Ok. Let's get this issue out of the way. Sketch2Plan would love to take your new garage sketch and turn it into a professional garage building plan. There, that's done. Now we can move on to what matters to you.
Decide what your needs are in a garage plan. One or more cars, trucks, RV's, boats, workshop, home business with office, Guest Suite, storage or building furniture or crafts. What size are your vehicles? You may drive a small car now but could need a mini-van when the kids come along. Will the design compliment your existing house? Are you going need some space for storage for a canoe, lawnmower, wheelbarrow, bicycles, table saw? Do you see a living space or home office room being needed some day? Will the garage be used as a workshop? Many garages become large workshops and the car is banned! Most of you just want a POG. A Plain Ole Garage. A 22' X 20' with a 16' double door or a 12' X 20' with an 8' single door.
Before you ever lift a tool have a good garage building plan in place. Some people will spend months or a year planning their new garage.
Sketch your lot and house and your proposed new garage location.
Determine the cost of the new garage you want to build. Your garage may cost you about 50 percent less than a contractor, if you can do the work yourself. If you do it yourself your cost can be from $15 to $30/sq.ft. If you hire contractors it can range from $45 to $60/sq.ft. If you do decide to build the garage yourself, you will need at least 4 people to help you tilt up the walls.
Before you start building a garage you will probably need a building permit which means a trip to the local building plan review office. Make sure you include garage placement on your lot showing exact distances to close property lines. One inch can be the difference between approval and rejection. You may have to make changes to your garage plan to get approved. They have a big list of rules and you just can't say I don't care about that one. The rules are there to set standards for you and the next owners, your neighbors, the insurance company, the utilities, the public, even storms and earthquakes, etc.
Remember that each country, state, province and municipality will have its own special building requirements. Be prepared. If local building plan review office is busy it could take days or weeks for approval. They may question the structural integrity of part of your plan and you may have to get an professional engineer to make changes.
Sorry, I'm scaring some people at this point now. It's usually not this bad but it's best to know that it could be problematic. Some building plan review offices will look at your plan for 2 minutes and say... "I see you have done your homework" then hit your plan with the approved stamp.
How close can the roof (with eaves trough) of your garage come to the property line? Many unaware DIY builders only consider the wall distance to the property line. This mistake has caused many new builders to cut off part of that beautiful new roof line. Check local building codes for how close you can build to the property line. If it's too late and your neighbor loves you an easement agreement can be created via you lawyer.
Will you add a mother-in-law suite on top of your garage some day? If you even hesitated to answer this question you may want to consider beefing up the footing and going with 2 X 6 walls and making the electrical panel bigger and rough in some plumbing. You can spend a little now and save a ton later.
The word easement if ignored can cause you problems. There may be things lurking under your property! The hydro, gas, water, cable and other utilities may have easements on your property. For example your hydro and phone service may be buried underground coming to your home. If you unknowingly build on top of these cables you may be required to remove part or your entire new garage or face huge fines.
- This list is taken from the City of Ottawa Website in Canada. Your location may be different.
Two complete sets of plans that are legible and drawn to conventional scale are required to be submitted with the Building Permit Application Form.
Drawing to include
Lot lines including dimensions.
Location of proposed addition dimensioned to other buildings and lot lines.
Lot area, main building area, accessory building area and addition area.
Indicate any changes to grading (grading approval may be required).
Drawing to include
Footings and foundation walls.
Drawing to include
Wall location and thickness.
Specify room adjacent to addition.
Window and door locations including sizes and lintels.
Specify opening between house and proposed addition including lintel.
Roof construction including beams, rafters, joists or trusses, sizes and direction.
Provide existing building information which may affect the processing of the application.
Drawing to include
The general appearance of the addition from three sides.
Windows and doors sizes.
Exterior wall finish (e.g. siding).
Drawing to include
Foundation construction and depth.
Wall construction including stud height.
Roof construction including roof pitch.
Height from grade to roof peak.
Connection to main building.
A truss layout as supplied from manufacturer may be required, depending on the complexity of pre-engineered roof trusses.
The joist layout as supplied from the manufacturer is required when pre-engineered joists are used.
