Make 2 garage doors into one big one?

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Old 11-20-08, 06:55 AM
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Make 2 garage doors into one big one?

I wasn't sure what forum to put this in. I have posted this in some other forums too. Feel free to delete if needed.

I am looking at purchasing a home that has a 2-car garage in the basement. The problem is the garage doors are only 7 feet (didn't have a tape measure but it's pretty close) wide. I drive a truck and my wife drives an SUV. These doors are just a little wider than the vehicles, and I think we'd have to pull in the mirrors ever time we wanted to go in or out. It wouldn't leave a lot of margin for error.

Once you got through the doors, the garage is big enough to accomidate several cars. However, if you can't get through the doors, it doesn't make any difference how big the garage is.


Please see the pic below. I have other, larger pics that could help, if needed. That is a painted brick, so I have to be worried about the weight of the bricks without that center column holding things up. Inside the garage, a thin metal wall divides the two doors into two bays. Why? I don't know. It doesn't seem to do anything structural, and I would prefer to remove it if possible.

So, I guess my question is this...Can I knock out that center post between the two narrow doors and make one wide door? Can I make the door opening taller? How will that affect the structural integrity of the house?

 
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Old 11-20-08, 08:29 AM
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Hi there,

If the center part is a column, you should check the situation with a local professional.
We can't provide structural advise without a visual inspection
 
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Old 11-20-08, 08:34 AM
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I think you would need to consult a structural engineer. Anything CAN be done, just depends on how much you are willing to spend to get it done.
 
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Old 11-20-08, 10:35 AM
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These are questions you need to ask a local structural engineer. Just from the pictures it appears the first story floor is tight over the garage door headders. This may not provide room to upsize to the beefier beam needed to support the increased span. A steel beam may work but it will be a big project with the brick. Good luck,

PS, I have to pull in tne drivers side mirror on my Dodge RAM every time I go out of our garage and I learned that the hard way.
 
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Old 11-20-08, 02:36 PM
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Yeah, the wife doesn't have to pull in the mirrors on her tahoe, but one time she should have. She knocked it good! And that was at our current house, which has an extra foot or so of clearance when compared to these doors.

I didn't have my measuring tape with me when I went to see this house, but it measured from fingertip to fingertip plus from my elbow to my fingertip. That comes out to about 92 inches. The truck and Tahoe are both a shade under 79. That doesn't leave much room on either side for mistakes.
 
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Old 11-21-08, 11:41 PM
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probably an 9' door (8' 8" opening). Like mine. Once you learn the hard way you tend to remember. Max legal vehicle width is 8.5' mirror to mirror. Pretty tight.
 
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Old 11-22-08, 07:13 AM
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The doors on our current home is 9'. These doors in the pictures are narrower. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 7-1/2 feet.
 
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Old 12-07-08, 07:01 PM
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Your biggest issue is to establish the potential load bearing capability of the foundation to the sides of the openings. Once you have checked this you can move onto the beam required to carry the UDL above. You will have to strip some brickwork down and install a pad stone to carry the beam ends. the minimum rest required is 200mm but the bigger the rest the better. A padstone can be produced by casting a block in-situ or purchasing a pre-cast block and inserting it. With the load above at no greater than 71 KN for a span of 5100mm a I beam of 133 wide x 213 deep and with a bottom plate welded giving a rest of 234mm - 6 mm thick high strength steel. These details are given only as general information and should be considered only as a base point for starting. A local structural engineer should be engaged.
 
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Old 12-07-08, 07:39 PM
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Thanks for all the advice. Some poor young couple from out of town gave full price for it last week. By my calculations, the house needed no less than $30k in mandatory repairs, and probably another $20k in upgrades. All of this did not count the garage doors.

I think the sellers got a major deal.
 
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Old 12-08-08, 04:39 AM
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Sounds like it might be a good deal for you too

Given the height and load constraints, I doubt you would have been able to modify the doors to your liking.... at least not at a price you would be willing to pay...... maybe the next house you look at will be the one
 
 

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