Building a Garage

Building a Garage is Similar to Building a Home

By Mark J. Donovan

Building a garage is a big home addition project, and should not be underestimated. Though building a garage may not involve any plumbing, it does require just about every other building trade and is otherwise very similar to building a home.

When considering building a garage think big. More often than not, when it comes to garages, I hear people complaining about the size of their garage and wishing it was bigger.

People seem to forget during the planning stages of building a garage to consider what items they plan on storing in the garage besides their cars.

When you start considering items like lawnmowers, snow blowers, a work bench, a generator, trash cans, and bikes, you can quickly realize you need to build a large garage. For a 2 car garage I would recommend a footprint of at least 26’x26’.

Whether you have attached or detached garage building plans, make sure you first develop a comprehensive garage addition checklist. The garage addition checklist should include all the steps necessary in building a garage, starting with the development of garage blueprints and specifications, and ending with the final inspection.

Garage additions are built similar to homes in many ways. First, foundation footings, short foundation walls, and a concrete slab need to be installed. The garage then needs to be framed similar to building a home using 2×4 or 2×6 framing studs that are sandwiched between mudsill plates and top plates.

Garage Addition Bid Sheet

It is important that pressure treated framing material be used for the mudsill plates as they are in direct contact with the foundation walls. In addition, foam insulation should be used between the mudsill plate and the foundation wall. The mudsill plates should also be fastened to the foundation walls per your local building code requirements.

Headers should be used when building a garage addition for window and door openings.

Roof rafters, sheathing and shingles are then added to the garage, along with the access doors and windows to nearly button up the garage.

Once the garage door openings have been trimmed out, the garage doors can then be installed to fully button up the garage from the weather elements.

Finally, the garage addition needs to be sided and trimmed out, as well as painted. Make sure a house wrap is installed on the sheathing prior to siding the garage.

building a garage addition and finish a room above it.

Though local building codes may allow you to leave the inside of the garage unfinished, you will still need to install firewall rated material against the side of the garage that is in contact with the existing home.

Though it may not be required by your local building code, I highly recommend insulating and sheetrocking the garage interior walls. Not only will you have a better looking garage, it will also be warmer and more comfortable to work in, particularly if you decide to install heat in the garage at some later point.

Building a garage addition is an excellent way to increase the value of your home, and it is extremely useful. Just make sure you plan accordingly before starting construction.

For more information on building a garage addition see the Garage Addition Bid Sheet from 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 Garage 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 Garage 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.

Related Information

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