Apr 11 2011
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.