Garage Designs, Some Points to Ponder
Article by Thom
When thinking about building or remodeling a garage, you will soon discover that there are a plethora of different designs, uses, and accessories. Before you get too overwhelmed by the choices and end up spending way more than you intended, it’s a good idea to think about what you need first, and then think about the “nice to haves” after you’ve established the basics.
Unless you’ve got as many cars as Jay Leno and a personal mechanic to look after them, you’re probably going to be building anywhere from a 1 to a 4 car garage. The first thing to consider is whether it will be attached to your house or if it will be an independent structure. Depending upon where you live, you will need to look up the building codes and make sure your plans are in compliance so you don’t incur additional costs and headaches.
The next item on the list is what functions the garage will serve. You can design it from anything to an auto shop, to a hobby space, to a loft studio. Many times garages not attached to the home are built in a two-story configuration to allow for a “garage apartment” above the space for the cars. This is often used for guests and is essentially an efficiency apartment. An important point to consider is that if you want to incorporate a lift or hoist for your car, many of these must be installed before the concrete is poured for the base/foundation.
Once you know what functions the garage will serve, the plans must then incorporate amenities and materials. If you intend to create a livable space, you will want to investigate climate control options, i.e. heating and cooling. This is especially true if you are going to build an apartment above the garage, and must be built into the cost estimates. Flooring options for the parking surface can vary widely, although the most common is poured concrete. A relatively inexpensive upgrade is to stain the concrete to make it look like stone, or any number of designs. You have no doubt seen this floor treatment in coffee shops and loft style restaurants.
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Information like this can really help when selecting garage designs, and when looking for great garage plans.