Building additional garage - recommendations?

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phatkev
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Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by phatkev » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:57 pm

I’m going to build an additional attached garage sometime in the future. I’m working out design plans now and would love to hear some recommendations from the boglehead community.

My goal is to maximize storage, be able to fit a large car, a couple cords of firewood and the kids bikes comfortably in it. Right now our 2 garages are undersized and can only fit one small car into one, and a normal size car in the other. One other thing to consider is that our house is very large and all comparable homes this size in our area has at least a 3 car garage. Not the reason why I’m building it but helps show that the additional garage won’t look weird.

I’m also planning on having attic storage that will be built for living space if I ever want to convert it to that in the future.

What “must haves” do I need?
What are some cool things that you have in your garage or wished you had?
What are some issues to anticipate?


A few things I am contemplating are a drain in the floor, electric car charging plug, heaters, a back door, a pull down attic stairwell in addition to access from the existing bonus room above the current garages.

Thoughts? Experiences?

Thanks!

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Sandtrap
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:10 pm

Largest you can afford.
Able to at least fit a large full size truck or van so the one day it will if you decide to have one.
Yes. Back door. Security door if exposed to outside.
Highest ceiling you can afford.
Largest garage door you can afford.
Minimum 2x6 or larger wall frame.
Maximum power outlets. 20 amp each.
Lot's of lighting.
Fire system, water sprinkler system.
Hard wired fire, smoke, CO2, system also wired into home so you can hear it in the home.
Foam insulation in the walls and attic.
Epoxy coated garage floor, non skid but easy clean up.
A bathroom if you can afford it, or at least a wash/utility sink for hobby clean up.
A/C/Heat if you can afford it.
Ample windows for natural ventilation and light.
Yes, floor drain.
Solid permanent stair if space allows vs pull down stair for attic access and eventual conversion to upstairs room space.

mouses
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by mouses » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:54 am

Make it easy to carry stuff like bags of groceries into the house. No steps up to the house, etc. If you don't care about this now, you will when you're older.

BanquetBeer
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by BanquetBeer » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:40 am

I would say don’t forget to oversize the space. You can fit a big car in but can you have a shelving unit or fridge in front of that car also? And then walk around it?

TRC
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by TRC » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:48 am

Go Big! Kind of like a shed, it can't be big enough.

We have a 3 car attached garage. The 3rd bay we use for bikes in the summer and my tractor & pellets in the winter. If I could have built it, I would have made it longer so my truck would fit more comfortably and wider so our doors have no chance of hitting each other. Other thing I want to do is really get my garage organized by hanging more stuff off the walls. Right now it's kind of a mess....

HoosierJim
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by HoosierJim » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:07 am

We had an old falling down 2 car garage(barely) and build a 3 car.
Couple of thoughts/issues/ideas to ponder
- Our town limits the size and lot %coverage so we built the biggest possible.
- We have an alley and did a car width setback but I would at least 1 1/2 car widths next time
- We have to turn 90 degrees from alley into garage so setback would be easier turn
- Install motion/security lights in strategic places.
- If ever considering an rv /boat - get tallest door possible.
- Plan any perimeter sidewalk work - we have it on 2 sides
- For future home automation - run a cat5 cable.
- We have 1 double door, one single door to our alley and one single car door to backyard
- Garage door openers on all 3 doors.
- We had a stake survey to insure garage was built as close to the lot line as possible (old garage was too close)
- Insist on proper site prep - we removed trees and had to insist on proper stump removal and proper prep.
- I would have added more roof vents, if more room was possible, added small screen room with large overhang.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:31 am

A lot will depend on what's allowed, what your lot looks like, how you're situated with neighbors (physically), what it will look like from the road.

We considered doing something similar and planned for a small 25x25 2 car garage with "maybe" an upstairs area that could be turned into a room and a 12x12 laundry/mud room in between. Things our builder had us consider were that if the room was going to be built as a bedroom, the septic tank would have to be verified to be capable of another occupied bedroom, the electrical would require some upgrade and such. Make sure there's 220V available just in case.

