To make a professional garage for keeping cars, you need a strong construction to keep things safe. Sometimes, you will not have the garage with your home. So you need a garage addition.
In most areas, a building permit is needed for a garage addition. This may be obtained from the city building department. To qualify for the permit you will probably have to have a plan of the addition—professionally done or a rough sketch. A quick way to check this is to ask your local building material retailer or phone the city building department.
Determine your lot line before you start any building. The addition, of course, has to be within your lot line.
Design a Garage Addition
Design the garage addition so it becomes a part of the overall architectural design of your home. It should not look as if it has been stuck on your lot or built as an afterthought.
Plan around the addition. If the garage will be attached, consider adding a patio, breezeway, or porch. If the garage will be detached from the house, you may want a covered walkway between the two for weather protection. That is wide enough to accommodate off-street parking for guests.
Lighting for a regular garage addition is minimum. It should be on a separate circuit that runs from your main electrical house entry. Bury the wires.
Exterior of the Professional Garage
Provide power for an exterior light at the front and rear of the garage, and at least one light inside the garage. Connect all of these from a three-way switch that is operated from inside the garage, inside the house, and on the walkway. Use single switches for separate lights within the garage.
If a workshop or a laundry center is in your plans, wire the garage for power tools and appliances. Have at least a 220-volt line into the garage for these work areas. If you will use part of the garage for a living area, install wiring and plumbing when you’re constructing the addition. This can save money.
Widows and Door Design
The number of windows and doors you’ll need depends on the use of the garage and its design. For a car shelter only, you won’t need fancy windows; they should match the rest of the architecture of your home, however. Garage doors may be overhead, single swing-out, or double swing-out.
You can even buy an overhead door with an electronic opener/ closer. The cost is not prohibitive. You’ll also need a standard entrance door (you can buy them rehung—as window units) and another door for entry to lawn and garden storage. Use extra wide doors here.
Designing the Ventilation of the Garage
Ventilation is especially important if you are going to use your garage addition for extra living or work space. For a car shelter, provide ventilation with small aluminum, wooden, or screen wire louvers inserted into the gable ends of the garage.
To ventilate the addition, use a strip of louvers for the ridge of the roof. Where to get help: Architects, builders, re-modelers, or specialists in garage construction will be able to help you with your garage addition. Ask for standard plans first.
Call for Experts
If you plan to do a lot of the work yourself (such as place the concrete slab), consult an architect, builder, or concrete contractor for the exact specifications. For references, call your local contractors’ association. And don’t overlook local landscaping architects and contractors for special help.
Your best sources for materials are building material outlets, ready-mix concrete firms, and specialty stores. Also, visit your library and newsstand for books and magazines. Plan your job: Codes and building permits almost dictate garage addition planning. Ask the city what requirements are necessary to obtain a permit. The answer to this question will determine to what extent plans will have to be drawn for your specific lot.
Stick to modules-4-foot increments—in design. All building materials are manufactured on a 4-foot dimension. Plan space. A car takes about 9×20 feet of space. Consider, too, lawn and garden storage; work areas; living areas; and play areas. The ceiling of the garage, for example, may be planned so that you can install an indoor basketball practice hoop for the kids.
Backfill — To add dirt or other loose material against a concrete form or against the foundation wall of a house.
Can’t strip — is usually a wedge-shaped piece of lumber that is used at the gable ends of a roof under the shingles or at the junction of the house and a flat deck under the roofing material. Used often in remodeling.
Course— a single layer of bricks, blocks, or shingles in the width of the material. Float—to smooth the surface of fresh concrete. A wooden-like trowel is generally used for this. Floating works in large bits of aggregate. The next finish step is to steel trowel or brush the concrete surface.
Gable vents— are wooden or metal louvers installed at gable ends at the peak of the roof for ventilation within the structure.
Lookout— is a short bracket or cantilever, usually wooden, to support a roof overhang. This may be part of a rafter.
Module— generally a building measurement in a 2- or 4-foot increment. By designing in modules, you can save on material costs since materials are in modules. No special cutting or fitting may be needed.