Car storage under home?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by bounty, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. bounty

    bounty F1 Veteran

    Feb 18, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Full Name:
    I am looking into building a home and was wondering if anyone here has a garage or storage facility that resides under their home in a ramp down fashion. I've always liked the idea of this and have seen it done a few times...usually on larger home won't be huge but think this could still be pulled off with a creative builder at hand...ideas?
  2. teak360

    teak360 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 3, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Full Name:
    When Mansour Ojjeh still had his house in Paris I had dinner there. It was a big home but not huge, and if you drove around back there was a ramp down to a garage under the house. He had room for about six cars, as I remember, and he had a curtained off area with floor drains where he could wash the cars. There was a stairway that came up into the house.
    For your house you would have to maintain a fire separation between the garage area and house just like any attached garage, and there may be some special restrictions that your local building department would enforce.
  3. branko

    branko F1 Rookie

    Mar 17, 2003
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Full Name:
    Branko Medenica
    My garage is under the front porch. Since the house and porch is made out of stone there are no fire issues. Also, after a spirited drive, there are no gas fumes coming up into the house.
  4. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 26, 2005
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    Basements tend to be damp. You'll want to pay attention to waterproofing and humidity control, as well as drainage if you plan to wash the cars down there.

    I think it's a great idea, though - garages take up a lot of real estate.
  5. ronsupercar

    ronsupercar Formula 3

    May 2, 2002
    Orlando Fla.
    Full Name:
    And also keep in mind you will have to build a steep ramp to get into the garage that may damage your spoiler and undercarriage of your car.

    Good luck


    p.s. don't forget the pictures
  6. bwassam

    bwassam Formula Junior

    Jan 3, 2005
    North Bend, Oregon
    Full Name:
    Robert Wassam
    I have found that the cheapest floor space in town is an airplane hangar. For example, I rent a tee hangar and it cost me about .40 cents a square foot. Try to get wharehouse space for that much. Likely you'll pay in the neighborhood of .80 cent per square foot.

    Consider how much your underhouse garage will cost and divide that by about 200 and you'll see how long it takes to pay off your garage verses renting. It may add value to your house so that if you ever sell your home you'll get your money back.

    If you decide to go ahead with your underhouse garage, make sure you positive ventilation becasue gas fumes tend to sink into the lowest corners of the space. That will also help with your moisture and mildew problems. Also, check with your insurance company to see how they feel about it. You may get a rise in your premiums, and if they don't know about your underhouse garage and you have a problem they may not want to pay. Well, to be honest, they don't want to pay at any rate. Just don't make it easy for them to deny your payment.

    Good luck with your project. I tend to like the idea.

    Bob Wassam
  7. vteqe

    vteqe Formula Junior

    Mar 5, 2005
    long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    I have been living in my house for >25 years. The house orginally contained a 2 car garage in the basement which lies under my bedroom, a wall was later opened to make 3, and now has been lenghtened to 4 cars. This area is under my den and living room. The basement is heated and humdity controlled. The innner garages are separated by an industrial curtain from the primary garage. The garages are separated from the oil burner area by a wall and the door is kept closed. An insurance inspection back when there was only one additional garage yielded no comment. Goodluck

    F SPIDER F1 Rookie

    Jan 30, 2002
    NYC, A'dam, W'stock
    Full Name:
    rijk rietveld
    On the list of things to consider, also add noise transmission. If you like early morning drives and you have a Tubi, you might get into trouble if there is enyone else living there.
  9. DGS

    DGS Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 27, 2003
    Full Name:
    Why ramp down? If your building lot isn't level, your foundation level may be below ground on one side and at ground level on the other.

    You have to pay attention to the water table. Near rivers or lakes, you can't go down very far without the risk of either flooding below ground levels, or having a sealed foundation float out of the ground.

    If your garage is below ground level, you have to worry about rain and snow run-off; how to keep it from coming in the garage door, and how to remove any that the car tracks in.

    You might be better off with the garage at ground level, and the living space starting one level up.

    Depending on the climate, getting the living area up above ground level may help with getting air flow at the windows, keeping water out of the carpets, and keeping amateur burglars out of the front door.

    The most common compromise of this nature is the home style variously called a "split entry" or a "raised ranch": Basically a three bedroom ranch above a service level containing a garage, family room, and utility area. Often there's a mid-floor entry point.

    The older "split level" style split the house into two sets of steps; instead of a first floor and a second floor, there are half levels between. These houses have a large amount of open-seeming space, which is a disadvantage to climate zoning. (The upper levels tend to stay warmer than the lower.)

    Since gas fumes tend to hug the floor, zoning in many areas will require the garage floor to be a couple of inches below any living area on the same level.

