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Getting Started

If you plan to build a new garage, you'll find a wide variety of resources to help you get started with your construction project. Below are just a few of the easy-to-access resources that will help you throughout the construction process.

  • Talk to friends and family members who have built a new garage, shed, outbuilding or even a home. Ask them to share any information they can with you. These people have a wealth of knowledge to share based on personal experience. Ask them what things went well and what things could have gone better.
  • Contact your local building official and other professionals that work in fields related to residential construction such as a builder or contractor, the building inspector, a residential designer or a carpenter.
  • Check with the professional staff at a lumberyard. These people are especially knowledgeable when materials are considered.
  • Use the Internet. There are many helpful websites designed to relay construction information to the consumer.
  • The Garage Plan Shop can help you too. Just visit our resources page. You'll find a variety of articles and tip sheets to help you get started with the building process and carry you through to completion.

If you already have a good idea about the type of garage plan you would like, you can use the advanced search to find plans that meet your specific criteria. Just enter the criteria you want or need and let the site do all the work for you. It will only display garage plans that incorporate the criteria you selected. If you find a garage plan that satisfies most of your needs but isn't exactly what you want, you can complete and submit a modification request form to get a quote for the changes you will need. Also, you may want to check with your builder or contractor. Sometimes, the builder can make simple modifications at the jobsite.


The Garage Plan Shop offers a variety of blueprint packages and useful supplemental items. These items are outlined in detail under the Miscellaneous Information section of our resource page. Just review Garage Blueprint Packages and Supplemental Items.

Your specific needs and the needs of your builder will determine the number of sets of blueprints needed for construction. It is a good idea that you have a set of plans for yourself. Your builder and subcontractors will need a few sets of plans as well. Check with your builder to find out how many will be needed on the jobsite. If you are working with a lender, that person may require a set of blueprints for loan approval. Also, you should check with your local building department. You may need to provide a set of blueprints when you apply for building permits, and the building inspector may need a set to review throughout construction. If you plan to build the garage as-is or with very little modification, the five or eight set plan package is usually sufficient, but it is still best to check with all the people mentioned above before ordering. If you would like to make substantial modifications to the garage plan, The Garage Plan Shop recommends the reproducible master to make changes by hand or the PDF or CAD file to change the blueprints electronically. You will receive a copyright release letter with each of these garage plan packages giving you legal permission to make changes to the copyrighted garage design and then make the necessary copies of the blueprints required for construction. Keep in mind the one-set package of plans is stamped "not for construction." Building with a stamped set of blueprints and/or making copies of stamped or unstamped blueprints without a copyright release from the designer is a violation of copyright laws.

A one set garage plan package is stamped "not for construction" because it is considered a study set. It is intended for you to review the garage plan in more detail before construction begins. The single set, or study set, can be used to obtain estimates for labor and materials. Once you have reviewed the garage design and decide to move forward with construction, you can upgrade your blueprint package. Upgrades must be done within 90 days of the original purchase. You simply pay the difference in cost between the one set package and the greater plan package. Note: Shipping charges will apply to the upgraded blueprint package.

Below is a listing of the elements typically incorporated in a set of garage blueprints published by The Garage Plan Shop:

