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Your Garage Building Team: Key Players

If you’ve decided to build a new garage, there is no doubt you will have a building team. Your garage building team will consist of most or all of the people listed below. (In some cases, there may be additional team members not described here.) Before the construction process begins, take some time to familiarize yourself with the professionals that you will work with throughout the building process. Learn about their roles and tasks during the construction of your new garage or garage apartment.

  • Architect/Residential Designer: The professional responsible for making any modifications to the stock blueprints to suit the owner’s needs or desires. This person might make adjustments to the garage plans in order to meet specific building requirements for the geographic region where the garage is to be built.
  •  Builder/General Contractor: The professional responsible for overseeing all phases of the construction of your new garage or garage apartment from start to finish. This person provides bids for construction, creates and follows a construction timeline, oversees the grading of land and site preparation, takes care of ordering and delivery of materials, hires, organizes and oversees all subcontractors, tradesmen and construction crews, communicate ideas with the owner and works with nearly all key players at various stages of construction.
  • Building Inspector: An official who completes a variety of inspections of the property and garage structure throughout construction from clearing and grading the land to the finished garage or garage apartment. Ensures the building meets national and local building codes. (In some cases the building inspector and building official are the same person.)
  • Building Official: The person who approves construction of a new garage in a particular municipality, city or county and issues building permits. (In some cases the building inspector and building official are the same person.)
  • Lender: A bank representative or an institution overseeing the construction loan and mortgage for your new garage or garage apartment.
  • Subcontractors: Crews of specialized tradesmen hired to perform a specific task during the construction of your new garage such as carpenters, electricians, framers and roofers.

Now think about yourself. As the owner of the garage, you are vital member of the building team too, and it is your new garage we are talking about. So what is your role in this exciting process? Your job is to hire a builder, ask questions, discuss ideas and problems with the general contractor and review the progress of construction. It is important that you clearly communicate your thoughts to your builder, building officials and anyone else that may be at the jobsite. Before construction begins, you should check with your lender to find out what documents you will need for loan approval and then be prepared when you arrive at your meeting. You will be responsible for providing necessary paperwork and documents to your building official when it is requested. Make note of specific dates and times in regards to construction, meetings and other planning issues and arrive on time. Finally, check in with the general contractor often to monitor progress.

Other than you, it is apparent that the general contractor or builder is the most important member of your construction team, it is necessary that you thoroughly research all potential builders before choosing one. It is necessary that the builder not only communicates well with you, but the rest of the team members as well. You are putting your future garage in his or her hands. Interview several builders, get written estimates from each one, check out references and visit other jobsites where he or she has built to take a look at the quality and craftsmanship of the construction project. Your new garage is important to you, so don’t settle for less than a top-notch builder.

Though you may not work directly with each of the key players on your garage building team, it is important to know who they are and what their roles are in regards to the construction of your new garage. If you familiarize yourself with the team members mentioned here and their associated roles, all the steps of the building process with go more smoothly for you. Building a new garage can be a very exciting yet overwhelming task, but it can be fun and if you educate yourself about all aspects of the building process, starting with the key players of your building team.

For more information please read Choosing a General Contractor and Tips: Hiring a Builder.

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