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freestanding carport conversion to garage

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:39 pm
by vwcilon
Here's one for the construction gurus. I have a good sized freestanding carport and I am thinking about adding walls and doors to make a garage out of it. A little background to try and describe it goes as follows. The structure is a good size, standing on 6 beefy brick pillars (unknown if anything is inside the brick). Peaked, shingled roof made of trusses ( I think). The whole underside is covered in soffit. There is approx. a 21x 25 area of flat ceiling with eaves going out farther than that. I am thinking that there is beams running across 3 pillars on each side (the 21 foot dimension) with the trusses sitting on those. Cement floor of course, cement sidewalk down one side, cement patio area at front edge, cement ramp up into carport from alley on rear edge and fence on the other side with no cement going anywhere.
I have talked to the city planners/construction inspectors where I live who tell me that its all doable BUT the walls cannot come up under and connect to the trusses, they would want to see 3/4 to 1" of an "expansion" gap. They fear the concrete would heave up and have the walls lift the whole roof structure. This is if I plant the walls on the cement that is there already. When I asked about cutting the existing cement out and digging a trench to make a footer, same answer, they want an expansion gap because the new footer would be independent of the original foundation under the brick pillars.

So I guess I am stuck with the expansion gap theory??? So as a side question, how does a person finish a wall inside and out while maintaining this "expansion" gap?? What about doors being mounted and working properly (was thinking 2 man doors and 2- 9 foot garage doors)

thanks for any info

Re: freestanding carport conversion to garage

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:29 pm
by A. Spruce
That seems a strange requirement from the building department, but since they're the ones issuing the permit and doing the inspections, they're calling the shots.

If it were me, I'd build it to their specs, once they've passed it and left, I'd fill the gap and cover with siding or trim and finish the interior however you like.

Re: freestanding carport conversion to garage

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:52 pm
by Shannon
This is kinda odd but i see where they are coming from.
So I guess if you frame the walls in 1" short of the beams then when you sheet the walls run the plywood up onto the beam about 2" but do not fasten to beam. the walls could then in theory slip up or down without damage.

Re: freestanding carport conversion to garage

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:11 pm
by A. Spruce
Years ago I enclosed a carport that was somewhere along the lines of 30x70. Slab was there, roof was there, building department made me cut back the slab and install footings. This is why we always defer you to local building regulations and codes, because they differ from city to city, state to state, province to province, and country to country. While everyone works from the same code book (uniform building code (UBC) here in the states), every municipality has the authority to modify or add to the code requirements for their area.