I appreciate the suggestions.
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim
If you are putting more than one circuit in the garage, you will need a subpanel, per 225.30 of the NEC. You can't run multiple circuits to a detached building. Good news is that it will certainly be more convenient, plus your house panel looks a little crowded. The sub will only take 2 spaces on your existing panel.
Yeah, after a bit of learning, it looks like the subpanel is a must. This is relatively cheap, and will give me room for the future.
As for concrete, I would remove at least the damaged portions plus some around it. Dig down and chainsaw through whatever root might be there. If it's on your property you can remove it. It will only become a bigger problem in the future, most likely compromising the foundation. Best case, remove the entire slab, compact, repour.
I gotta get a concrete guy to take a look. The arborist said he could remove the appropriate amount and take care of the root(s) BUT he was really quick to schedule a time for some pruning (which worked well) on another tree -- and has been not returning calls about the roots. I figure a concrete pro has dealt with such a situation before, so that would be the way to go.
Latest twist: The neighbors (or the owners of the house, since the neighbors are renters) chopped 80% of the tree down. Now it just looks like a 15 foot stump. That may not mean it never grows again but I'm guessing it slows it. And, best of all, now it's so small I'm not worried about it taking out my garage, in a storm.
Lastly, I think you'd be really screwed if a neighbor flipped you for no permit. The amount of work it would take to make the building comply as habitable space wouldn't be worth it. Unless you have a good'ol boy inspector that will do a drive-by inspection.
I'm not sure what you mean by 'habitable space' because it won't be a living space. Other than the false wall, it will be something that can still be a garage, with a single day's work.