Turning a One-Car Garage Into a Two-Car Garage
LESLIE: Now we’re heading to South Dakota where Esther has a garage question. What can we do for you today?
ESTHER: Well, we have a long, skinny garage with one door. And I would like to extend the cement floor, of course, and loosen all those bolts that fasten it to the cement and turn it on its side and put two doors or a double door on this long side so we could fit two cars in there.
TOM: So you want to take the door from the end of the house – where it just basically opens up to this long, extra-long garage – and you want to swing the doors over to the side of the house so you can have room for a double door. Is that correct?
ESTHER: Yeah. I just want to turn the garage. I’d leave the hole on the end, you know. I would make that into a sliding door instead of overhead doors so it wouldn’t get in the way of the trams up on top.
ESTHER: But someone said that they didn’t think that that way – then the tracks would be going parallel with the stringers across the top.
TOM: So your first challenge here – before we talk about yours doors, because that’s the last thing that you have to deal with. The first challenge is you have to actually structurally change that long side of the house to be able to have these now two large garage doors in it. So that is going to require rebuilding those walls. And is this a two-story house on that side?
ESTHER: OK, no. This is not an attached garage. This is a free-standing garage.
TOM: So on that long side, though, is that where the roof sits?
TOM: The roof rafters come down on that side? Alright. So that is a load-bearing wall, Esther, so it has to be reframed for a standard garage opening. That’s a big job. This is not just a matter of moving the tracks over and knocking out a few 2x4s. This is a big job. You’re going to have to have a header across that that serves as a beam that’s going to support that roof.
ESTHER: Now, would it be better to have one wide, wide door with the beam across or two separate doors with a column in?
TOM: Just as much work. Doesn’t matter.
ESTHER: Oh. OK.
TOM: Big job. Not a do-it-yourself job. A job for a pro. Frame that out and then you could – perhaps you could preserve the old garage door and move it to one side. But I’ve got to tell you, garage doors are a real pain-in-the-neck to take apart. They’ve got about a million pieces to them and they’re a lot easier to put together when you start all disassembled and are built in place.
ESTHER: Well, we have turned garages before, in different places where we live.
TOM: Alright. So this is a project that you are very familiar with, except in this case, you’re going to have to reframe that exterior wall. And that is the bigger part of this project.
TOM: Esther, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.