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I am seriously considering putting up a detached garage to house my growing collection, or at least some of it. We have a nice 30 ft wide by 22 ft deep space at the edge of the current pad. So will be putting in a slab. I can't go much deeper than 22 fet due to property line and a large oak tree that I don't want to disturb - too much anyways.

 

So this oak has a nasty habit of shedding a big branch every few years. By big I am talking sometimes 5 in diameter. Probably big enough to go thru a conventionally framed garage and do damage to the cars inside. Can I avoid this by spec'ing steel beams for the basic frame and ceiling joists? Or is there a better way?

 

Cheers, Dave

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Build a conventional roof and take your chances with the tree. Unless the whole tree comes down, it's unlikely to actually crush the roof and even then it might not destroy it. Our property is surrounded by 100+ year old oaks and they drop big branches now and then. The only one that ever did any damage was one that dropped like a spear right through the roof, but even then it didn't even get to the drywall underneath. My father had a rather large tree actually fall on his garage and his ancient, rickety, rotted garage didn't fall. It was racked, it was bashed, but it didn't collapse on the 1930 Ford and 1925 Buick within. 


Stick to standard construction and deal with the damage as it happens. If you want a little extra protection on the roof, use 5/8 or 3/4 plywood instead of the OSB that most roofers will use, but even that is probably overkill. The damage is easy enough to fix and you have insurance. I don't think even the biggest of oak trees can drop a branch big enough to crush a garage and wreck a car. You're over-thinking it, maybe?

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I added something similar a few years back... it is about 32 ft long and 13 ft from wall to wall.

the roof pitch matches the brick building and we used 16 ft metal roofing and did not trim it...so it has almost 2 ft overhang.

I went to a local place that sells metal for metal buildings,  got the name of a couple guys that built buildings and was happy with the results.

I think I have about $2500 in labor and materials (2012 prices)  I would really like to get foam insulation sprayed on the underside as it radiates lots of heat in the summer.

You will also note I was limited by a tree.

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5 hours ago, Daves1940Buick56S said:

I am seriously considering putting up a detached garage to house my growing collection, or at least some of it. We have a nice 30 ft wide by 22 ft deep space at the edge of the current pad. So will be putting in a slab. I can't go much deeper than 22 fet due to property line and a large oak tree that I don't want to disturb - too much anyways.

 

So this oak has a nasty habit of shedding a big branch every few years. By big I am talking sometimes 5 in diameter. Probably big enough to go thru a conventionally framed garage and do damage to the cars inside. Can I avoid this by spec'ing steel beams for the basic frame and ceiling joists? Or is there a better way?

 

Cheers, Dave

Murphy's Law.  If you don't disturb the tree at all,  it will die right after you finish the garage and either fall on it,  or cost a fortune to remove because the garage is in the way.  We just had the power company take down a badly forked 110 foot 30 inch diameter pine behind the house that I could have dropped,  but it's alot better to let them deal with it as it was on their right of way.  Of course they probably only touched it, because i said I would clean it up just get it down. 

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Dave, I think Matt offers some excellent advice.  There were two great points he made that I think are really helpful.  First, take the risk.  Money you spend to fortify to take a heavy limb will likely far exceed a repair.  Next, Matt’s recommendation to use 3/4” Plywood (not OSB) is spot on.  Maybe you need it only on one side of the roof but the price adder isn’t that much and I bet that it would take 3 or 4 times the force of the standard 5/8 OSB.  

 

I’ll add one more thing; as a sawmill operator I’ve been looking at large trees for nearly thirty years, including all kinds of oak. There are signs of imminent branch failure with oaks and they include:  shedding of small outer branches during the spring, far less leaf density than other branches, darkening of bark, and a limb that has become shaded by an increasing canopy.  Good tree health for an oak involves removal of these limbs and doing  so will greatly reduce the risk that concerns you.

 

when you get started, be sure to take a lot of pictures and share them with us!

