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There is a lot to consider when it comes to building a garage on your property. Not only should you know and understand your local zoning laws, you should know what to look for in a contractor and have an idea on how you want your garage to look. Garages can serve multiple functions and knowing what you want before you start can ensure that you build a space that serves your needs. 

This post will cover the following

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Garage?

The prices can vary greatly based on the location in the U.S., the materials and “extras” you add such as a floor drain, extra electrical outlets or built-in shelves. For planning purposes, the Housing Forum suggests using $40 to $50 per square foot for a basic construction.

Five Reasons to Hire a Contractor to Build Your Garage

When it comes to hiring a contractor, you should consider the following 5 reasons:

Garage contractors are in charge of everything, from planning and coordinating to budgeting so you don’t need to be hassled with many details involved. In addition, they have good relations with the tradespeople that will be needed, including carpenters, plumbers, electricians and others.    

Contractors are required to know the local building codes. This is very important, because each city     has its own set of codes that are set for things like ventilation, size, accessibility, etc. Sometimes DIY builders have been forced to demolish completed garages because the owners weren’t aware of the local codes.    

They are licensed and insured. That means they are licensed to operate in the county and/or state, and are insured so that in the event of an accident or other unforeseeable event, you the homeowner are not     financially responsible.    

Garage contractors have professional Experience. They already know what to do, how to prepare the site, what problems to anticipate, and they have done it all before, many times.    

Garage contractors can offer you Peace of mind. People who have tried to do it themselves usually find it takes much longer, especially when the work is normally only done on the weekends. This, and the added stress of having to deal with the numerous small problems that inevitably arise in construction is simply not worth the toll it takes on the homeowner.    

Checklist for Hiring a General Contractor

Have a checklist handy when you hire a general contractor for your garage. This will help you avoid common mistakes that may end up being costly to your project. The following are some things to keep in mind.

Garage Types for Eugene, Oregon

Here are the different styles of garages that Red Umbrella Services can build for you:

Attached vs Detached Garage

One of the biggest things you need to figure out is if you want a detached or attached garage. A detached garage will be an easier project because you won’t have to worry about adding onto your home and tearing down walls.     Attached garages require much more work, but do have the advantage of being connected to your home and allow easy access in and out.

Having the garage attached to the house is a popular choice, mainly because you don’t have to go outside to be in the garage. On the other hand, detached garages are safer because noxious fumes from car exhausts as well as hazardous chemicals are kept away from living areas. In addition, they can be more easily expandable or even sited somewhere else on your plot.

Gable vs Reverse Gable Garage

There are also gable and reverse  gable garages. A gable garage features a roof that slopes on two sides and creates a triangular wall on the front and back of your garage. A reverse gable garage is the same thing except the roof slopes towards the front and back. Gable garages are great because they offer high ceilings and allow rain and snow to easily run off the roof.

Hip Roof Garages

Hip roof garages feature a roof that slopes on all four sides and comes to a point at the top. These garages are extremely tough and provide great protection against high winds and heavy rain and snow. They also have vaulted ceilings that allow for more storage or even a garage loft.

Flat Roof Garage

Another common style of garage is the deck over, or flat roof garage. This is a garage that features a flat roof and has the option for a deck to be built on top. These are great if you plan on entertaining guests but don’t have a big backyard or patio area to work with.

Garage Sizes

Another factor that’s extremely important is the size of the garage. You can choose from the popular one car, two car or three car garages that come in various standard sizes to fit your needs. Or, you can choose to have a custom garage built that perfectly fits your specific needs.

Things to Consider When Building a Garage

Take a moment to stop and think about your garage addition and if you will have any living spaces above the garage – which is very common.  Maybe this will become a new rec room, tv room or playroom.  Will you need to invest in additional construction steps, hardwood flooring any other architectural details to make this room complete?  The good news is, once your garage is complete, if you aren’t quite ready to tackle another living space, install a nice interior door and get to it when your schedule, and budget allows.

