeatedly pointed out that something might be missing from my previous analysis - you seem to have come to a different conclusion despite having about the same starting point and I'd like to understand if I've overlooked something.

    I'm an engineer as well, I'd be happy to share the support data that's informing my conclusions if you think that would be productive. Just let me know.
    #65
  6. imnothng

    imnothng Been here awhile

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    Please don't regret it. You are living my dream (and I guarantee many others) and I (we) would like to live it through you for now. Please take us through all aspects of it as it goes along.
    #66
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  7. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618 Supporter

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    Garage will actually be 12’6” inside. I currently have 9,500 lb 2 post lifts in my garage, with 6’4” clear. With my Super Duty 250 at full lift height, the overall is 12’. I don’t like 4 post lifts for service work, and one will be used only for car storage.
    #67
  8. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618 Supporter

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    Final brush/wood burning today, footers in a couple of weeks !

    25359309-D0FF-4A60-8520-010FA25FADF3.jpeg
    #68
  9. k7

    k7 Almost retired..tick..tick..

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    Following closely. I've got so much to think about as we plan our escape that I'm 100% certain that I don't even know what I don't know. lol Luckily, Chambers Co AL isn't huge on permits, regulations and the such as least compared to Lee Co which is 1/2 mile away. My buddy just went through all of this and our neighbor-to-be is a firefighter who has offered assistance to make sure I hire good .... err.... his buddies. lol
    #69
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  10. Chuck Pryce

    Chuck Pryce Been here awhile Supporter

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    Go Don, go!
    #70
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  11. rick danger

    rick danger The further adventures of

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    The bay I built for my lift was 15 feet high, 21 feet long. but my new truck is crew cab long bed and it is to long to fit in the tall bay. But I found that working from a rolling chair is kind of nice anyway.
    #71
  12. Ray916MN

    Ray916MN Dim Mak

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    That's exactly the point. For storage you lift higher than for service. No one lifts to 7' clear underneath to do service work. For storage, you need roughly that to clear a parked full size truck and if you park another truck on top you need a total of 14'. 4 post lifts require more ceiling height than 2 post lifts. Remember a 2 post lift, lifts from the bottom of the frame, whereas 4 post lifts lift from the bottom of the tires, so to figure out clearance you need to add the vehicle height to the runner thickness, allow for some extra clearance to be able to get the runners to lift high and then set down on the locks.That will give you the clearance for vehicles placed on top of the lift. For my 4 post lift with my SD (a 4x4 SD is something like 80-82" tall with stock tires depending on whether you have cab lights) parked underneath a 12'6" ceiling height would give you about 60", assuming you have no light fixtures or anything else on the ceiling above the lift. For reference a 2019 Ford Taurus is 60.7" tall.
    #72
  13. SourKraut

    SourKraut Long timer Supporter

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    We just finished building a garage with house above adjacent to the cabin we built in 2006. Since the "garage" was going to be a second structure to heat on the property we didn't want to separate it from the needed additional living space (cabin is <400sf). What started as a carriage house with just dormers on the second floor turned into a full blown three story structure. The garage is sealed off completely from the living space and has a fire rated man door from the mud room/stairwell into the garage. Here's a bunch of pictures (all out of chronological order sorry!), feel free to ask questions.

    [​IMG]

    Upstairs living/dining/kitchen

    [​IMG]

    Footprint is 40'x28' with the mudroom/utility room/stairwell up 8'x18' carved out and the remaining nook as garage kitchen. 10' ceiling (should have done 12') and I can fit the full size truck with the plow mounted and still walk around it. The entire house and garage are finished with blue-board and plaster, dense pack cellulose insulation - thicker walls up in the living space and R-60 in the living space ceiling (cold attic with full size stairs).

    [​IMG]

    It has changed a bunch since these pictures as I build it out with cabinets, shelves, storage etc.

    [​IMG]

    16'x20' deck off the kitchen

    [​IMG]

    Foundation walls on top of the footers

    [​IMG]

    First floor

    [​IMG]

    Waiting for the crane to fly the trusses

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #73
  14. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618 Supporter

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    Fairly confident a ‘32 chopped hot rod and a Porsche 911 will be fine stacked.




    #74
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  15. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    I daydream about this, all the time.

    Can't wait to see what you come up with here...

    :lurk
    #75
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  16. rick danger

    rick danger The further adventures of

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    Heres a pic of what I was talking about. You can see it misses by a foot or so[​IMG]
    #76
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  17. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    Hi from NZ @dlrides :wave

    Subscribed to follow your exciting build.

    All the best

    Shane
    #77
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  18. Weekend_warrior

    Weekend_warrior Been here awhile

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    I totally was on board with something similar when I was single in my late 30's. I was scouting locations were the dirt bike and roads were fun for MCs. Was going to look for a spot in the area and a job. My thought was to live in the apartment for a while and then once I met someone or just wanted something nicer I would build out something slowly using available cash and sweat equity to make it happen.

    At the time I was in desperate need of change. I found the change, just not where I thought. I meet my wife and didn't do that. She is OK with that idea to an extent. A few acres near a larger city with a house and a large shop for me she is OK with. I found some inexpensive 10 acre spots not far from me, that come with a shell. I'd love to make that a shop with a single bedroom apt. to work out of. Move in a 5th wheel. Once that is paid off, design and build a home on the property. I would eventually like to get to a point were we can buy and start paying the property. Then when the time comes sell out our equity in the expensive HOA home we have so that we can make that place cooler. Basicly it wouldn't get a ton of use until we needed it.
    #78
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  19. discochris

    discochris Stayin' Alive

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    If I were single, I'd look into doing this in a heartbeat. But my wife is not exactly on board.
    #79
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  20. Cogswell

    Cogswell Now living the new normal.

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    Looks like a great idea and I think smart for keeping it all one level.

    I hope you do a build thread as I want to follow along. :thumb
    #80