The Garage & Workshop

click to magnify The final version of the garage plans? (4 sheets).

We talk about building a garage every Summer, but it still looks like a far off project at this point. A little preliminary work toward the garage has taken place however. When the roof was rebuilt, I added a little extension that will connect the main house to the garage when the time comes and allow me to make that connection without tearing into roofing over any of the existing structure. We also talked with the town planning board to find out what zoning requirements we'd have to meet in order to build a garage. Because the house is on a "non-conforming" lot, we'll need to present the plans at a public zoning board hearing to get the plans approved for construction. There's nothing we're planning for garage construction that doesn't comply with the current zoning by-laws, but the original footprint for the house is too close to one of the lot lines, so anything attached to the house requires a variance. In order to fit any manner of garage on our lot, the garage needs to be connected to the house (a new, stand-alone garage would require a much larger lot than what we have), hence the need for a hearing. Even with the garage attached, it still needs to comply with set-back dimensions for our zoning (15-foot set-back from sides and back, 25-foot set-back from front) even though house is non-compliant. We'll also need to do some extra paperwork in order to get a second electrical service installed for the garage, and we're also planning to heat the thing. Nobody said this would be easy.

While we figure out exactly how and where we want to put the garage, we're hemorrhaging money into a monthly fee for a storage locker that contains all the tools and equipment from my old car shop. I'm close to finishing a workable set of plans, so hopefully we can get the ball rolling on the permit process sometime in 2010.

Late Winter 2015 update:
I can hardly believe it's been almost 5 years since I took a pass at the garage plans! With the massive snow fall and my injured hand preventing any other project work, I decided to give them another go at long last. We may actually get a foundation poured this year! I made a couple changes to create more space inside, including the roof heights to see about getting some more room for the loft. The images above show the changes, and the PDF over in the Specifications section has a few pages that show the progression from the old plans to the latest version.

More photos and updates to follow as work progresses...