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beancounter
 
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Weehawken, NJ
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planning my man cave - your comments and input welcome

Hey everyone. Planning my mancave and am interested in soliciting inputs from folks.

To provide some context here is the subject property...its a multi-family row house in downtown Jersey City (the middle unit).



One half of the footprint of the ground floor is this one car garage:


The other half is a studio apartment (you can see the door at the rear of the garage:


I used the studio as my engine building "clean room"


Now my plan is to blow out the wall and make a shotgun style two car garage.

Here is the first draft from the architect:



Thinking about this midrise lift, which will be countersunk to be flush with the floor surface

Atlas Kwik Bay 7,000 LB. Mid Rise Lift - Greg Smith Equipment Sales, Inc

It will be a bit tight, but that how it goes here in the concrete jungle.
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Jacob
Current: 1983 911 GT4 Race Car / 1999 Spec Miata / 2000 MB SL500 / 1998 MB E300TD / 1998 BMW R1100RT / 2016 KTM Duke 690
Past: 2009 997 Turbo Cab / 1979 930
Old 06-03-2011, 07:06 AM
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If you havent been over there already browse around The Garage Journal for some ideas.
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2007 911 Turbo - Not a toy
1985 911 Cab - Wife's toy
1982 911 3.2 Indiash Rot Track Supercharged track toy
1978 911 3.0 Lichtbau toy "Gretchen"
1971 911 Targa S backroad toy
Old 06-03-2011, 07:59 AM
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Great idea. I've been considering a similar "shotgun garage" approach with my home, which is a split level where the two car garage is underneath the house. I'm thinking of building another garage directly in front of and attached to the current. Keep the original rollup doors and add another set to the new construction...thus ending up with one garge to park the "normal" daily drivers at night and use the back half to store/work on the special vehicles.
Problem is, construction is expensive and being that it would be attached to the house, it would increase the tax value. Still, a man must have his cave and mine is overcrowded with too many toys.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:11 AM
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Jacob, Like the idea of the long, shotgun garage. Good use of space in an urban environment. Your architect will no doubt be able to confirm any local fire separation requirements between the vehicle storage areas and the habited space above. Not really an issue since you are doing new electrical distribution overhead anyway. Don't forget the washroom ceiling as well since it's part of the main new garage space. Think about two tube T-8 fixtures rather than "shop lights". Good color rendition, fairly long life and economic to run. Just installed four in my garage last winter. You might want to revisit the large swinging doors between the two garage sections. Looks like a potential hassel to move cars around just to swing them open and shut. Drawing of your proposed floor plan pretty well describes the interferences. Another approach would be to use a glazed overhead door, similar to the fire station doors. This would also provide light and security between the two areas. Option would really be to delete the door between the two ends of your garage altogether...Again, nice to see a full garage in an urban space.
Old 06-03-2011, 11:33 AM
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beancounter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james marriott View Post
Jacob, Like the idea of the long, shotgun garage. Good use of space in an urban environment. Your architect will no doubt be able to confirm any local fire separation requirements between the vehicle storage areas and the habited space above. Not really an issue since you are doing new electrical distribution overhead anyway. Don't forget the washroom ceiling as well since it's part of the main new garage space. Think about two tube T-8 fixtures rather than "shop lights". Good color rendition, fairly long life and economic to run. Just installed four in my garage last winter. You might want to revisit the large swinging doors between the two garage sections. Looks like a potential hassel to move cars around just to swing them open and shut. Drawing of your proposed floor plan pretty well describes the interferences. Another approach would be to use a glazed overhead door, similar to the fire station doors. This would also provide light and security between the two areas. Option would really be to delete the door between the two ends of your garage altogether...Again, nice to see a full garage in an urban space.
Thanks for the comments James. The existing garage space is beneath habited space above already, so I'm hoping the ceiling in the studio is the same in which case I should be covered from a code perspective. I considered an overhead door, but that creates its own issues with height (already going to be tight with the planned mid-rise lift). In addition my architect pointed out that I will want a small man door to move between spaces without the hassle of a car-sized door. I do want to keep the spaces separate because the studio is heated and air conditioned while the existing garage is not. I will look to have the doors swing in a direction that will not interfere with parked cars.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:51 PM
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I have a couple comments. 1st, your architectural plan shows a targa 911. Did you buy another 911? 2nd, I assume that the heating/AC is separate in the garage space from above living space, correct? If not then I'd be surprised if there's no issue with the code. Imagine bringing in the smell of a 930 into your living space!
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:03 PM
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beancounter
 
