Are you thinking about adding a garage to your home? This can be a wise decision since there are a number of great ways a garage can be of use. It will add value to your home since the cost of a garage project could considerably be offset in the event of a sale considering that more square footage is always is a bonus when selling a home. And aside from the convenience of not having to deal with the elements on stormy or cold days, it can be a space for storage as well. A garage can also be a great workshop space, a home gym, a kids’ play area, or even an office.
But before deciding push through with a garage addition, here are some tips for adding a garage that you should be taken into consideration:
● Determine the size of the structure you want to build on your land and visit your local zoning department to find out the different zoning regulations. Some areas have special zoning restrictions specifically for garages, requiring deeper setbacks on sides with doors, a specific design for the driveway, wall or roof height, or the amount or percentage of the lot you are allowed to cover with pavement or roof.
● You can either attach the garage to your house or build it as a separate structure. An attached garage usually costs less, and it is more convenient since security-wise, it lets you drive right in and out without having to set foot outside. It is also easier and more convenient to use part of the space as an extension of your home to serve as a laundry area, mudroom or a pantry. However, attaching a new garage to your home will also require some construction works to the interior of your home. On the other hand, a detached garage can keep exhaust fumes, dust and noise of a workshop out of your house. Keep in mind as well that cars are much bigger today compared to cars before, so your garage has to be bigger as well.
● Adding a garage means adding a driveway as well. Note that single-car driveways are typically at least 10 feet wide, and can be up to 14 feet to make room for obstructions on either side that could scrape a car door when opened, while a two-car driveway should at least be 20 feet wide, and up to 24 feet if there are obstructions on the sides. You might also consider at least 20 feet between the sidewalk and the garage door to provide space for parking in front. Working a minimum of 10×12 foot turnaround area into your plan is a good idea especially if you are house is sitting on a busy street
● A garage should look and function like a nice accessory to your home that complements the existing design. But if you are planning to attach a huge garage unto your modest-size house, find ways to minimize the visual impact. You may sit your garage farther back from the street to make it look less dominant. If your space allows it, have the garage doors face to the side. Then you add windows and other to the front wall. Or you can put an overhang that matches the style of your house if the doors of the garage must face the street.
● It will be wise to plan and set a budget out for the electrical, plumbing and HVAC needs because these is where you are most likely to spend much and oftentimes requires high-quality subcontractors. Besides change orders for these items are especially detrimental.
● And finally, before paying your contractor the final balance, it is a must to examine the garage addition thoroughly with a building inspector.