My Garage Plans

Hints and tips on building a garage and buying garage plans.

New Garage Plans

My Garage Plans Staff

New Garage Plans

My Garage Plans by TRC has just released new garage plans on the garage plans ecommerce site. Included in this release are:

RV garage plans are typically very deep, but the Riviera RV garage plans have a more compact foot print, measuring only 30' in depth to fit on smaller plots of ground. If you have been looking for 2 car garage plans with an apartment, be sure not to miss the Halston Bay 2 car apartment garage plans. The Halston Bay is an absolutely beautiful 2 story garage building with a second floor one bedroom apartment. Included with the Halston Bay garage plans are details on the optional active solar configuration, allowing you to take advantage of nature's power.

The Halston Bay 2 car loft garage plans offer a large storage loft on the second floor of these 2 story garage plans. It measures a very deep 24' to make room for all your parking and storage needs. The Nevada 2 story 2 car garage plans have a compact studio apartment located on the second floor. It may not be large in size, but it packs a full kitchen and a full bathroom into the studio apartment. The Monterey one car garage plans are the perfect replacement plans for existing one car garages that need replacing. Measuring only 14' wide by 22' deep, the Monterey will fit on many existing garage foundations.

Like all of the other garage plans on the My Garage Plans by TRC site, these garage construction plans all include complete material lists at no extra cost.

And ground shipping within the U.S. is still only $1!

 
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Garage Build Cost Estimator

My Garage Plans Staff

Garage Build Cost Estimator

You might know that you want garage plans to build a new garage, but you might not have any way of knowing how to determine the cost to build a garage. That is a question that many people thinking about garage building have got. And the answer to the question about garage building cost doesn't have a one size fits all answer.

There are a bunch of variables you need to consider when building a garage including:
  • the cost of living in your area
  • how complex the garage plans you picked out are
  • how much of the garage building work you plan on doing yourself
Plus, the price of building materials can fluctuate pretty significantly depending upon seasonal variations and other influences. It's one thing to build a basic one car garage with no living area and it's totally another thing to build a 3 car garage with a one bedroom apartment. In one case you don't need any fixtures or utility hookups and in the other case you need some expensive fixtures plus finish material such as carpeting, toilets, trim, etc. The point is, it's not an easy thing to come up with an estimating tool that will give an accurate value of garage building cost to fit every circumstance.

Be that as it may, in an attempt to help you out, we developed a garage building cost estimator that will give you a ballpark idea for your garage building cost. The numbers won't be precise, but if you have a good handle on the variables such as the cost of living in your area, it will at least give you some notion of the price range of your cost to build a garage.

Click here to go to the garage build cost estimator.

 
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Garage Plans Online

My Garage Plans Staff

There is a Great Selection of Car Garage Plans To Be Found Online

Which Car Garage Plans Are You Looking For?

No matter what style of car garage plans you're looking for, you're going to find what you want online. There are one car garage plans, two car garage plans, three car garage plans, apartment garage plans, two story garage plans, garage plans with workshops, garage plans with hip roofs, garage plans with gambrel roofs that look like barns, and on and on. Just about any type of detached garage plans can be found if you look around a little. Before you start your serious search, make sure you read the series of articles on How To Buy Car Garage Plans.

How To Buy Car Garage Plans - Phase I: Laws and Regulations
How To Buy Car Garage Plans - Phase II: Your Specifications
How To Buy Car Garage Plans - Phase III: Finding Your Plan

