Archive for May, 2011

May 25 2011

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Building a Garage Plan: Tips to Reduce Construction Costs – The Garage Plan Shop

Garage Plan 012G-0019When most garage owners actually decide to build a garage, one of the most important things to do before construction begins is to establish a garage building budget. Sometimes the building budget can be pretty tight with no room to overspend. However, there are ways to cut construction costs when building a garage and get the most bang for your buck. Below is a list of tips recommended by The Garage Plan Shop to help you cut construction costs making it a little easier to say within your budget.

 

·         Consider purchasing a pre-drawn or stock garage plan. They cost much less than a custom drawn plan.

·         Purchase materials in bulk. Many lumberyards, hardware stores and home improvement centers will slash a significant percentage from the actual price when materials are purchased in large quantities.

·         Eliminate features that aren’t necessary. Do you really need four windows in the garage or can you get by with just two? Do you have any special features on your wish list that you can do without? Or, consider building just the basic garage right now and when time and allows and you have more money in your pocket, add special elements like a workbench. Just make sure you plan for your special elements during construction even if you can’t afford to add them right away. For instance, if you’d like to have a half bath in the garage someday, be sure to install the rough plumbing during construction and finish the bath at a later time.

·         Hire a licensed and credible contractor. Many times, garage owners think they will cut construction costs by hiring cheap labor. In reality, it is worth paying more for a good contractor as it is not worth risking the structural integrity of you new garage to save money on labor. Sometime poor craftsmanship leads to more expensive renovation costs down the road.

 

With these simple tips, you’ll have a better idea of how to stick to your building budget and you’ll be enjoying your new, structurally sound garage in no time.

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May 24 2011

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Garage Plans: What is a Drive-Thru Garage? – The Garage Plan Shop

Garage Plan 012G-0014Have you ever heard of a drive-thru garage? Do you know what makes them so special? Drive-thru garage plans are just like any other detached garage offering parking and/or storage space. They are available in a variety of sizes and architectural styles. Some come with lofts, storage spaces and other thoughtful extras. But the thing that makes drive-thru garage plans so special is that you can truly drive right thru them. These practical and convenient garage floor plans are outfitted with at least one drive-thru bay. This means at least one bay offers a front and rear overhead garage door. With this special arrangement, you no longer have to hassle with backing in and out of the garage, you can simply pull right thru if you choose. Furthermore, if you are one who likes to store other items in the garage like the riding mower or the kids’ bikes, you can access these things from the rear garage door without ever moving the cars to get to them. Another special use for a drive-thru garage plan comes with those having extra deep bays designed to accommodate boats and trailers. With a drive-thru boat storage garage, you can simply pull into your garage, pull the truck thru the bay and unhitch the boat trailer, leaving it inside. Then, just drive away and close both the front and rear overhead doors safely storing your boat inside. You’ll never have to back the boat trailer in or out of the garage again. Likewise drive-thru RV garage plans are especially convenient for motor homes and campers. It is already hard enough to drive an oversized vehicle much less try to back it in or out of a garage. The convenience of a drive-thru RV bay eliminates the need to back something so monstrous out of the garage. For families that have small children and store toys inside the garage, drive-thru garage plans lend a little extra safety. Open the rear garage door and let the kids access their toys and sporting equipment from the backyard. This will eliminate the need for the kids to be in the front yard or on the driveway keeping them a safe distance from the street and out of harm’s way.

 

Drive-thru garage plans come in a broad range of designs ranging from a 2-car garage to a drive-thru RV garage. Check out The Garage Plan Shop’s collection of garage floor plans today!

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May 18 2011

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7 Summer Vacation Road Safety Tips – The Garage Plan Shop

Road TripSummer is finally here! Changes are you just might be taking a road trip this summer. Whether you are heading to the beach the mountains or Grandma’s house somewhere in between it is important to practice safe driving and travel habits. The Garage Plan Shop recommends following this helpful tips from a traffic safety researcher.

 

1.    Get your car in shape – Before you set out on your road trip, make sure your car is in tip-top shape. Have your oil changed, check your tire pressure and make sure your radiator is working.

2.    Map your route – Map your route before you leave. Know which highways and roads you’ll be taking. Check traffic websites and other sites like Google Maps to help you plan your route and navigate construction zones. If your road trip is going to take more than a day’s travel time, check travel websites and book hotel rooms along your route. Don’t forget to pack your maps and any hotel confirmation numbers.