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Hi Mike...how's it going?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeD94 View Post
Did you buy another 911?
Nope. I did buy a 928 though. A/C is shared with dwelling unit above, but only supply air...there is no return in the downstairs space so I'm hoping this will be ok (or not be questioned during inspection).

I doubt that 930 stink will be a problem, and the 928 is totally stock and runs clean.
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Jacob
Current: 1983 911 GT4 Race Car / 1999 Spec Miata / 2000 MB SL500 / 1998 MB E300TD / 1998 BMW R1100RT / 2016 KTM Duke 690
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:55 PM
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I opened up the back wall in my 1 car garage an extra 7 foot deep. The original back wall was seperating the garage and a 12 x 10 bathroom that I shortened to 5 x 10. I didn't gain enough room for two cars but it did create a nice work area that I can keep my tools and stuff. Now where the car sits both sides, front and back are clear and free from any objects so I can work on it all around pretty easy.
I say go for it plus add in a slop sink like I did so no need to go in the house for anything when working on or cleaning the car.
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:09 PM
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This isn't the 50's where anything goes. Problem with just getting it by is that if God forbid there is fire your houses are attached. That neighbor who just lost their prized glass cat collection will be calling an Attorney within minutes to file suit and everything better be up to code.

I love cars more than anyone but human life (mostly) has to come first. I would use fir rated sheet rock and every other fire retention product made. Then what I have recently discovered are the small self contained fire sprinkler extinguishers. Picture an expansion tank with a sprinker head that is activated by heat. They even sell them at Groits

That can be a super cool project but to save a couple hundred to not have a little safety and piece of mind??

Unless you buy next door and make it the garage?
Old 06-03-2011, 06:13 PM
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beancounter
 
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Chillax Safety Pup...where do you see me say I was going to "just get it by" or "save a couple hundred bucks"

Did you notice how I hired an architect? I will get permits, inspections, etc. This is fully above board and legit. Furthermore, did you notice how my existing garage sits below my own home and next to my neighbors? This is approved, legal and passed code. What I am planning to do is no different.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WANNA930 View Post
This isn't the 50's where anything goes. Problem with just getting it by is that if God forbid there is fire your houses are attached. That neighbor who just lost their prized glass cat collection will be calling an Attorney within minutes to file suit and everything better be up to code.

I love cars more than anyone but human life (mostly) has to come first. I would use fir rated sheet rock and every other fire retention product made. Then what I have recently discovered are the small self contained fire sprinkler extinguishers. Picture an expansion tank with a sprinker head that is activated by heat. They even sell them at Groits

That can be a super cool project but to save a couple hundred to not have a little safety and piece of mind??

Unless you buy next door and make it the garage?
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Jacob
Current: 1983 911 GT4 Race Car / 1999 Spec Miata / 2000 MB SL500 / 1998 MB E300TD / 1998 BMW R1100RT / 2016 KTM Duke 690
Past: 2009 997 Turbo Cab / 1979 930
Old 06-03-2011, 06:25 PM
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Hey Jacob,
Everything's going good. So, you got two differenct Porsches. One is civilized and another isn't...just as your sig says.

Make sure that your project including the A/C ventilation will meet the code before you start tearing out the walls.

About the asymetric double doors I think you should have both doors swing away from the new area. But maybe you have a reason to have your current door configuration.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jwasbury View Post
Hi Mike...how's it going?

