So, you are resting in your family room one seemingly calm evening after an eventful day when all of a sudden you hear drizzles and a clap of cracking thunder.
You immediately grab your smartphone, check on the weather app, and see a hail storm in forecast updates.
Worried, you peek through your curtains only to witness your new car being pummeled by those icy drops of doom…damn! don’t you wish your car was parked in a garage?
Manufactured home garage additions are becoming one of the popular projects carried on both private properties and those homes installed in land-lease parks and communities.
More and more homeowners are probably realizing that there is more to garages than protecting the car from the weather.
Security, extra square footage, and added storage (cabinets, shelves) are some of the perks that come with an added garage.
Attached v/s. Detached
If you are thinking of garage addition, your choices will be limited to two types of garages – the attached and the detached types.
A detached garage option is a free-standing and completely independent structure separate from your house.
This type of garage is usually easy to add to your home compared to the attached type although they may be a little challenging aesthetically.
It can also be installed as an afterthought long after you have bought your home.
While they are freestanding structures, you probably will need a permit to install erect one.
Attached garages are a little different from the detached type because, you know it, they are add-on structures permanently linked to your home.
It requires a great deal of planning and resources. The integrated garage shares the foundation and the fourth wall with the main home.
What Is The Typical Garage Addition Project Like?
It can be a bit challenging, but if you have sufficient carpentry skills or accompanied by an experienced professional.
Here is how to approach your garage addition project:
Continue the current looks of your home as you sync it with the garage.
The best option would be a prefabricated garage because you will be able to choose a unit that’s similar to your home.
Maintain the correct structural integrity. Check if your home is capable of synching it with an additional structure on the sides.
If it is competent enough for a garage addition, you may go ahead with the project.
If you are buying a new home with plans to attach a garage on it, consider informing the manufacturer about it.
If the structure of your home can’t support being linked to another structure, maybe because of aging, go for the standalone garage instead.
If you go down this lane, consider leaving a beautiful breezeway between the garage and the home.
Review the foundation of the home. Build the foundation of the garage to match that of the home.
Make the roofing line of your garage even with the roofline of the main house.
If the garage must be built from a lower elevation, you will need to add more material on the floor to level up with that of the home so that the roofs of the two structures can be even.
Discuss the plans to add the garage with the maker of your prefabricated garage.
They will furnish you with specific guidance on how to attach the structure on your home and even how to build such things as the breezeway and the entry ramp if the land and the home are on different elevations.
Are there any HUD rules that must be followed?
There are no HUD rules that specifically target the additions you choose to add to your home.
So, no, there are no specific HUD rules to follow when adding a garage on your manufactured home.
So, There Are No Standards At All For Adding A Garage To A Mobile Home?
Whoa, let’s get at it slowly mate! When adding any structure on your mobile home, there are normally several local building codes to follow.
Also, remember we said there are no HUD rules that specifically target the add-ons.
But, there are broad HUD rules that dictate how the home should interact with any add-on linked to it. Most of them have something to do with the foundation, walls, and the general weight of the add-on:
- The additional structure may not lean or bear on the home (this means your second floor must be able to support itself)
- No parts of the chassis, walls, or roof supporting the structure of the home should be removed
- The home must have two exit doors regardless of whatever upgrades you may do on your home.
If, however, you take a drive through manufactured home communities, especially those with plenty of older homes, your eye will catch a few additions that you can easily tell didn’t pass local building codes or HUD rules just by glancing at them.
There are many reasons why local authorities would want you to build the addition in a specific way.
Safety is normally the main reason why building codes exist – the integrity of your home’s structure must be maintained while safeguarding the safety of the occupants at the same time.
What are other options do I have other than attached and detached?
Oh yes! We forgot to mention that attached and detached garages aren’t the only options you have, they just happen to be the most popular.
Here are some of the not-so-popular but practical garage options preferred by some homeowners:
- Pre-attached garage
They are almost always installed to face the driveway.
Carports may come with walls, but of them simply consist of the top part to protect your car from the weather.
The cost of acquiring a carport is lower than that of attached or detached options.
Pre Attached Garages
Pre-attached garages are a better option if you want to buy a garage from the same company that made your home.
Some companies will be glad to sell a home and a garage albeit at a slightly higher price.
The best thing about this type of garage is that it will come with the same design as your home.
The only major problem with pre-attached garages is that they come attached to the home.
This may not be attractive to those who would like to have a garage from the same manufacturer of their homes but would prefer a standalone option.
7 Factors to Consider When Thinking a Garage Addition
There are a few things to bear in mind when adding a garage on your manufactured home:
Is your home installed on flat land?
If the landscape is uneven, you will need to level it first and consider this factor when choosing the best type of garage for such a surface.
Remember that your car will regularly drive in and out of the garage and sometimes stay parked there for long periods.
Therefore, you want the floor of your garage to be built strong enough regardless of the elevation of the surface.
2. Type of Garage
The first thing to get around is the type of garage you want.
Start by evaluating your needs and figuring out the best garage that will meet those needs. There are two options to choose from – the attached and the detached options.
Attached garages are highly convenient, especially during wet or cold weather, but they limit design choices for the home.
Detached garages are separate from the home and may be built from ground up although prefabricated options are still available.
The best thing about detached garages is the wide range of design options they offer.