 

 

Edited by JoelsBuicks (see edit history)

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Will do. I will probably start the process in a couple of months, assuming my current work contract goes most of the rest of the year, with the build next Spring.

 

Cheers, Dave

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On 5/14/2018 at 1:51 PM, Matt Harwood said:

I don't think even the biggest of oak trees can drop a branch big enough to crush a garage and wreck a car.

 

Uh...  I had an oak drop this one a while back:

 

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If that tree is regularly dropping large branches into a habitated area, you need to get a competent arborist on the case irrespective of whether you build a garage or not.  You'll have a better looking, healthier, safer tree if you do.  And if you build a garage right next to it, you will compromise its root system.

 

I would also suggest that some insurance policies will not pay off for tree damage plausibly caused by negligence (i.e. lack of maintenance).

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We have a tree service - a small family owned local outfit that has been in business over 50 years, so all of our trees get looked at about twice a year. And they do clear out the dead branches, but sometimes one will get ahead of them and fall. We had a big windstorm a couple of months ago and I lost a big branch, although not nearly as big as the one in your photo.

 

I do not think the project will hurt the tree. First, the slab edge will be about 8 feet from the trunk. I know the roots extend out to the drip line, but another thing in my favor is that the ground slopes away from the edge of the existing pad towards the tree, so the slab will only be an inch or so into the ground near the tree, assuming a 6 inch deep slab.

 

Cheers, Dave

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Great to hear you're expanding and are looking at preventative measures to protect them Buicks, especially that sweet lil '38 Century!!!  :D   If you use trusses, go with 2 ft on center. Around here truss material is No. 2 Southern Pine which is good. If stick building be sure to use pine rafter material and not spruce or "white wood" which is what they sell at Lowes and HD now I think. That and 5/8 plywood will afford about the best protection against the oak tree as can be had. What type of roofing are you planning?

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Thanks Lamar! Just plain old asphalt shingles on the roof. We are going to try to sort of match the house so it will be a colonial-style garage, whatever that ends up as, and likely brick over frame like we did our addition.

 

Cheers, Dave

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Set aside any money you would have used to alter/improve the standard construction to use for repairs if a limb were to damage it.  My job is property insurance claims (and other claims too).  I have never in my 10 years seen an limb fall and reach the interior of a structure, and only very rarely actually put a hole in an OSB decked shingle roof.  If the whole tree fell over, that would be another story.

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Built a stand alone 22x40 garage. Tulip poplars in my area are brittle and cause everyone damage. I had one about 50” diameter taken out before I built my garage.

Try a licensed arborist to provide a tree health assessment. Too much time and $ invested to go on s hunch. 

I have no supports in my garage. I used engineered rafters. 5” 4500 lb concrete with metal sheet wire. Minimum 10 ft ceiling for a lift. My 63 Riv is 53.2” high and gets up high enough for me at 5’11” with my 9000 lb lift. Get enough service for a heavy duty compressor and electric heat. Insulate the walls and ceiling you’ll be happy you did. Get insulated garage doors.

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On 5/14/2018 at 1:50 PM, Daves1940Buick56S said:

I am seriously considering putting up a detached garage to house my growing collection, or at least some of it. We have a nice 30 ft wide by 22 ft deep space at the edge of the current pad. So will be putting in a slab. I can't go much deeper than 22 fet due to property line and a large oak tree that I don't want to disturb - too much anyways.

 

So this oak has a nasty habit of shedding a big branch every few years. By big I am talking sometimes 5 in diameter. Probably big enough to go thru a conventionally framed garage and do damage to the cars inside. Can I avoid this by spec'ing steel beams for the basic frame and ceiling joists? Or is there a better way?

 

Cheers, Dave

You may want to consider tying off the limb that's a concern to the main trunk of that tree. A 1/2" cable will hold an incredible amount of weight. If placed well the branch could break and drop directly along side the main trunk. I've seen tree trimmers use that method in close quarters to a building they want to make sure doesn't get hit by a limb they are taking down. Just a thought...

 

 

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