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Building First Home - Help! :)

Posted by Ryan_33 (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 4, 14 at 10:20

New question added in post #7.

Long-time lurker/learner, first post. Main reason for not posting up until this point is I am fairly new to the world of construction and really don't have much to add. :)

Ok, I will try to keep this as concise as possible. My wife and I are building our first home in the spring. We just closed on our lot (~6 acres) and have our floor plan finalized, we're in the process of getting bids for the things we will have to hire out. We plan on doing just about everything ourselves; electrical, plumbing, HVAC, drywall, and foundation are about the only things that we're going to hire out to save money. Father-in-law who has been a contractor for 30+ years is helping out so that has made things much more doable for us.

Here is the rundown of our house:

-1,600 sq/ft on main floor
-1,600 sq/ft in basement
-3BR, 4BA
-Attached 3+ car garage
-8' ceilings throughout the house, will have several tray ceilings to give it a more open feel.
-Hip roof, 5/12 pitch
-Rather flat lot, slight NE to SW slope, not much at all

My main question, at this point, is what to do about the garage elevation. We are doing 8' ceilings throughout the house & basement, but I want at least 10' ceilings in the garage to allow for extra storage on the ceiling as well as resale down the road. Since we are doing a hip roof (rather set on that) how do we achieve the extra 2' in height?

One thought I had was to simply make the garage 2' lower than the house and have the foundation guy run 2' of block up the walls then we could build an 8' wall on top of it which would match up with the house. My only concern with that is creating some sort of drainage problem between the attached garage and house.

I have attached a super quick outline of our floor plan to give you an idea as far as the layout of the house and garage.

Thanks in advance for any input!

This post was edited by Ryan_33 on Tue, Jan 7, 14 at 12:37


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Building First Home - Help! :)

I just wanted to encourage you! We just started our build in November and this forum has been extremely helpful and encouraging.
I hope someone with more knowledge will chime in and have answers to your questions!


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RE: Building First Home - Help! :)

Ryan, I'm not 100% sure but I think your excavation people can advise you on this process. We don't excavate down here in Louisiana but the man we hired to clear our lot and do the dirt work knew everything about proper drainage and how to apply it all to the dirt pad.


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RE: Building First Home - Help! :)

Can you post your elevations?


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RE: Building First Home - Help! :)

I'm sorry, but I don't get it.

If you want a house with 8' ceilings and a garage with 10' "ceiling", why not just do it? The challenge will be to intergrate the roof lines.

I'd never lower the garage 2' lower than the highest existing grade unless I wanted a swimming pool that would quickly flow into the house foundations (or basement). Find another solution!

Good luck with your project!


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RE: Building First Home - Help! :)

I kind of answered my own question, just failed to explain myself in an understandable manner. I spoke with our 'general contractor' who is my father-in-law, so we got the whole issue squared away. When I get a chance I will post elevations of the house/garage in question. We're designing everything ourselves and I'm still learning Revit, which has been a frustration.

I didn't mean to have the floor of the garage 2' below grade. My idea should have read to lower the grade 2' to gain that extra space in the garage, then simply have stairs up to the first floor from the garage. That works perfectly since we want the basement to be partially above grade anyway. Hopefully that makes sense. I will try to get pictures up soon; between work and visiting with contractors I may not get them up for a day or two.


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RE: Building First Home - Help! :)

Next question:

We are obviously trying to build as economically as possible while not sacrificing efficiency, safety, or quality.

We're building in western Nebraska, and are having a finished basement. I want to make sure we're doing everything the smart way as far as insulation goes, especially on the exterior of the basement.

I have attached a picture of the front elevation with the approximate levels of each material. We will have stone veneer from roughly 1' below grade to about 4' above grade, then will be stucco from there on up.

My plan is to put 1" thick XPS foam under the basement floor slab & 1" thick XPS foam on the exterior of the walls up to the brick ledge for the stone veneer. (side question, is a brick ledge necessary for stone veneer? I assume so, meeting with the foundation guy tonight to confirm, just seeking additional input.)

Inside the basement walls I plan on 1" XPS foam, then frame out a 2x4 wall, then 1/2" sheetrock. I should also mention that we will definitely have waterproofing put on the outside of the walls before the XPS is applied and will have proper drainage in place around the house.


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RE: Building First Home - Help! :)

Can I'm also suggest to add 1" or 2" of XPS around the edges of the foundation floor between walls and floor. Apparently up to 80% of the basement heat can be lost through thermal bridging from the exterior concrete wall. Best of Luke


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