  • Coversheet - The cover sheet is an artist's rendering of the finished garage. Typically, this page is not needed for construction, but rather offers a visual representation of what the garage will look like when construction is complete. Not all designers provide a cover sheet with their garage plans.
  • Foundation Plan - The foundation page is a detailed drawing of the foundation and includes necessary information such as the thickness of foundation walls, floor joist sizes and spacing, column locations and other pertinent construction details and notes.
  • Floor Plan - Depending on the size of the garage plan, there may be one or more floor plan pages. The floor plan pages provide the layout and construction for each floor of the garage or other structure. In general, these pages include room dimensions, window and door locations, wall sizes, notes about ceiling details and design, and other notes and details regarding layout and construction.
  • Basic Electric - Basic electrical information can be found on the floor plan page or on a separate page. This information reflects the suggested locations of switches, fixtures and outlets when applicable.
  • Simple Plumbing - Simple plumbing information is found either on the floor plan page or on a separate page of the blueprint. This information shows placement and locations of bathtubs, toilets, showers and sinks when applicable.
  • Interior Elevations - When applicable, the interior elevations page describes and provides details and drawings about the built-in elements of a garage apartment or other living space such as, vanities, kitchen cabinets, fireplaces, moldings, handrails and built-in bookshelves or niches.
  • Exterior Elevations - The purpose of the exterior elevations page is to describe the look and feel of the garage's exterior finish. If provides views of the garage on all four sides and calls out the type and placement of finish and trim materials including brick, siding, stone, stucco, roof shingles, and decorative elements like window shutters. Other details are provided on this page as well, like roof pitches and ceiling heights. In some instances, window and door sizes are included.
  • Details - Construction details may be found on a separate page of the blueprint or on various pages throughout. The details communicate information about how smaller elements should be constructed such as, the design of the handrail spindles, the sizes and styles of moldings and other trim used throughout, and the look of the fireplace or built-in cabinets.
  • Sections - Garage plan sections may be a separate page of the blueprint or they may be found on various pages throughout. In general, they are views of the garage showing the elements and composition of the foundation, exterior and interior walls, roofs, floors and stair details. These drawings show the relationship between floors and also indicate ceiling heights and rooflines.

Note: Not all stock garage plans incorporate every element described here. Blueprint pages vary by designer.

For more information, please refer to What You Need to Know about Stock Garage Plans.

A reproducible master is a complete set of garage blueprints printed on erasable paper such as vellum, mylar or sepia. The Garage Plan Shop recommends the reproducible master if you would like to make a few simple changes to your garage plans. This method allows a local residential designer or even your builder to make changes to the blueprints without investing the time or money it would take to redraw the stock plan in its entirety or custom draw a garage plan. After your modifications are completed, you can make all the copies you will need for the construction of your new garage. A copyright release is included with the reproducible master giving you legal permission to modify the copyrighted garage design and make the necessary copies needed for construction. Remember to take your copyright release with you to the copy shop. The copyright release does not give you permission to build the garage more than one time with the same set of construction drawings. Not all designers offer the reproducible master so please check for availability. Note: Some designers print reproducible masters on bond paper requiring White Out to make changes to the blueprints. A copyright release will come with the garage plans.

A CAD file is a complete set of garage blueprints in an electronic file format. If you want to make substantial changes to your blueprints, a CAD file is recommended. It will be necessary to hire a design professional to make changes to the electronic files. A copyright release is included with the CAD file allowing you to legally make changes to the copyrighted blueprints and print the copies needed for construction. You are entitled to build the structure one time with the CAD file. In most cases, it can be emailed to you within 24-48 hours of placing your order during regular business hours, Monday – Friday. Please be aware that some of our designers require customers to sign and return a license agreement before the electronic file will be emailed to the customer. Note: CAD software is required to open CAD files. CAD files are not available for all plans. CAD files are non-returnable once the designer has emailed the file to you.

The PDF file garage plan package is an electronic version of the construction drawings. It will be sent to you via email, saving you shipping costs. In most cases it can be emailed to you within 24-48 hours of placing your order during regular business hours, Monday � Friday. Simply take the electronic file of your garage plan to a local print shop to have your blueprints printed. The PDF file allows you to reproduce the number of blueprints necessary for obtaining bids and permits, as well as the copies needed for construction of your garage. Furthermore, the PDF allows you to print sets of blueprints in various sizes to suit your needs. Note: PDF files are not available for all plans and cannot be altered electronically. PDF files are non-returnable once the designer has emailed the file to you.

The garage plans published by The Garage Plan Shop are stock plans, which were designed to meet the nationally recognized building code in effect at the place and time of creation. Stock plans do not necessarily meet any state or county building codes. In this case, the construction drawings do not include extensive electrical, HVAC and plumbing details. Most garage plans include a simple electrical schematic reflecting the suggested locations of fixtures, outlets and switches. However, it is necessary to review all electrical details with your builder to ensure local codes are met. Information about the HVAC system will depend on the types of units you use and the size of your garage or garage apartment. The type of heating and cooling system you choose and the building codes for your area will determine the necessary ductwork. While plumbing fixtures are included in the blueprints, the flow of water lines and the sewer system are site specific and must be determined locally. Discuss all plumbing details with your contractor or plumber. They should be able to supply you with the necessary plumbing information based on local building codes.

