Archive for April, 2011

Apr 27 2011

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7 Tips for Building a Garden Shed – The Garage Plan Shop

Shed Plan 050S-0006If you have a green thumb and enjoy gardening, whether you prefer vegetables or flowers, like many gardening enthusiasts, you will benefit from building a garden shed in your backyard. They are perfect for storing lawn and garden tools and supplies as well as seeds, bulbs, pots and more. Below are six tips to help you get started building a convenient and practical backyard shed:

 

  1. Decide how you plan to use the garden shed. Will you only use it to store items like the lawn mower, leaf blower, DIY tools and the sprinklers and hoses during the off season? Do you need extra space to store other seasonal items like patio furniture during the winter? Will you use the garden shed for planting and potting plants? Sorting seeds and bulbs? Do you simply want a quite retreat where you can go to get away from it all and enjoy your hobby from time to time?
  2. Determine the size of the shed you’d like to build. If you have a small lot or space, your lot may dictate the size of the garden shed. But, if space is not an issue, knowing how you plan to use the shed as decided above, will help you determine what size garden shed you will need. Keep in mind some garden shed plans are available with a loft providing extra overhead storage, ideal for a restricted lot. If you have plenty of room and you’re not on a tight budget, you might consider building your garden shed a bit larger than your needs actually require. Extra room is always appreciated, and you never heard of anyone complaining they built too big a shed, have you?
  3. How often will you use your garden shed? If you plan to spend long stretches of time in the shed on a regular basis, you might want a few amenities like windows or lighting, a planting bench or work surface, and a utility sink. Likewise, if you plan to charge batteries for DIY tools or plug-in other electrical items, you’ll have plan for electrical outlets.
  4. What kind of access will you need? Depending on how you plan to use the garden shed will influence the door size and style you choose. Do you need a single service door, a double door entry or an overhead garage door?
  5. Consider your budget. If you have a tight budget, make sure you stick to it. Look for deals on lumber and other building materials to keep from overspending. If there is no wiggle room in your budget, you might have to sacrifice some of the special features you were originally hoping for, like the utility sink, to keep from going over budget. 
  6. Research local building codes. Before buying a garden shed plan find out if you’ll need to get building permits. Ask your local building department what other building codes you must follow. Some municipalities have height and size restrictions. Other areas must follow building codes based on local weather and climate conditions. Doing a little research ahead of time may eliminate some headaches when you are ready to start building.
  7. Choose a garden shed plan in the size that accommodates your needs, local requirements and budget. Also, find a style that blends nicely with your home and other surrounding homes, especially if you live in a neighborhood.

 

If you are considering building a backyard garden shed, these helpful tips will help you get started on your project.

 

If you’d like to view the types of garden shed plans available, please visit The Garage Plan Shop and browse our collection.

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Apr 20 2011

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4 Advantages of Building a Detached Garage Plan – The Garage Plan Shop

Garage Plans 033G-0022For most of us, the garage is considered an extension of the home, and for many, a garage can do much more than just store the family cars. Aside from the space they offer, detached garages are certainly a multi-purpose structure. They are built for any number of reasons and functions making it advantageous to add one to your home or property. Below is a list of some of the advantages of building a detached garage plan.

 

  1. A garage offers security and protection. It is a place where your cars are secure from potential vandals, theft and other car crimes or critters that might try to make themselves at home under the hood or in the undercarriage of the car. Also, a detached garage will protect your cars from the elements such as hail, wind, ice, snow and sun, not to mention a falling tree during a severe thunderstorm. And who wants to scrape the ice and frost off their windows every morning before work, when they can just park their car in a garage? Finally, a detached garage can offer locked storage space for tools and other valuables you might not necessarily store inside your home.
  2. For the family handyman, a garage makes a nice tool shed or workshop. Add cabinets, shelving and a workbench and you have plenty for room to store tools and supplies and still have space to work on home repair projects.
  3. A detached garage plan makes a nice hobby room for woodworkers and other hobbyists giving them a place to work on projects without disturbing the rest of the home. Also, it keeps harmful fumes and gases (from paints and other items) from entering the living areas of the home. Ventilation will be necessary if you plan to use your garage for such activities.
  4. Adding a garage to your property will increase the value or your home or lot. Should you ever decide to sell, you may see a nice return on your investment. 

Building a detached garage plan has many advantages. They enhance living spaces, add extra storage and parking and provide workspace. Garages don’t have to be big and decked out with the most expensive features and accessories. They just have to serve the purposes for which they are built. If you are considering building a detached garage plan, take some time to browse the floor plans at The Garage Plan Shop. There are plenty of designs and styles to choose from that will satisfy your needs.

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Apr 11 2011

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Plan Ahead: 9 Things to Think About Before Building a Garage – The Garage Plan Shop

Garage Plan 0028G-0022For some guys (and gals) the garage may be the most important part of their home or property. When building a detached garage, The Garage Plan Shop recommends planning ahead. Know how you want to use your garage and what special elements you might need so you can accommodate those needs and incorporate special features during construction. Below is a list of nine things to consider before you purchase a garage plan and begin building.

