Design Considerations When Building A New Garage Addition

It's time to get rid of the carport and build a real garage where you can keep your car out of the weather. This is a project where you want to get the design right the first time because changes later will be expensive. Here are a few things to consider when designing your new garage. 

Detached or Standalone?

It's convenient to be able to walk right into the house from the garage and vice versa. But if you plan on having a workshop in the garage, check your local building codes on restrictions with an attached garage. Some places prohibit the use of flammable materials in a garage connected to the house. You would need a standalone structure if you'll be doing welding or painting cars.

Street or Side Facing Entrance?

Drive through the neighborhood and you'll see that most garages have the entrance facing the street. A few have the entrance on the side of the building. The benefit of a street entrance is that you can pull straight into the garage. If you are not far off of the street, though, you may be backing out into traffic to leave. Talk with the asphalt paving contractor (such as one from in your area about creating a wider driveway with a pad to one side that you can back onto to turn the car before pulling out into traffic.

A side entrance has the benefit that you can extend the siding from the house onto the addition and add a window or two to make it look like just another room in your house. But you'll have a longer driveway to build from the street to the garage door. Again, talk with the asphalt paving company about economical ways to layout the driveway to the entrance.

One or Two Car Garage?

It's easier now to build a two-car garage than discover you need room for another car later. The garage needs to be wider than the minimum needed to hold the two cars:

  • You need to allow space between the two cars to open the doors without hitting each other.
  • You need to allow space between the side of the cars and the walls of the garage to open the doors.
  • If you plan to build shelves for storage or a workbench in the garage, you'll need to add space for that.

Don't skimp on space or you'll be frustrated when moving items around in the garage with both cars sitting in it.

Build the Features You Want Now

There are a number of other conveniences you should consider when designing the garage. Get the ones in the plan that you want before talking with the contractor:

  • separate electrical panel
  • electrical includes for both 110v and 220v service
  • washroom sink with running water
  • drain in the middle of the floor to make cleanup easier
  • storage space in the ceiling
  • insulated walls and ceiling