After mowing the yard, I got distracted with a tape measure jamming some sticks in the ground. As anyone with a car
problem enthusiasm, I’m always yearning for more garage space. While I have a very nice 24x24 garage now, like a true addict enthusiast I’m always itching for more MORE MORE.
Now, none of this is feasible for a couple years, since I have other more pressing things to do on the house, need a new daily to replace the critically rotten crown vic, and other real-world things. That aside, it’s good to know some options. Measurements were taken maintaining a 12' gap to the property line, which sounds right but I am not an expert on the local zoning laws.
Option 1: Pole Barn
This is probably a bad idea. I have room to build a 24x40 building in the back yard, around where the shed currently is (I could literally build around the shed, then demo it when the roof is done). There is plenty of access to have three parking bays and a half-bay which would take over for the shed in storing the lawn equipment, my bicycle, piles of used/good car parts, etc.
This is probably a bad idea because, being a massive storage space, it would encourage bad behavior. By that, I mean I’d fill it up with cars I’m not really working on and probably not driving. It really only addresses part of the “more room!” requirement. It wouldn’t be heated, barely lit, and really just a massive shed. Getting driveway all the way back there would be costly, but overall it would be far far cheaper than the second option. Another factor is that I don’t particularly trust lawn equipment (for some reason) to not do things like catch on fire, which I’d rather not have in the garage next to my cars. Being just a glorified shed, it would probably be humid/damp, buggy, etc. - which isn’t great.
Option 2: Attached Shop
This is an idea I had a while ago, but knowing it would be expensive and several years off, never put much thought into.
This would be a major endeavor. For starters, there is an absolutely massive maple tree just behind the house. I’m talking 6+ feet across at the base, shading the entire house. I really like this tree (though being massive and close to the house, it’s a little worrying when it storms). That would have to go, which removal would probably cost as much as the whole other building would. The garage would then get an addition off the back, 36 or 40 feet long (height in the picture) and 24 feet deep (width in the picture). The existing driveway would be widened and extended back past the house alongside this new space. There would be three bays with single doors, which you would have to turn 90 degrees to get in. This would become the shop, and return the existing garage to “where you park the cars” instead of the current shop status.
What are those three bays, you wonder? The furthest would get a 4-post lift. This is the storage requirement satisfied, as two cars could be stowed away in the back, safe from winter or whatever other neglect they’re avoiding. The middle bay would have a 2-post lift, for working on cars. The nearest bay would be the workshop, set up in a horseshoe shape facing the door. The bench, tools, etc. would be here, easy and ready to use.
The whole space would have plenty of electric service, there is gas available for heating, could be insulated, theoretically I could put in a split A/C system, ceilings can be high enough for lifts, etc. It would be incredibly expensive, take a long time, and be a huge pain (e.g. the new roofline would need to be tied in, that tree is in the way, the ground slopes down a little bit back there, it would be real footer/stud construction, etc.). I really like this one.
Option 3: Win the lottery
I know I said there were two options, but there’s sort of a third - hit the lottery and do both. There’s room.
Then again, if I hit the lottery, I wouldn’t be living here much longer.