Nope. I did buy a 928 though. A/C is shared with dwelling unit above, but only supply air...there is no return in the downstairs space so I'm hoping this will be ok (or not be questioned during inspection).

I doubt that 930 stink will be a problem, and the 928 is totally stock and runs clean.
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:27 PM
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Talk to your architect about the occupancy of both spaces, the garage, and the room/mancave. Granted I'm not familiar with NJ building code, possibly ubc or ibc, or whatever they call it these days, but I am a little versed in ca building code...

Depending on age, your existing garage is classified as a garage or utillity occupancy which requires 1 hour fire separation between garage, and habitable space. In short, your studio will not be set up for that separation, so the arch will need to add some details showing how the new garage space is separated from your habitable space.

Be sure your arch is licensed in NJ, lots of draftsmen out there that call themselves architects...

Before you spend too much more, take the plans by your local building department and discuss what you want to do with a planner, AND the building official. They will make themselves very available and will give you insight to what you are in for. They will have to review and approve the drawings anyway, so it's not like you are going to get anything "past" them. Most of the time they will help you with the code, and even find loopholes that you can take advantage of.

Remember, if you make it a garage you will be losing that square footage from your home, which may seriously devalue your home, unless you sell to another car guy...

Sorry if I sound like a downer...
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:11 PM
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beancounter
 
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Pat,

Thanks for your comments. For the record, this property was built only ten years ago, so it passed inspection (including the existing 1 car garage) and was code compliant at that time.

Local codes allow for garage space to sit beneath dwelling areas, but the ceiling needs to be sheet rocked with at least 5/8" We've looked carefully and the studio space ceiling appears to have been sheet rocked exactly the same as the garage area. This makes sense as during construction the entire ceiling sheetrocking was likely done all at once using the same materials, and then the separation wall was added between garage and studio.

As a further note, the studio space is technically not habitable space. It is not connected to any other dwelling areas of the building via doors, staircases, etc. The only way to access the space is via the garage door, or there is one exterior door that opens to my microscopic backyard. The building is legally zoned as a two family and I have two above ground units (a one bedroom on the first floor, and a two bed, two and 1/2 bath duplex on the top two floors where I live with my wife and our two dogs). It is not legal to have people living in the studio space as it would be a 3rd unit. So as to the question of value, this property cannot be marketed as a 3 family anyway. When we bought it, it was marketed as 2 family "+ bonus" wink wink nudge nudge. Both my neighbors rent out their studios for $1000+ per month, but I don't. I am not making drastic changes to the "bonus space" so a future owner could easily revert the space back to illegal rental status should they choose, but I think plenty of people will value the garage space highly because it is a very rare feature in this area.

I actually had a pain in the @$$ issue because of the studio space recently when I refinanced the mortgage. The inspector/appraiser thought he was doing me a favor by counting the studio as living space which would increase the valuation. In fact I didn't need a bigger valuation number because I'm not one of these people who is mortgaged up to my eyeballs. Well the underwriter had a $hit fit about the studio because there is a kitchen in there which they said made it a "unit". The question then became, what constitutes a "kitchen." Try finding a definition of kitchen in the building codes or zoning ordinances...you can't. Long story short I had to remove the sink, range, and refridgerator and get reinspected in order to close the new loan. I can understand why they wanted the range out of there, but the sink and the fridge?? How many people have a 2nd fridge or slop sink in their garages or basements? Doesn't make it a kitchen!

Quote:
Originally Posted by infraredcalvin View Post
Talk to your architect about the occupancy of both spaces, the garage, and the room/mancave. Granted I'm not familiar with NJ building code, possibly ubc or ibc, or whatever they call it these days, but I am a little versed in ca building code...

Depending on age, your existing garage is classified as a garage or utillity occupancy which requires 1 hour fire separation between garage, and habitable space. In short, your studio will not be set up for that separation, so the arch will need to add some details showing how the new garage space is separated from your habitable space.

