One of the most rewarding home improvements I made to my house was to build a garage addition. For years I contemplated building a garage addition while I scraped the ice and snow from my cars and waited for them to warm up during the winter months. About 5 years ago, I finally decided to build a garage onto my home.
The first big decision I had to make after deciding to build the garage addition was to determine how large to make it. I wanted a large enough garage to comfortably fit two cars, which would be of proper proportion with the rest of the house. I also wanted space to include a workbench and to allow room for the lawnmowers or snow blowers. I decided on a 26 foot wide, by a 24-foot deep garage. Since my house was 36 feet in width, this gave me a garage that was about 2/5ths of the entire home frontage.
I also needed to make sure that the roof pitch and the garage’s elevation would be consistent with the rest of the home.
After taking these issues into account, I created some garage drawings, including the foundation size, the location of the garage doors, the maintenance door and windows, and the height profile of the roof. From these drawings, I discussed with some general contractors my garage, and home plans.
After selecting my general contractor, I generated some additional drawings that provided all of the framing details necessary to pull a building permit. Because of my property’s specific contour, my garage plans also included a bonus room that would reside above the garage. Thus, I needed to include additional drawings of the bonus room, e.g., interior walls, doors, windows, closet, entranceway, and stairwell to/from the main house.
After excavating and installing the foundation, the framing crew had the garage frame up in about a week. Three weeks later, I had a completely enclosed garage, with all the outside doors and windows installed and the shingles installed on the roof.
I took over the electrical and insulation work after filing for these specific permits from this point forward.
Once the insulation was installed and approved, I called in the drywall contractor to install the drywall and tape and mud. I also had them apply a coat of primer and one coat of builders grade paint. It is well worth the money to have them do this.
I then finished the electric, installed the stair railing, interior doors, and baseboard trim, and the garage was nearly ready to move in.
The finishing touch was installing two garage door openers and a final application of paint in the bonus room.
The total cost of my garage addition was about $30,000. I had been quoted as high as $50,000. With a little negotiation and sweat equity, I could get a lot of garage for a reasonable price.
A few years have gone by since I completed my garage addition, and every winter, when I see people standing by their cars in the driveways scraping, I am reminded of one of the best decisions I ever made.