So, You Are Thinking About Adding a Garage?
When you bought your home, it probably felt perfect. Maybe you were moving from a smaller home or apartment. Maybe you had no kids or very young children. But now, things are starting to get a little cramped. This might be a great time to consider how to build a garage to accommodate your needs.
Usually, when someone thinks about a garage design, they think about how it accommodates a car. But as you look inside people’s garages, it tells a vastly different story. As it turns out, because a garage typically cost less than the addition or expansion of a room, people are building garages to be used as recreation rooms, workshops, home offices, warehouses for home-based enterprises, play rooms, child care centers, storage, or even a practice hall for the next big thing in music! Some people even customize their garage design to serve as interim housing for children who are not quite ready to leave the nest. Occasionally … people even park cars in them!
Whatever your reason for wanting to know how to build a garage, you will be surprised at how much of it you can do yourself.
Your very first step will be to check your local building regulations. You will be looking for information about:
o Zoning requirements
o Building permits
o How far away from the road or the neighbor’s property line you will have to stay
Failure to comply completely with the local building regulations can cost you time and money. It may even mean that you have to tear down your brand new garage designed to be your perfect new addition!
A smart second step is to have a free consultation with a local building inspector. They can help you to make sure that you know how to build a garage that will easily comply with code. Their only job is to inspect, not to sell you anything or cause you to have to spend extra money, so their advice will be extremely valuable in saving you time and money down the road.
You probably already have a good idea of how you will be using your garage. Now it is time to determine how big you will want it and what garage design will best accomplish your goals. A standard, single car garage should be at least 20′ x 11.5′. A double is 20′ x 18.25′, but do not forget to allow for space to store bicycles, riding lawn mowers, seasonal items, etc. Also, allow for room to put any desired work benches, storage shelves, etc. When building your garage, don’t forget the value of using the ceiling area to store items such as canoes, lawn furniture, large boxes, ladders, etc.
Finally, you need to start looking at garage design options. Do not be hasty in this choice. Also consider the cost versus the value of going a step beyond what you think you’ll need. Remember that you thought your house was just fine the way you bought it, but time has a way of changing things.
Before you actually start building, be honest with your abilities and limitations, and do not be shy about getting help in areas that you thought you might be able to handle. You can do-it-yourself with the help of a few specialists here and there! Best wishes on making this new addition absolutely SUPERB!