Everything You Need To Know About Building a Quality Garage



As with any construction project, the success of your garage project begins with the design. Design is by far the most important, and most overlooked, phase of the project. If adequate attention isn’t given to the design phase, the end result will be a garage that:

  A) Performs poorly or is structurally unsound
  B) Doesn’t meet your functional needs
  C) Lacks visual appeal
  D) Doesn’t meet the code requirements to pass final inspection
  E) Requires additional costs to correct problemsYour new garage is too big an investment to have regrets.

Here are few critical aspects you should consider:

  • Size: What size garage do I need? How do I plan to use the garage space not only today but in the future? What are the optimal dimensions for me? Do I need extra storage space? Would a storage area above be beneficial? Am I looking for a finished room above?
  • Location: Where is the best location for my garage? Actually try to picture yourself accessing and utilizing your garage for years to come.
  • Elevation: One very common mistake is a poorly designed garage elevation. Careful consideration must be made in this area. Each property is unique, however when determining the appropriate elevation there are 3 important objectives that need to be met: 1) Structural integrity of the garage 2) Proper drainage away from the structure and 3) Achieving optimal accessibility to the garage. In many situations these objectives are in direct opposition with each other.


    It takes an experienced garage designer to find the appropriate balance.

  • Site Preparation: Careful consideration must be given as to how the site will be prepared for concrete installation. Are there any buildings, fences, sod, trees, bushes, etc. that need to be removed? Does your site require that any dirt needs to be excavated or brought in? Are there any local soil conditions that need to be considered?
  • Concrete Slab/Foundation: The longevity of your garage really begins with the structural integrity of its foundation. Everything else above it depends upon its strength. To properly design your foundation requires careful evaluation of your jobsite. An experienced garage builder will evaluate many elements including soil conditions, grade, drainage, accessibility, alley and driveways elevations, and local building code requirements. Many builders will cut corners to save costs (i.e. not use enough courses of block, not elevate the slab appropriately, etc.) When designed correctly, your garage slab and foundation will prove extremely durable and be able to withstand the test of time.
  • Style/Appearance: The visual appeal of your garage is just as important as the functional benefits. There are countless ways to personalize your garage. Areas to consider 1) Roof style and pitch 2) Overhangs 3) Shingle style and color 4) Wall height 5) Siding type, style, color 6) Trim options 7) Soffit and Fascia options 8) Overhead Door options 9) Service door options 10) Window options 11) Any other special design ideas you have.
  • Heating: If you are thinking about heating your garage now or in the future, consideration must be given during the design phase with respect to wall insulation, roof installation, and overhead door selection.
  • Garage

    Electrical: Do you desire electrical service for your new garage? If so, do you need basic electric for lights/outlets/openers or will you have higher electrical needs? Consideration also must be given as to what your home’s existing electrical capacity will allow.

  • Code Requirements: Every aspect of your garage design requires careful consideration of the local building code and zoning requirements in your city. An experienced garage designer will have deep knowledge of these requirements and is best suited to design the perfect garage that meets both your needs as well as those of your city.
  • Garage as an Investment: It’s no secret that adding a new garage will increase the resale value of your home. Many garage buyers want to ensure they maximize this increase. Consider how your particular garage design will complement your home as well as your neighborhood. Also consider which design options will appeal most too prospective home buyers. A professional garage designer can provide great advice in this area.

654 Transfer Road, Suite 16B, St. Paul, MN 55114 Building License: #1934
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