I like the look of a "smaller looking" garage from the street, for houses, but in our case, all anyone sees from the street is trees, so that wouldn't matter. We already have a 24x36 detached garage that's 200 feet away from the house with 220V tools and a 4 post lift in it, so were looking for something to be able to just drive in and go right in the house during the winter.

In the end, we determined that the kids are just too close to leaving (youngest one is 17) so just dropped the whole idea.
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clutchied
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by clutchied » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:36 am

Something I wished I'd looked at more closely was a higher ceiling in the garage.

This may sound crazy but you can get car lifts installed for around $2500 and it adds another car slot. Way cheaper than building more space.

I love BMW's but I drive an i3 daily but have others I like to drive on the weekend. currently they sit covered in the driveway which I don't really like. If I had a lift it would be really nice, but I don't think I can fit one.

Also do some 50amp 6gauge 240 runs in there somewhere for an EV charger, heater or heavy equipment. Running 6 gauge wire can be unbelievably difficult.

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fire5soon
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by fire5soon » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:46 am

As a car guy I would absolutely love to have a lift in my garage.
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KevinIA
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by KevinIA » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:46 am

If you plan on a 4 post storage lift you need a minimum of 11 foot ceiling. You can calculate by taking the height of car on lift plus height of car under lift plus the height of lift base. I have a 4 post with a bmw m3 stored on it, I had to box vault the ceiling to not hit my head on the lift every time I walked under it. A 2 post lift of any decent size will need 12 foot ceiling. Attic stairs are a must, youtube videos for attic lifts that can easily be incorporated, basically an electric winch and basket to get items easily into attic without carrying them up the attic stairs by hand. When we built our garage we framed and decked 500 square feet with floor joists and subfloor so you can put heavier items up there. 4 post lift is about $4000 for a nice one. If you lay out the garage correctly It is cheaper to buy several lifts than increasing square feet. ie 3 lifts and high ceiling in a 3 car garage will hold 6 cars. Much cheaper than a 6 car footprint. We keep 5 cars and a tractor in 1000 square feet with 1 lift and have plenty of room. Build it as big as you can afford, even my wife says we should have built the garage twice as big as we did 10 years ago!

barnaclebob
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by barnaclebob » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:09 am

This is useful for anyone: Make sure the doorknob to inside the house or other garage is a lever and not a knob so you can bump it open with a box. My life is easier after I noticed my brothers house had a lever and I switched.

A 240v outlet or two is also nice if you plan on doing any woodworking or use any high power tools in the future.

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lthenderson
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by lthenderson » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:25 am

I'm not against building a garage addition but I will say that about 95% of the garages I have seen are severely under utilized. I have a two and a half car garage and besides two full sized cars, I have a gardening center for my wife, wheel barrow, three ladders, about 10 bags of soils, mulches and gravel, a snowblower, seven bicycles, tiller, two strollers, a wagon, eight foot workbench, 20 foot workbench, an entire wood working shop complete with hybrid cabinet saw, router table, mortising machine, drill press, bandsaw, jointer, etc, a rolling tool box, chainsaws, leaf blowers, dozens of yard tools, two shelves of automotive supplies and much more and still have plenty of room to park, open both car doors and walk around.

The key is to look up. Utilize wall space and ceiling space. You can buy a pallet load of devices to hang stuff from the walls and ceilings that are seasonal or rarely used to free up tons of floor space and for a tiny fraction of what it would cost to add onto your garage. For instance, all my bicycles hang from the ceiling and can be lowered down using ropes and pulleys in a few seconds when needed. Ladders are also prime candidates for hanging from the ceilings. I installed cabinets under and over my workbenches to organize all my wood working tools along with my plumbing, electrical and other assorted tools need for fixing up houses. The only things taking up floor space besides the car are heavy items like the tiller and snow blower and things I need to access on a nearly daily basis.

