crude drawings done by moi...

Robert, the architect, had sent us emails during the week with the local ordinances so that we could review before giving him the final go-ahead to draw up the sketches.

We met with him on Sunday and talked about the non-refundable $1000 charge that we would need to pay the ZBA (zoning board) in order to have them review our plans. The charge was because our plans exceeded the square footage allowed by the Ordinance. They only allow 790 square feet which would include both floors. So, we either needed to concede and pay the $1000 or brainstorm and figure out a different plan.

Our original plan was to build a second story; keeping within the same footprint of the current garage. The second story would be accessible from the hill. This second story would have an area in the back for storage and an area in the front designated a “living space”, but without running water or heat. A shed roof would come off the side to allow for a future covered porch or deck. In a year or so, we would build a deck off the side into the yard.
If we had continued with that idea, we would have 600 sq.ft. of garage space and 600 sq.ft. of living space on the second floor – surpassing the 790 sq.ft. allowable space.
So, brainstorming needed to be done. In order to follow the ordinance and keep a nice storage area at the top of the hill, I thought that maybe we could move the “deck” onto the top of the garage.We would have a 200 sq.ft. enclosed storage space at the back and a deck or balcony at the front. The roofline would cover the storage in the back and be brought forward to the front of the garage to act as a covered porch. The garage would keep one of the same footings but then become more square allowing a wider but less deep garage. Losing the depth will also make possible keeping the trees at the back of the garage. I was pretty happy about that since one of the trees flowers in the spring and the other turns yellow in the fall.

This idea would also kill several birds with one stone: We would be following the ordinance. We would not have to pay the $1000. We would not have to go in front of the ZBA, nor the Planning Commission; only the HDA. We would have our porch/deck/balcony right away and we would save the amount of money we would have paid for a deck in a year or two. The deck would be nicely covered and going along the same shaped roofline as our house; rather than an additional shed roof off to the side.

Let’s just hope that the HDA will approve of our new design and that we find a good contractor to make our idea come to pass…at a reasonable cost.

Real sketches to follow, drawn by a real architect.


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