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Help Smorris justify a new playroom!

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  • Help Smorris justify a new playroom!

    I'd like to ask a little advise, suggestions, or even an estimate for an addition to my house.

    As many of you know, I have a few toys in the garage, and enjoy working on them. I used to do a lot of woodworking, but when I started filling the garage with vehicles, the woodshop got stuffed up against the wall and is pretty much unusable. So much so, that I bought the MSUV and a 12" miter saw partially because I could put it someplace and actually get to it!

    Dad died last year and we are slowly cleaning out his shop. He and my grandfather were career woodworking instructors, and had a ton of tools. Some of these will end up in my garage. It is time to do something about my mess. (No, I'm not getting rid of anything! )

    I have an atypical split-level house. From the street view, the garage is on the left, the living room, kitchen and dining room are on the right, and the center stack has the family room, bath and BR downstairs and three BRs and a bath up. Mine is atypical, because the downstairs portion is only down one step. So it is almost a split-colonial hybrid POS crappily built house...

    Back to the point. I want to add space. Probably onto the existing structure. I have room to add a separate garage, but question the value of another structure with water, electric, and tying into the septic system.

    The current garage is 24 wide, 22 deep with a single 18 foot door. The right side has the door into the house centered on the wall, with a fireplace bumped out into the garage to the rear of the door and a closet from the downstairs BR bumped out into the garage between the house door and the garage door. There is a door to the back yard in the right rear corner, and a window centered on the left wall.

    The best choice is to go back, making the garage deeper. However, this would be over my old unused cistern which I'd assume I would need to remove. Plus, we just added on a 3-1/2 season room in the back of the house two years ago, and adding to the back of the garage would block a good portion of the view, as well as look hacked.

    I can come forward toward the street, but only about 6 feet due to set-back requirements. This would be a non-starter.

    I can go up, but question the value of raising the roof as well as the resulting aesthetics of the house.

    That leaves adding on to the end. I'm 13 feet from the lot line, and can build right up to it (leaving room for overhangs and access) This would allow adding approximately 10-11 feet. My electric service currrently comes in on the existing end wall, and I wouldn't want to have to move it. What I'd probably do is use the current end wall as a new internal wall, adding a door between it and the "new" 10 X 22 room.

    This would mean I'd add a new footer and pour a concrete pad, construct the three new walls, moving as much of the vinyl siding as I could to the new outside walls and cover the rest with new siding, add 12-13 feet to my existing roof (recently re-shingled), and add the door to the wall between.

    I would have this done by a local contractor. I could do a lot of this myself, but it would take me years! The new room would be my wood/home maintenance shop and I'd clear out seven stationary tools, two work benches, and a storage cabinet from my existing garage, opening up a lot of room.

    So, to finally get around to why I'm posting for you construction pros to review: Does this make sense? Am I overlooking anything obvious? Any better suggestions? I'm making a wild guess that this will cost in the $15k neighborhood. Am I even close? I added on a 16 X 16 Patio Enclosures room three years ago for about $20k, and figure this would be a little less.

    Here are a couple images. I want to add on to the outside of that wall with the window.

    (Tucked in there between the TV and the garage door is a Delta 24" Scroll saw on a stand, Delta 14" Wood/Metal Band Saw, Delta 15" 6-speed Drill Press, Delta 10" Contractor's Saw on a stand, a stand-alone Router Table, a General 9" X 6" Disk/Belt Sander, a 13" Makita Thickness Planer, and a MSUV with Makita 12" Tilt/Slide Miter Saw. Plus a 5' workbench and a corner full of wood. I need more room!)

    Thoughts? Comments? Ridicule?
    Last edited by smorris; 08-05-2008, 04:39 PM. Reason: Spell much? Added images

  • #2
    Re: Help Smorris justify a new playroom!

    Gotta love the vespa!


    • #3
      Re: Help Smorris justify a new playroom!

      LOVE the Vespa.......LOVE IT!!!
      I'm on "The List" and I love it!!


      • #4
        Re: Help Smorris justify a new playroom!

        SMorris, I'm completely green with envy over your garage!! All those great scooters and an MG to boot! Not to mention all the woodworking tools....lots of great stuff in a small space.

