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Planning your new garage

Below, we will explore 6 questions that are useful to guide you through the planning process (so that when you are done, you will be delighted with the garage plus with everyone involved in the design and construction of your new garage). Click any item below to jump to that section.

1) Generally, what would you like to build?

2) Will that be legal & within your budget?

3) Who should you hire to design the garage?

4) Who should you hire to build the garage?

5) What about permits & final blueprints?

6) What about estimates & payment plans?

1) Generally, what would you like to build? (Clarifying essentials, priorities, & ideals)

Whatever you'd like for your new garage (or for a similar structure like a carport, workshop, or barn), we expect to be able to help you to build exactly that. Also, in some cases, what you ultimately recognize to be the best fit for you will be a variation of whatever you imagine at first, right?

With our expertise on different features (and regulations), we'll help you quickly get clear on the whole process- no matter what stage you are at now. That includes specifying the basic design, efficiently customizing that design, and confidently selecting who to hire for what (in case you do not want to hire our garage specialists for the entire process).

First, you may have certain features identified as essential (such as minimum dimensions or a maximum budget). Beyond those essentials, every other detail of your project will have different levels of importance to you.

Before getting too deep in to lots of details, we focus first only on the most essential details. Wouldn't you value knowing quickly whether your basic idea is going to be realistic for you (as in affordable and legal)?

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2) Will that be legal & within your budget?

For those who are not yet totally clear on your ideal plans, one of our first steps will be to help you quickly prioritize at least the most essential specifics (usually, in a brief phone call). We can help you easily identify any potential issues that could prevent you from building the garage of your dreams (such as legal issues, structural issues, or budgetary issues).

In consideration of your time and ours, one point that can be very helpful to know is whether our garage builders have recently built a similar garage to what you are planning, right? We may even have recently researched building one like what you are planning, then learned whether the specifications you have in mind will be legal or not. Also, if you want a custom-designed garage, then be aware that all cost estimates will be rough approximations until the blueprints are done (and approved by the permitting authority). No one can give a precise bid without knowing the details of the project, right? If your "dream garage" is going to be both legal and within your target budget, perfect! If not, something similar may still work for you. (If at any point, our estimators think of a design variation that might be an ideal fit for your situation, we will let you know.)

For example, in one case where a homeowner found that they did not have enough space between the home and the property line to build a garage, that detail actually was not a "dealbreaker." That homeowner mainly wanted a safe place to store his motorcycle and other heavy equipment, not to park a standard-size vehicle. So, since the width was less than 12', in that legal jurisdiction his structure was classified legally as a "shed" (even though it still had a regular 8' wide overhead garage door and could easily fit most compact cars inside).

Our garage builders are familiar with many more options than most people will ever want to know. That ranges from stick-built "post and beam" structures (as in a typical garage) to metal building kits or even "hybrid" garages with a steel infrastructure and a brick or stucco exterior. So, based on your situation and priorities, we can help identify the best options for you.

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3) Who should you hire to design the garage?

If the initial rough estimate of estimated costs is appealing to you, next will be to focus on what you will value in the specific company to hire for the design and construction of your garage. (For those who need some customization of the design of their garage, this section will be important. However, if you are planning to just use some existing garage plans, you can skip immediately to section 4.)

While it is most common that our garage contractors will be hired both to design and to build your garage, the design must come first, right? For now, let's focus just on floorplans and similar drawings. (Later, in the section after this one, we will focus on selecting a company for the construction of the garage, which occasionally will be a different company than the designers of a custom blueprint.)

To back up a bit, when people contact us, they typically have not yet selected a formal floorplan or architectural blueprints. They might even know know yet whether a building permit will be needed or not (and what documentation will be needed to get one).

So, we recommend that you consult with our garage builders first. Why? Because we are specialists in building you a new garage (as well as related remodeling projects, like converting a carport in to a garage).

Wouldn't it be valuable to speak with someone that has a library of blueprints of garages that were already approved and built in your area? The expertise of a company like ours that is experienced with designing and building garages near you can be very valuable (saving you time and money and stress).

In contrast, occassionally we speak with people who have gone to an independent architect first and paid for the completion of detailed floorplans (and they may regret it later). If the architect submits drawings that do not meet the requirements of the city inspectors or the HOA, that is not ideal!

So, should you hire an independent architect or designer? Usually, the short answer is no (even for a big commercial or industrial garage).

Hiring our garage contractors will avoid problems that can arise from some architects' lack of first-hand experience with the realities of construction and local permitting / inspections. Even with custom attached garages (which can be much more complicated in terms of structural engineering), using our design specialists will still usually be a much better investment than hiring an outside architect firm.