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BTDT
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by BTDT » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:28 am

mouses wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:54 am
Make it easy to carry stuff like bags of groceries into the house. No steps up to the house, etc. If you don't care about this now, you will when you're older.
Do not make your garage floor level with the living area. Leaking gasoline fumes (lawn mower, car, weedeater, etc,) can create a bomb like condition in your living area :oops:
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DaleMaley
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by DaleMaley » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:32 am

When I built my current house back in 1999, I had a 220V outlet put in the garage for my 1980's Sears 12 inch planer.

As time went by, I bought a 12.5 inch wide Dewalt planer, which only needs 110V. So the old 220V Sears planer sets unused in the garage taking up floor space (I use it once a year maybe), while I run the heck out of my Dewalt paner in my basement workshop on 110V. I have a complete woodworking shop in my basement, and none of the tools require 220V. In retrospect, I would skip the 220V outlet in the garage.


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Chip
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by Chip » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:42 am

Door width: 18' minimum for a double door, 9' for single (10' would be even better).

I've had two side-facing 3 car garages which required a 90 degree turn just before entering. The first one had doors with the above dimensions and it was a snap to enter/exit. The second had 16'/8' doors and I've had to repair bumper scrapes on all of the door frames. This might not be a big issue if you're pulling straight into the garage vs. making a turn.

I assume since you're planning on possible living space above the garage you will insulate the garage walls and ceiling. Pay particular attention to the ceiling. It may require a special roof truss (or modifications if stick-built) to allow for sufficient insulation. The living spaces over the garages in the houses I've had were cold in winter. One had to have supplemental heaters installed. I think a well-insulated garage and garage ceiling would have solved these problems.

Pay extra for well-insulated doors and heavy duty torsion springs (30k cycle life). A couple of posts in a recent thread discussed garage door & opener noise and how to mitigate it -- important if there is going to be living space above your garage.

Design so that there is enough clearance between the cars and the side walls to easily open the car doors. I've had some where the wall was so close to the car that you had to be a contortionist to get out of it.

If your design ends up requiring a lally column for support, make sure it's located where it doesn't interfere with doors being opened. A placement in line with the front door hinge of the parked car worked well for me.

I don't know how cold your winters are, but when I lived in a place with very cold winters the garages not only had floor drains and heaters, but had hot & cold hose bibbs inside the garage to allow indoor car washing.

Don't use drywall to cover the walls. At least not for the bottom 4'. It's too easily damaged. I would use something like a plywood siding panel instead. Or maybe those panels that are built to allow shelf supports and other storage gizmos to attach without tools. But those are pretty expensive...

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rustymutt
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by rustymutt » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:47 am

Might as well turn it into a mother-in-law pad. Two story with an elevator to more storage overhead. Turn it into living space and reap more return in the future. A spa and heated pool would add a nice touch to the property. Incorporate, lol
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lthenderson
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by lthenderson » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:56 am

DaleMaley wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:32 am
When I built my current house back in 1999, I had a 220V outlet put in the garage for my 1980's Sears 12 inch planer.

As time went by, I bought a 12.5 inch wide Dewalt planer, which only needs 110V. So the old 220V Sears planer sets unused in the garage taking up floor space (I use it once a year maybe), while I run the heck out of my Dewalt paner in my basement workshop on 110V. I have a complete woodworking shop in my basement, and none of the tools require 220V. In retrospect, I would skip the 220V outlet in the garage.

I agree. Beside a planer and jointer that both work on 110, I have a hybrid tablesaw that works on 110V as well. I do lots of woodworking and absolutely none of them use 220V. About the only reason I see to put 220V in the garage is if you are into welding and even then, there is quite a bit that work on 110V.

