Building a Garage From Garage Plans

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When building a garage using garage plans here are some important considerations

If building a garage from garage plans is in your future, then good planning is a must. Planning everything out in advance is going to be crucial to ensuring your plans to build a garage come off with minimal hassles. Before you start there are several things to take into account:
  • how many vehicles do you need to park in your new garage?
  • how large are the vehicles you are parking in the garage?
  • are there government imposed building restrictions for garages in your area?
  • do you have a location on your land that is easily accessible?
  • are you going to need utilities run to your garage?
Step Number 1 in any building project, including building a garage using garage plans, is to determine if there are any government imposed restrictions. There are several reasons that the local government might want to restrict what you can build on your property. They probably don't really care that you want to build a garage, but they want to make sure that the garage building plans meet the local codes and fit within the boundaries of local architectural styles and norms. Some areas have restrictions because of historical districts, they want to maintain the historical accuracy of the buildings to a certain architectural type. Others may have restrictions based on the neighborhood you are in. For example, if every other building in the area is one story and you want to build a garage that is two stories, they may have a problem with that. It's easy enough to find out, just contact your county government office and ask to speak with the building department. Tell them you are planning on building a garage and ask what permits you need and if there are any restrictions on garage building. If you live inside the limits of a city or township, they might also have a building department you need to deal with. Click here for a garage building checklist you can use to help with your project.

Step Number 2 in selecting garage plans and building a garage is deciding what size garage you need. Start with the basics, how many vehicles will you ultimately want to park in your garage? When in doubt, our preference is to err on the high side. You never know when you might need that extra bay for an overnight visitor. How big are the cars you need to park in your garage? Are they compacts, mid-size or full size? There can be a considerable difference between the length of a compact car and a full size car. The longest production 2010 car model we could find is the Mercury Grand Marquis which measures out at just over 17 1/2 feet. If you decide to build a garage that is 20 feet deep you will have about 19 feet of internal floor space where you can actually park your car. That would leave you with less than a foot and one-half of space or about 9 inches to the front and 9 inches to the rear of the car if you centered it perfectly in the garage. That's not much room. You might want to consider a little deeper garage if you own a long car. You can read more about sizing your garage by clicking here. Trucks and SUVs can take up even more space, sometimes approaching 20 feet in length.

Another sizing consideration when picking your garage plans and building a garage is what other items you plan on storing in the garage
  • garden tractors
  • lawn mowers
  • sports equipment
  • tools
What else might you want to keep safe and protected by storing it in your garage building? While bigger might seem better, don't forget about the size of the area you have to build a garage. You'll need to have ready access to the garage from the closest road and that means you'll need to have a driveway of some sort. The access area will have to be wide enough and level enough for you to put in a driveway to the garage building.

For some folks, having extra living space is their most important consideration, so Step 3 is to decide whether you need extra room for living in your garage. Or perhaps you need room for a workshop or studio? Building a garage from garage plans can be a great way to supplement your living needs. You can build a garage that has a full size one or two bedroom apartment. Or you can build a garage with a studio apartment. It gets a little more complicated when you want to build a garage with an apartment because you will need access to utilities such as sewage and plumbing. Most every garage building, with or without an apartment, will need access to electricity, but electricity installation is generally cheaper than plumbing. You could use a loft for an art studio, a workshop, or perhaps a workout room.

Step 4 in building a garage involves finding garage plans with an architectural style you like that matches or complements the other existing buildings on your land. It's probably not a good idea to put up an ultra-modern garage design when the house is an English Tudor model. Using your garage building criteria, search online for garage plans that meet your specifications. There are plenty of garage plans to choose from, so don't just settle for the first set of garage plans you come across that meet your needs. Shop around a little and you're sure to find garage construction plans that suit you nicely.

Once you have the basics figured out
  • any building restrictions
  • how many vehicle bays you need
  • extra room for living, working or playing
  • architectural style
it's time to decide whether you can afford to build the garage of your dreams, or maybe you'll need to scale back your garage building plans to meet your budget. Do some quick assessing of your garage building cost by clicking here. Before you buy your garage plans, it might be a good idea to talk to your garage builder and share your ideas with them. Show them the garage plans you want to use and ask them a ball park value of the cost for building a garage in your area. If you don't think you can afford to put up that garage building with 2 bedrooms and a workshop, maybe you can have your builder construct the shell and hold off on finishing the interior of the apartment area until the finances are in a little better shape. That way you'll have the garage for housing your vehicles, with the possibility of finishing off the interior at some future point so you'll also have your added living space.