Building a Garage

We're finally getting around to building a second, detached garage. We've always planned on doing it; it's just taken us 3 years to get around to it. We got a quote for having it built and was shocked to learn that having someone build it for you costs literally twice what it costs to build it yourself (if you know how). So I decided to build it myself.
Why do we need another garage? (1) We have 3 cars, and in New Hampshire if you want a car to last more than 5 years you really need to keep it in a garage over winter, and (b) when you have 9 acres, you seem to accumulate a lot more stuff than you do on a 6000-square-foot suburban California lot, and you need a dry place to keep all that stuff.
Note: Click on any picture to see a larger version of it
Part 1 - Clearing the land
April 18, 2004 - We hired a tree company to clear the trees and brush where the garage will sit, as well as remove two large trees that aren't looking very healthy and could possibly fall on the house.

The first step is climb one of the taller trees and "top" it so that it won't hit the house when it's cut at the base.

The top of the tree falls away while the guy who cut it (up in the tree) hangs on for dear life!

Then the rest of the tree is cut down, falls toward the house...

...and barely misses the front porch :). If you look closely you can see that some limbs are actually on the porch deck.

The center of the other large tree, which was closest to the house, was rotten and full of carpenter ants. This tree would have fallen within 3 years.

The area is all cleared and ready for sitework (excavation)

Part 2 - Initial sitework

It took 2 months to get a contractor lined up to do the sitework - after a long winter, springtime in New Hampshire is a flurry of pent-up activity and sitework contractors are swamped, working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Meanwhile, the land stands ready.

June 23, 2004 - The excavator arrives!

A day later, rough grading is complete.

Part 3 - Foundation

June 28, 2004 - The concrete guys arrived and poured the footings.

The next day they started setting up the foundation wall forms...

... and finished them then poured concrete...

... then on the 3rd day they stripped the forms, and foundation is complete.

I added pressure-treated sills, the drainpipe, and electrical conduits (barely visible along the outside of the right wall).

The sitework guy returned and backfilled the foundation with sand. Notice the tan box at the back-right of the foundation: we used the excavator to move the 850 lb generator from it's original location outside the basement walkout to a new location on the back side of the garage.

Part 4 - Framing

July 17, 2004 - At long last, construction begins...

... and I promptly shot a nail into my hand with the nailgun!

July 19, 2004 - Walls and ceiling complete.

The front gable is in place; the rear gable is being assembled then it will also be tilted into place.

Most of the rafters are in place.

August 5, 2004 - Installing plywood on the roof.

An interior view of the roof trusses. I had originally planned on using prefab trusses, but there was a 2 month lead time for them, so I designed and built my own for half the price.

I made a small shed roof to keep rain and snow off the generator, which should extend it's life. The gas and electrical conduits run about 100 feet underground back to the house.

I bolted the generator roof thru the garage wall to prevent it from tearing away under a heavy snow load.

Part 5 - Roofing

August 10, 2004 - I added tarpaper to the roof to keep the inside of the garage dry in order to pre-paint trim boards.

August 18, 2004 - Roofing shingles arrive. I built a temporary platform on the roof and asked them to use the crane to place the palette of shingles on it - it's MUCH easier to carry 30 bundles of shingles (70 lb each) down a bit of roof than 12 feet up a ladder! Fortunately the roof could hold 2400 lb of deadweight :)

Lifting the palette onto the roof. This requires lots of supervision!

A closeup of the crane placing the shingles on the platform.

August 22, 2004 - Roof trim (eaves) complete and half of the roof shingled (the side you can't see). Another full day's work and the roof will be entirely complete and ready for winter.

August 29, 2004 - The roof is done.

Part 6 - Floor

November 1, 2004 - Preparing to pour the slab. Before the concrete arrived, the guy raked the sand and installed wire mesh.

The concrete truck had to wedge it's chute thru the doorway in order to reach the back corner.

Raking the concrete into place.

Once the pour is done, the truck driver cleans his truck by dumping the excess junk on your driveway.

The floor guy gives the slab a final smoothing, and it's done!.

Part 7 - Final sitework

June 1, 2005 - Doors and driveway installed.

Part 8 - Siding

June 1, 2005 - Doors and driveway installed.

May, 2008 - I added some stairs to make it easy to get from the garage to the woods road below:

More pictures soon...