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BTDT
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by BTDT » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:59 am

I added a second garage a couple of years ago and now have his-and-hers two-car garages at each end. Absolutely love.
Observations:
24' minimum width- I did 20 and significantly reduced work and storage area on one side of garage without intruding into vehicle parking.
Minimum 10' ceiling with reinforcement for attic storage and easy to use staircase. 12 foot height is much better and allows use of lifts for work or storage
16' door at each end. I put a glass panel door on the backside and added a patio cover. We now spend more time there than on a 'old' back porch. Also gives great air flow and sweeping is done with a gas blower in direction of breeze.
220 volt outlet for welder, air compressor, split hvac, etc.
Stained concrete. Looks pretty cool when bring out the 'grains' in the concrete
LED recessed light cans in ceiling-
Heating for winter work and if able to splurge- air conditioning
pre-wire for outside receptacles such as a= cameras, led security lighting etc.
Water spigots inside and out. Wash basin/sink keeps better half happy
Air hose and 110 outlet near ceiling for installing auto retracting hose and electrical cord wheels
Lots of wall outlets
Internet access Youtube for how-to videos and entertainment plus Amazom etc
Room for large heavy duty work bench with overhead fans and lighting and at bar-chair height :beer
Last edited by BTDT on Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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rustymutt
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by rustymutt » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:00 am

lthenderson wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:56 am
DaleMaley wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:32 am
When I built my current house back in 1999, I had a 220V outlet put in the garage for my 1980's Sears 12 inch planer.

As time went by, I bought a 12.5 inch wide Dewalt planer, which only needs 110V. So the old 220V Sears planer sets unused in the garage taking up floor space (I use it once a year maybe), while I run the heck out of my Dewalt paner in my basement workshop on 110V. I have a complete woodworking shop in my basement, and none of the tools require 220V. In retrospect, I would skip the 220V outlet in the garage.

I agree. Beside a planer and jointer that both work on 110, I have a hybrid tablesaw that works on 110V as well. I do lots of woodworking and absolutely none of them use 220V. About the only reason I see to put 220V in the garage is if you are into welding and even then, there is quite a bit that work on 110V.
Don't forget the finish saw, banned circle saw, and central Vac. attached to all the dust making machines. Make your central Vac one with a collection bag, rather than no bag model, as they are so much easier to dump, and make far less dust mess.
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Pajamas
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by Pajamas » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:02 am

Agree with including a bathroom or at least rough plumbing for a bathroom and kitchen sink. Then if your kids fail to launch, you can move them in there and not have to deal with them except when they get hungry. :beer

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BTDT
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by BTDT » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:14 am

DaleMaley wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:32 am
When I built my current house back in 1999, I had a 220V outlet put in the garage for my 1980's Sears 12 inch planer.

As time went by, I bought a 12.5 inch wide Dewalt planer, which only needs 110V. So the old 220V Sears planer sets unused in the garage taking up floor space (I use it once a year maybe), while I run the heck out of my Dewalt paner in my basement workshop on 110V. I have a complete woodworking shop in my basement, and none of the tools require 220V. In retrospect, I would skip the 220V outlet in the garage.
Surely there is another Boglehead that uses a 220 volt welder and/or air tools needing higher CFM flow? :oops:
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BolderBoy
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by BolderBoy » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:39 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:09 am
A 240v outlet or two is also nice if you plan on doing any woodworking or use any high power tools in the future.
Electric cars charge up a lot faster with 220v.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:00 am

Pajamas wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:02 am
Agree with including a bathroom or at least rough plumbing for a bathroom and kitchen sink. Then if your kids fail to launch, you can move them in there and not have to deal with them except when they get hungry. :beer
+1
Frig and microwave power outlets. :shock:

ralph124cf
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by ralph124cf » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:18 pm

A previous poster mentioned multiple outlets. While this is important, it is also important to have multiple circuits. Many electric tools work just fine on a 20 amp 110 volt circuit, but if you try to start two or three of them at the same time, you can easily trip the circuit breaker.

