A year ago we started with this
In January 2011 we began a long-planned project to construct a garage/workshop in an underutilized side yard. In celebration of the first anniversary of completing the project I'm sharing some of the planning and construction process.
The original driveway ended at the double gate and the yard beyond was an eyesore. Here's a view of the area from the roof of the house.
In addition to the functional requirements, a top priority was that the new construction should look like the house which is "Shed" style. We based the plans on the New England saltbox because it provided flexible space and similar lines to the house. We also decided to go with a wide one-car garage instead of a full two-car in order to leave some gardening space between the house and garage.
While most projects around here are DIY, a new garage is not something we would construct by ourselves. We both have extensive experience in construction and project management so we acted as our own contractor on the project and subbed everything else out.
After developing our plans we hired an engineer to design the foundation as required by the city. Once the engineering drawings were approved and the permits acquired, we were ready to go. The foundation contractor dropped off really cool equipment the first day.
I watched the work from an upstairs window, best to stay safe when these guys are moving this equipment around
The crew unearthed this huge stone which they moved into place for us to use as a bench facing the creek. It's roughly 4'x3' and we estimate it weighs at least 400 lbs. We had about five minutes to decide and no changing our minds now. The rock bench will be incorporated into a low wall and garden under the trees. In the background you can see where some of that top soil ended up and the beginnings of a new garden between the house and garage.
After the forms were prepared, we had big cement trucks in the driveway too. We did have to trim a few secondary tree limbs from the beautiful live oak to the right, fortunately the largest limb across the drive remained untouched.
It rained for the first time in months
Rain is good for cement, it cures slowly and results in a stronger slab
It was a big day when the frame began to go up
Finally the roof went up, the attic is large enough for lots of storage and we ran water lines if someone wants to convert it to living space in the future.
A view from the side, the building steps down the hill with the workshop on the the back separate from the garage. The space on the second level can be used as a studio when I have messy projects.
It really started to look like a building once the sides were enclosed and the roof is decked
Standing seam roof to match the house
Wrapped and ready for the stone exterior, we had a rare snow delay.
It was cold too, the temperature stayed below freezing for three days. The construction crews I worked with in Boston would have thought this was great weather to work in, here in San Antonio they took a few days off.
After the snow melted and the weather warmed up we were ready to get back on track.
Stay tuned for Part Two - The Stone Masons