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Thread: Want to build a garage with 2nd floor shop

  1. Want to build a garage with 2nd floor shop

    Hi guys,
    I recently moved to rancher house. It doesn't have a garage or any work space and I want to build a three car garage with a work shop possibly on the second floor. I want to maintain 1st floor for cars. The garage will be inset into the side of a a six foot embankment making the access to second floor only a few steps up in the rear of the structure. The problem is I don't want to dwarf the house with a large two story building. Does anyone have a garage with a second floor shop using a saltbox style roof. I was thinking the long section of roof would be in the front giving the appearance of single story. Would this work? Any advice or concerns would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    South Central Pennsylvania, USA
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    673
    That is basically what I did. Garage and metalworking shop downstairs with woodworking shop upstairs. The two stories face my house and the saltbox-style roof faces the rear property line. My house is a story and a half bungalow and the shop is at the back of the property, so it doesn't overwhelm the house.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Between No Where & No Place ,WA
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    631
    Since you did not state where you live, my thought is: are there any zoning or any other restriction(s) on what you want to build?

    I would first look into that before investing too much time, effort, and dreams, only to find out that the local building codes, homeowners, etc., will not let you build what you want.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Grottoes, VA.
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    899
    I'm assuming you know that the builder and/or architect will need to know of your plans for the second story, so it has proper structural support for the weight of equipment. Just tossing that out there, sometimes we as humans forget what should be obvious.

  5. #5
    Hey guys, thanks for the responses
    Ray, I live in a rural township but I hadn't thought about checking with zoning office about the type of structure. I did discuss setbacks and such with them. I have a triangular lot on a culdesac which causes setback problems occassionally. Setting a rectangle in a triangle doesn't always work well with setbacks.
    Kevin, I haven't talked to anyone yet about plans but I did think of weight considerations for both wood storage and equipment. I will have them take that into consideration when plans are in the works.
    Thomas, i would be interested in a little more information about your garage/workshop. I was wondering what the floor area is especially on second floor. Do you have any ceiling height problems or reduced shop size with the salt box roof? What I picture in my head is sloping ceiling with short knee walls reducing usable floor space.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Helensburgh, Australia
    Posts
    965
    I did it the other way, garage on top and workshop below. For the top floor I used sheet 3/4 waterproof pineboard with a two pack poly on it and it is still there 20 years later. The support for the top floor is steel C section lightweight joists welded into universal beams and that was a monster job. Those were the days when I could stick weld properly. Your consulting engineer will have all the answers.
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Washington, NC
    Posts
    2,098
    The main house is styled like a Carolina "coastal cottage." The second story of the attached garage holds my shop. I worked with the builder to add a third bay and the loft door, change the roof line in the back and lowered the floor 18" for a full 8' ceiling in back and 10' in the center. The appearance from the back is not as nice. There was no embankment so I had more of a problem getting stuff up to the shop. I designed a folding I-beam w/electric hoist which works great!












  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    South Central Pennsylvania, USA
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    673
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hultzapple View Post
    Thomas, i would be interested in a little more information about your garage/workshop. I was wondering what the floor area is especially on second floor. Do you have any ceiling height problems or reduced shop size with the salt box roof? What I picture in my head is sloping ceiling with short knee walls reducing usable floor space.
    I have about 1500 s.f. total - 900 s.f. on the first floor and 600 s.f. on the second floor. With metalworking and automotive work, the first floor has 10.5' ceilings. The second floor has 8'-4" ceilings. With the saltbox roof at the back, I have my workbenches and tools toward the front of the space and storage at the back under the sloping ceiling. I'd have to go measure, but I think I have at least 14' to 16' of floorspace with full ceiling height before the ceiling starts sloping down.

    Have to see if I can get some pictures up that illustrate the design.

  9. Alan,
    The hoist is a great idea. I like that it swings in side when not in use. You're shop/garage design is similar to what I had in mind as well and it looks like you have plenty of head room on the second floor. That leads to the next question and that is what type of truss/rafter system did you use for that ceiling height? What did you use for the floor framing to support the equipment? BTW I have relatives in Wilmington N.C. so I know the Carolina coastal cottage design you mention. Thanks for the pics Alan, you have a beautiful property there.
    Thomas,
    That sounds like the size garage I will end up with. Same question to you, what was the truss/rafter system to get the ceiling height. Scissor trusses? I would appreciate any pics you could offer but don't go to too much trouble. Thanks in advance.