The easiest way to get multiple circuits is to install a secondary breaker box in the garage. Assuming you already have 200 amp or greater service, your electrician (definitely not a do it yourself job) then only has to run one heavy duty cable run from the main breaker box to your garage, and install a new 60 or 100 amp circuit box. Multiple 110 or 220 volt circuits can then be run any place in the garage that you need them.

Ralph

phatkev
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by phatkev » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:59 pm

GREAT SUGGESTIONS! I knew I came to the right place for advice.

I just wanted to address a few things that were brought up and ask a few more questions.

We are somewhat limited to size, location and style due to the town ordinance, current house style, and my wife. I wanted to build a huge detached 2 car garage, but we don't have the land for it and I wouldn't be able to get a variance approved for it. I spoke with the building commissioner already and showed him my plans. I will have to apply for a small building variance to get an exception for the "50 foot rule", in which no structure can exist less than 50 feet from the road. Just the corner of the garage would extend a few feet into this so he didn't think it would be a problem getting approved.

We want to make sure the garage doesn't look too weird and massive given that it's going to extend the front of our house now. We really love the way our house looks currently and we don't want to ruin how it looks from the road or the view out our kitchen window. My wife (and I) are very concerned about this. Here are some of the renditions that the builder made to show what it would look like.

Image
Rendition of how the third garage would look. It's the one on the left. It would actually be evenly spaced with the other two and the extra space would be all the way to the left side.



Image
The view from the front and you can see the bump out storage area. How deep and high do you think we should make that? We don't want it to look weird or obstruct the view too much. The white bumped out window is the kitchen window.



Image
Another view of the back of the garage. Any suggestions on the location for the door?


My current garage consists of 2 garages that are each 12'W x 20.5'D x 11.5'H. Each garage door is 9'Wx7'H. One current garage loses about 4' of depth from the stairs going into my kitchen. The additional garage I'd add on will need to look like it's the same size from the outside. However, I plan to make some storage on the side and make the garage maybe 6-8 feet wider, depending on how much the town will approve and how weird it looks. It's a straight shot into the garage so there won't be any weird bumps or turns to get in.

One idea the builder came up with is to have a bump out in the back of the new garage to allow for storage, and possibly to extend the nose of a very deep car. I love this plan because it doesn't really change the overall structure of the roof line and does not obstruct the view from my kitchen window.

I never would have thought of the idea of getting a lift in the garage for ANOTHER car. That is genius! Is it possible to have a garage door opener with one?

I live in CT, so it gets very cold. The tips about insulation are very good. I'm not sure if I want to heat it because none of the others will be heated, but I'll consider it.

I definitely need to do a better job at utilizing the height of my garage. I plan to do that in addition to building the new garage. But even if there was nothing on the floor but my cars, it still would be too cramped with all the firewood I use each winter.

I am not going to plumb for a bathroom, though. We already have 4.5 bathrooms which is too many. We have plenty of living space, but I just want them to put in the proper floor joists to allow for appropriate weight of storage, and to finish it at a future date if we need to. But for now, it's going to be storage. Can't afford to increase taxes any further!

Why is a drain so desirable in a garage? I've never had one and have been fine without one. I don't plan on washing my car in the winter in the garage. The snow drainage might be nice but it's not that big of a deal. Are there other benefits to it?


Thank you again and please keep the suggestions coming!


mouses
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Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

Post by mouses » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:24 am

BTDT wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:28 am
mouses wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:54 am
Make it easy to carry stuff like bags of groceries into the house. No steps up to the house, etc. If you don't care about this now, you will when you're older.
Do not make your garage floor level with the living area. Leaking gasoline fumes (lawn mower, car, weedeater, etc,) can create a bomb like condition in your living area :oops:
Leaking gas can create a bomb in your attached garage. I am not sure if this is splitting hairs or not, and how often does this happen? I never in my life have heard of an instance.

However, at least consider a small incline ramp instead of stairs.

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