Garage Addition Plans
With the Right Garage Plans a Garage Addition
can Provide Much more than just a space for storing Vehicles
By: Mark J. Donovan
A garage addition was one of the best large home improvement projects I ever
decided to do. With the right garage addition plans you can create a space
that offers much more utility than just housing vehicles. In addition to
storing your cars, a well thought out garage addition design can afford you
space for a small workshop, storing yard tools, and even creating finished
living space in its attic area.
When I designed my garage addition plans I took advantage of the fact that the
soil grade sloped downward and away from the home where I wanted to attach the
new garage addition.
By coming up with a carefully
designed garage addition that paid attention to both the grade of the
surrounding soil and where the garage roof wood peak at on the side of my
existing home, I was able to create both a garage and a finished living space
above it. Due to where the garage addition tied into the first level of the
existing home we were able to create a large bonus room above the garage that we
could access via the main house. The bonus room was ideal for creating my home
office and for housing our home theater system.
When developing garage plans make sure to think big. Too often homeowners
short change themselves and come up with garage plans that are just barely
large enough for storing their vehicles. Though they save some money, they
forgo the chance of ever having space for storing lawnmowers, snow blowers,
bikes and yard tools, not to mention a workbench. Often homeowners who short
change themselves on the garage plans eventually end up having to build a
separate shed for storing all of the other items that are normally found in
garages. In terms of actual dimensions for a garage addition, I would highly
suggest building no less than a 2 car garage with 26íx24í overall dimensions.
This size garage will also provide space for a separate utility egress door on
either the back or side of the home, as well as one on the front of it if you
so desire. If you have the land and the budget, I would also suggest
considering a third garage bay. Even if you donít have plans for a third
vehicle, the extra bay is ideal for storing lawn mowers and bikes that you can
Though I highly recommend going big when coming up with your garage addition
plans, it is just important that the garage addition be scaled and positioned
properly with the rest of the home. This is where an architect can come in
handy. They can help ensure you maximize your garage addition area while still
maintaining the overall aesthetics of your home.
Also, when coming up with your garage addition plans give careful
consideration for using an engineered beam to prevent the need for a lally
support column in the center of the garage floor.
Lally columns inevitably end up
interfering with opening car doors and causing small door nicks. In addition,
and as Iíve already mentioned, include a utility egress door in your garage
plans so that you donít have to open a garage door every time you want to enter
or exit the garage to grab a garden tool or step outside. The inclusion of a
garage utility door in your garage addition plans will save on home energy bills
by not having to open the main garage doors and letting in cold air every time
you decide to egress the garage.
I also recommend using 16 inch
centers on the wall stud framing when building a garage. Often local building
codes will allow you to skimp and go with 24 inch stud spacing. Though this may
be legal it compromises the overall strength and integrity of the garage
construction and the savings is miniscule relative to the overall cost of
building the garage addition.
Insulating and installing drywall on
interior garage walls is often skipped in garage addition plans. However, before
deciding on saving some money on your garage addition plans carefully consider
the benefits of having an insulated garage and finished garage walls.
Photo by Mark Donovan
An insulated garage keeps the garage
warmer during the winter months and cooler during the summer ones. If you have
any plans on using your garage as a workshop area, youíll seriously want to
consider insulating it. Also, if you plan to finish the attic space above the
garage addition youíll have no choice but to insulate the garage.
If you do decide to insulate the
garage, then it also makes sense to include drywall in your garage plans. The
drywall will protect the insulation from damage as well as augment the
insulation R-factor. Finished interior garage walls are also more aesthetically
Finally, make sure your garage
addition plans include plenty of natural and electrical lighting. Transom lights
over the garage doors are both aesthetically attractive and let in a ton of
The inclusion of double hung or casement windows in the garage, or dormer
windows in the garage addition attic area, also help to let in additional
natural light and improve the overall appearance of the garage exterior. In regards to electrical
lighting, make sure to include sufficient lighting over the garage bays, over
any workshop area, and over the utility egress doors. Also make sure to
include exterior lighting over the garage doors and utility egress doors.
For more information on building a
garage addition see the
Garage Addition Bid Sheet from HomeAdditionPlus.com.
The Garage Addition Bid Sheet includes an extensive questionnaire (Request for
Quote) that a homeowner can provide to prospective general contractors and
subcontractors for bidding the garage addition. In addition, the
Addition Bid sheet also includes estimated costs and time intervals
for constructing a garage addition as well as a list of key home material
manufacturers. Finally, the
Addition Bid sheet includes an extensive
set of helpful tips and advice on making sure the garage addition is built
properly and on time and budget.
How to Finance your Home Remodeling Project -
can help provide funds for your new home improvement project if financing is
Related Information on Building a Garage Addition
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