We used to think going green was a trend, but it has become our way of life. We are expected to make green choices in everything we do from recycling our newspaper and properly disposing of hazardous chemicals to conserving energy and building with green materials. There are many things we can do around the house to live more green, and your garage or utility building are no exception. If you are planning to build a new detached garage plan, shed or outbuilding plan, there are some things you can do to green your new structure. Here are a few suggestions from The Garage Plan Shop:
· Use metal when possible. If you have an opportunity to use metal standing seam roofing or even metal cladding you are making a green choice. Metal construction does not require the use of harmful chemicals and wood treatments used in the lumber of traditional wood construction, and it is 100% recyclable should you no longer need your garage, shed or outbuilding.
· Install windows in your garage for natural lighting. Using natural lighting whenever possible cuts back on energy consumption. If you plan to spend a lot of time inside your garage, you can reduce energy bills by installing large windows and perhaps skylights.
· Incorporate earth-friendly lighting. The exterior of your garage, shed or outbuilding can be lit with the use of solar lights. Use LED bulbs in interior and exterior light fixtures. Consider using motion sensor lights that turn on when you pull in your driveway or walk on the sidewalk saving energy and money. These fixtures will light the way until they no longer detect your motion and will turn off automatically. You won’t have to remember to flip the switch.
· If your garage is near your home or attached to the home, do not store flammable chemicals inside, such as a gasoline and oil containers or paint cans. Store them away from the house is a small, locked utility shed that has good ventilation.
These simple ideas will help you build an earth-friendly garage, shed or outbuilding plan.
When building a detached garage plan, shed, outbuilding, barn or carport, The Garage Plan Shop recommends planning ahead when it comes to electrical wiring. All of the above mentioned structures are flexible and can be used for of a variety of purposes, so the first thing you need to think about is how you will use the structure. Will you use your garage or carport just for parking cars? Will you need lighting in your garden shed? Do you plan to use power tools in your outbuilding? Knowing how you plan to use your new addition will help you plan for electricity.
Begin by hiring a licensed electrician to help you. Let this professional review your garage blueprints to get a better understanding of the completed structure. With your electrician, come up with an electrical plan to accommodate your needs. This will keep you from over-wiring your structure and spending more than you need or electrical outlets, switches and fixtures. Your pre-determined electrical plan will also ensure that you have everything you need to use your new garage, carport or outbuilding the way you wish. Furthermore, it is better and less expensive to install electrical wiring during construction than it is to go back and retrofit the building for additional electrical needs at a later date.
When it comes to using power in your barn, outbuilding, shed, garage or carport, there are six main categories to consider:
- Heating and cooling
- Garage doors and garage door openers
- Special accessories (refrigerator, TV, radio)
- Charging station for an electric vehicle
Talk with your electrician and determine what types of outlets and fixtures you’ll need to accommodate your specific needs. Consider amps and voltage. Read packaging and labels to determine what each of the above items will require. Have the electrician install outlets, fixtures, switches, circuit breakers and the electrical panel accordingly to accommodate all of your needs.
Anticipating your electrical needs for your new utilitarian structure will ensure you new outbuilding, garage or shed plan will accommodate all of your needs while paying the best price by installing wiring during the construction phase instead of after the building is finished.
If you are considering building a detached garage plan, there are a few things to consider before you begin. Taking the time to work out the details before construction begins will ensure a smooth building process and result in a useful and sturdy and durable garage. Review the list below. Think about each item mentioned and have a plan about how you will address each of these important aspects of the garage building process. Being prepared and developing a plan is a necessary part of a successful building project.
- Obtain a building permit. Many cities, counties and municipalities require a building permit for new construction. Check with your building department or building official to find out if you need to obtain a building permit and what the necessary requirements and fees are to do so. Often people build a new garage or backyard shed only to discover they should have obtained a building permit first. In some instances, the owner is forced to tear down the new structure or pay a fine. Such hassles and expenses can be avoided if you check with the proper building authorities ahead of time and obtain the correct paperwork or documents.
- Next consider where you are going to build your detached garage. Have your property checked for underground utilities to make sure you won’t be digging up or damaging any utility lines during construction. Also make sure your garage is located within property set-backs and easements and the structure is truly going to be positioned on property you own. Finally, make sure you are building on solid ground in an area where water does not pool after a hard rain.
- Purchase quality blueprints. Even if you consider yourself a top-notch, do-it-yourselfer, a professional set of garage blueprints will be necessary. Good garage plans will guide you on every aspect of garage construction without taking the risk of making a mistake during construction. Garage blueprints like those offered at The Garage Plan Shop are drawn to national building codes and reflect all of the necessary information for a qualified builder to construct the garage from the ground up. Not only do garage blueprints contain elevations, a foundation plan and framing information for construction, but they also serve as a handy tool for obtaining bids and estimates for materials and labor.