Tips For Building Your Own Garage
Author: Adrian Adams
Home improvement projects increase the value of your home, while building skills and giving you a hobby to relax with, making something worthwhile with your hands. One of the simpler home improvement projects to tackle this coming summer is building a new garage.
Before building, you need to figure out how big you need the garage to be. Think about not just putting your car in the garage, but what other commonly stored items will be placed there. Checking out floor plans will give you a good estimate to work from.
Once you’ve determined the size of the garage, it’s time to determine what materials you want to use to build it, whether it’s pre-treated or pressure treated wood or a metal frame and siding arrangement. Both metal and timber garages come in pre-fab construction kits, making the selection one that’s driven by your needs.
If you’re in a colder climate, the timber garages will generally have better insulation than the metal ones. If you’re in a climate with a lot of sunlight, the metal garages will hold up better to the extremes in temperatures.
The first step in construction is getting a concrete slab laid down. This will be the anchor point that your garage is built on. Do yourself a favor and hire a good contractor for this – pouring cement is harder than it looks and it’s very easy to ruin your garage with a badly poured slab and the consequent poor drainage that results.
Assembling your garage from a kit is mostly a matter of following the instructions. With some help from your friends, it’s not unreasonable to put up a pre-fab garage or other building inside of a weekend. It’ll take some quality time with hammers and a nailgun, but the end result will raise the value of your property and give you grist for stories along the lines of ‘Yeah, remember when we put up Bill’s garage?’…
Kinds of Garages
While we mentioned that there are pre-fabricated kits for building your garage, it was understating the extend of these things. A brief internet search on ‘types of garages’ will give you an overwhelming number of answers about this type of construction.
While we mentioned choosing space requirements early on, look for garages that have some expansion ability. In particular, several vendors make garages that are modular components, allowing you to customize the covered area to suit your needs directly and even add on to them later.
If you’re building a timber garage, always go for pressure treated lumber. This is lumber that has had a good coating of protective agents applied by high pressure jets of steam, making it resistant to rot, water, mildew and insects. Even better, it doesn’t need an annual coating of preservative treatment every spring, doing so roughly every three years is good enough.
For a more form follows function construction method, nothing quite beats the benefit of pre-fab metal buildings. They’re often enamel coated and built from high grade steel and aluminum and will last for years with no real effort needed to maintain them. Further, unlike a lot of wooden buildings, they usually have cable mounting brackets allowing you to run wiring for power tools or a small office into them and can be insulated in their void space with spray-in insulation. While this is a bit more involved than throwing up a garage, it can have its merits as well – as families or home-based businesses grow, you’ll eventually need either an office or storage space for your records and backups.
Finally, for appearance, look at how the garage will situate in your yard – will it provide shade, a convenient place to hang a basketball hoop? Do your intended color schemes match your house or complement them? Does your local homeowners association have regulations and guidelines for this sort of building?
Always look, when working on improving your property, for the things that will add the most value for the least amount of effort and investment.
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