Be sure your arch is licensed in NJ, lots of draftsmen out there that call themselves architects...

Before you spend too much more, take the plans by your local building department and discuss what you want to do with a planner, AND the building official. They will make themselves very available and will give you insight to what you are in for. They will have to review and approve the drawings anyway, so it's not like you are going to get anything "past" them. Most of the time they will help you with the code, and even find loopholes that you can take advantage of.

Remember, if you make it a garage you will be losing that square footage from your home, which may seriously devalue your home, unless you sell to another car guy...

Sorry if I sound like a downer...
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Jacob
Current: 1983 911 GT4 Race Car / 1999 Spec Miata / 2000 MB SL500 / 1998 MB E300TD / 1998 BMW R1100RT / 2016 KTM Duke 690
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:09 AM
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Right on, you've done some homework! As far as the Sheetrock, You could be right about the it being done at once. If the builder "intended" to offer the studio as potentially separate unit for marketing purposes, wink wink, then there would be a one hour separation from that floor to the next (ie, the 5/8 layer of rock), but it's the occupancy (as defined by the building code) that matters I have built and sold a lot of condos/towns in CA, so I've been there.

Keep the updates coming, I like your quest for more garage. Dont forget to prewire for speakers, computer/ tv, nice to have the game/music on or search pelican diagrams when you get stuck!
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:00 AM
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I just finished a 1600 sq ft garage under the master suite, I can run the Bendpal 10k lift, 5hp compressor, sandblasting cabinet, grinder and in-ceiling speakers LOUD without disturbing the wife and baby above...here's what worked for me;

1. 2 layers of thick vapor barrier. I spill gas and oil all the time, no smell in the house. Tucktape all the seams, make like you are building a hot-air baloon.
2. 8-10 inches Roxul sound insulation
3. Half-inch sheetrock on the ceiling

Enjoy!
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2007 911 Turbo - Not a toy
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1978 911 3.0 Lichtbau toy "Gretchen"
1971 911 Targa S backroad toy
Old 06-04-2011, 04:41 PM
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man cave

2 layers type x fire code 5/8 drywall on RC channel between all garage and living area separations. This will give a two hour rated fire envelope if one hour is required then only one layer of 5/8 type x fire code on resilient channels will do the trick. I am a General Contractor B1 and I have two sub contracting divisions steel stud framing drywall C-9 and plaster C-35 in California respectively
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:43 PM
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beancounter
 
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Man Cave update - Plans are becoming reality

Its really happening, and no animals have been harmed in the process.

Permit issued, demolition ensued immediately. Passed rough electrical inspection and plumbing rough inspection is in process. I'm excited to have a nice place to work on my cars. Unfortunately I had to kill the lift in my plans. The only way I will run a midrise is to countersink it in the floor. The cost of masonry work was very high, so by removing this aspect of the plan, total cost of the work was reduced 25%-30% (not including cost of the lift itself). With the savings I am going to treat myself to one of the mega high lift jacks Pelican sells and the best jack stands money can buy.

Photos:

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Old 09-01-2011, 08:26 AM
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Looks good Jacob. Make sure you dot all your I's and cross your T's as Jersey City housing inspection are a pain in the ass. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I still have a couple of friends that work for the city.

Rey
Old 09-01-2011, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speednme1 View Post
Make sure you dot all your I's and cross your T's as Jersey City housing inspection are a pain in the ass.
I pay the contractors to deal with the pain in the ass...that's their job
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Current: 1983 911 GT4 Race Car / 1999 Spec Miata / 2000 MB SL500 / 1998 MB E300TD / 1998 BMW R1100RT / 2016 KTM Duke 690
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:49 AM
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Glad to see this going, please keep the updates coming! Bummer on the lift, but youve already done the engine rebuild, so what do you need a lift for?
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'76 Turbo Carrera #311 - Factory LSD, Sport Seats
'75 914 GT clone project
'74 914 track basket-case
Old 09-01-2011, 09:24 PM
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