Mechanical details are not required for typical construction and vary greatly among regions and municipalities depending on local codes. Therefore, mechanical details and diagrams are not included with most garage plans.

Most of the garage plans published by The Garage Plan Shop include detailed cross-sections of the framing and the floor joists and roof layouts, but rarely do the blueprints include the entire layout. However, an experienced contractor will be able to build your garage using the information provided on the construction drawings.

The garage plans and garage apartment designs, as well as other structures, published on The Garage Plan Shop's website are not sealed or stamped by an engineer or architect. If your building department requires the blueprints to be sealed or stamped, you will have to take your blueprints to a local engineer or architect to have them reviewed and stamped. This professional must be registered in the state where you plan to build.

The living square footage encompasses all the finished areas of the garage apartment that are dry-walled, painted, carpeted, heated and cooled. Typically, square footage calculations are made from outside the exterior frame wall, but do not include any brick. Decks, porches, verandas, screened porches, fireplaces, attics, bonus rooms and basements are not included in the living square footage. The actual square footage of a design is calculated using the construction drawings, therefore you will not be able to calculate square footage based on the room sizes provided on the spec floor plans shown on our website. If you have questions about the square footage of a particular garage apartment plan, please contact us.

The total square footage of the garage apartment plans and other various designs published at The Garage Plan Shop includes all of the area inside the exterior face of the "heated walls," meaning only the heated living space. The total square footage does not include garages, porches, screened porches, decks, future spaces, unfinished loft areas, attic space or bonus rooms. Be aware that the dimensions listed for each room cannot be calculated and added together to come up with the total square footage of the design because smaller spaces such as closets and hallways are not shown on the spec floor plans published on this website.

TheGaragePlanShop.com offers garage plans with a variety of wall framing types including 2x4, 2x6, concrete block, ICF and log framing. Just use our advanced search to select the type of exterior wall framing you need and let the site do all the searching for you. Note: Several garage plans offer optional wall framing types for an extra fee. Check the garage plan page for availability and pricing.

All of the garage plans published on our website are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced. The blueprints can only be copied if a reproducible master, PDF or CAD file is purchased. These plan packages come with a copyright release granting legal permission to change the plans and make copies of them. Also, all garage floor plans and illustrations published at The Garage Plan Shop are the exclusive property of The HousePlanShop, LLC and the designers and architects represented on this website. Only one garage structure may be built from the blueprint plan package you purchase. These garage plans may not be copied or resold. We strive for accurate representation of the garage floor plans and renderings we publish and will not be responsible for errors or omissions on this site. Copyright laws strictly prohibit the reproduction in whole or in part of any garage plan or illustration on this site.

Most construction drawings use a generic window sizing system that does not reflect the products of any particular window manufacturer. For instance, 2850 is a common window size used on residential blueprints. This refers to a window that is 2'-8" wide by 5'-0" tall or 32" wide and 60" tall. The same standard system is used to call out door sizes. If a blue print labels a door as 2468, this refers to a door that is 2' 4" wide by 6' 8" tall. Some designers will specify window and door sizes on the construction drawings at each particular opening while other designers relay this information using a table called a window and door schedule.

Below is a listing of the abbreviations and their meanings commonly used on spec floor plan drawings shown on The Garage Plan Shop website.

  • BR - Bedroom
  • BRK - Breakfast Room or Nook
  • CLG - Ceiling
  • DN - Down
  • DW - Dishwasher
  • E - Entry
  • F or FURN - Furnace
  • FPL - Fireplace
  • LN - Linen Closet
  • MBR - Master Bedroom
  • MC - Mechanical
  • OPT - Optional
  • P or PAN - Pantry
  • R or REF - Refrigerator
  • SHWR - Shower
  • SKLT - Skylight
  • STOR - Storage closet/space
  • UTL - Utility Room/Closet
  • VLT - Vaulted Ceiling
  • W/D - Washer/Dryer
  • WH - Water Heater
  • WIC - Walk-in Closet

It is not uncommon to find a wide range of abbreviations on a construction drawing. The Garage Plan Shop offers a tip sheet called Construction Drawing Abbreviations under the Miscellaneous Information heading in the resource section. Please visit this page to review a full listing of abbreviations used on stock garage plans and in the residential building industry.

