Building a garage takes lots of planning and forethought. This list of garage building tips from The Garage Plan Shop will help you get started on your building project and carry you through to completion of the project. Review these tips before you get started:
- Before you buy a garage plan, consider the purpose of your new garage. How many cars do you plan to store? Do you need a workshop? Extra storage space? Do you need living space? What are the dimensions of your lot or the space you have on which to build? What architectural style do you prefer? Answering these questions will help narrow down garage plan choices allowing you to selecting the right one for your needs.
- Hire a builder that has plenty of experience in residential construction. Word of mouth is a good way to find an experienced builder. Check with family members and friends who have built. Ask for recommendations from lumberyards and building supply retailers or your building inspector.
- Once you’ve hired a builder/general contractor, go over your entire project. Ask if the builder has any suggestions or sees any immediate problems that must be addressed before construction begins.
- Meet with everyone involved in the construction of your new garage including the electrician, framers, roofer, builder/general contractor, etc. Outline all the details of the garage building project from the foundation and plumbing, electrical and HVAC needs (if applicable), to exterior finish and trim and any other details pertinent to the project. Thoroughly planning ahead of time will help you avoid change orders during construction. Not only can these be expensive, but they can extend the construction timeline.
- Be sure to think about future uses of the garage, such as converting it to a guest house, or adding a home office at a later time. These possibilities for additional living space will influence installation of HVAC, plumbing and electric.
- Take advantage of the opportunity to add a workbench, shelving, cabinets or storage closets during construction. If you think you might add them later, you might as well add them now while you have professionals on the scene who can handle these additions with ease.
- Avoid paying for the entire garage building project up front. Make arrangements with the builder or general contractor to pay off the final balance after you’ve had an opportunity to have the final project inspected by your local building inspector.
If you are planning to build a garage, use these handy garage building tips to help you throughout the construction process. For more garage building information check out our resources page.
Are you considering purchasing a garage plan from The Garage Plan Shop? Often our customers want to know what is included in our garage blueprints before they purchase plans. Below is a listing of the elements typically included in the pre-drawn garage plans we published:
- Cover sheet
- Foundation Plan
- Floor Plan(s)
- Exterior Elevations
- Interior Elevations
- Simple Plumbing
- Basic Electric
For a detailed description of each element listed here plan review our FAQs.
Note: Not all stock garage plans incorporate every element listed here. Blueprint pages vary by designer.
Before a customer makes a final decision on the right garage plan or purchases blueprints, we are often asked how much it will cost to build a particular garage design. The experts at The Garage Plan Shop understand this is an important factor in making a final decision, as customers want to be sure they can afford to build the design. However, we know the costs for materials and labor vary greatly from one state to the next and sometimes even within the same city, making it impossible for us to provide an estimate for one of our garages in any specified location. We can’t possibly know all the going rates for materials and labor all across the US and Canada. So, how can you get an estimated cost to build a particular garage plan? We recommend checking with a few local builders or lumberyards. These professionals deal with construction and materials costs on a daily basis and know the going rates for materials and labor in your particular area. Just ask for an estimated cost to build. Often, these professionals will quote a dollar amount per square foot. Be sure to ask what this quote includes as sometimes it will not include foundation materials and a few other things. Checking locally is the best way to get an estimated cost to build for any of our garage plans.
If you’ve found yourself asking, “I want to build a garage, but where do I start?” You’ve come to the right place. There is a wide range of resources available to help you get started on your garage building project. Most are easy-to-access and will offer insight and knowledge about the construction project you are about to tackle. Below are just a few of the resources available to you.
- Contact local building professionals that have experience with residential construction and ask lots of questions. Some of these people include builders, contractors, residential designers, carpenters, electricians and the like.
- Check with your local building department or building inspector to find out what your city/town/municipality will require in order to start and finish the project. Ask about building codes and requirements specific to your geographic location as well as local building codes. Find out if there are any restrictions for your neighborhood.
- Take some time to talk with family members and friends who have completed a residential construction project recently whether they built a garage, home, shed, barn or outbuilding. Ask them to share any information they can. These people will speak from experience and have a wealth of knowledge to share. Ask them what pitfalls they encountered during construction, what went well, what could have gone better and what they’d do differently next time.
- If you need to get a loan, check with various mortgage lenders. Find out what steps you need to take to qualify for a loan and what the lender expects throughout the lifetime of the construction loan.
- Spend some time at the lumberyard. The professionals at the lumberyard are especially knowledgeable about building materials.
- Search the Internet. There are all kinds of helpful websites offering construction information for all phases of the building process.
- Don’t forget about us. We have an extensive resources page with many articles and tips to help you through building process. You can also follow us on Twitter and check out our Facebook page for current postings about garage construction and related information.
Whether you’ve been thinking about building a detached garage plan for a while or the idea is new to you, it is important to keep in mind that such an addition to your property will improve your home and prove to be valuable. Detached garage plans come in a variety of sizes and styles, but one thing is certain, they all add value to your home or property, provide sheltered parking and protection for your cars, and offer storage space for basement and attic overflow or practical workspace such as a workshop or hobby room. Below are a few reasons while building a garage will improve your home:
- First, consider the protection of your cars. Being an enclosed structure, not only will a detached garage protect your cars from the elements preventing such problems as sun or hail damage, but it will also protect from other things like falling tree limbs and flying debris during thunderstorms. In addition, a garage will keep your car safe from potential auto thefts when parked in the driveway or on the street. The garage offers a secure overhead door that can be locked. Other windows and doors can be locked as well, keeping criminals away and your cars safe.
- When storage is considered, most of us think of storing our cars inside a detached garage. But building a garage plan can offer other kinds of storage too. Perhaps a 3-car garage safely stores two automobiles and the third bay is used to store seasonal items such as holiday decorations and patio furniture during the winter months. Or maybe you own other motorized vehicles. A detached garage plan provides parking and storage for boats and trailers, ATVs, golf carts, jet skis and more. When it comes to storage, there is no limit. Detached garages can be used to store the lawn mower, gardening tools and the leaf blower not to mention the kids’ bikes, soccer balls, and skateboards.
- In some cases, building a garage means added workspace in the form of a workshop or hobby room. Some garage plans include parking bays and a separate area for special uses such as a workshop for woodcrafts or a loft that can be finished as a sewing room or game room.
- Finally, detached garage plans deliver added value to your home. When you add a practical and useful structure, such as a garage, to your backyard, it will increase the value of your home. Should you ever have to move, you’ll see a nice return on your investment.
It is easy to see why adding a garage to your home or property will improve its overall function while satisfying your needs for parking, workspace, storage, and value. Take some time to browse The Garage Plan Shop’s collection of detached garage plans.