Assess Your Home for a Garage Addition

3-Garage-addition-WalpoleIf you own a car but have no garage to keep it in, then you must have experienced the agony of daring the snow on a cold winter morning whilst walking to your vehicle, only to discover that your car doors are frozen shut. You manage to get inside the vehicle and switch on the ignition, but the engine refuses to cooperate. Having a place to shelter your vehicle becomes a necessity if you reside in an area with extreme weather. Even if that is not the case, adding a garage to your house will help protect your vehicle from mischievous teens within the neighborhood.

While a garage is mainly used for parking vehicles, it can serve several other purposes as well. It can be used for storing various equipment and tools, such as lawn mowers and garden tools, which take up considerable storage space within the house. Also, the additional space can be utilized for housing things like children’s bicycles, toys and boats. It can serve as an excellent place to establish your home office or you can use it as an extra living space by constructing a story over it.

If you have decided to add a garage to your house, there are a number of things you have to take into consideration:

    • Code Restrictions and Zoning

When planning a garage addition, the first thing you need to do is determine whether it is physically practicable to add a garage on your property. Most localities have setbacks which are ascertained by your zoning. In land use, a setback is the distance that a structure or building is set back from another feature, for example roads, property lines, streams or rivers. You can start by checking with the zoning and planning department for setbacks.

Also, you should take note of any underground utilities or overhead power lines. You can build on top of underground utilities however expect some extra expenses for sheaving of sewer lines and water lines. Overhead power lines are required to be no less than five feet above any structure.

Local rules may also influence driveway design, height of roof or wall, as well as the percentage or total amount of your lot that can be covered with impervious surface (pavement and roofs). Local builders and architects typically have current information about these requirements.

    • Detached or Attached

a2319fbd0509c0e6_6784-w500-h400-b0-p0--shabby-chic-style-garageAnother thing you need to decide is whether to build a garage separate from your house or one that is attached to your house. This may partly be determined by the amount of space you have on your property.

Clearly, convenience is the main advantage of adding a garage that is attached to the main house. With an attached garage you can go directly from your house to your vehicle without getting a chilly blast of snow and winter wind. Also, opting for an attached garage allows you to use pre-existing walls during the construction process. Aside from saving you some money on construction, it will also help you save on ventilation and HVAC.

You may prefer a free standing garage if you have a lot that is narrow and long, because you can build the garage behind your home to make the most of the space. Also, these garages are considered safer because carbon monoxide fumes will not be getting into your house via the garage doorway. In addition, if you have guests that will be staying overnight, building a free standing garage with living quarters above is easier and cheaper compared to one attached to your house.

    • Space and Noise

Think about the space that the garage will take up as well as how much it is going to alter the appearance of your home. If you have a small house such as a bungalow, a big garage might look strange or imposing. If you involve an architect when designing the structure, ask him or her to give you an artist’s rendering of how the garage will like when completed.

One other thing you need to take into account when adding a garage is noise. If you opt for an attached garage, then the opening and closing of the garage door as well as the activities of anybody using the garage might be heard via the walls. Thus, it is best to avoid constructing a garage that is attached to a bedroom.

    • Access and Flow of Traffic

When planning a garage addition, bear in mind that you will require a driveway, sometimes referred to as private access road. In order localities, narrow side-yard access roads sometimes have a width of just 8 feet. In newer neighborhoods, one car driveways have a width of at least 10 feet.

Two-vehicle driveways should have a width of at least 20 feet, and no less than 24 feet if there are obstructions by the sides. You should allow no less than 20 feet between the garage door and the sidewalk if you have intentions of parking in front of your garage. (If you utilize an automatic garage door opener, your city may allow you decrease this distance.) If your home is located on a busy street or your driveway is long, consider including a turnaround area. For this, you will require an area that is at least 12 feet deep and 10 feet wide.

    • Orientation

Even though most garages are street facing, there are a number of homeowners who want an angled garage. Generally, angled garages are better suited to bigger lots however they offer the benefit of blending into the house better if you do not want your garage to be your home’s main focus area.

  • Garage Door

garage addition doneWhen selecting your garage door, be sure to choose one that will harmonize with the remainder of your house. This is because the door will be a prominent feature of your garage. Aluminum and steel doors require little or no maintenance. If you want something more environmentally friendly, you can opt for composite doors which are produced from recycled wood and particle board. However, bear in mind that these require a bit of maintenance. If you prefer costlier alternatives, you can go for custom built doors produced from natural wood or ornamental metal.

Adding a garage opens several opportunities to use the available space. All of your space related problems will be taken care of with this home addition. For additional functionality and comfort, you can install a closet, cabinet, plus other essential furniture in your garage.

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