Building Codes

Building codes are safety regulations and guidelines dictating how a building should be constructed in a particular area. These codes range from nationally recognized guidelines to specific municipal ordinances. Buildings codes are set in place and adhered to as a means of protecting the builder and the buyer of a garage or other structure. Many of the building rules and regulations in a particular geographic region or area are based upon elements specific to that area such as weather conditions, like temperature and precipitation, and soil conditions. All of the blueprints published on this website were designed to meet or exceed the requirements of the nationally recognized building code in effect at the time and place each plan was drawn. Typically, blueprints designed after the year 2000 conform to the International Residential Code (IRC). The IRC is composed of portions of the four major building codes listed below. Garage plans drawn before 2000 conform to one of these four building codes in effect at the time of creation.

  • BOCA (Building Officials & Code Administrators)
  • CABO (Council of American Building Officials)
  • ICBO (International Conference of Building Officials)
  • SBCCI (Southern Building Code Congress International)

Each state, city, county, municipality or township follows some form of one or any combination of these residential building codes. Please check with your local building department or a building official in the area in which you plan to build to learn more about the required building codes for your area.

Each residential designer or architect puts great care into ensuring the garage plans conform to the national building codes in place at the time the blueprints are drawn. However, this does not mean the garage plans will meet all local building codes. Every city and county has its own set of building codes and regulations based upon the specific qualities of that area. It is necessary to contact the local building department or talk with a building official to find out what is required in the area in which you plan to build. Furthermore, it may be necessary to work with your builder, a residential designer or a building official to modify your garage plans to meet the specified building codes in your area. In addition to your garage plans, you may need to supply a few other items when you apply for a building permit. Your building department will be able to provide a list of the items you will need, which may include the following:

  • Site Plan - A drawing of the lot showing the location of the future garage as well as the locations of other structures presently situated in the lot. Your contractor can help you with this.
  • Septic System Design - A diagram showing the details of the septic system. This is not necessary if your lot is served by a sanitary sewer system.
  • Energy Code Compliance - A form that must be filled out proving the materials used to construct the garage are energy compliant.

Some areas of the county have very strict local engineering codes. In this case, you should hire a local engineer to review your garage plans and provide additional drawings, details and calculations required by your building department. For instance, many Northern areas have snow load and 2x6 wall framing requirements. Hurricane-risk areas along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts have wind load specifications and require wind strappings and as well as other items. The earthquake-prone areas of California follow seismic zoning regulations demanding additional structural elements.

If you are not sure about any of these items, contact your local building official for more information about what is required in your area.

We do not guarantee the plans published on The Garage Plan Shop website will satisfy the general building codes for California. Although the blueprints were designed to meet the nationally recognized residential building code in effect at the place and time the plans were drawn, this does not mean the construction drawings will comply with regulations and guidelines set forth by the state of California or cities and counties within when items such as seismic zoning regulations, energy requirements and other safety ordinances are considered. Before applying for building permits or the start of construction, it may be necessary to have your garage blueprints reviewed and sealed or stamped (officially approved) by a licensed engineer or architect registered in the state of California. If your building department requires an official seal, The Garage Plan Shop recommends that you purchase a reproducible master, PDF or CAD file. This will allow the professional you are working with to make changes to the construction drawings according to local residential building codes when reviewing the garage plans.