As noted above, if we already know that your ideal garage is not going to get approved for a permit for some specific reason, then we prefer to save you money and time by letting you know fast. Further, if the blueprint needs to be revised, independent architects may charge you extra hourly fees for each revision needed (which would not happen with someone who regularly has permits approved for building a garage in your area and won't need to submit a series of revisions).

Instead, when you consult with us first, we will efficiently help you with everything you need. Almost always, people hire our garage construction contractors to both design and build their garage. A big reason why is this:

When you hire "design & build" providers like ours, your investment in to the design costs can be credited towards the construction. That's good news, right?

After the initial planning of your new garage, next you can either hire our contractors just for designing your garage... or both for designing and building the garage. (In rare cases when there is a need to hire outside structural engineers or other specialists, we can also tell you who we recommend and why.)

Occasionally, there have been cases where the homeowners chose to begin the design phase long before they planned to build the garage. This is most common when they are buying real estate with no home already on the property. So, if you want to have all the structures designed at once, you may want the home completed first and then wait for many months before we start the building of an RV garage or a big backyard workshop or barn.

Not only can our contractors design everything you need, but we can build it all, too. We are confident that you will be glad that you saved yourself time and money by hiring our experts in designing and building garages.

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4) Who should you hire to build the garage?

Besides the discounts available for using the same company to design and build your garage, who you should hire for the construction itself depends on you and your project. So, as you imagine the perfect garage construction contractor for you, what qualifications would be essential to you? What else will be at least somewhat important?

If you are already clear on all those criteria, then please list them out in your message when you send us a contact form. That way, we can quickly identify whether there is a match between your needs and what we will provide you. (That will be great to determine quickly, right?)

If you are not totally clear on your priorities yet, we can help with that, too! Especially if you value being efficient with your time, you will be pleased to learn about our garage builders' expertise with planning, permitting, and building garages in your area that are like the one you want built. Also, if we occasionally recognize that there is not a good fit, then we still might refer you to a possible better fit (like for people with a deadline that we can't meet or any other criteria that would be a "dealbreaker").

What you value most is important to all of us at The Garage Builders. We are committed that you will feel secure with our commitment to efficiency at every stage of the process.

Your clarity and trust is important to us. You will experience that in your first phone call, at the in-person consultation, and all the way through every single progress report from your garage construction supervisor. We are committed to you being our next 5-star testimonial!

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5) What about permits & final blueprints?

As for building permits, people almost always choose for us to obtain the building permit. However, there are certain renovations that may not require any permitting (like minor improvements or repairs to an existing garage or carport).

When our estimator speaks with you on the phone, identifying what will be relevant for you is typically very fast. Usually, after meeting in person, you will hire our garage builders to handle everything: first, to prepare all the required paperwork, then to obtain the permit for you, and then finally to build the garage that is right for you.

As for specific floorplans and blueprints, not only do we have a large library of garage plans, but we can also customize any design for your garage. As noted in the sections above, prioritizing the features that are most important to you is important to do very early in the process. We also already covered the benefits of selecting a design professional who will efficiently identify your needs and include them in a customized blueprint that will be approved without any need for revisions.

Again, another huge advantage of hiring a company that specializes in designing and building garages is that the cost of customizing your design will apply toward the construction costs. And that brings us to the subject of payments and installments....

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6) What about estimates & payment plans?

To provide a rough estimate (based on the basic details and dimensions of your project) is usually easy. However, those initial "ballpark estimates" might be as broad as "$35-$45/ square foot." As we learn about your priorities (and about the property where we will build your garage), then the more precisely we can estimate your costs. Let us know if you'd like for us to suggest ways for you to reduce the costs (or at least spread out the costs over time).

Usually, during a short phone call with your estimator, you will get an initial rough estimate or expected price range. Next, if that broad estimate fits your available budget, then an in-person consultation follows, plus the design phase and a formal written proposal (or "bid").

How about loans and financing?

First, we offer both custom-built garages as well as pre-fab structures. With "pre-fab" economy garages, barns, and sheds (that our crews can deliver and erect), it can be very easy to qualify to finance your purchase without even going through an independent lender.

Otherwise, many homeowners will be able to qualify for financing through local lenders, which we can help you arrange. So, simply tell us if you will be ready to hire us once we help you get approved for a loan to finance your new garage. (That way, you can spread out your costs over several years with the lowest possible interest rates.)

How about installment payments?

In most cases of custom-built garages, you will only pay a small part of the total cost to begin. Your estimator will provide you a schedule of installments plus the amount of the deposit.

If those numbers are perfect for your budget, let us know. If not, please let us know as well.

To contact us now, click contact The Garage Builders. To return to the top of this page, click here.