The maximum height of a detached garage is 12 feet. The maximum height may be increased to 16 feet or the height of the principal structure, whichever is less, where the primary exterior materials of the accessory structure match the primary exterior materials of the principal structure and the roof pitch matches the primary roof pitch of the principal structure, and provided the wall height shall not exceet 10 feet from the floor to the top plate.
The vertical distance from the natural grade measured either at the curb level or at a point ten (10) feet away from the front center of the structure or building, whichever is closer, to the top of the highest point of the structure, or to the top of the highest point of the roof on a flat or shed roof, the deck line on a mansard roof, or the average distance between the eaves and the ridge level for gable, hip, and gambrel roofs.
The Minneapolis code very specifically enumerates authorized variances. Even with a variance, our code (525.520) states that "the maximum height of any accessory structure shall not exceed sixteen (16) feet or sixty (60) percent of the height of the structure to which it is accessory, whichever is greater." At one time our authorized variances only included the 60 percent provision. We added the 16 foot provision so that those with one or one-and-a-half story homes would at least have the opportunity to apply for a variance. It's not uncommon for people to apply for variances here in order to match the roof pitch of their principal structure since our code has the practical effect of preventing one from constructing a standard-size garage with a steep roof pitch (e.g., 12/12). Since many of our residential lots are 40 feet in width, we allow garages to be placed one foot off of side and rear lot lines (when located in the rear 40 feet of the lot). Given that we allow garages to be so close to the neighboring property, we want to prevent tall garages from imposing too much on their neighbors.
The Big Broken Box™ has a 12/12 pitch roof and aluminum siding 9" wide.
I just did some rough calculations on paper: for a 26-foot wide garage, the side walls are 9-1/2 feet tall, and the roof peak comes out to 22-1/2 feet. Almost 85% of the floor space has a 12-foot clearance (not counting rafter height).
It means that I get enough vertical space that I can do lighting pretty much unconstrained. It means I can use a crane, or even a kind of scaffold to get overhead shots. It means I could put in collar ties at 14 or 16 feet and run an overhead suspended dolly track.
It doesn't give me any more square footage to work with. It does however give me a lot more vertical space, and that's a great boon to lighting.
It means each roof rafter is approximately 19 feet long. Considering I can get 20-foot lumber at 'Nards or Home Despot, it's still do-able.
It also means that the sphinchter-tightening idea of the new roof for the house is relaxed a whole lot.
Well, it's exciting news to me.