  10. #10
    I am not sure what the Saltbox style roof is, so I will just tell you what I did. Around here in Utah they call a room above a garage a "Bonus Room" this is what I got. My garage is 38 feet wide and the bonus room built right into the huge trusses is 19 feet wide and 8 feet high. The outer walls have a pony wall about 4 feet high and slope to the 8 foot ceiling. This is nice and wide and has room for moving around and standing up, It has an over all A frame shape and feel. I did not plan to have 1000's pounds of equipment up there but I would not worry about it if I started filling it with tools. The walls that support this room are all 2x6'. this room for me is going to have a TV, pool table, office and painting room, and kitchenette. Building a room like this was pretty easy, it was just part of the trusses.

    I will try to remember to get some pictures together.

    On another note this garage does dwarf my house, But it also fits in the area and makes the house look better. The garage under the bonus room has a 15 foot ceiling plus the 12-14 foot high trusses, so the peak of the garage is higher than the associated house.

    Ian
    1705 miles west, south west of ...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    South Central Pennsylvania, USA
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    673
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hultzapple View Post
    Thomas,
    That sounds like the size garage I will end up with. Same question to you, what was the truss/rafter system to get the ceiling height. Scissor trusses? I would appreciate any pics you could offer but don't go to too much trouble. Thanks in advance.
    The roof is stick built out of 2x8s. I did bolt and gusset the rafter to ceiling joist connections. The first floor footprint is basically 24'x38' and the framing for the second floor is 2x10s spanning along the 38' length sitting on three steel beams and the end walls. The steel beams span across the 24' distance so that there are no internal columns. The beams also allow for a bridge crane for the downstairs workshop.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Washington, NC
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    2,098
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hultzapple View Post
    Alan,
    The hoist is a great idea. I like that it swings in side when not in use. You're shop/garage design is similar to what I had in mind as well and it looks like you have plenty of head room on the second floor. That leads to the next question and that is what type of truss/rafter system did you use for that ceiling height?
    The shop and garage are 38' X 25' (21'6" to shop kneewalls). It has a microlam ridge beam, but there are short ceiling joists/collar ties too so it is not a full cathedral ceiling. The front of the shop has 5' knee walls between the dormers with storage behind them. A sloped ceiling follows the front roof line up to a 10' high, 7' wide flat ceiling- there is only a small triangular space between the ridge beam and the ceiling joists. The ceiling follows the shallow sloped roof to an 8' high rear wall.

    What did you use for the floor framing to support the equipment?
    There are 18"(?) tall single (doubled?) microlams running front to back between the garage bays and 2X10 floor joists, 16" OC , running between them over each bay. The builder didn't think 12" OC was necessary. The garage ceiling is 9'6" which leaves plenty of headroom for my DC ductwork. You can see pics of my shop here.



    BTW I have relatives in Wilmington N.C. so I know the Carolina coastal cottage design you mention. Thanks for the pics Alan, you have a beautiful property there.
    Thanks. Actually I borrowed heavily from two designs by noted designer William Poole who is based out of Wilmington- mine is a synthesis of his Carolina Coastal and Edisto River Cottage designs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Illinois
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    211
    I'm in the position of building a shop on a second floor. I love your lift. What kind is it and where did you get it?
    Teaching grandchildren the hobby is rewarding. Most of the time

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Green View Post
    I'm in the position of building a shop on a second floor. I love your lift. What kind is it and where did you get it?
    Folding beam design is my own, local welder fabricated it, and the hoist is an Ebay special.

  15. #15
    Have you considered building a gambrel roof? That is the type that has a lower 24/12 pitch, up to ceiling height, and a 4/12 pitch on the top, like the barns of yesteryears farms. You lose 4' on each side, and you can add dormers if you want windows on the front. When you build the building, put a beam longways down the center, and put posts between the cars, and you can support a second floor easily.

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