Building Permit Application
To expedite the Building Permit, ensure all applicable information is submitted with the required building permit fee.
Is it cold in there? Heating can be installed in many forms. This can be electric, gas, wood, propane, oil, coal and can include new technology features like radiant floor heat.
How do you heat a concrete floor you ask! You install loops of pex tubing tied to the mesh when the concrete floor is poured. The concrete floor area is prepped with vapor barrier and a few inches of foam insulation. The pex tubing connects to a manifold which is connected to some type of water heater. Add antifreeze to the water in colder climates. Now picture yourself on a cold day barefoot or working under the car laying on a warm concrete floor. Nice!
Before you decide how many outlets you want in your new garage first decide how you will get power to the garage. In a typical city installation power is run from the main house panel to a new sub-panel in the new garage. This setup is simple if your house electrical panel has room to grow. Sometimes the house panel is full or near full and there is not enough to feed a new garage. This usually happens when the house panel is an older 100 amp panel. However in larger homes this can even happen to 200 amp panels. If this is the case the cost to upgrade your house panel or add a new metered service to the new garage just increased your costs by a few thousand dollars or more. Consult with an electrician before you start because this can be a budget breaker. Unless you are going to do welding or use other large power tools, a 20 or 30amp service should be adequate for most garages You MUST follow all national and local electrical codes.
At this point, you should consider visiting your town's department of urban planning to know more about the local building codes regarding an attached garage. For example, there might be setbacks to take into account when choosing a location or even a maximum height to consider when the time comes to design the plans. Hopefully you can do what you want, but it's best to be safe and find out early if you have to change your plans.
Window in a garage provide a different value than house windows. Being a woodworker myself, I want my windows in a garage to be higher off the floor (sill to floor). I want my windows to be above the surface of my work bench back splash. I want some to be 48" high so I can stack 4' X 8' sheets of plywood and not block the window. I'm not going to be sitting on a couch looking out my garage windows. For these reasons and more garage windows are almost always higher sill to floor measurements. Think 50 inches.
Floor and Footings
The concrete floor itself is usually 4 to 6 inches thick and will be reinforced with appropriate mesh and maybe re-bar. If you expect to have heavy trucks or equipment on the floor you should make that 8 inches thick with mesh and re-bar. Some recommend laying down 6 mil plastic under the concrete to ensure ground moisture is avoided. Also, not all concrete is equal. Concrete strength is rated in PSI -- "pounds per square inch". 4000 psi concrete is stronger and costs a bit more than 3000 psi concrete.
Should you use a slab flat concrete floor or have a concrete floor with concrete stem walls on your new garage? Stem walls typically short 8" concrete walls all they way around the wall area of the garage. It's up to you. Personally, They keep your garage high and dry and they allow you to have a higher inside ceiling using standard length wooden studs.. If your garage is built on flat land, you have a choice, flat slab or stem wall. However if you are on uneven grade and one or more walls will need to be back filled up against your garage then you should choose to have a concrete stem wall that will extend above the ground. Snow melt is also something to consider if you live in a colder climate. They do add a bit more building effort and cost, but are worth it in peace of mind if your budget can manage it. Under the floor around the entire garage there will also be concrete footings that should extend below the winter frost line.
For most garage building projects the concrete work, footings, floor, stem walls, etc. with all the needed reinforcing re-bar and mesh are outsourced to concrete specialists. These local specialists know the frost depth (if any) in your area and they also know the local soil conditions. They also tend to do things their way. Most of them will look at your plans but will recommend changes and do it their way. The visible above ground concrete will probably not vary from the plan but the important below ground level concrete may change. They will also recommend changes to comply with local building code regulations. If you are going to do the concrete work yourself you are a very small percentage and have so much experience I would wonder why you are reading this.
2X4 walls VS 2X6 walls?
My choice is 2X6 but then again I live in Canada and with our winters 2X6 exterior walls just to have maximum insulation have been the standard for 40 years. Structurally for a garage, 2x4s are only going to be good to a wall height of about 10'. If you live in a warm climate and will have walls less than 10' high and will never ever build a second floor then 2X4 walls will be fine for a smaller garage. With a large garage the weight of the roof must be considered and 2X6 would be advised. When in doubt spend the extra money and use 2X6. As always, check your local building code. It will probably make the choice for you.