3.    Know the safe times to travel – Studies show roadways are most dangerous late and night and early in the morning when drivers are more likely to be intoxicated or tired. Plan to depart around 7:00 AM and arrive at your hotel or destination no later than 10:00 PM.

4.    Plan for kids and pets – If you’ll be brining your kids or your pets on your road trip, it takes a little extra planning. Pack a cooler with snack and drinks for the little ones. Also bring card games, books, handheld games, favorite music CDs, books on CD or a few small toys to entertain the kids. Plan on playing travel games in the car to pass the time. Do not for get to bring food and water for your pets.

5.    Plan to take breaks – Plan to pull over every 2-3 hours to stretch your legs, give your eyes a quick break and recharge. Take a restroom break. Let the kids run around for a couple minutes and walk the dog. Everyone will feel better about getting back in the car again. If you are traveling with another driver, take turns driving in shifts so no one experiences fatigue.

6.    Do not drink – It is illegal and it is not safe to drink and drive. Research indicates just one alcoholic drink may cause important changes in cognition affecting your ability to drive and make good judgments. Avoid any alcoholic drinks while your road trip is in progress. Wait until you get to the beach or the mountains and enjoy your favorite adult drink with dinner.

7.    Wake up or catch up on sleep – According to statistics, in 2009 over 100,000 car crashes resulted due to drowsy driving. If you are driving in shifts with another driver, take a nap while the other person is behind the wheel. If not, pull over in a safe well-lit place and take a quick power nap. Better yet, plan to check into your hotel early in the evening so you can go to bed early and be refreshed for the next day’s drive.

 

We all look forward to summer vacations and perhaps road trips make for the best memories. Take these precautions to make sure this summer’s road trip is safe and memorable.

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May 12 2011

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Pros and Cons of Building a Carport – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Carport Plans

Carport Plan 006G-0007If you are only looking for sheltered parking to protect your car for the elements, a carport will probably be a good solution. But before you make a final decision to add a carport to your property, review the pros and cons of carports listed below.

 

Pros:

  • Carports are relatively inexpensive to build in comparison to other alternatives such as building a garage with garage blueprints.
  • They are not as complex as other structures so you won’t have to work around as many building codes and city regulations as you might if you were building an alternative structure.
  • Due to their simple nature, these structures are quick to build if you are handy allowing you to complete the project in just a weekend or two.
  • The carport will achieve your main goal, protecting your car from sun, hail, wind and debris during storms.
  • Carport plans provide a way to prevent tree sap from damaging your car’s paintjob.
  • These structures offer plenty of natural ventilation.
  • Larger designs are flexible and can be used for storing boats, farm machinery and other equipment.

 

Cons:

  • Carport plans to not offer protection on all four sides as they usually have one or two open sides.
  • Most designs are not very large providing just enough room for one or two cars.
  • Due to their typical small nature, there will not be room for a workbench or storage cabinets as you might find with a garage.
  • Because there are usually open sides, carports do not offer the best storage for items that cannot get wet.
  • The open sides do not protect against wildlife and critters that might find their way under your carport and under your car.
  • Carports cannot be locked so they are not good for storing tools or basement and attic overflow as with a garage.

 

Keep these thoughts in mind when making a decision to purchase a carport plan or build a carport.

 

Visit The Garage Plan Shop to view an outstanding collection of carport plans.

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May 04 2011

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Choosing a Garage Door for Your New Detached Garage – The Garage Plan Shop

Garage DoorThe purpose and function of overhead garage doors have changed over time. Now, not only do they open, close and lock keeping your cars and other items in the garage safe and out of site, but garage doors also contribute to the overall curb appeal of the structure not to mention offer energy efficiency. Garage doors are available in a vast array of sizes, styles, colors and architectural themes ensuring you’ll find the right one to suit your needs. If you plan to build a detached garage plan, put some thought into the type of overhead doors you’d like to use. Below is a list of things to consider before purchasing your garage door:

 

  1. Does the garage door complement the architectural style of your garage and accompanying home?
  2. Is it available in a color that blends nicely with the façade?
  3. What energy efficiency features does it have including insulation?
  4. Is the garage door available with customizable options such as your choice of hardware or glass allowing you to have your own unique look?
  5. Does the garage door have a high durability rating?
  6. Are there any special safety features included?

 

Also, check with garage door manufactures. Some offer a design tool by which you can upload a photo of your garage and “try on” all the different door options experimenting with color, style, etc., making it easy to select the right overhead door for your new garage.

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