questionshow would you build a large storage unit?

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A carport on top of the garage? I am not following. My initial response was that I'd have these gyus come do it:http://www.tuffshed.com/products_prices.cfm?ModelID=SBGR&TabID=Prices

But I am not envisioning what you are talking about.

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First, contact your local municipality to check the codes/zoning for your project. Then, have the existing garage inspected to ensure the garage will support the weight of additional construction & stored items. It may be more expensive than you think.

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I'm with @moondrake. Not sure what you are meaning by having a carport on top of your garage. Is this a basement garage with space above?

Please elaborate so that further assistance can be provided. (pics are best)

j5 j5
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My garage is a 19' x 19' square split down the middle, with approximately 10" thick concrete sides and a roof supported by a center dividing wall made of the same. It's almost literally a bomb shelter. The garage is maybe 10' tall and is cut into a hillside that is maybe 7' tall. So the front of the garage is at ground level, but the back of garage is abutting the hill. The top of the garage is flat with a tiny slope for rainwater runoff. Since the back of the garage abuts the hill, you can get on the roof of the garage by traversing a small staircase that leads to the top of the garage, which currently has a railing around it to prevent people from falling off the top of the garage.

I want to put a large shed on top of the garage so that it covers this entire area.

Please let me know if you need more assistance to visualize this.

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The "carport" that I have looked at to put on top of the garage would be a carport by name only. It would be an enclosed sheet metal structure with insulation. I have priced one at ezcarports.com that would be approximately $4k the way I would want it. I would not put a car in there because I'd have no way of getting a car up there; it would only be used in a manner similar to a storage unit.

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Depending on local ordinances and expected aesthetics, I'd personally go stick-built with electric and plumbing (at least roughed in).

j5 j5
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My house is split level, the front is one story and the back is two, so I have an idea what you are talking about now.

@zippy the pinhead is right. I'm trying to get a carport built at my house as the tarp frame I've been using was crushed like a giant spider by a windstorm in January. I live in the oldest part of the city, my house is over 100 years old. Houses are "shotgun style", long and skinny with a driveway beside them and then the next house only a couple of feet from that. I am being told by the contractors that new city ordinances require a 5 foot distance from my carport to the neighbor's property. That would put my carport on only half my 10' wide driveway. They say there is also a 50' required setback, which would put the carport down a flight of stairs in my back yard. I could seek a variance, but if I get it I have to have a firewall built, which will cost more than the carport. So I'm stuck with the tarp frame which costs a fortune to \constantly repair.

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@moondrake: So city ordinance keeps you from building something nice in favor of a tent? Well done.

j5 j5
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@j5: Yep. What really annoys me is when they won't let people build a tall enough fence to keep their dogs in, but fine them and euthanize their dogs when they get out. Living situations are different house to house. You can't apply cookie cutter regulations to every dwelling, especially in older parts of the city where the houses were hand-built. Every time I have work done on my house they have to make everything from scratch. I have to have doors hand cut, as mine are narrower and taller than standard doors. No two windows in my house are the same size. Modern pipes don't match up with mine, we have to hand-tool copper pipes to make them fit and then caulk the gaps. It's absurd to expect me to be able to conform to the same codes as a new house built on a regulation plot with modern materials. But as much trouble as it is to work with, I wouldn;t trade my house for a new house. My house is filled with history and character.

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Have you considered just building a standard wood frame wall and having Trusses put on top and covering it in sheeting or vinyl siding?

My sister wanted to buy a new lawn shed last year and after checking prices I offered to build one for the price of materials. It ended up saving her about half of the cost of buying one prebuilt and having it delivered. She also got a product that she knows was built right with screws and quality materials.

Even after you add windows and roofing materials, you should still be under $3,000 and it's honestly not too difficult to do right, it's just hard work.

When you were done, you'd have something that both adds value to your home and looks nice as well.

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I can't visualize it....do you have a photo?

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@bsmith1 's version was fairly accurate.

Although it doesn't include @bsmith1 's awesome stick figure version of me, here's what I drew.
[IMG][/IMG]

I'm looking to put the new storage unit (not pictured) on top of the garage after I tear down the wrestling ring-like railing.

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@zippy the pinhead: Who would I call to inspect the garage to see if it could support the weight? I don't even know where to start with that.