What is the length of a "pre-cut" 2 x 4 stud?
"Normal" 2 x 4s usually come in 8, 10, or 12 foot sizes and longer, "pre-cut" they come in sizes for 8', 9', and 10' ceilings, and what the "pre-cut" means is that enough is cut off the end so that the total height when combined with the top and bottom of the wall frame the TOTAL will equal 8', 9' or 10' - 1 inch for the ceiling drywall and - 1/8" for the flooring. Since the actual thickness of a "2 x 4" is 1.5 inches the length of a pre-cut 2 x 4 fwill be 8', 9', or 10' with 3 3/8" (4 1/2" for one bottom and two top plates - 1" for the ceiling drywall and - 1/8th inch for flooring) cut off. So a "8 foot" pre-cut stud would be 92 5/8".
This information must be followed by that age old saying "Measure twice, cut once"
Most building supply centers offer a variety of shed building kits and some even offer a few garage building kits. These kits do not save you money. What they do is remove garage building plan choice by giving you a few cookie cutter garage plans that come with a material list. The retailer simply hand you the building instructions and tell the lumber yard staff to load a truck with all the material for the xyz 22X24 plan. The material cost is their standard lumber price. The first things you read when you open the package is:
Build a garage foundation 22X24 to local building codes.
When building the garage, follow local building codes.
Build the garage walls.
Raise the garage walls.
With custom garage plans you take the building material list to your local building center and they tell the lumber yard staff to load a truck with all the material for your custom plan. The big difference is you were not restricted to a few cookie cutter garage plans. You got to choose the following:
Choose any size of garage for your garage building plan.
Choose Metric ( Meters) or Imperial (Feet) garage plans.
Choose your garage plan concrete floor style: Flat or Flat with stem wall of any height.
Choose different garage plan roof styles.
Select wall studs to be 16" or 24" on center.
Choose 2 X 4 or 2 X 6 walls for your garage plan.
Add as many garage windows as you want in any size.
Place 1, 2, 3, 4 or more large garage doors where you need them.
Your custom garage plan can have 1, 2 or more walk-in doors anywhere.
Want a 10 or 12 foot garage ceiling for boat or large truck access? No problem.
Want an L shaped garage or a Mother-in-law suite on top of your garage? No problem.
Overhead Sectional Garage Doors - Double garage doors are available in a variety of sizes with the typical size being 16' X 7'. Single garage doors also available in a variety of sizes with the typical size being 9' X 7'. Many people will install twin 9' X 7' doors. The doors can come insulated or not. Up here in Canada they all come insulated for our cold winters. Standard garage door dimensions range from 6' to 18' in width and 6' to 8' in height.
You can easily get doors of greater height to accommodate a boat or RV or large truck. There are even golf cart doors in sizes of 5' X 7', 6' X 7', 5' X 8' and 6' X 8'.
Oh yes I want a roof please. Believe it or not there are a lot of garage roof options available for your garage plans.
Your garage plans should include the following information to aid you when ordering the roof trusses:
2. Size of rafters
3. Spacing of rafters
4. Length of overhang
5. Location and size of ceiling joists
6. Size of ridge beam and any other bearing beams
7. Load Weight
Overwhelmed? Most people order a prefabricated roof trusses in a Gable roof style for whatever their plan specifies.
A Gable roof style is the most common and easiest roof to build. Two flat sides with a pitch of 4 to 6. A steeper pitch (higher number) does not collect as much snow but steeper pitches cost more. There is more storage room in a steeper pitch and they are stronger having more storage load capability. Some people like to match the pitch of the roof on their house.
Take a look at this Roof pitch chart and you'll see what pitch is. A higher pitch number gives you a steeper and stronger and more expensive roof.
There are also several other different roof styles you could select for your garage. The most common alternate is a hip roof style with 4 sides. A gambrel roof resembles the classic barn roof with two different slopes on a side. This roof provides enough space overhead for a living area or office. There are also other styles but we are not writing a book. You may want to match the same roof style your house has.
More to follow.........