When it comes to modifying your garage plans, there are a few options available. Begin with your builder. Sometimes the builder or contractor can make minor changes on site. Often this professional can make your desired changes without having to go to the expense of having the original construction drawings modified. Be sure to discuss the details of your specific changes with the builder before construction begins. Another option is to purchase a reproducible master, PDF or CAD file and have a residential designer or architect make changes locally. The final option is to complete a modification request form and submit it to The Garage Plan Shop's modification team. They will determine if the changes can be made and provide a free quote for the modifications within 2-3 business days. All requests must be submitted in writing. Additional changes may be required after you receive your modified blueprints to ensure the plans meet your local building codes. Whether you decide to work with a local professional or have The Garage Plan Shop make your changes, it will be necessary to purchase either a reproducible master, PDF or a CAD file. Each comes with a copyright release granting legal permission to modify and copy the original design.

Modification costs vary greatly depending on the garage plan and the types of changes you want to make. Therefore we do not give quotes for modifications without a completed modification request form. We must have all modification requests in writing. Please fill out the form with all your specified changes and submit it as directed on the modification page. The Garage Plan Shop's modification team will contact you with a free modification quote within 2-3 business days.

Most of our garage plans come with 2x4 wall framing. However, construction drawings can be modified for 2x6 framing. In general, this is a simple change that can often be handled by your builder during construction. Please check with your builder or building official for information about local requirements. Some designers offer their garage plans with both types of framing. Availability and pricing is specified on the plan page for each garage design on this site. (Please note: If you find that your blueprints must reflect the wall framing type you need and it is not available on our site, please submit a modification request form to receive a free quote to convert to design to the wall framing type you desire.)

Whether you want to change the exterior finish of a garage plan for personal preference or economical reasons, it can often be done without causing problems. Be sure to consult with a local building professional or your contractor to discuss the details of the changes you wish to make to the exterior finish of the garage. Also, keep in mind when adding brick as the exterior finish, it is necessary to modify the foundation and create a brick ledge. If you plan to eliminate brick from the fa�ade, the brick ledge is not necessary.

Supplemental Items

You can purchase supplemental items and/or upgrade your blueprint package within 90 days of your original plan purchase. Supplemental items and plan package upgrades must be for the same plan number as that of the initial purchase. If you decide to upgrade your blueprint package or order supplemental items at a later time, you cannot order online. Please contact us by email or phone and we will be happy to help you with your upgrade. Note: Shipping charges apply to the upgraded order and supplemental items.

A material list, sometimes called a takeoff, is a complete list of the building materials needed for a given construction project. In general, all of the typical materials required for building are included such as lumber, drywall, windows, doors, exterior finish and trim, and more. Items that are not usually included in a material list include foundation materials, rough plumbing, HVAC, appliances and various interior finishing materials. Note: The materials included on the material lists vary by designer.

Material lists are available for several of the garage plans published on The Garage Plan Shop website. Availability is indicated on the plan page when you view each garage on this site.

Material lists are only available with a purchase of blueprint package for a garage plan of the same plan number.

In general, a material list is not necessary to build your garage, although they can be a handy tool. A material list indicates the quantities and sizes of the materials needed to build your garage. They will save your contractor the time it takes to create a materials list from scratch and will allow you to obtain accurate material bids from lumberyards in a short amount of time.

A mirror reverse garage plan can be a helpful tool. In some cases, the garage will fit better on a lot or in a given area if the floor plan were flipped. A mirror reverse garage plan is just that. The images of the garage are a mirror image of the original design in which the floor plans flip from left to right with the text appearing backwards just as if you were looking in a mirror. Though the text, such as room dimensions and informational details, is not readable, the reversed image serves as a visual aid reflecting the layout of the garage the way you plan to build it. It also shows the correct door swings. You cannot build or obtain a building permit with a mirror reverse set of plans. When you order your blueprints, The Garage Plan Shop recommends only ordering one or two sets in mirror reverse and the rest as correct reading sets. Check for availability of mirror reverse when you view the plan page of a specific garage.

Sometimes, a particular garage plan will work better on a lot if the original layout of the plan were reversed. For these situations, some of our garage plans are available in right reading reverse. This means the garage floor plans are available in a flipped version with the floor plan flipping from left to right and the text reading correctly. Availability is noted on the garage plan page. If you order your garage plans in right reading reverse, all sets of plans will be shipped to you in right reading reverse.