Once you have gotten all the information you need from the How To Buy Car Garage Plans articles, go ahead and head online to start your searching. In order to make sure you find the garage plans you want to build the garage you need, make use of one of the search engines and search for exactly the garage plans you want. What we mean by that is put as many descriptive terms in your search phrase as you can think of. That will help you narrow your search much more quickly. For example, if you want a two car garage that has a two bedroom apartment and is only a single story, but also has extra storage space, then try a search phrase like 'two car one story apartment garage plans 2 bedrooms storage'. If that doesn't seem to give you good results then try backing off a little and include fewer criteria in the search phrase. When we tried the search phrase 'two car one story apartment garage plans 2 bedrooms storage' we got marginal results and had to really dig a little before we found some sites that had what we searched for. So play around with your search terms some, add and eliminate characteristics like 'one story' or '2 bedrooms' and maybe try substituting numbers for words and vice-versa, ie '2 car garage plans' and 'two car garage plans'. Generally it's a good idea to avoid very generic search terms such as 'garage plans' because you won't get the results you want and you'll have to go back to the search engine and start over again. In Google you can try adding double quotes around your search terms like "three car garage plans" and that will narrow down the results to just those sites that use that exact phrase somewhere on the site, but you'll have to get a bit lucky finding an exact phrase that the sites may have matching what you are looking for. If you use the double quotes you are also blocking out any synonyms, so use it carefully. For instance, "two car garage plans" will ignore pages where '2 car garage plans' is the primary topic. Another trick you can try in Google is to add a plus sign, +, in front of a search word and it will include only that specific word in the search results.

Example: We tried 'apartment garage plans' and '+apartment garage plans'. The #1 search result for the 1st phrase didn't even show up on the 1st page of the search results for the second phrase. All of the other 1st page results for the 1st phrase did show up on page 1 of the search results for the second search phrase.

 
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2 Car Garage Plans

My Garage Plans Staff

Two Car Garage Plans

If you really should build a new garage then you have probably been looking at two car garage plans. Two car garages are a well-liked size, probably explained best by the results of a study done by Experian in 2008 identifying the number of families with 2 cars. In the Experian research paper, they assert that the number of families possessing 1, 2 or 3 automobiles is pretty evenly split. 31% of the families identified in the Experian research paper are two car households. Scores of households are perfectly happy with a two vehicle garage as a reasonable compromise between the benefits it presents compared to the amount of area it takes up and the expense to construct it.

Answering these questions can assist you in picking out the correct two car garage plans for your situation. These questions will help your assessment and give you a good notion of what to look for in your two car garage plans. Inquiries to point you in the appropriate direction:
  1. Do you have dimension limits (ie depth and/or width) for your garage?
  2. Are your cars normal size or bigger?
  3. Are you hoping to have a living area with the garage?
  4. Could you use more area for storing things?
  5. What is your financial plan for constructing a garage?
  6. What distinctive requirements do you have, an RV, a boat, a trailer?
Lacking knowing where to get going you might just go on the net and start hunting around for 2 car garage plans. It makes a bunch more sense to first answer the garage buying questions listed above before you commence your hunt for garage plans. Why fritter away your time searching for something that won't meet your needs when there are so many first-rate choices out there for you to pick from? For further suggestions see the full article about 2 car garage plans.

For some people the best thing to do is hire a General Contractor (GC) to run their project. This is going to be your go-to person for any of the questions you may have beforehand, for the duration of, and subsequent to construction. Having a trustworthy GC can go a ways to solving any troubles that might occur in your project. For more guidelines, look at the full article How To Find and Select a General Contractor for Your Garage Building Project.

Have you thought of where you are going to erect your new garage? Some things to ponder on as you are determining where to construct your garage:
  • How faraway from the highway or your home do you want to build your garage? Substantial storms can make for hard walking between the garage and the residence.
  • Is the garage centrally situated where it will be convenient for walking to and from it?
  • And don't forget about the type of architecture your 2 car garage plans use - matching the architecture of other structures on your land is usually a pretty reasonable plan.
  • Utilities will need to be run to the new garage, so don't forget them when making your choice!

The plan format you obtain is up to you, but most two car garage plans come as:
  • Paper prints
  • Computer Aided Drawing files
  • Reproducible prints
  • Files for download that you can print

Frequently, ecommerce internet websites offer all of these drawing types. For most people the paper prints are the best solution. If you need to know more on all of these drawing formats you can scan the comprehensive paper on 2 car garage plans.

 
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Selecting Garage Plans Architectural Styles

My Garage Plans Staff

Garage Plans Architectural Styles

When building a detached 1, 2, 3 or 4 car garage, which architectural style should you use? There are several factors to consider when selecting your two car garage plans.

  • Are there building code restrictions?
  • Are there homeowners association restrictions?
  • What architectural style(s) are the other buildings on the property?
  • How close are you building the garage to other structures?

