Archive for June, 2009

Jun 25 2009

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Garage Blueprints: One Set of Plans Stamped “Not for Construction”

Sometimes, when building a new garage, it may seem that it is only necessary to purchase one set of blueprints. However, before buying stock garage plans it is important to know that a single set of plans is stamped “not for construction.”  This complete and stamped set of construction drawings is considered a study set and is intended for review only.  With a stamped set of garage plans, you can view the blueprints in more detail and obtain bids and estimates for the materials and labor of your building project.

 

Once you’ve reviewed the garage plans and decide to proceed with construction, you can upgrade your blueprint package to a greater set of blueprints. Most garage plan publishers allow upgrades for a limited time. This means you will only be required to pay the difference in cost between a single set of blueprints and a greater plan package. At www.thegarageplanshop.com customers have 90 days to upgrade a single set plan package to a greater blueprint package.

 

Other important notes:

  • If you order a one-set plan package, be aware that shipping charges apply again when you upgrade your blueprint package.
  • Building permits cannot be obtained with a stamped set of garage plans.
  • It is considered copyright infringement to copy or build from a set of garage plans that is stamped “not for construction” and doing so is punishable by law.

     

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Jun 19 2009

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Garage Apartment for a Weekend Retreat

007G-0007My family loves being outdoors…biking, hiking, hunting, fishing, and the list goes on. When my wife and I purchased nearly 600 wooded acres about two hours from our suburban home, there was no there was no doubt we’d be spending many weekends there with our kids, extended family and friends. We have a couple of nice fishing lakes and several trails for hiking and riding ATVs and dirt bikes. On long weekends we invite friends and family to the property for cookouts, swimming, fishing and camping in tents. When the fall hunting season rolls around the place transforms into “deer camp” as my brother and a couple hunting buddies arrive with their pop-up campers. I am certain everyone has enjoyed numerous hours and days of fun at our little piece of the wilderness.

 

However, my wife and I do have an eye focused on our retirement. This is the place where we’d like to build a home, the place where we will grow old together and spend time with our grand kids. But in the meantime, we are not getting any younger and camping is getting to be a little bit harder on the body. Plus with teenagers now, no trip to the woods is easy. We strategically load the ATV and dirt bikes on the bed of the truck and pack everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) around them until the truck cannot hold one more thing. Then we hitch up the boat and trailer and away we go to our wooded getaway where we will spend at least a few hours unloading and setting up camp before the fun can begin.

 

It seemed to my wife and I that there had to be a better way. That’s when we decided to build a garage apartment. It was the perfect solution to our packing challenges and it makes spending the night more comfortable. We chose a garage apartment that would accommodate all of our needs. With a large garage area, we now have room to park the truck while we are there and also have a place to store the boat, ATV and dirt bikes safely while we are away. With so much storage space, we’ve expanded out “water toy collection” a little bit. Now we have a canoe and a pair of kayaks that hang from the garage ceiling when not in use. But these aren’t the only things we needed to store. We didn’t want to have to pack up and bring our fishing poles, tackle boxes, life jackets and hunting clothes every time we left suburbia for the woods. With a little research, I was able to find garage organizers for all of these things and now we can just put everything away at the end of the weekend leaving all of it in the country. Better than that, we don’t have to spend hours unloading everything each time we arrive in the country. We just pull up, jump out of the truck and enjoy the sights and sounds of the woods.

 

The upstairs living quarters of our garage apartment are modest, but comfortable. The compact kitchen allows us to easily cook meals even when an unexpected storm puts the campfire out. Two bedrooms give my wife and I our own space and the kids a place to crash too. A full bath accommodates our needs. If we invite guests to stay with us for the weekend, the open and flexible living area allows room for a pull-out couch and a couple of sleeping bags. The laundry closet is something I thought we could do without, but I am sure glad my wife talked me into it. It is nice to be able to throw a load of towels in after spending an afternoon swimming in the lake or wash and dry some of the basics after hunting in the rain all day.

