Under Construction: Building an addition and a home office/garage

Room to Grow

The family that owns this small home in Ann Arbor was growing, and they really needed to move their home office out of their third bedroom so that their new daughter would have a room of her own. To accomplish this, they decided to demolish a tiny, one-car garage at the back of their property and replace it with a one-and-a-half car garage with a home office above it. The new building will be constructed with structural insulated panels (SIPs), rigid panels made of foam sandwiched between wood skins, making it very energy efficient.

The owners were very concerned that the home office/garage building would be too tall, and would overwhelm the property. Studio Z Architecture proposed that the roof be lowered, so that the building would appear smaller, while vaulting the ceiling to make the interior as spacious as possible. In addition, the complex roof shape will make the building appear smaller. They also considered making the siding wider on the lower part of the building and narrower above to make the building visually shorter.

The home office will be reached by a separate door covered by a small roof, and an interior stairway. The office will have many windows and two skylights.

Since the home had only one bathroom, the owners also decided to add a small mud room and half bathroom to the back of the house. An existing deck had to be demolished to make room for the addition, but it will be replaced with a spacious patio that blends into the back yard and garden.

A Homeowner's Notebook









(hover cursor over small pictures below to see larger version)

Page 1 | Page 2

Contractor: Washtenaw Woodwrights, Ann Arbor

Structural Engineer: SDI Structures, Ann Arbor

Project photography & diary text: Steven Norton

Previous summer and fall:
Homeowners worked with Studio Z and the contractor to take the project from an initial concept to a fully elaborated design. Studio Z completes the final "construction documents" (blueprints and specifications) in the fall, and the plans are submitted to the city authorities for approval. Demolition of the existing deck and old garage takes place in December. Scheduling begins for the masonry subcontractor, who will dig and pour foundation footings.

February 5:

The masons begin excavating for the foundation footings. They immediately discover a problem: an old cistern, used to collect rainwater long ago, is located precisely where the foundation for the new addition meets the house. See Expect the Unexpected (next page) for more details. Digging trenches for the garage footings proves uneventful.

February 13:
Footings for the garage/office foundation are poured, using two full trucks worth of concrete.

February 17:

The concrete block foundation for the garage office has been finished.


February 20:

The old cistern has been emptied out, inspected, and filled up to the level of the footings with pea gravel. The footings for the addition are then poured.


March 5:
The concrete block foundation for the mudroom addition has been laid down, and the old concrete back door steps have been removed.

March 8:
With the foundation walls done, the carpenters can begin work. The floor deck of the addition has been framed, and the walls are going up.


March 14:
The walls are up and sheathed with plywood, and the roof of the addition is being framed.

March 20:
The addition roof has been framed, and the interior partition wall, with pocket door hardware, has also been framed.


March 27:
Casement windows have been set in the rough openings on the addition, and the crew has begun to shingle the roof. The small roof over the back door, and the brackets which support it, has also been framed and joined to the main roof.

March 30:
The roof shingling has been finished, and the new back door has been hung in its opening. Since the addition is now weather-tight, interior work can begin.

April 3:
Work resumes on the garage/office, anticipating the arrival of the structural insulated panels. The old concrete slab is removed (with some difficulty), and 4 inches of sand is compacted to form the base for the new slab; the sand is covered with a vapor barrier and wire mesh.

April 6:
Plumbing and heating pipes for the addition have been roughed in and are awaiting plumbing and mechanical inspections.

April 10:
The slab for the new garage was poured after the prepared base was inspected by the city authorities.

April 12:
The first batch of SIPs (structural insulated panels), including the downstairs and upstairs walls, arrive on site and are unloaded.

April 13:
Siding has started to go up on the addition; rather than wood or vinyl, SZA and the contractor suggested a cementitious product which is less expensive and should be more durable.

April 17:
With some extra help, the crew raised the wall panels for the first floor of the garage/office, each of which were fabricated in one piece. This process would normally be accomplished with a crane, but the site is not large enough.

April 18:
The office roof trusses were delivered (at 7am) and left in the front yard until they could be carried back to the site - by hand.

April 23-26:
The second story floor and wall panels are erected.

Read on.....
Page 1
| Page 2




Room to Grow

The family that owns this small home in Ann Arbor was growing, and they really needed to move their home office out of their third bedroom so that their new daughter would have a room of her own. To accomplish this, they decided to demolish a tiny, one-car garage at the back of their property and replace it with a one-and-a-half car garage with a home office above it. The new building will be constructed with structural insulated panels (SIPs), rigid panels made of foam sandwiched between wood skins, making it very energy efficient.

