September 11, 2017

7 Things You Must Consider When Planning a Garage

Scarborough, a consumer trend research company, recently revealed that over $19 billion was spent on home improvements last year by homeowners. Are you thinking about joining this club by having a garage added to your home? First, before you start calling contractors or swinging hammers, there are several important factors you must consider. The following tips will help you get started the right way: 

1. Familiarize yourself with local zoning laws

Before starting on your garage, find out the prevailing zoning laws in your neighbourhood. These laws dictate the size and location of the garage on your property. They also mention specific requirements such as proper drainage and acceptable roofing materials. This information will give you a better idea of what you can expect from contractors and will help you establish a more accurate budget for your project.

2. Decide if you want an attached or detached garage

We suggest to go for an attached garage, as they provide a more convenient parking solution (especially on rainy days). This is also the more cost-effective option since one of the four walls will already be constructed. A detached or separated garage is more suitable to homeowner’s who wish to have a secluded workshop where they are free to use noisy power tools.

3. Make a choice between a single and double garage

If you intend to have a single car garage, we recommend you to start with a 4-7 meter area. For a double car garage, 5-6m is ideal. These dimensions enable you to park your cars with ample room to get in and out of them. You may also want to add an additional meter or so to accommodate extra storage space.

4. Plan your driveway carefully

If you already have a carport, your current driveway may be sufficient. If not, then you will need 3.048m of driveway width for each parking spot. In other words, a single car garage requires a driveway that is at least 3.048m wide while a two-car garage requires double that. You should also add extra room between the driveway and obstacles, such as fences and trees, so passengers can fully open their doors.

5. Think about the design

Most homeowners want their garage to appear like it has always been part of their house, not something that looks like it was tacked on later. An attached garage with street-facing windows and doors on the side is a great way to camouflage your addition, making it appear like another room. But keep in mind that side doors often require bigger, more expensive driveways. For street-facing entrances, choose a large garage door with windows built in to enhance curb appeal. And don’t forget to blend its roof overhang with your house’s roofline for cohesiveness.

6. Make an accurate cost estimate

Prices for labour and materials can differ significantly based on your location, so be careful when obtaining cost information from internet sources. Also, remember that there is more to a garage than four walls and a door. The little details like floor drains, shelving, lighting and electrical outlets can really add up. We usually suggest that you keep costs between $1000 per square meter for basic garage projects. This puts the cost of a standard, single car garage between $18 to $20,000, on average, and 35 to $40,000 for double car garages.

7. Choose a contractor carefully

To build a garage yourself, you must be an experienced builder and familiar with local building codes. But, even the most skilled handymen often need the help of other subcontractors. For example, unless you are a licensed electrician or plumber, you may also need someone to come and inspect your garage for code compliance. There are a lot of pieces to stay on top of.

If you don’t have a construction background, the next best thing is to be an educated consumer. Do your research so that you can oversee your contractor’s work and ensure costs are in-line with your budget. For example, you can search for commercial construction equipment companies to determine the anticipated costs for backhoes, trenchers and other heavy equipment. You can also acquire estimates for footings from local concrete companies.

We hope that these tips will help you get started on your garage project with confidence.

If you have any additional questions or would like to get an estimate from our expert garage building and maintenance professionals, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  Click here to make an enquiry or call the MC Construction team on 08001474333