 

The garage apartment is a far cry from “roughing it,” be we can still sleep under the stars on a nice night if we want to. Besides, there are other advantages. Some have asked if we plan to build a house here in the future, why didn’t we just build the house to begin with? For starters, we are still saving up for our dream home, and we still don’t know exactly what we want. This gives us time to live with the land and figure out just where we want to build our house to get the best views and take advantage of the landscape. And when the time comes, I’ll feel lucky to have temporary living quarters at the jobsite during construction of our permanent home. It will sure beat sleeping in a tent at age sixty-something or having to drive two hours to check on the progress of construction. And when our dream home is finished, this cozy little garage apartment will be a perfect guest house and no doubt it will still be the storage space for everything it holds now.

 

Looking forward to living with Mother Nature for many years to come…

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Jun 12 2009

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The Convenient Drive-Thru Garage

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If you are planning to build a garage in your backyard or on another piece of property, consider building a drive-thru garage.  Just as any other garage will provide vehicle storage, a workspace or any other storage that you need, the drive-thru garage design will accommodate those same needs with added convenience. This type of floor plan delivers all the same features as any other garage plan, such as overhead garage doors and an easy access service entry, but it also offers at least one overhead door at the rear of the structure making it easy to pull straight thru the garage or access items from the front and rear without having to back a car out or move large items first. Think about it. No more moving the car out to get to the riding mower, just access it from the rear door. No more kids trying to maneuver their bikes between the cars to get them out of the garage. Just store them in back where they can open the rear door and hop on their bikes with no obstacles in the way (plus no scratches and door dings on your cars.) Maybe you have an angled driveway making it difficult to back the boat into the garage. Just drive the truck straight thru the garage leaving the boat and trailer in their designated garage bay with no hassles. Then drive the truck around the side of the garage and back to its proper place. Drive-thru garages serve many purposes whether you love gardening and want simple access to tools and supplies or prefer to have immediate access to golf cart, ATV or motorcycle. No matter what your desire might be, these designs eliminate hassle and offer convenience. Furthermore, drive-thru garage plans are available in a variety of sizes and styles ensuring you’ll find just the right want to suit your needs.

 

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Jun 03 2009

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Your Garage Apartment: How to Rent it Out

030G-0002There are many benefits to owning a garage apartment. You’ll have the additional parking and storage space you need and potential income from a tenant who might otherwise be paying rent somewhere else. Better than that, charging rent gives you extra financial means to pay off the construction of your new garage. It is a win-win situation unless you don’t know how to go about finding a tenant to rent out the apartment. Below are a few tips that will help you rent out your new garage apartment.

 

1.     Check with your local government. Many areas and subdivisions have restrictions against renting a portion of your property to someone else. While city laws may allow you to use your garage apartment personally for perhaps a guest suite for overnight visitors, many municipalities have laws preventing you from using the apartment as a source of income. So before you even start construction on your new garage apartment, make sure renting is permitted in your area.

2.     Do your homework. Find out if there are any zoning regulations in your area. Some cities and neighborhoods require that you get approval from neighbors before you can lease your property to a renter. In most cases a notice is sent to your neighbors (i.e. anyone whose property boarders yours or anyone who lives within a specified distance, such as 500 feet, from the dwelling you plan to lease.) These people will be given a specific amount of time, such as 30 days, to object. If there are no objections you are given a permit to lease the garage apartment. If someone does object, your request will be denied.

3.     Ask a competitive price. Take some time to research other garage apartments and apartment buildings in your area. Go look at them so you know what is being offered. Find out what price each one is renting for. Make sure your price is comparable to other units in the area of a similar square footage and amenities. If you price your property too high, you won’t get any potential renters.

4.     Use strategic advertising. While garage apartments can be quite accommodating, they generally have a small square footage limiting the number of potential renters. Advertise in areas where there are a lot of singles and college students who may not require a great amount of space or will be just fine with the basics. Get permission to put of flyers on college campuses and in other areas where young singles are likely to gather.

5.     Interview your potential renter. When someone shows interest in the garage apartment, don’t just offer it to them on the spot. Make an appointment for a formal interview with the perspective tenant. After all, this is your property. You want to be certain you will lease the apartment to someone who will respect your property as you would, otherwise you may be headed for trouble in the future. Get to know the person so you can get a good feel if this person is the right fit for you and your apartment.

 

Leasing your garage apartment is a wonderful income opportunity for you, and it is the ideal way to pay off the construction of your dream garage. With these helpful tips, you should be well on your way to renting out the living space of your new garage apartment.

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