    Some practicalities to consider: Heat rises. In a warm climate the engine heat from a parked Ferrari will heat the rooms above, unless you have a lot of independent ventillation for the garage level. Groceries don't rise on their own. When you come in from the market with a trunk full of groceries, you'll have to cart them up a flight to the kitchen.

    You'll want to do some research and talk to an architect. Unfortunately, you have to be very cautious about research via the web on this topic: most floor plans you find on the web are all variations on the same theme -- and not such a great theme at that. (Maybe I'm a bit biased: my father was a custom home architect.)

    Other practicalities come into effect in the design: How many roof lines? How many materials are required? How much plumbing to link the "wet" areas? (One reason the split entry was popular was that all the plumbing was together, using less (then copper) pipe, and a single roof line meant mass produced framing elements.) Knowing that wall coverings come in four foot widths can help reduce wasted materials in construction, etc. These are things that a competent architect should be able to advise you on. But I don't see much economy of materials in today's web designs.

    Choosing a building contractor can be quite a trial, too. Most builders today take massive advantage to the funding situation -- they charge a flat rate per square foot to start (regardless of materials and labor costs), then start adding items to the price: because they're building the house on their funds, knowing that you're contracted to buy it off a single mortgage. If you can fund construction elements yourself, you'll do far better.

    You might want to check your local library for architecture magazines, check with your bank for construction loans, etc.

    Building a home can be a painful experience, if you stumble into it without doing your homework. Most "turnkey" builders will paint a rosy picture beforehand, but will give you a much worse reality.
  10. sjvalin

    sjvalin Formula Junior

    Aug 31, 2004
    Nevada County, CA
    Full Name:
    Steve Valin
    My house has the 8 car garage, game room, and swimming pool on the first level, with the living quarters above it. It works well. The land is slightly sloped such that one side of the garage is about 4 feet below ground.

  11. 483hp

    483hp Formula 3

    Aug 17, 2005
    Go to the pictures of the subterranian garage at It's pretty amazing and includes a 2 storey basketball court.

    For those with a more modest budget (and building a new home), you may consider a tower lift rather than building a ramp. For an example, you can go to:

    These can be used to lift cars up or down one level to a showroom.
  12. 3M7M5

    3M7M5 Karting

    Sep 26, 2004
    Could you post a link? I found the photo gallery and saw the garage posted, but the link didn't work.

  13. 3M7M5

    3M7M5 Karting

    Sep 26, 2004
    #13 3M7M5, Apr 26, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  14. 483hp

    483hp Formula 3

    Aug 17, 2005
    I haven't looked at that site for sometime. It looks like the pages with the pictures is either broken or has been taken down. I heard there were security concerns by the owner.

    It's too bad, it was very cool. The house was built so that it looked like it had a modest 2 or 3 car from the front, but the door opened to a courtyard that accessed 2 separate (his and her) 3-car garages and a workshop. Driving further led to a ramp down to the basement level gallery complete with a turntable and a view down into a basketball court.

    Ultgar is a member here BTW.
  15. 483hp

    483hp Formula 3

    Aug 17, 2005
    Very nice!

    If you have the means, I highly recommend it!
  16. 410SA

    410SA F1 Veteran

    Nov 2, 2003
    West Coast
    Full Name:
    A prominent collector in S. Cal has builtlt a home with a basement covering the entire footprint of the house. It has been decorated to look like an Italian village square and houses some really rare Ferraris. The most critical feature of the underground garage is a massive extractor fan to ensure that residual fumes from the cars being driven in or out are safely removed.

    It is really spectacular and must be seen to be appreciated. I don't have any pictures but I will call him to see if he'd like to post something.
  17. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran

    May 24, 2004
    Full Name:
    Is this in MD.? Where?
  18. 3M7M5

    3M7M5 Karting

    Sep 26, 2004
    yea, it's in northwest Baltimore
  19. ultgar

    ultgar Karting

    Nov 21, 2003
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Steve D'Gerolamo
    I do have some pictures (that have been approved by the owner of the garage) up on my site at . SD
  20. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
    VIR Raceway
    Full Name:
    Steve, aren't you headed down here soon?
  21. testarob

    testarob F1 Rookie

    May 13, 2006
    Debary, Florida
    Full Name:
    #21 testarob, Apr 30, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Michael Schumacher has one ...
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  22. gsjohnson

    gsjohnson Formula 3

    Feb 25, 2008
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Full Name:
    GS Johnson
    Isn't Jay Leno's setup under his house as well?
  23. ultgar

    ultgar Karting

    Nov 21, 2003
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Steve D'Gerolamo
    I'm back and forth between NJ and Mooresville once a month. Can't wait to make NC my permanent home. Steve
  24. ferrariredered

    ferrariredered Karting

    Oct 18, 2006
    Alb. New Mexico
    Full Name:
  25. Jackmb1

    Jackmb1 F1 Rookie

    Dec 27, 2005
    Great idea for a garage.

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