A good place to start is by using the How To Buy A Garage Plan articles on our Garage Building How To page. There are 3 helpful articles to make your garage building project a little easier.

How To Buy Garage Plans - Phase I: Laws and Regulations
How To Buy Garage Plans - Phase II: Your Specifications
How To Buy Garage Plans - Phase III: Finding Your Plan

These free garage plans articles include handy garage building checklists to help you keep your garage building project organized.

 
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Garage Plans Drawing Format to Use

My Garage Plans Staff

Garage Plans Drawing Format

If you are thinking about replacing your garage with a new one, or maybe you want to build a new garage where you didn't have one before, at some point you will have to determine which drawing format you are going to be using. Garage plans usually come in 4 different formats:

  • Paper prints
  • CAD files
  • Reproducible prints
  • Downloadable files you can print yourself

Which garage plan drawing format is right for you? Let's explore.

Using a General Contrator
If you are using a General Contractor (GC) to build your garage for you, then the drawing format will be pretty much up to whatever the GC wants. A GC should be able to work from any of the available formats though. Most GC's will have the capability to work with CAD files and they may also have a large printer or plotter that is capable of printing CAD or Downloadable files. Since building a garage is probably only a one time event for you, paper prints from the publisher are usually cheaper and will work just fine for your project as long as the GC is OK with them. Learn more about garage plans drawing formats here.

Building it Yourself
If you plan on building the garage yourself then paper prints are the way to go. There are exceptions of course, depending on your situation. The primary advantage to Downloadable Garage Plan files (usually pdf format) is the permanent record they create. CAD Garage Plan files are the only real choice if you are planning on making extensive changes to the garage plans. Both CAD and Downloadable files are also available immediately in most cases, you don't have to wait on mail delivery.

Still not sure which format drawing package to get? Learn more about garage plans here.

 
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Sign of the Times?

My Garage Plans Staff

Garage Plans People Want

A quick search through Google revealed a somewhat surprising result for the typical sized garage associated with homes for sale in the U.S. Both of the terms we used in the search phrase were entered as exact searches (enclosed in quotes), meaning we only wanted results that included the words 'home for sale' and 'x car garage' in that order. The results of our extremely unscientific poll showed:

  • 667,000 searches for "home for sale" "1 car garage"
  • 420,000 searches for "home for sale" "2 car garage"
  • 122,000 searches for "home for sale" "3 car garage"
  • 3,750,000 searches for "home for sale" "4 car garage"
  • 587,000 searches for "home for sale" "5 car garage"
  • 403,000 searches for "home for sale" "6 car garage"
  • 149,000 searches for "home for sale" "7 car garage"

These results fly in the face of what we would have expected. Before doing the survey we thought that "3 car garage" would probably dominate. But hold on, "3 car garage" was actually the weakest entry with even fewer searches than "homes for sale" "7 car garage". And who would have thought "4 car garage" would blow away the competition with more than 5 times as many searches as the next closest competitor, another shocker "1 car garage".

Generally we see more online search interest in 2 car and 3 car garage plans than any others, so we assume those are the most popular among the U.S. population. It just goes to show you one more time, don't guess when it comes to the U.S. consumer.

 
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Famous Garages

My Garage Plans Staff

Famous Garages

It’s no surprise that the rich and famous are accustomed to having a multitude of vehicles that cost more than most houses, but some of these super-rich superstars have taken their obsession with luxury automobiles to the extreme. And, naturally, they must have an equally extravagant garage to house (or tinker with) their extensive (and expensive) collections. Here’s a quick overview of two of the most outrageously over-the-top garages on the planet:

Jay Leno’s Big Dog Garage
Clocking in at a staggering 17,000 square feet (that’s ten 1,700 square foot houses), Jay Leno’s Big Dog Garage (as he has so lovingly named it) is probably one of the largest private garages on the planet. It has to be that big in order to keep all of Jay’s autos in tip-top shape – at last count he owned over 50 vintage and exotic cars, and about as many bikes. One quarter of the massive garage is home to a machine shop capable of fabricating parts for Jay’s vintage rides, allowing nearly all of the work to be done in house by Jay and his team of mechanics. And what garage isn’t complete without a gourmet kitchen? That’s right – when Jay isn’t busy getting his hands dirty under the hood of a car he’s busy getting his hands dirty in his state-of-the-art kitchen, right in the comfort of his own garage.

