Home & Garden

Lower the garage to have additional living space on top ?

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  • Oct 14th, 2018 10:30 am
[OP]
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Jun 7, 2005
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Lower the garage to have additional living space on top ?

Someone told me that we could lower the garage to have additional living space on top. Has anyone here done that or seen something like that ?

I guess it would depend on the existing ceiling height of the garage. I notice some garages are like 12'+ ceiling and some are like 8'. The lower the ceiling I assume it would mean the deeper they need to dig down to get the ceiling height for the living space above the new garage, and I assume there is limit how much we can dig down. Otherwise, cars will have difficulty getting down to the slope from the driveway.
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rdx wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 2:27 pm
Someone told me that we could lower the garage to have additional living space on top. Has anyone here done that or seen something like that ?

I guess it would depend on the existing ceiling height of the garage. I notice some garages are like 12'+ ceiling and some are like 8'. The lower the ceiling I assume it would mean the deeper they need to dig down to get the ceiling height for the living space above the new garage, and I assume there is limit how much we can dig down. Otherwise, cars will have difficulty getting down to the slope from the driveway.
Is your garage ceiling space open? Oftentimes, there's a bunch of rafters and stuff up there, which means none of the upper space is really habitable. Probably better/easier to consider tearing off the old garage and re-building from the ground up.

C
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CNeufeld wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 2:31 pm
Is your garage ceiling space open? Oftentimes, there's a bunch of rafters and stuff up there, which means none of the upper space is really habitable. Probably better/easier to consider tearing off the old garage and re-building from the ground up.

C
My ceiling space is open and it is high enough to park another car on top. I have seen neighbor who installed something to park the other two cars on "second level".

Anyway, the reason I can't rebuild the garage is because there is already an existing room on top of the garage like most new built. I know the older neighborhood would have the garage alone without anything on top.
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So you’re talking about digging or underpinning your current garage floor in order to have enough height to sandwich a room below the current room above the garage and the proposed new garage dug down?

I’ve never heard of this done and based on my experience in construction, even if it can be done, the amount of money this will cost will never be worth it.
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Red_Army wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 2:56 pm
So you’re talking about digging or underpinning your current garage floor in order to have enough height to sandwich a room below the current room above the garage and the proposed new garage dug down?

I’ve never heard of this done and based on my experience in construction, even if it can be done, the amount of money this will cost will never be worth it.
Yes, you explained exactly what I am trying to say.

Actually, an underpinning company said this can be done, and they have done it. I just wonder how common it is.
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Feb 5, 2009
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Anything can be done.
But in this case you are talking about a basement room with garage above.
The basement would need to structurally support the garage, and more importantly the ceiling in the basement would need to structurally support the weight of the car, and the weight of the garage floor (however this would be done, concrete?).

I thin it would be more common for houses with high garage and nothing above that to add a floor on top of the garage, in such scenario the floor of the garage would be on the ground, garage ceiling lowered, and second floor area added on top of the garage.
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rdx wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 3:07 pm
Yes, you explained exactly what I am trying to say.

Actually, an underpinning company said this can be done, and they have done it. I just wonder how common it is.
I'm sure it can be done, but as mentioned, it's probably very cost-prohibitive, which is why you never hear of it being done.. Did you get a quote?

Another issue with a garage in your basement (which is basically what you're talking about doing) is the water run-off. All the water/snowmelt from the driveway has to go somewhere.
https://www.toronto.ca/services-payment ... -driveway/
https://www.toronto.com/news-story/3574 ... driveways/

C
[OP]
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I have concerns about the reverse slope as well. However, I do see lot of houses with the reverse slope especially those with smaller lot size.
CNeufeld wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 3:20 pm
I'm sure it can be done, but as mentioned, it's probably very cost-prohibitive, which is why you never hear of it being done.. Did you get a quote?

Another issue with a garage in your basement (which is basically what you're talking about doing) is the water run-off. All the water/snowmelt from the driveway has to go somewhere.
https://www.toronto.ca/services-payment ... -driveway/
https://www.toronto.com/news-story/3574 ... driveways/

C
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If I ever build again I am putting a basement in my garage for a workshop.
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rdx wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 3:48 pm
I have concerns about the reverse slope as well. However, I do see lot of houses with the reverse slope especially those with smaller lot size.
Most of the new monster homes have this since the builders want more living space but are limited by building height by laws. But the difference is that the foundation was also designed and poured with that in mind.

Get some quotes and let us know what the pros say.
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CNeufeld wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 3:20 pm

I'm sure it can be done, but as mentioned, it's probably very cost-prohibitive, which is why you never hear of it being done.. Did you get a quote?

Another issue with a garage in your basement (which is basically what you're talking about doing) is the water run-off. All the water/snowmelt from the driveway has to go somewhere.
https://www.toronto.ca/services-payment ... -driveway/
https://www.toronto.com/news-story/3574 ... driveways/

C
rdx wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 3:48 pm
I have concerns about the reverse slope as well. However, I do see lot of houses with the reverse slope especially those with smaller lot size.
As noted in those posted links, you need to check your local zoning bylaws. The driveway can't drop below the level of the road

Many municipalities have banned "reverse sloped" driveways. There's a process to apply for "local variances" but it's hard to get unless there's special circumstances


"...The City of Toronto’s Zoning By-Law 569-2013 prohibits the construction of below-grade garages for residential buildings anywhere in the city..."

"....If you don't have a building permit by the end of the year (2009), that's the end of it," said Moscoe. "There are no more below-grade garages in North York. If you want to build a larger house, buy a larger lot, and if you've got a smaller lot, build a smaller house. We're not going to let some future owner of your house get stuck with a basement full of water and sewage."
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l69norm wrote:
Oct 12th, 2018 12:36 am
As noted in those posted links, you need to check your local zoning bylaws. The driveway can't drop below the level of the road

Many municipalities have banned "reverse sloped" driveways. There's a process to apply for "local variances" but it's hard to get unless there's special circumstances


"...The City of Toronto’s Zoning By-Law 569-2013 prohibits the construction of below-grade garages for residential buildings anywhere in the city..."

"....If you don't have a building permit by the end of the year (2009), that's the end of it," said Moscoe. "There are no more below-grade garages in North York. If you want to build a larger house, buy a larger lot, and if you've got a smaller lot, build a smaller house. We're not going to let some future owner of your house get stuck with a basement full of water and sewage."
+1. Depending on where you are located, in Toronto any below grade garage for new or renovated garages cannot have a reverse slope unless it is a below-grade parking garage with sufficient drainage.

I remember when this rule came into effect. Many homeowners were complaining to the city of sewage backup and water runoff from the street flooding their basement. The city got fed up and made up this bylaw.
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CensoredByRFD wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 11:43 pm
Most of the new monster homes have this since the builders want more living space but are limited by building height by laws. But the difference is that the foundation was also designed and poured with that in mind.

Get some quotes and let us know what the pros say.
Limited by height? Townline road in Cambridge is full of 3 story jokes with walkout basements (4 friggin stories from the back)
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

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Moved on from the sunroom idea?

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