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.
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.
When 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.
For most of us, the garage is considered an extension of the home, and for many, a garage can do much more than just store the family cars. Aside from the space they offer, detached garages are certainly a multi-purpose structure. They are built for any number of reasons and functions making it advantageous to add one to your home or property. Below is a list of some of the advantages of building a detached garage plan.
- A garage offers security and protection. It is a place where your cars are secure from potential vandals, theft and other car crimes or critters that might try to make themselves at home under the hood or in the undercarriage of the car. Also, a detached garage will protect your cars from the elements such as hail, wind, ice, snow and sun, not to mention a falling tree during a severe thunderstorm. And who wants to scrape the ice and frost off their windows every morning before work, when they can just park their car in a garage? Finally, a detached garage can offer locked storage space for tools and other valuables you might not necessarily store inside your home.
- For the family handyman, a garage makes a nice tool shed or workshop. Add cabinets, shelving and a workbench and you have plenty for room to store tools and supplies and still have space to work on home repair projects.
- A detached garage plan makes a nice hobby room for woodworkers and other hobbyists giving them a place to work on projects without disturbing the rest of the home. Also, it keeps harmful fumes and gases (from paints and other items) from entering the living areas of the home. Ventilation will be necessary if you plan to use your garage for such activities.
- Adding a garage to your property will increase the value or your home or lot. Should you ever decide to sell, you may see a nice return on your investment.
Building a detached garage plan has many advantages. They enhance living spaces, add extra storage and parking and provide workspace. Garages don’t have to be big and decked out with the most expensive features and accessories. They just have to serve the purposes for which they are built. If you are considering building a detached garage plan, take some time to browse the floor plans at The Garage Plan Shop. There are plenty of designs and styles to choose from that will satisfy your needs.
For some guys (and gals) the garage may be the most important part of their home or property. When building a detached garage, The Garage Plan Shop recommends planning ahead. Know how you want to use your garage and what special elements you might need so you can accommodate those needs and incorporate special features during construction. Below is a list of nine things to consider before you purchase a garage plan and begin building.
- Use: Are you just going to store a couple cars in the garage or do you plan to use it for storage space or a hobby room too? Knowing how you plan to use the garage with determine what special elements you need to incorporate.
- Ventilation: Make sure you have a plan for ventilation. During the winter, many will raise their garage doors and starts their cars allowing them to warm up. This allows toxic fumes and gases such as carbon monoxide to escape the garage without causing harm or health risks. However, if you’re not actually sitting in your car or inside the garage while your car is warming up, an open garage door is an invitation for car theft. In this case, you would benefit from installing an exhaust fan. Likewise, if you plan to use the garage for painting or hobbies that may create fumes, an exhaust fan is a necessary element to ensure health and safety.
- Car Storage: If you are planning to use the garage for parking, consider the size of your vehicles. If you are storing a typical sedan style car, you probably won’t need to make adjustments. On the other hand, storing oversized vehicles such as an SUV or truck may require a garage plan with taller overhead garage doors and deeper bays.
- Storage Space: Typically, garages are used for parking the cars, but somehow, many of us transform our garages into a multi-purpose storage space. If this is the case for your family, plan ahead. What items will you be storing in the garage? Toys? Lawn and garden equipment? The lawnmower? The kids’ bikes? Sporting equipment? Half-used cans of paint? Know what you want to store in the garage and choose a floor plan that offers extra space for storage shelves, cabinets and even wall space to hang shovels, rakes, brooms, etc. You might even choose a garage plan that offers an upper level storage space such as a loft for stashing holiday decorations and seasonal items.
- Tool Storage: If you plan to work on your cars in the garage, be sure to allow room for tool boxes, auto parts, oil containers, etc., keeping everything handy for when you need it.
- Workspace or Workbench: The family handy man knows all too well it is important to have a workbench or workspace in the garage providing a place to work on home repair projects and store necessary tools such as screwdrivers, hammer, nails, tape measure and that can of WD40. Be sure your work surface is sturdy and plan to have cabinets or shelves to store supplies within an arm’s reach. This gives you a place to work on projects without having to clean them up before you finish. And the last thing you want to do is work on your project on the floor when you could be working at a nice bench.
- Electrical: Depending on how you use your garage will determine the electrical plan. What kind of lighting will you need? If you plan to use the garage as a workshop, you’ll need task lighting or shop lights. Also, what type of electrical access will you need? If you plan to charge the rechargeable batteries of power tools, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of outlets and enough voltage to get the job done. Will you be using an air compressor or a welder? You’ll need 220 volt outlets for these items. Plan to locate outlets in easy-to-access areas and make sure they can deliver the electric you’ll need for the things you plan to plug in. Your electrician can help you with this.
- Heating and Cooling: If you plan to be working in your garage a fair amount of time throughout the year, consider insulating the walls and adding a heating and cooling unit that is efficient for your climate. That way you’ll always be comfortable while you work.
- Seal the Concrete: Most garages are subjected to a lot of wear and tear and abuse. Keep your garage floor looking brand new for years to come by sealing it with a high quality epoxy paint or sealer. When car fluids leak on the floor or you spill a gasoline can, you’ll appreciate having a sealed garage floor making clean-ups go easily and smoothly.
Remember, your garage IS YOUR GARAGE. Only you know just what you need and how you plan to use it, so take the time to plan ahead and make your garage what you want it to be.