Jerry Seinfeld's Garage
Funny-man Jerry Seinfeld sank more money into his New York garage than some people make in a lifetime – $1.5 million to be exact. An avid Porsche collector, Mr. Seinfeld purchased a building near his home in New York City for a cool $1 million, while renovations cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000. That’s a small price to pay for the ability to house 20 of his most prized automobiles so close to home.

It doesn’t take millions of dollars to make a garage famous, however. There are a couple of very modest garages that played a key role in revolutionizing the modern world.

The Packard Garage
In 1939, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded Hewlett-Packard in Packard’s Palo Alto, CA garage. They kicked around several ideas for products to manufacture, and finally settled on an audio oscillator based on Hewlett’s college design. Packard’s wife, Lucile, worked in the kitchen to bake paint onto the sheet metal casings. They were not immediately successful, and actually almost gave up on their dream when an order came in from Walt Disney for 8 audio oscillators. Thus was born one of the most successful and influential businesses of the 20th century.

The Jobs Garage
Another famous garage in the Silicon Valley story is that of the Jobs family. It was here, in Cupertino, CA that Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs started up Apple Computer. This venture came after a failed attempt by Wozniak and his friend, Bill Fernandez, to introduce the Cream Soda computer which shorted out during a presentation to a reporter. This garage is personally responsible for helping shape the world as we know it today. Thanks Apple. Without you, we may actually still have to get out a phone book to look up the number for Pizza Hut.

 
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Garage Depth for Pickup Truck

My Garage Plans Staff

Garage Size For Pickup Trucks

Here's more information on how large you need your garage to be in order to handle your parking and storage needs. In Garage Size we discussed typical vehicle sizes and how they relate to garage planning and building.

This is a real world example of a pickup truck parked in a typically sized 2 car garage. The truck is an early 2000's Dodge Ram Pickup with a quad cab and standard size 6.25' bed (correction, this used to say 8' bed, but that just didn't look right. The bed is really just over 6 feet. The overall length of the truck did not change and is still correct.) It measures almost 19 feet (5.74m) bumper to bumper in length and is just over 6 feet (1.88m) wide. We weren't too concerned about the width in this analysis since most issues with garage size seem to relate to the length of vehicles. Want more information on the specs for your truck? We found what looks to be a pretty good site that has a whole bunch of pickup truck specifications at www.pickuptrucks.com.

The garage in this analysis is a two car plan with interior measurements of 23' (7.01m) deep and 18' 10" (5.74m) wide. In this particular garage the interior walls are finished but that had no practical bearing on the results of our test.

As the pictures show, the truck was parked so there was just enough clearance in the back to allow the overhead door to close with a few inches to spare. To the rear of the garage where the front of the truck is (go figure that one out) there is a 32" (0.81m) wide exterior entry door. There is plenty of room to open the door and manuever around the garage area by the door when it is open. With the rear exterior entry door closed there is quite a bit of room between the truck and the wall. Depending on how you configure your storage, you should have enough room for bikes, lawn mowers, garden tools, toys, etc., with a garage of about this size.

Truck Parked in Garage


We'll try to do some additional garage size comparisons for you in future stories.


 
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Eco-Friendly Concrete

My Garage Plans Staff

Another Green Garage Building Idea

Not surprisingly the number one most consumed substance on Earth is water. You might be a little surprised to learn the second most widely used substance is concrete. That’s right, according to the Pacific Southwest Concrete Alliance the concrete is the second most used material on the planet.

You might think concrete is a responsible choice for the eco-conscious consumer. After all, it is made up of little more than cement, sand, gravel, and water. That sounds like a harmless enough combination, right? Not quite. Cement is extremely energy intensive to produce. It requires incredible amounts of energy, and it also releases a large amount of CO2 (a harmful greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere.
 
Fortunately, there are several “green” alternatives to traditional cement and concrete. Read our article on eco-friendly concrete to learn more.

We hope you can use some of this information with your new garage plans to make your garage building project a little more eco-friendly.
 
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