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 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:
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Do you own a farm, a ranch or another large piece of property? Do you have a need for an equipment or machine shed? This barn-styled outbuilding plan might be just what you are looking for. Its classic styling allows it to blend nicely with other equipment buildings and sheds. Or perhaps you are a mechanic looking for a place to work on cars and store tools and auto parts or protect a favorite restored vehicle. This outbuilding design can accommodate you, too. This interior delivers 1728 square feet of sheltered space, ideal for parking cars, tractors, wagons, and other heavy equipment or storing tools. Two tack rooms provide separated storage from the main area and the workshop space is perfect for working on all sorts of projects. You’ll appreciate the convenience of the overhead garage door and three service doors. Pay attention to the 672 square foot, outdoor storage area. Flexible enough to handle many different tasks and satisfy many different needs, this outbuilding plan with workshop will enhance any piece or property. For more outbuilding plans like this one, please browse our entire collection. If you are looking for smaller designs, check out our collection of shed plans.
If you’re looking to add an outbuilding to your farm, ranch or other piece of property, take a look at this pole barn. Versatile and flexible, this design accommodates a wide range of needs. Sliding doors allow easy storage of large and small vehicles of all kinds. Multiple sizes ensure storage of everything from the family vehicles to a boat and trailer, a wagon, farm machinery and equipment, and much more. The possibilities are endless. This outbuilding plan is available in the following sizes:
Furthermore, the blueprints include designs for optional 8’, 10’ and 12’ walls increasing flexibility and usability. Wall framing consists of 6”x6” posts and 2”x6” side girts. Ideal for a mechanic’s garage, a workshop, storage shed or equipment garage, this outbuilding plan is well suited for many different sized lots and delivers the versatility you’re looking for in a pole barn.
View our entire collection of outbuilding plans.