 

  1. Use: Are you just going to store a couple cars in the garage or do you plan to use it for storage space or a hobby room too? Knowing how you plan to use the garage with determine what special elements you need to incorporate.
  2. Ventilation: Make sure you have a plan for ventilation. During the winter, many will raise their garage doors and starts their cars allowing them to warm up. This allows toxic fumes and gases such as carbon monoxide to escape the garage without causing harm or health risks. However, if you’re not actually sitting in your car or inside the garage while your car is warming up, an open garage door is an invitation for car theft. In this case, you would benefit from installing an exhaust fan. Likewise, if you plan to use the garage for painting or hobbies that may create fumes, an exhaust fan is a necessary element to ensure health and safety.
  3. Car Storage: If you are planning to use the garage for parking, consider the size of your vehicles. If you are storing a typical sedan style car, you probably won’t need to make adjustments. On the other hand, storing oversized vehicles such as an SUV or truck may require a garage plan with taller overhead garage doors and deeper bays.
  4. Storage Space: Typically, garages are used for parking the cars, but somehow, many of us transform our garages into a multi-purpose storage space. If this is the case for your family, plan ahead. What items will you be storing in the garage? Toys? Lawn and garden equipment? The lawnmower? The kids’ bikes? Sporting equipment? Half-used cans of paint? Know what you want to store in the garage and choose a floor plan that offers extra space for storage shelves, cabinets and even wall space to hang shovels, rakes, brooms, etc. You might even choose a garage plan that offers an upper level storage space such as a loft for stashing holiday decorations and seasonal items.
  5. Tool Storage: If you plan to work on your cars in the garage, be sure to allow room for tool boxes, auto parts, oil containers, etc., keeping everything handy for when you need it.
  6. Workspace or Workbench: The family handy man knows all too well it is important to have a workbench or workspace in the garage providing a place to work on home repair projects and store necessary tools such as screwdrivers, hammer, nails, tape measure and that can of WD40. Be sure your work surface is sturdy and plan to have cabinets or shelves to store supplies within an arm’s reach. This gives you a place to work on projects without having to clean them up before you finish. And the last thing you want to do is work on your project on the floor when you could be working at a nice bench.
  7. Electrical: Depending on how you use your garage will determine the electrical plan. What kind of lighting will you need? If you plan to use the garage as a workshop, you’ll need task lighting or shop lights. Also, what type of electrical access will you need? If you plan to charge the rechargeable batteries of power tools, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of outlets and enough voltage to get the job done. Will you be using an air compressor or a welder? You’ll need 220 volt outlets for these items. Plan to locate outlets in easy-to-access areas and make sure they can deliver the electric you’ll need for the things you plan to plug in. Your electrician can help you with this.
  8. Heating and Cooling: If you plan to be working in your garage a fair amount of time throughout the year, consider insulating the walls and adding a heating and cooling unit that is efficient for your climate. That way you’ll always be comfortable while you work.
  9. Seal the Concrete: Most garages are subjected to a lot of wear and tear and abuse. Keep your garage floor looking brand new for years to come by sealing it with a high quality epoxy paint or sealer. When car fluids leak on the floor or you spill a gasoline can, you’ll appreciate having a sealed garage floor making clean-ups go easily and smoothly.

 

Remember, your garage IS YOUR GARAGE. Only you know just what you need and how you plan to use it, so take the time to plan ahead and make your garage what you want it to be.

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Apr 06 2011

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The Garage Plan Shop: How to Make Your Garage Greener

Garage Plan 050G-0035It is no secret that people use their garage for more than just parking the family cars. Whether attached or detached, garage plans can have a wide range of functions ranging from parking and storage of the lawn mower to a storage space for toys, workshop, office, or rainy day play space for the kids. It is also a great place to load and unload the kids and groceries. As much as we use our garages, it is necessary that we do as much as we can to make our garages green and pollutant free giving the whole family a healthier garage space to use. The Garage Plan Shop, recommends the following tips for greening your garage and making it more healthy:

 

  1. Get rid of hazardous substances: Removing hazardous substances from your garage is the most immediate thing you can do to make it more green and healthy for everyone. Often, the garage is a storage space for gas cans, oil containers, weed killers, fertilizers, paints and stains and cleaning supplies, not to mention chlorine and other pool chemicals for homeowners with a backyard pool. Go through your garage carefully reading labels on all of these items. Determine which of these items you need or want to keep and choose another storage space for them away from the home such as a backyard garden shed. Keep it locked so it is inaccessible to children. Responsibly get rid of anything you do not need to keep. Contact your local hazardous waste facility to find out about proper disposal.
  2. Seal your garage walls and insulate: If you have an attached garage, it is necessary to seal off cracks between the garage and adjacent rooms. This will stop the passage of contaminated air into the living areas. Seal up cracks where the drywall meets the floor or framing with caulk or expanding foam. Don’t forget to seal around duct work, electrical boxes, vents and lighting. If you don’t already have insulation in the walls where living spaces are attached to your garage, add it. Insulation acts as an extra barrier against air filtration.  
  3. Install and exhaust fan: In most cases, the garage is the primary space to store your cars. Unless you drive an electric vehicle, your car exhausts pollutants, fumes and odors every time you start it. If you garage is attached to your home, these pollutants and fumes can seep into your home. Not only does your car exhaust carbon monoxide, but it also emits sulfur dioxide, dust and other particulates that are not healthy to breathe. Install an exhaust fan to remove these harmful gases and particles from your garage. The size and positioning of your exhaust fan will depend on the size of your garage, so consult a professional before you make a purchase.

 

Whether you have an attached or detached garage, these tips will help protect you and your family from contaminated air and pollutants making your garage green, healthy and safe for everyone.

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