Ordering and Shipping

Processing and shipping options and rates vary by garage plan. The processing and shipping methods available for the design you wish to purchase are listed in the "Processing and Shipping" section on the plan page for each respective plan. Typically, in the Continental U.S., Regular delivery takes 8-12 business days. We offer Priority shipping (3-5 business days) and Express shipping (1-2 business days) if you wish to receive your garage plans more quickly. Blueprint orders placed before 11:00 a.m. CST Monday through Friday will be processed the day they are placed. Blueprint orders placed after 11:00 a.m. CST Monday through Friday or over a weekend will be held until the next business day. For garage plan orders shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada or for orders shipping from Canada to the U.S., please check the available processing and shipping options listed on the webpage for each respective garage design. Many of our designers will sell and ship their plans overseas. Please contact us for further information before placing your international order (outside the U.S and Canada).

The Garage Plan Shop and many of our designers are happy to serve customers outside the United States and Canada. Many of our garage plans can be sold and shipped overseas. If you are not a resident of the United States or Canada, please contact us for plan package availability and processing and shipping rates.

At The Garage Plan Shop, we make every effort to ensure your online shopping experience is as secure as possible. During the online ordering process, all information is encrypted before sending it from our secure server to an automated payment-processing center that validates your credit card. Once your credit card has been charged, your order is sent to the order processing center without your credit card information. This process ensures your credit card information is never stored on our server and no one has access to it at any time. Your personal information is used only for our account management and order processing purposes. It is not sold to any organizations. However, your name and street address may be supplied to third parties directly related to home building, residential construction and home improvement.

Sales tax is charged on any purchase made in the state of Missouri only.

TheGaragePlanShop.com is brought to you by The GaragePlanShop, LLC. Credit card charges will appear as The GaragePlanShop, LLC.


Your blueprint purchase is NOT returnable. Since our blueprints are printed and shipped in response to your order, The Garage Plan Shop does not honor any requests for returns, exchanges or refunds for any reason. It is necessary that you review your order before placing it online. Be sure you need and want the items you plan to purchase. Also, it is VERY important that you verify the dimensions of your lot/building site before purchasing a garage plan. All sales are FINAL.

The building license is only granted to the person who originally purchased the garage plans. Therefore, the building license is not transferable.

As the original purchaser of the garage plans, you are licensed to build the garage only one time with your blueprints. Constructing a garage more than one time with the original purchase of the garage plans is copyright infringement and violates copyright laws. Purchasing a multiple set plan package, such as a five set package, does not entitle you to build the garage more than one time. Likewise, buying additional sets of the garage blueprints does not give you legal rights to build the structure again. However, some designers offer multi-use fees or multiple build licenses for those who wish to build a structure more than one time. Multi-use fees vary by designer. Please contact The Garage Plan Shop for a quote.

Photographs are available for some of our garage plans. If they are available, they are posted on The Garage Plan Shop's website. As we receive new photos of our garages, they are added to our site. Note: The photographs published online may differ from the actual construction drawings depending on the modifications made by the owner or builder. Refer to the garage floor plan for the actual layout of the design.

The Garage Plan Shop sells garage plans throughout the United States and internationally. While we know where our blueprints have been shipped, we do not know the exact locations where our garage plans have been built. Additionally, it is our responsibility to protect our customers' privacy and therefore, we do not track this information. However, we do have photography for some of our garage plans and the photos can be viewed on the garage plan page. New photos are posted as we receive them.

In some cases a rear elevation or rear photo is available for our garage plans, and they are posted on our website. As we receive new elevations, photos and other images, we make every effort to publish them as soon as possible. However, if you would like to see a rear elevation for a plan that is not presently published on The Garage Plan Shop website, please contact us, and we request the elevation from the designer.

Current Specials

Special Offer: $15.00 OFF Shipping

For a Limited Time Only: $15.00 OFF Shipping 

The Garage Plan Shop is offering $15.00 OFF shipping for online orders only on the initial purchase of any blueprint order over $400.00 (before shipping fees and taxes). Simply enter this promotional code when placing your order: GSHIP2024

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