Ideal Garage Plans – Tips
Tips for Creating Perfect Garage Plans
Who among us has not banged a car door into a bicycle or a garbage can once inside a garage? Or, are you guilty of scratching your car with a shovel or rake as you try to navigate the narrow spaces between your car and all of the other clutter inside your existing garage? My guess is that most people - once they have moved into a house - would love to expand or enlarge their garage if given the chance. This column and bulletin set is for those people who have an opportunity to build a detached garage or possibly an attached garage of their dreams.
It Doesn't Require Too Much
The perfect garage, in my opinion, does not have to be a 3 or 4 car monstrosity. If you have that many cars, well then, I guess you may be a candidate. If you are like most people, you might have two cars and just need some extra room to store things without being cramped. Using my existing garage as a model, I have determined that a nearly perfect garage would have interior dimensions of 32 feet by 26 feet. The floor to ceiling height at the back wall of the garage would be a tad over 12 feet. As you approach the garage door from the back wall, the sloping concrete slab would cause this height to increase.
Windows and Doors
I currently have two separate garage doors, but feel the ideal door for two cars would be 18 feet wide by 8 feet tall. This is a standard sized door if you deal with most national brand garage door companies.
It becomes a personal preference as to whether or not you install a standard width access door for humans to enter the garage so that you don't have to raise and lower the garage door. Doors take up valuable wall space, but the overall convenience may be worth it. Windows provide lots of light, but they also take up valuable wall space and provide a way for strangers to view your possessions. Natural light can stream into the garage space if you install inexpensive but leakproof skylights. I happen to have had great success with Velux skylights. I have installed hundreds of them and they have never leaked.
Why Tall Walls?
The dream garage has loft storage within the garage for all of those boxes, seasonal decorations, and other possessions that might get damaged in excessively hot attics or in damp, musty basements. Since the garage slab will be installed over a high performance vapor barrier, the interior of the garage will have humidity levels consistent with the outside air. Although the inside of the garage can get hot, it should not get as hot as an enclosed attic area.
The 12 foot high walls allow you to build one or more six foot high lofts that allow you to get under them and on them without having to bend over excessively.
If you have the need for extra storage space for items that can take extremes of heat and cold, then consider trying to fit attic storage trusses into your building budget. These handy trusses have a center area within the truss that does not contain any pesky cross members or webs. The net effect once all of the trusses are in place is a cave-like space that is fairly wide open and allows you to easily store objects on the trusses themselves or a plywood floor you install. The bottom chord of the trusses is usually a 2 x 6 or a 2 x 8 so that it can take a considerable amount of weight. Visit a full service lumber yard or truss fabrication plant to see what these look like.