It can be frustrating to move into a house that doesn’t have a garage. In fact, as many as 20 percent, or millions of homes across the country, still don’t have a garage.
But most homeowners would agree, once they’ve lived in a home with a garage, they could never imaging living in a home without one. Sure, many people don’t use them to park their vehicles. But they used them for so many other purposes.
If you don’t yet have a garage, it’s not too late to construct one. Want to know how to build a garage? It’s not as difficult or as costly as you might think.
And the upsides of having a garage make it worth every penny. Keep reading to find out why adding a garage is one of the best home renovations you can make, and what you need to know about building a DIY garage.
Why Don’t All Homes Have a Garage?
There are still many historic homes around the country that were built in the late 1800s or early 1900s. When built, cars were not yet available to the general public. As a result, there was no need for a garage.
While many older homes have been updated to include a garage that matches the home’s historic character, many still don’t have one.
Many other homes don’t have a garage due to a small lot size. In urban neighborhoods, for example, many people don’t have cars or only have one car. No garages mean more spaces for homes.
Plus, areas in the city have more access to public transportation, where car ownership wasn’t as prevalent as in suburban neighborhoods. And you’ll often find cities in the south or southwest without many garages, simply because there isn’t any snow to protect your cars from.
Benefits of Building a Garage
If you are living in a home without a garage or considering buying a home without one, there are many benefits when it comes to building a garage. For one, it will increase the value of your home and make it more attractive for buyers. Homes without garages typically take longer to sell than homes with a garage.
And garages obviously give you a space to park and protect your vehicles. Parking your vehicle inside keeps your cars protected from theft and vandalism, boosting home security.
Plus, it will protect your car from excessive sun damage as well as hail. If you live in the north, a garage is considered a must, so you don’t have to take the time to uncover your car from snow and ice every day.
Garages also offer extra space for storage, as well as a workshop. Considering the relatively low cost of building a garage, it’s well worth the investment.
Types of Garages to Build
When it comes to garage design, there are many different types to build. You could build a wooden garage that matches the design of your home. This is ideal if you are attempting to build an attached garage.
Choose a metal garage if you’d to choose where to put your garage. This could be next to your home, in your backyard, on the other side of your driveway, or virtually anywhere else on your property. You can use these to store vehicles, boats, RVs, motorcycles, and lawnmowers.
If you’d like to increase your home’s square footage, you could also build a garage with living space upstairs. This can function as an office, studio, or standalone in-law suite for family or rental purposes.
If you simply want to keep the weather off of your vehicle, a carport is going to be the cheapest and easiest to install.
How to Build a Garage
Once you’d decide on the type of garage to build, it’s time to get to work. Here’s how to build your own garage.
Before you even buy materials, you want to get your garage permitted by the city. Having the city approve of your design, location, and materials is critical when it comes to garage safety.
Your local building code will dictate how big of a garage you can build and where it can be located in relation to your home or street. You’ll want to plan ahead, as it can take weeks, if not months, to get your garage plans approved before you can start building.
You’ll need to present a blueprint when applying for a permit. You can either have these drawn up professionally, or do them yourself.
Once approved, your first step is to lay a foundation upon which to build. For people attempting to build their own garage, this is often the most difficult part. As a result, it may make sense to subcontract this part out.
Get quotes from multiple companies to find out who can do it cheap and quick for you. Otherwise, you’ll need to dig a large enough hole and pour your own cement, ensuring a level grade.
Now it’s time to head to your local hardware store. Larger stores will have a kiosk where you can input your garage’s dimensions to receive an automatic materials list.
This can save you tons of time. Once complete, you can have the materials ordered and shipped to your home.
Frame It Out
Next up is framing the garage. You’ll do this by first constructing a wall on the ground. Attach all your 2x4s and support beams according to your blueprint.
Then, construct a connecting wall on the ground as well. Once two walls are ready, have multiple people lift the walls, anchoring them into the slab.
Continue framing, ensuring you build the garage door side last.
Once framed, you get to do the easy part; sheathing. Using a nail gun, attach plywood to the outside of the frame.
For the roof, you’ll first need to install trusses. Pre-built trusses make this process much easier. Once the trusses are in place, you’ll attach sheathing, similarly to the walls. This will help hold the roof together.
After the sheathing is on, you can install your roofing material of choice. Asphalt shingles are most common, but metal roofing will last much longer.
Add Doors and Windows
Last up, you just need to install the windows and doors. Using jambs and shims, give your windows and doors a nice, snug fit before attaching them to the studs and adding trim to cover the gaps.
A Tough but Doable Project
Now that you know how to build a garage, you have to decide if you can manage it yourself. It takes a lot of planning and hard work. But for those who aren’t afraid to use tools, they are very doable.
If you aren’t comfortable with all of the tools required to complete the job, it may be worth it to hire this project out. A faulty garage could be dangerous.
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