As the family grows bigger the house becomes tighter on space. That is why a lot of people decide to add another room above the garage. However, this project is not simple and there are plenty of safety measures and adjustments to be made. Consider these steps in order for your addition to be safe and steady.
The Curb Appeal
Over-the-garage additions can greatly affect the curb appeal of your house because they are large and usually face the street. You don’t want it to look bulky and to disturb the symmetry of your home. The over-the-garage addition should simply blend in with the rest of the exterior like it was always there. To achieve this, features such as gables and windows should be harmonious with the overall style, so try to find the same frames and colors of such features to match the rest of the house. Also, the façade has to match, and the best way to do this is by scheduling the façade renovations of the whole house at the same time as building the addition.
Strengthen the Foundation
The foundation of the garage will have to be strengthened in order to be able to carry the load of another room. You will need an engineer to inspect and verify if the existing framing and foundation of the garage can carry that weight. Usually, they will recommend installing a large header above the garage door so it can carry the load and add a support beam for the floor joists of the addition. As far as foundation is concerned, a contractor will have to dig holes to check its depth and condition. If the foundation is inadequate, they will need to bolster it, but still, your foundation might be strong enough. However, you should do such an inspection just in case.
Extend the Ceiling
If you are planning to create a room from an attic, you will have some issues with the height of the room. The ceiling will have to be lifted in order to fit the rest of the house and provide enough space in the additional room. You can install knee walls and collar tiles in order to make the room more even. However, knee walls will shrink the space in the room, but you can use them to create built-in closets and cabinets. Collar tiles will allow you to create flat ceiling and you will have more structural support for the roof.
As soon as the structure has been finished, make sure to insulate it properly. However, the insulation of the room itself is not enough, since the cold air will come from the garage. So, consider insulating the garage as well as its ceiling. If your garage is warm enough and its ceiling is insulated, you are sure to have a warm new room and the floors wouldn’t be ruined due to condensation. This also prevents the mold from appearing both in your garage and the room above.
It is convenient to add another bathroom besides the over-the-garage room, and it is possible. It doesn’t matter whether the garage is heated or not, you just have to make sure to leave the pipes in the areas that are heated and never place them in exterior walls. Coordinate with and consult your local plumber and contractors in order to make sure pipes are properly planned and installed in time so you would avoid rework.
You are required by law to fire proof the additional room. You have to insert 5/8 inch thick fire-rated dry wall on the garage ceiling and walls in order to protect the addition. Also, make sure electrical conduit and the similar wiring and work are sealed tightly. So, before and after you have added the room above the garage, make sure to include a building inspection in order for your new room to be completely safe and ready to use.
Like any home extension, the key is in thorough planning and following the rules and laws. If you careful and patient, your new room will be safe and sound.