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Old 08-22-2011, 12:23 AM
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
3 posts, read 12,131 times
Reputation: 10


I have searched google and a few of the Hampton Roads city sites for a specific answer to my question to no avail.

I want to build a garage with living space on a vacant lot sometime in the future. I figured this would be a good start as my first home as it can be done fairly cheaply and the minimal lifestyle would help save a lot of money over time. I would want to get a lot and build the garage off to the side so that later on I could build a home and rent the garage out possibly. This is where my question comes in though.

Typically, could you build two, separate/detached, structures that could be occupied on the same lot? I understand the lot type could come into play here, but generally speaking is this legal? Also, say detached wouldn't be allowed, what could be considered attached? Does it have be attached structurally like an enclosed walkway, or could a sub panel in the house being fed from the main service in the garage constitute the structures as being attached?

I am really not familiar with code here, and really do not plan on doing this anytime soon. It's just been a thought of mine for a while and this is really the only thing that would keep me from doing this. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:19 AM
Location: Roanoke, VA
1,813 posts, read 3,914,147 times
Reputation: 1168
Why don't you call someone at the office that enforces the building code and ask your questions? This would be the best way to learn what you want to know.

I suspect that an equally or perhaps more important issue concerns zoning. These type of additional living quarters are not allowed under some zoning classifications. You may want to call the zoning department too. Even if such a structure can be built in accordance with the building code, it won't be permitted if disallowed by the zoning ordinance applicable to your vacant lot.

Do you already have the vacant lot?
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:35 AM
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
203 posts, read 448,540 times
Reputation: 132
Many, many questions. I know families that have built several houses on one lot for different members of the family. Again, like was said above, I'd contact your local building code office and just ask them. I have found walking in and talking in person, they have always been very helpful.
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