Adding attached garage to your home

I your house doesn’t have a home for your car(s), consider adding an attached garage to the present structure. Remember that with the “right” attached garage, you’ll add livability and convenience to your home and substantial resale value to your property.

The “right” attached garage for your home should be of the same architecture as the existing house. The new garage’s roof should be of the same design and material as that of your home to keep a feeling of harmony. Also, to create a pleasing effect to the eye, have the roof of the garage parallel to the roof of the house, or nearly so. While it is usually best to use the same mate¬rial in the construction of the garage as was used in the building of the house, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Frequently, a complementary, or even a contrasting, material will add interest to the overall design of your home and its attached garage.

An attached garage added to your home increases your property value and gives you greater convenience.

Where to attach the garage to the house usually depends on the design of your home and the amount of property available to build the new structure. For instance, it’s usually preferable to have the garage facing the side or back of the lot so that the garage interior won’t be visible from the street when the big door is open. But, either of these locations need space, since they generally require a turning area.

Such problems as the location of the connecting door or breezeway be¬tween the house and the garage, and the part of the house into which the door or breezeway opens, must also be decided upon. Architects usually avoid having an entrance from a garage into the kitchen or dining room and prefer to locate it so that it opens into a hall or the living room. However, there is usually not too much scope in this matter when you are attaching a garage to a house that is already built. Probably the garage can be in only one or two places, and the location of the door or breezeway between it and the house won’t be subject to too much choice.

The size of the detached garage is also determined by the location and space available. Keep in mind that the minimum size for a one-car garage is about 10- or ll-by-20 feet (some have been built smaller) and for a two-car garage about 21-by-20 feet. However, these sizes provide room for one or two cars, but little else. Since the average car is about 6 to 7 feet wide, mini¬mum width doesn’t leave much room at the sides. If you could add another foot or two, you’d have ample room for opening the car doors and you’d have some of the conveniences described in Chapter 2.

Pouring the concrete slab. The first step in building an attached garage is to outline the slab so that the site can be excavated for the foundation and floor. It’s an easy job to square up the outline of the new garage with a sur¬veyor’s transit; but without it you can parallel one side or the back of the ga¬rage with the house by running cords and measuring carefully.

To square up the side of the garage with the existing side wall of the house, for example, it is necessary to mark off the location of the new structure in relation to the old. That is, measure the length of the foundation and establish the two corners of the garage. (If possible, these corner points should line up’with wall studs in the house.) Drive nails in the foundation wall at these two corner points. Attach a piece of twine or stout



string to each of the nails and carry the string out past the desired location of the other side wall. Working with one string at a time, pull it taut and sight along the string to establish each of the wall corners. Then, drive a stake at each point and attach the cord to it so that it is accurately aligned with the house. To check the squareness of the house corner, measure 3 feet on the house wall and 4 feet on the string. Mark these distances and measure the straight-line distance between the two marks. This distance should be exactly 5 feet.

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