        Why not put your 10x22 room onto some graph paper and lay out where tools, benches, etc. could go and see if it'll work for you? You could go as far as to mark it out on the lawn with tape or some of the marker spray paint (water-soluble) and give yourself a good perspective on how the side bump-out would work. It's hard to visualize the roof-line but at least you'd get a good idea if the new space could work for your shop. Remember to keep things to scale and consider your traffic pattern for bringing in wood and large items in and out of the shop. You may want to consider putting a small garage door on the new space to make larger items easier to move in and out.

        It'd be great if you could do this with a step-by-step thread, including your decision-making process. It'd be interesting to watch it from the ground to speak.
        I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.


        • #5
          Re: Help Smorris justify a new playroom!

          I'll give you my plumber opinion.

          First, I would forget about adding on and modifying your home. You have it like you want and the extra cost associated with modification could be put to better use in increased shop space.

          Build a shop on your property. Forget running plumbing to it, you can run inside your house if nature calls. Run a new electrical service and gas line to your shop for a ceiling mount furnace like a Hot Dawg. A 8' ceiling is too low for a wood working shop, 10' would be nice. Tubular ceiling lights would be nice in work areas.

          What ever size you think would be nice, double it. The nice thing about a separate shop is, being away. I often work late at night running my table saw and working on my power equipment without worrying about waking family up. Finishing fumes can irritate some people, in your shop you don't have to worry about it.

          You would be free to do an work on finishing the shop to save money and not be rushed like you might in your home.

          Have fun and take it slow.
          Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.


          • #6
            Re: Help Smorris justify a new playroom!

            I think I'd turn that cistern into a swank bomb shelter.


            • #7
              Re: Help Smorris justify a new playroom!

              Thanks, gang!

              Actually, the blue one is a Vespa, too. And there's a little Honda scooter tucked in there between the gray Suzuki and the MG. See the garage link in my sig for more on the toys.

              Sandy, I've actually done just that. I laid some 2X4 on the ground as corners to see the size. I'm undecided as to whether I need a single garage door on the front. That requires adding onto the side of the driveway (Hmmm, more parking space!) but is seems odd to have the bump-out with no door. Mentally it looks like exactly what it would be; an afterthought. What I'm having the most trouble visualizing is how much space I'd free up in the main garage with all the stuff not in there. Tonight I had two friends come over to use my motorcycle lift. I had to move all four of my scooters out of the way and drag the lift away from the side of the MG so we could get to both sides. Then put it all away when we were done. Ideally, the lift would be vacant rather than used as a parking spot, and nothing would need moved. Ideally, there'd be a lift for the car, too!

              Ty, you've hit on *many* of my reasons to build a separate building. Both of my brothers have 40X 60 pole barns, one with a small heated shop in one end. Space is a good thing. I could leave the above lift vacant and not miss the space. I could add a 2-post lift for the car. I could get the shop spread out so I don't need to move something to use the other. I could even make it large enough to get my 17' sailboat out of the yard and stop becoming a planter! My negatives for a second building are critters and vandalism. I'd hate to have tens of thousands of dollars in tools go missing from a semi-remote building. And I'd hate to find mice have chewed up my MG seats. We have mice in our 12 X 16 garden shed, but so far never in the garage.

              I'd love to have a shop like my grandfather did on the farm where I grew up. It was two-story, with the downstairs a general mechanic shop (compressor, mower repair, tractor inside occasionally, etc. Upstairs was the wood shop. The ends had doors that opened for ventilation, and one end had a track on the beam with a sliding block & tackle to get tools upstairs and finished projects down. But getting that high enough to also have a lift doesn't sound feasable unless it is just a partial loft in a larger building.

              I don't know, I'll probably be contemplating for a year. Y'all have helped me consider alternatives that I might have already dismissed. Keep the thoughts coming!


              Or I could just move. The house about ten houses southeast of me deep in the woods on the other side of the road is for sale. It is 6+ acres, has a pool and garage space for 11 cars. They were asking $700k, but dropped it to $550k. Rumor has it it is now in foreclosure. We went to the open house, and really disliked the house. I don't know if I'd give $350k for it. This is in an area where mine is worth about $160k at best.
              Last edited by smorris; 08-06-2008, 11:02 PM.