When it comes to choosing the best lighting for your garage or workshop, there are many options to consider, however it all comes down to how you plan to use your garage or shop and your personal preferences. Whether you’re building a new garage or just upgrading the one you have, your choice of lighting will influence how usable your garage or shop will be and how much time you’ll spend there. These three easy steps will help you choose the appropriate garage or workshop lighting for your needs:
- Determine how you plan to use your garage or shop. Will it only be used for parking? Do you plan to work on cars? Will you use the garage for storage space? Hobbies? A workshop?
- Select general purpose lighting to illuminate all sections of the garage or workshop including the corners. Fluorescent light fixtures are a popular choice as they are relatively common, they provide more than adequate general lighting and they can be equally spaced across the span of your garage for the best illumination. If you have questions, about fluorescent lighting, check with your lighting professional and your electrician.
- Consider the layout of your garage or workshop and create individual work or storage spaces within it. Select task lighting for each designated space or purpose. If you plan to have a workbench, choose track lighting or a fixture that fits neatly under an overhead cabinet to illuminate your workbench. Consider positioning an overhead light above a craft or hobby table. Use incandescent lighting inside storage closets and other small spaces. Finally, purchase a trouble or drop light to illuminate dark and obscure spaces, such as under the hood of a car. A drop light is portable and can be use for all kinds of purposes within your garage or workshop.
After you’ve selected the lighting fixtures you need, hire a licensed electrician to install them according to local building and electrical codes.
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.
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.
The purpose and function of overhead garage doors have changed over time. Now, not only do they open, close and lock keeping your cars and other items in the garage safe and out of site, but garage doors also contribute to the overall curb appeal of the structure not to mention offer energy efficiency. Garage doors are available in a vast array of sizes, styles, colors and architectural themes ensuring you’ll find the right one to suit your needs. If you plan to build a detached garage plan, put some thought into the type of overhead doors you’d like to use. Below is a list of things to consider before purchasing your garage door:
- Does the garage door complement the architectural style of your garage and accompanying home?
- Is it available in a color that blends nicely with the façade?
- What energy efficiency features does it have including insulation?
- Is the garage door available with customizable options such as your choice of hardware or glass allowing you to have your own unique look?
- Does the garage door have a high durability rating?
- Are there any special safety features included?
Also, check with garage door manufactures. Some offer a design tool by which you can upload a photo of your garage and “try on” all the different door options experimenting with color, style, etc., making it easy to select the right overhead door for your new garage.
It is no secret that people use their garage for more than just parking the family cars. Whether attached or detached, garage plans can have a wide range of functions ranging from parking and storage of the lawn mower to a storage space for toys, workshop, office, or rainy day play space for the kids. It is also a great place to load and unload the kids and groceries. As much as we use our garages, it is necessary that we do as much as we can to make our garages green and pollutant free giving the whole family a healthier garage space to use. The Garage Plan Shop, recommends the following tips for greening your garage and making it more healthy:
- Get rid of hazardous substances: Removing hazardous substances from your garage is the most immediate thing you can do to make it more green and healthy for everyone. Often, the garage is a storage space for gas cans, oil containers, weed killers, fertilizers, paints and stains and cleaning supplies, not to mention chlorine and other pool chemicals for homeowners with a backyard pool. Go through your garage carefully reading labels on all of these items. Determine which of these items you need or want to keep and choose another storage space for them away from the home such as a backyard garden shed. Keep it locked so it is inaccessible to children. Responsibly get rid of anything you do not need to keep. Contact your local hazardous waste facility to find out about proper disposal.
- Seal your garage walls and insulate: If you have an attached garage, it is necessary to seal off cracks between the garage and adjacent rooms. This will stop the passage of contaminated air into the living areas. Seal up cracks where the drywall meets the floor or framing with caulk or expanding foam. Don’t forget to seal around duct work, electrical boxes, vents and lighting. If you don’t already have insulation in the walls where living spaces are attached to your garage, add it. Insulation acts as an extra barrier against air filtration.
- Install and exhaust fan: In most cases, the garage is the primary space to store your cars. Unless you drive an electric vehicle, your car exhausts pollutants, fumes and odors every time you start it. If you garage is attached to your home, these pollutants and fumes can seep into your home. Not only does your car exhaust carbon monoxide, but it also emits sulfur dioxide, dust and other particulates that are not healthy to breathe. Install an exhaust fan to remove these harmful gases and particles from your garage. The size and positioning of your exhaust fan will depend on the size of your garage, so consult a professional before you make a purchase.
Whether you have an attached or detached garage, these tips will help protect you and your family from contaminated air and pollutants making your garage green, healthy and safe for everyone.