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Jul 26 2010

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Learning the Basics about Garage Apartment Plans

035G-0002 Garage ApartmentTypically, garage apartment plans are detached garages with living quarters arranged on the upper level above the parking area. They usually provide parking bays for two or three cars on the main level with the second floor living space delivering anything from a studio apartment or “loft” style living space to two or more private bedrooms and baths combined with a dedicated living area, compact kitchen and sometimes even a dining area. Most garage apartment plans offer basic and modest amenities due to lack of space. For instance, a small closet may provide enough room for a stacked washer and dryer instead of separate appliances. Garage apartment plans usually have the outward appearance of a simple house with the exterior displaying a particular architectural style such as Craftsman or Traditional. A broad selection of rooflines and various garage door configurations lend character and charm while giving each design a look all its own. 


Garage apartment plans are designed with various widths and depths ensuring you’ll find the right one for your lot. Because there are so many sizes, it is easy to find a garage floor plan with the garage space you need for storing the family cars, an RV, a boat, a trailer or even lawn equipment.


Garage apartment plans are available with a variety of features. Interior elements in the living space might include a snack bar, fireplace or walk-in closet. Other special extras not in the finished living area could include interior stairs accessing the living quarters, a covered porch or deck, a drive-thru bay, a built-in workbench in the garage or extra storage space.


There are many reasons why owners build with garage apartment plans. The living space makes a comfortable guest or in-law suite, works well for living quarters for the maid or nanny, provides privacy for your college student, offers comfortable accommodations for a weekend retreat, and is well suited for rental property and income. Furthermore, the garage apartment provides flexible living space that can be used for a home office, hobby room, entertainment space such as a home theater, or an art studio. The possibilities are endless.


Some garage apartment plans are designed on one level with the garage on one side of the structure and the living quarters on the other. This type of layout is ideal for families who have an aging relative in their care. The relative can live independently safely and still be near enough to receive assistance from others with necessary.


Garage apartment plans are the perfect solution to your additional parking and living space needs. Garage loft plans and  garage plans with flex space share some commonalities with these designs.


Take some time to browse the entire collection of garage apartment plans at The Garage Plan Shop.

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Jun 29 2010

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Garage Apartment Studio: Tips for One-Room Living

006G-0078 Garage Apartment PlanLiving in a limited space is tough, but many make do with the space they have. When considering garage apartment plans and studio apartments, one-room living is about as tricky as you can get. This challenge is most often faced by city dwellers, seniors and students. So how do you make the most of living is a garage studio apartment? The Garage Plan Shop has some tips that will help you turn your one-room living space into a functional and stylish abode.


First you must assess how you live. Do you like to entertain? Do you work from home? Will you have occasional or frequent overnight guests?


Next you must edit your belongings. What do you absolutely need in your studio apartment? What items can you donate to charity? What items can be put in storage?


The next step is to divide the room into public and private spaces. Depending on the way you live will determine how much public and private space you need. You’ll probably want a sleeping area, sitting/entertaining area, a workspace/office area, a dining space and kitchen. Try separating the sleeping area from the rest of the room using a bookcase as a room divider or perhaps a folding screen. You may even want to include your desk in the private space.


Now it is time to create zones with the remaining common areas. This can be done using furniture, area rugs or even lighting. For instance, hang a chandelier over the entertaining space and place and area rug beneath it with a couch along one edge designating this space as the entertaining space. This entertaining space might also be your socializing and eating space as well.


From this point, the rest is all in the way you arrange, furnish and organize your one-room living space. These pointers will help you finish your space with style and function.


·         Choose multi-functional furniture such as a coffee table that can double for dining or a bench with storage inside.

·         Select furniture on legs so you can see under each piece making the room feel more spacious.

·         Use a few big pieces of furniture. A bunch of small pieces make a room feel cluttered.

·         Decorate with one color and incorporate different textures through furniture pieces, flooring, rugs and window treatments. A tight palette creates visual cohesion.

·         Choose decorative boxes, bins and baskets of different shapes, colors and textures to store small belongings. Stack them in open spaces at the bottoms of desks and end tables.

·         Think vertical when it comes to storage. Shelves, wall-mounted cubes and bookshelves are must haves.

·         Select space saving furniture and accessories such as a flat screen TV that hangs on the wall.

·         Let your space dictate the quantity of your belongings.

·         Be prepared for company. Incorporate a few movable furniture pieces to accommodate guests. Consider ottomans, a bench or a few wooden chairs that can be moved near the sofa when visitors arrive.

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May 26 2010

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Featured Design: Unique Garage Apartment Plan for a Sloping Lot

051G-0008 Unique Garage PlanIf you are challenged by a sloping lot but wish to add extra living and parking space to your residence, this unique garage apartment plan is worth taking a second look.  Arts and Crafts styling dresses up the exterior ensuring it will blend nicely with your Craftsman style home. The drive-under garage tucks neatly into any hillside with side-entry stalls for two vehicles. This two-car garage offers 880 square feet of unfinished parking space complete with dual overhead doors and a convenient service entry. Furthermore, the extra deep bays easily handle oversized vehicles and work well for boat storage. Handy exterior stairs offer access to the living quarters from the lower level, or you can enter from the covered front porch where sturdy columns atop stone pediments greet all. Inside the living quarters, two coat closets stand at the ready in the entry, which directs traffic to the open floor plan beyond. Here, the studio apartment with full bath delivers comfortable accommodations for weekend visitors, the in-laws or even you college student. Thoughtful extras include a meal-prep island and vaulted ceilings paired with sparkling windows making the living areas feel spacious and comfortable. Stylish and functional, this unique garage apartment plan can’t be beat.

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Mar 11 2010

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Unique Garage Apartment Plan with 5-Car Garage

035G-0009 Unique Garage ApartmentIf you are looking for a unique garage apartment plan, this is the one for you. First begin with its Victorian styling and ornate details delivering striking curb appeal. Elegant porch columns and shuttered windows are just a few of the details highlighting the exterior of this design. The Victorian architecture is quite uncommon for a detached garage, but stunning nonetheless. Another unique feature about this floor plan is its 5-car garage revealing 1215 square feet of parking area. A combination of two tandem bays and a single-car bay makes the floor plan stand out among many. Though an unusual arrangement, the garage easily handles five family vehicles or a pair of oversized vehicles and a smaller one. Furthermore, the tandem bays are deep enough to accommodate boat storage too. A covered porch leads to the private interior stairs ascending to the second floor where you’ll discover more unusual features about this unique plan. Here, two bayed windows fill the large game/living room with natural light. A fireplace adds a cozy touch. With the step-saver kitchen overlooking the gathering space, the upper level is the perfect entertainment space for guests or it works well as a living area for guests, the in-laws or the nanny. A sunny bedroom and a full bath finish off the garage apartment. Make note of all the attic storage, great for stashing boxes and seasonal items. A masterful blend of style and function, this unique garage apartment plan will look great tucked in the backyard behind your Victorian style home.

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Jun 19 2009

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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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