Different Uses for Garage

Your intended usage will greatly influence the design of your garage. If you intend to use your garage as a workshop, you might need space not just for your vehicles, but also for your machines, tools, and even equipment such as car lifts, which would mean that you need a much higher ceiling than usual.

If you intend to use your garage as extra storage space, you might want to consider opting for a few extra shelves and cabinets, or even an extra divider in your garage.

Even using your garage as just a place to park your vehicles entails that you adopt a few design cues like wider spaces, bigger garage doors, etc.

Local Zoning Laws

Zoning laws are what help to determine the limits of how far you can build your property. They are essentially what ensure that people do not build structures too close to each other’s property. These laws are important as they not only serve to help set reasonable bounds on territory, but they also serve a safety purpose, where properties are spaced far enough from one another to ensure that burning houses do not set other houses on fire, or that commercial buildings do not collapse on residential areas.

Ventilation and Air Flow

One of the most important factors to consider when building a garage is ventilation and airflow. This is what’s going to ensure that you do not trap the car fumes within the garage. A garage with poor ventilation will cause dangerous car fumes to accumulate inside. This danger is further exacerbated in attached garages where the fumes could seep into the main house.

Excavation and Site Prep

Like any build, the construction area must first be cleared and prepped. This varies depending on the condition of the lot beside your home. If it is level and cleared, the excavation will be less invasive than if you need to clear and level the lot. Typically, excavation for a garage simply involves clearing the site of any landscaping and ensuring a level area for the foundation. This cost ranges from as low as $900 for a simple leveling 4 to $2,500 if you need to remove some landscaping first.

An attached garage needs access to your home. So, the project may have demolition costs, depending on whether your garage will be minimally attached or open fully into your home’s interior. These costs range from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on how much your current exterior needs to be altered.

Interior Garage Walls

After framing your garage, consider how the inside walls will be finished. Some people leave them unfinished and uninsulated because the garage is only used for storage. Others choose to insulate the walls or cover them with drywall. Doing so can make your garage more comfortable and provide more choices later for how you use the space, such as enabling you to install shelving, workspaces, and other options. Basic drywall 5 for an interior costs around $1,500 to $2,000, while insulation for new construction costs about $1,500, assuming fiberglass 6 batt insulation.

Utilities for Your Garage

When adding an attached garage, there is the benefit of being able to be wired with the home’s electricity, heating, and even plumbing if you desire. Most garages only include electrical work, however, which provides for wiring the garage door opener, installing lights, and at least one electrical outlet. It is possible to make your new attached garage into a full workroom, which would mean adding other utilities. 

Keep in mind that when you pull a permit for the new garage, each utility you add may require a separate permit, depending on the area where you live. So while you need a building permit and an electrical permit for most garages, you may also need a plumbing permit if you plan on having water in your garage. You will pay between $65 and $85 an hour for an electrician when building your garage and expect the wiring to take anywhere from 4 to 16 hours, depending on the scope of the job, for a total of $260 to $1,360 in electrical work.

Garage Flooring

Most garages have a concrete slab foundation, which doubles as the floor. Seal this floor or coat it in epoxy to help it last longer, at a rate of around $500. If you plan on parking your car in the garage, you may want to leave the flooring at that. However, if you plan on using it for other things, there are garage floor systems that create a rubberized, more comfortable floor. They start at approximately $3,000.

Garage Door Trim

Garage door trim protects the inside of your garage from dirt, bugs, water, wind, and snow. It is an important element of any garage door and can be basic or custom. Popular materials for garage door trim include vinyl, PVC composite, and wood. The materials used can match the garage door or other trim used on the house. Basic garage door trim consists of common materials found at any building supplier. It will cost around $4 per linear foot, which includes materials and installation. There’s also the possibility of having your door trim custom made. Custom garage door trim will cost around $8 per linear foot including installation and materials.

Attached vs Detached Garage

Having the garage attached to the house is a popular choice, mainly because you don’t have to go outside to be in the garage. On the other hand, detached garages are safer because noxious fumes from car exhausts as well as hazardous chemicals are kept away from living areas. In addition, they can be more easily expandable or even sited somewhere else on your plot.