As we continue our journey building this garage addition this week we will talk about the framing of the addition. As far as garages go, this one is unique in couple of ways. First it is larger than most homes in Virginia Beach. This garage measures 50 feet by 80 feet making it a total of 4,000 square feet. Another way this garage is unique is the height of the walls. Most garages have eight or ten foot ceilings, but this one has a sixteen foot ceiling. Lastly, the garage doors are fourteen feet tall, one on the front and one on the back. Even though this garage addition is bigger than the existing house on the property, the fact that it is connected to the house is what allows a garage of this size to be built in Virginia Beach.
The framing process for a garage addition begins with putting down sill sealer on top of the block where the outer walls are to be built. J&S Builders used pressure treated 2 by 6 for the floor plate to help protect against rot. Since the walls are sixteen feet tall both the plate and the walls are framed with 2 by 6 framing lumber. By using 2 by 6 for the wall studs we are increasing the ability of the walls to handle wind shear as well as any flexing. Normally, you don’t use 2 by 6 ground floor wall studs unless you have a finished third story. Blocking was also placed anywhere the outside sheathing had a seam for added strength. Due to the height and span of the two overhead garage doors, the headers for the garage doors are pre- engineered LVL’s (laminated veneer lumber).
The next issue is how to frame up the ceiling and roof on this garage addition and not have any columns obstructing the 50 by 80 structure. Back to the engineer for this task. The engineer was told that we want the entire floor of the garage to not be obstructed and strong enough to have storage and a walkway in the attic. The engineer specified trusses for this purpose that had to span the 50 foot direction of the garage and have an additional 12 inch overhang on each side for soffit. We ended up with 40-52 foot long trusses that had to be installed on top of 16 foot high walls. The fun began once the trusses were delivered. Finding enough space to deliver the trussed for the garage was interesting enough, but installing then was another story. Stay tuned for that story in our next blog post.