Whether you’re building your dream garage or just a simple detached, 2-car garage to accommodate the growing family fleet, these garage building tips will prepare you for what is to come while helping to ensure the building experience is exciting and enjoyable. Building a garage is a substantial investment that will add functionality to your lifestyle and enhance the value of your home. Follow our garage building tips to achieve success.
- Select the best location. It is necessary to position the garage on your property in the best location to accommodate your needs. Measure the overall size of the available space so you can choose a plan that will fit within the parameters of your backyard or the available and useable space. Be
- Choose a qualified builder. Not everyone who calls themselves a builder is a qualified builder. Take some time to research builders to ensure you’re hiring a qualified and professional builder who can handle the job. Check with family members and friends who have built in the past and ask for recommendations. Interview potential builders and get a feel for their work ethic, construction methods and overall character. After all, you’ll have to work with this person from start to finish, so it is necessary that you hire someone reliable who you can communicate with and trust with your investment. Finally, ask for proof of insurance.
- Establish a budget and stick to it. Whether you are getting a construction loan from the bank or you’re financing the building project yourself, it is important that you know your budget and stick to it. Plan ahead by pricing out material and labor costs. If you wish to add extra amenities, make a list and arrange them by preference so if you can only afford one or two special “extras” you’ll be spending your money on the ones you really want or need instead of the ones you could have lived without. Also, be careful when it comes to upgrades. Adding too many upgrades will blow your budget quickly. If a particular garage door will satisfy your needs, there is no need to upgrade to the one with all the bells and whistles. Save the extra money you might have spent on the door and put it toward something you really want, such as a half bath or workbench.
- Establish a timeframe and prepare for delays. Before construction begins, talk with your builder or general contractor to establish a timeframe for construction. A garage is not built in a day and there are a lot of things that need to be coordinated and arranged to keep things running smoothly. Once a timeframe is established, work with your builder and subcontractors to stick to the schedule. Additionally, expect and plan for delays. Delays occur with nearly every construction project. Plan for the possibility of inclement weather, shortage of materials and labor problems. If you plan for them, when one of these situations arises, you won’t be nearly as surprised or frustrated with the delay. Being prepared and flexible will reduce stress at the jobsite.
- Avoid changes. Once construction begins, avoid making changes. Try to stick to the blueprints and your original construction plan. Changes can be costly and cause delays. Avoiding changes will keep you on schedule and on budget.
- Monitor progress. Getting involved in the building process is one of the easiest ways to monitor progress. Additionally, active involvement helps prevent construction delays. Once you have established a construction timeline with your contractor, keep a close eye on the work being done and the progress being made. Talk with your builder regularly and ask for updates on progress. Safely walk around the jobsite and observe for yourself what progress is being made. If something doesn’t look or seem right or if something is taking too long, ask your builder about it. It is necessary to work out any glitches are problems as soon as you notice them.
The construction process will be more enjoyable and a more exciting experience if you are prepared for what to expect throughout the building process and if you make careful decisions. If you are planning to build a new garage in your backyard or on another piece of property, these helpful tips will help you be ready for what some of the things you’ll encounter in the building process.
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.
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.
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.
Before you build a detached garage plan, there are a few things you should know that will make the construction process go more smoothly for you. The Garage Plan Shop recommends reviewing these tips before you begin:
- Decide what functions and purpose the garage will serve. Do you need parking only? Parking and storage? For those who need additional living space, a garage loft plan or garage apartment plan might satisfy your needs. What do you plan to park in the garage? An SUV or boat? Some garage floor plans have extra deep bays to accommodate the length of oversized vehicles and boats. There is a multitude of garage plans available to satisfy a wide range of needs.
- Consider the style of your garage. Detached garage plans can be a valuable addition to any home or piece of property. Choose an architectural style for your garage that blends with your home or other buildings on the property delivering a look as if all the structures were built at the same time. Garage blueprints are available in a broad range of architectural styles. Also, using the same exterior materials as the other buildings on your property will help the structures blend.
- If you are looking for special extras with your garage floor plans, decide what features you absolutely must have and which other ones might be nice to have if available. Do you need a half or full bath? Would you like a workbench or workshop? If your garage has a loft, do you want a staircase or will a pull-down stair work for you? Keeping in mind the intended function of you garage will help you decide what extras you may need or want.
- Purchase blueprints that match your discriminating needs from a reliable source and be aware of what is included in the garage blueprints. Most garage plans sold online are considered pre-drawn stock plans and include enough information for an experienced builder to construct the garage. Typically, pre-drawn garage plans include the interior and exterior elevations, a foundation plan, floor plans and construction notes. Some plans might also include details, cross-sections and other building specifications. Be aware, these types of garage plans are designed to meet the national building codes in place at the time they are created. However, this does not mean they will meet all local building codes and requirements. Your builder may need to make some adjustments for you during construction to meet local building codes. In some cases, you may even need to hire a local design professional to make necessary changes to the blueprints, and in other cases, you may need to hire a local engineer or architect to seal/stamp/approve the garage plans in order to get building permits. We recommend you contact your local building department for further information about what is required in your area.
- In order to cut costs considerably, consider buying raw materials in bulk from a wholesaler if possible. This includes cement, gravel, sand, plywood, lumber, nails, etc. Buying in bulk will also save you the hassle of making several trips back and forth to the store or lumberyard.
Building a detached garage plan is no easy task, but these helpful tips will help you get started