As part of a recent renovation project, we added a second floor to an existing one-story attached garage. The plan was for a new bedroom suite in this added space to tie into a two-story addition that we would build in conjunction with the garage work.

Simply demolishing the garage and starting from scratch would have made more sense but wasn't an option: Since the garage sidewall was in violation of the local zoning ordinance's side-yard setback requirement, taking it down would mean losing 5 feet of variance. So, to conform to the ordinance, the new second-floor sidewall needed to be built 5...

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