If your home is located in a moderate climate and you enjoy walking outside, breathing some fresh air, the detached option is just the right type of garage for you.
And, by the way, you can convert the detached garage into a home office. Yes, that’s one of the many perks that come with opting for a detached option.
3. Cost v/s Budget
- A typical 10 by 12 garage costs between $2,700 and $4,100 but it can depend on style.
- The largest prefabricated garage you could find out there can be as high as $12,700.
- The 12 by 12 barn garage is the smallest size you could go for, while the largest can be in the region of 14 by 40 and cost about $12,700.
If you have two cars, for instance, or you drive an enormous car, you are more likely to go for larger options between 14 by 20 and 14 by 40.
The material of construction influences the price of the garage, but not much.
Before even committing yourself to acquire one, prepare a well-thought budget first.
That budget serves to help you stay focused on what you need and lets you allocate the right amount of money for acquisition.
Budgeting helps you avoid overspending:
- Start by deciding the maximum and minimum amount of money you’re willing to spend on a garage, whether attached or detached.
- If you need a product with more features or bigger, factor in the specific additional features and if you need it.
- Also, be critical of the size just so you don’t end up paying for a larger unit that you don’t even need.
- Once you decide the specific amount of money to spend, it becomes way easier to come up with a list of features the prefab garage must have and those that you needed but are willing to trade-off with others because of the cost.
4. Prepare for Weather Elements
If your home is situated in an area prone to heavy snow, you will need to leave enough space in front of the door for snow removal.
The positioning of the garage on your home and the design option you choose should be in line with this factor.
This is especially critical if you often use a plow device to clear the snow.
Positioning the garage at the end of your driveway may pose a considerable challenge as clearing the snow cleanly becomes near impossible.
5. Appearance matters
The nicest garages you have ever seen don’t even look like garages. Rather, they look like the extension of the main home.
Making your garage to adopt the style of your home can be a bit hard and costly, but nothing can stop you if you are all for it.
Figure out ways you can use to give your garage a home-like appearance.
Break the classic bulky appearance single door design by adding two doors.
Fortunately, there are plenty of makers of prefabricated garages that will be more than glad to build a custom garage that matches your design specifications.
Whatever garage option you opt for, it will need to stand on a foundation capable of supporting the weight of your car.
It should not cave inwards or become soggy as a result of frequent movements during wet and cold seasons.
Attached garages should be accompanied by permanent foundations like a basement or slab. You need to be a bit careful not to tamper with the foundation of the home.
Carports and detached garages work best with the slab foundation.
7. DIY v/s Professional Installation
Simple garage designs like carports can be easily installed without even by the least skilled homeowner.
As long as you get your slab foundation right, everything else will fit like jigsaw pieces.
Advanced types such as attached and detached garages require advanced carpentry skills to install. You will need to hire a professional to install such garages.
Okay, Okay, But I Still Want a Garage Addition to My Manufactured Home
Well, if you want it so bad, there are a few challenges you need to bear in mind just so you can successfully proceed with your project to completion.
1. Beware of Elevation Problems
The biggest problem many homeowners have to deal with, especially those with homes in land-lease communities, is variation in elevation – the land on which the home will be sitting may not be level.
Leveling can be an entirely different task that can cost a considerable amount of money.
Simpler types of garages such as carports may prove challenging to install because they often don’t involve extensive ground preparation.
It is harder to install a slab foundation on irregular surfaces owing to the extensive digging and leveling that must be done before installing the foundation.
If the elevation of the land is not favorable for simple carports, consider installing a more advanced attached garage.
A detached garage can be a better option because you are free to build it elsewhere away from the building.
2. Safety Risks
Garages, especially the attached type, can pose a safety risk:
- Firstly, they are attached to the home, meaning they will share the fourth wall. If it is not installed properly by a professional, the structural integrity of the rest of the home may be negatively affected.
- Secondly, if the foundation is not installed properly in such a way that it affects the stability of the home’s foundation, it may weaken the shared wall between the garage and the home.
There will also be issues with the crawl space.
Most of the manufactured homes sold today are installed to sit on pier type foundations above the ground.
Many homeowners opt to install skirting around the home to protect the underbelly from water and animals as well as to improve the appearance of the home.
If you must add skirting on the perimeter of your house, you are required to allow a certain level of venting for a given square-feet of any type of skirting. The amount can vary from one location to another.
The point here is that most additions to mobile homes tend to reduce or even eliminate the amount of venting.
Less venting means your home won’t be properly vented. Improper ventilation often creates problems with moisture control and creates a friendly environment for mold growth.
3. Warranty Issues
Manufacturers of mobile homes ensure that their products meet specific standards.
The floor, foundation, walls, and everything on your mobile home is engineered to match standards.
If you choose to make a garage addition on your home, however, you are adding a structure that requires the home to work outside the factory standards.
So, unless the manufacturer allows it, an additional floor or any other structure that goes against factory standards will most likely result in voidance of the warranty.
This is why it is important to inform your home’s manufacturer before adding a garage on a mobile home.
And that’s all you need to know as far as doing a manufactured home garage addition is concerned.
Once you make up your mind between the attached, detached, and carport types of garage, everything else can be easier to get around.
The pre-attached option is unique because it normally comes with your home.
Remember to find out what local codes say about garage addition and comply with them. If you don’t possess the necessary skills, consider hiring a qualified professional.