garage home addition

Get in gear for a Charlotte garage addition

Here are some roadblocks we inform our Charlotte garage addition customers to look out for, prior to beginning the project!

You might think that there aren’t too many roadblocks when it comes to adding a garage. Unfortunately, there are many hazards that can pop up on the road to your Charlotte home addition, but knowing what they are and how best to navigate them with the help of a licensed, professional general contractor will make all the difference in the success of your remodeling project.

First of all, you need to understand that adding a garage is more akin to building a small home than erecting an outbuilding – particularly if you want to add an office or a guest suite with a bathroom and/or kitchenette on the second floor. Most of the factors that come into play when you consider a new home are involved in building a garage – whether it’s an addition to your existing home or a freestanding structure. That’s why it’s essential to enlist the help of a professional who is experienced in these types of projects.

The first thing he or she will need to examine is a current property survey. They’ll have to ensure that you have enough room within the specified setbacks to erect the structure you want to build. They’ll also check to make sure that nothing from an adjoining yard is encroaching on the area in which you want to build. Over the years, we’ve seen folks who unintentionally placed a driveway several feet onto their neighbors’ yard, and another whose shed extended 6’ onto the adjoining property. Since homeowners aren’t accustomed to reading these documents, innocent mistakes like these are common. We met one homeowner who thought the lines he was looking at on a survey were power lines when they were in fact property lines, and vice versa. An experienced GC will look at your survey first to ensure that there aren’t any conflicts.

Next, they’ll look at any zoning restrictions and HOA requirements to ensure that what you want to build satisfies any restrictions or requirements on square footage, height, property setbacks or access, and more. They’ll also secure any necessary permits and approvals before construction begins so there are no surprises.

Then, your contractor will examine the area in which you want to build to check the soil conditions before they put down footers. If the area where you want the garage was backfilled when your home was built, your contractor will have to dig down to virgin soil. In addition, any roots or organic debris will have to be cleared before the concrete slab is poured. If your garage will be lower than your existing driveway, they’ll have to adjust the pitch of the driveway slab to ensure that rain is directed away from your new structure.

After all that is taken into consideration, you finally get to construction – framing, wiring, insulation, sheetrock, paint, trim, gutters, and veneer to match the existing home. If an upstairs living area is desired, you’ll add a staircase, additional insulation in the floor per fire code (to protect inhabitants from exhaust gases, etc.) and beefed up HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems. Along the way, your contractor will be coordinating with inspectors to ensure that everything is up to current building code.

As you can see from these steps, a well-planned and constructed garage is not a small endeavor. For that reason, you can anticipate that a freestanding 2-car garage will start at $55,000-$75,000. However, it’s an investment in your home that is well worth the cost.

By Gary Palmer
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