Building a basement garage?

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  #1  
Old 01-06-03, 08:42 PM
ivaldes1
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Building a basement garage?

Hello all,

I live in Houston, Texas a place not noted for having basements. My lot is not small, but it isn't that big either and I was wondering about building a partial basement garage under the house so that I could have a 3-4 car garage down there (I'm an antique car hobbyist) and still have a nice back yard. Around here, most of the new houses are now being built 4 feet up, pier and beam with subfloors after the Allison flood in 2001. Houston is also a bad place for slab foundations so it is all going back to pier and beam. I was thinking to myself that it might not be too hard to dig down 4-5 feet or so and have a partially below ground basement garage under the house.

Is this a bad idea for Houston? What makes me nervous is that it doesn't seem to be done much. Is that because of expense? The other part is hiding or making the entrance to the garage attractive in a residential home. Is it not done much because it costs alot?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

-- IV
 
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Old 01-06-03, 09:23 PM
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ivaldes1,

You already mentioned the issue that would make anyone nervous - FLOOD!

If you aren't seeing it done much, this might be the reason. Wouldn't it be easier bulding the house to accommodate the garage at grade level? I'm sure that it can be done to look appealing without interfering with the rest of the home. The concept is good and in Minnesota we build alot of these.

Flood area and digging 4 or 5 feet down is asking for trouble and you have a great hobby and an EXPENSIVE one which could easily get ruined. You just are increasing the odds for major damage!

Don't know about costs within your area so this would have to be asked by local contractors. Personnally I would forget this idea due to the major liability that you are considering. I don't think your insurance company would be to supportive on the idea either let alone what the building officials have to say about what is permitted.

Hope this helps!
 
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Old 01-09-03, 04:17 AM
A
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Pick up a copy of house plans at your local magazine shop. They usually have some "Grade level entry" homes with living quarters over garage & basement. Fom the curb they look like two story plans. I built one for similar reasons, a high water table. Good luck
 
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Old 01-10-03, 06:20 AM
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Do not even think of this project. Close the book, and build a real garage. Believe me, the flooding is the least of your problems if you build an underground garage. You don't even want to know about the fire codes for your project. Plus about 10 other things I will not even mention. Good Luck
 
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Old 01-12-03, 11:28 AM
ivaldes1
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Basement garage.

Originally posted by Jack the Contractor
Do not even think of this project. Close the book, and build a real garage. Believe me, the flooding is the least of your problems if you build an underground garage. You don't even want to know about the fire codes for your project. Plus about 10 other things I will not even mention. Good Luck
Okay, you have me mostly convinced to not do it. But what I was after would be only partially below ground and have windows all around that you could escape from in case of fire as well as for ventilation. Would this change things?

-- IV
 
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Old 01-12-03, 01:25 PM
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ivaldes1,

Isn't a flood a flood? Still hve that same issue. In Minnesota we have split level such s what you propose, this isn't the problem but water sure is!

Theres no way to stop it from runing things even if it's 4 feet below grade.

Can't really advise on any ideas that would be viable in your situation.
 
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Old 01-12-03, 06:58 PM
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I understand what you trying to do. As I said before, there are many obstacles in your way. Of course they can all be taken care of by money. Here is one fore example. Fire codes are going to make you completely sheetrock your garage with type x (90 minute fire rating sheetrock) This means you garage will have to have its own ceiling. Then above that ceiling will have to be a fire barrier also. They will worried about a house fire not a garage fire. When they build split level homes with garage under them, the original construction takes care of the fire problems. In your case, the house is already done, and it will be hard to redo some of it. Why don't you check with your local building permit people and see what they say. Good Luck
 
 

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