The owners were very concerned that the home office/garage building would be too tall, and would overwhelm the property. Studio Z Architecture proposed that the roof be lowered, so that the building would appear smaller, while vaulting the ceiling to make the interior as spacious as possible. In addition, the complex roof shape will make the building appear smaller. They also considered making the siding wider on the lower part of the building and narrower above to make the building visually shorter.

The home office will be reached by a separate door covered by a small roof, and an interior stairway. The office will have many windows and two skylights.

Since the home had only one bathroom, the owners also decided to add a small mud room and half bathroom to the back of the house. An existing deck had to be demolished to make room for the addition, but it will be replaced with a spacious patio that blends into the back yard and garden.

Under Construction: Building an addition and a home office/garage

A Homeowner's Notebook









(hover cursor over small pictures below to see larger version)

Page 1 | Page 2

Contractor: Washtenaw Woodwrights, Ann Arbor

Structural Engineer: SDI Structures, Ann Arbor

Project photography & diary text: Steven Norton

Previous summer and fall:
Homeowners worked with Studio Z and the contractor to take the project from an initial concept to a fully elaborated design. Studio Z completes the final "construction documents" (blueprints and specifications) in the fall, and the plans are submitted to the city authorities for approval. Demolition of the existing deck and old garage takes place in December. Scheduling begins for the masonry subcontractor, who will dig and pour foundation footings.

February 5:

The masons begin excavating for the foundation footings. They immediately discover a problem: an old cistern, used to collect rainwater long ago, is located precisely where the foundation for the new addition meets the house. See Expect the Unexpected (next page) for more details. Digging trenches for the garage footings proves uneventful.

February 13:
Footings for the garage/office foundation are poured, using two full trucks worth of concrete.

February 17:

The concrete block foundation for the garage office has been finished.


February 20:

The old cistern has been emptied out, inspected, and filled up to the level of the footings with pea gravel. The footings for the addition are then poured.


March 5:
The concrete block foundation for the mudroom addition has been laid down, and the old concrete back door steps have been removed.

March 8:
With the foundation walls done, the carpenters can begin work. The floor deck of the addition has been framed, and the walls are going up.


March 14:
The walls are up and sheathed with plywood, and the roof of the addition is being framed.

March 20:
The addition roof has been framed, and the interior partition wall, with pocket door hardware, has also been framed.


March 27:
Casement windows have been set in the rough openings on the addition, and the crew has begun to shingle the roof. The small roof over the back door, and the brackets which support it, has also been framed and joined to the main roof.

March 30:
The roof shingling has been finished, and the new back door has been hung in its opening. Since the addition is now weather-tight, interior work can begin.

April 3:
Work resumes on the garage/office, anticipating the arrival of the structural insulated panels. The old concrete slab is removed (with some difficulty), and 4 inches of sand is compacted to form the base for the new slab; the sand is covered with a vapor barrier and wire mesh.

April 6:
Plumbing and heating pipes for the addition have been roughed in and are awaiting plumbing and mechanical inspections.

April 10:
The slab for the new garage was poured after the prepared base was inspected by the city authorities.

April 12:
The first batch of SIPs (structural insulated panels), including the downstairs and upstairs walls, arrive on site and are unloaded.

April 13:
Siding has started to go up on the addition; rather than wood or vinyl, SZA and the contractor suggested a cementitious product which is less expensive and should be more durable.

April 17:
With some extra help, the crew raised the wall panels for the first floor of the garage/office, each of which were fabricated in one piece. This process would normally be accomplished with a crane, but the site is not large enough.

April 18:
The office roof trusses were delivered (at 7am) and left in the front yard until they could be carried back to the site - by hand.

April 23-26:
The second story floor and wall panels are erected.

Read on.....
Page 1
| Page 2


Dawn Zuber, AIA
Studio Z Architecture

190 N. Main St., Suite Z
Plymouth, MI 48170
houzz interior design ideas architecthouzz interior design ideas architect

studiozarch.com

phone: 734.394.9400
email: dzuber@studiozarch.com

Dawn Zuber, AIA
Studio Z Architecture

190 N. Main St., Suite Z
Plymouth, MI 48170

studiozarch.com


phone: 734.394.9400
email: dzuber@studiozarch.com
houzz interior design ideas architecthouzz interior design ideas architect

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