Are you thinking about building a detached garage on your property? A detached garage is a popular option for many homeowners. It can be used for a variety of different things. Whether you are storing cars, making a woodshop, or creating a home gym, there are some essential factors to consider before starting construction. These factors include contacting your local planning department, analyzing your budget, evaluating site feasibility, and more! At Behm Design, we provide homeowners with pre-drawn garage plans. Before you pick your favorite design and hit the ground running, take the time to consider the following.
Local Planning Department and HOA Rules About Garage Plans
From county zoning regulations to HOA rules, there is a lot to consider when building on your property. Contact your local planning department to learn more about what you need to consider when putting a detached garage on your lot. They can share with you any specific parameters to follow when building your garage. For example, many planning departments have rules about building setbacks from the property line and the maximum amount of building structure coverage on your lot. These are two critical factors to know. Knowing this will help you decide if building a garage is even feasible based on your lot size, and if so, how far away from property lines your garage needs to be.
In addition, you will need to find out the maximum allowable building height. This parameter will guide you in which garage plan to choose. Finally, if you plan to use the upstairs of your garage as a living space (ex: apartment, Airbnb, etc.), discuss with the zoning department the rules on secondary dwellings. For example, some counties have rules against short-term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO.
Next, contact your HOA to learn about any regulations they might have. Some HOAs have strict rules about what you can build on your property. If you are able to build a detached garage, the HOA still might have rules about what it can look like (ex: siding color, roof type, etc.).
Homeowners also will need to learn about what is needed to acquire a building permit. Usually, you will need to submit your garage plans and property records. The county offices should have everything you need to gather for your property records, including a legal description of the property and a plot plan.
Now that you are approved to build on the property, it’s time to find out if building on the planned site is feasible. For this step, you most likely will need to consult with soil engineers, architects, or civil engineers. These professionals can look at the land and tell you if it’s possible to build the garage where you want it. Factors to consider include the floodplain, soil condition, topography, nearby septic or well locations, and more! There is a lot to think about! The site feasibility analysis is a crucial step that should not be skipped. If you start the building process and then come to find that the land is not suitable to build on, you will end up wasting a lot of money that could have been saved during a land study period. Once the land is found to be feasible, the construction process can begin. But first, it’s time to decide exactly how you want to use the garage and pick the plans!
How You Plan to Use Your Garage
Deciding how you want to use the garage will help guide your decision when it comes to picking the perfect set of plans. Here are some ideas of how homeowners like to use their detached garage space:
- Store cars
- Store boat
- Car work area (with automotive lift)
- Home gym
- Studio (art, photography, woodshop, etc.)
- Home office
- Apartment space above the garage
- General storage space
As you can see, there are many ways to use a detached garage. Make a plan before you pick a garage plan!
Picking Garage Plans
Once you have an idea about how you plan to use your new garage space, it’s time to pick garage plans. Behm Design makes it easy! On the website, you will find hundreds of pre-drawn garage plans. These plans come in all different sizes and styles so that you can find the perfect design for your home. From one-car garages to automotive lift garages, there is an option for everyone. Also, many styles are available so that you can find something that matches your home. Colonial, craftsmen, and Victorian are just a few of the available styles.
Last but not least, figure out your budget and how you will be financing the project. Determine the construction costs of the project from start to finish. Building the garage on your own can help you save money, but hiring a general contractor is helpful. A contractor can help you come up with estimates for construction and can also advise you about surprise costs that sometimes come up during the building process.
Building a detached garage is an exciting project for any homeowner. These garages can be used for so many different things. In addition to adding structural square footage to your home, a detached garage can also increase the value of your home. Before jumping into building a detached garage, there are some important steps that need to be completed first. It all starts with discussions with the local planning department and the HOA. From there, apply for a permit, check the feasibility of the site, pick your garage plans, and determine a budget! Once this checklist is complete, you are ready to build your dream garage. For more information about building a detached garage and picking a set of plans, contact Behm Design today.