My Garage Plans

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

Top 10 Hints for Building a New Garage

My Garage Plans Staff

Garage Building Tips

  1. Take measurements of existing garage building or location where you plan on building your garage
  2. Check local regulations for restrictions on building, architecture, zoning
  3. Take pictures of the area you want to put your garage and the surrounding buildings
  4. Find others that have already gone through a garage building project and learn by their mistakes, check online forums
  5. Interview local garage builders or general contractors to find one you are comfortable with
  6. Ask for references from the garage builders or general contractors you talk with
  7. Look up the garage builder or general contractor online to see if anyone commented on their work
  8. Check out the garage builders and general contractors with your local Better Business Bureau
  9. Read How To Pick A General Contractor for Your Garage Building Project
  10. Read the article series on How to Buy Garage Plans

 
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How To Find Garage Plans Online

My Garage Plans Staff

Searching for Garage Plans Online

We just posted an informative video on our YouTube channel giving you some helpful tips on finding garage plans online.


 
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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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Typical 2 Car Garage Material List

My Garage Plans Staff

Two Car Garage Plans Material List

If you are thinking about building a garage yourself or having one built for you, one of the biggest questions on your mind is probably what types and quantities of materials you are going to need. You will have to design the garage yourself, or you can choose from quite a few garage plans online. Either way, you'll need a materials list. Should you decide to do the design yourself, you will need to do some homework to determine the types of building materials available to you today. A trip to your local Home Depot, Lowes, or other material supply store will go a long way to answering most of your questions. There are also a lot of good resources available online to answer your building material questions.

Naturally, we think the best approach is to let a professional designer do the garage plan design for you. There is such a great variety of garage designs available online that we think the biggest challenge you'll face is narrowing down the selections to the garage you actually want. The professional building designer knows just the right materials to use to make sure your garage is built right, including:

  • weather resistance
  • correct load bearing requirements
  • most efficient use of material
At My Garage Plans by TRC, every garage plan includes the material list at no extra cost. Many other garage plans sites will charge you extra for a material list.

A typical material list includes such things as:

  • 2x4's
  • 2x6's
  • treated lumber
  • concrete
  • shingles
  • nails
  • windows
  • overhead door
  • exterior entry doors
and if your garage plan includes a loft or studio apartment you will also have things like cabinets, sinks, toilets, furnaces and water heaters. To see what a typical material list for a two car garage plan looks like we have included one here - two car garage material list.
 
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Best Time to Build Your Garage

My Garage Plans Staff

Garage Building Time

When is the best time of the year to build your new garage? That depends on several factors, of course. The most restrictive part of your garage building effort is probably going to be the concrete that you use for your footings, foundation and parking slab. Concrete has particular curing conditions that will give you optimal results. According to the Portland Cement Association (PCA, www.cement.org, who would know better than an organization with cement in their url?) the best conditions for curing concrete are to keep its temperature between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 10 and 24 degrees Celsius). When the temperature gets too hot the water in the concrete evaporates too quickly causing a poorer quality concrete. If the temperature drops below 50 degrees F during the curing period the hydration process slows down and your concrete stops gaining strength. A proper job of curing your concrete will improve its durability, strength and resistance to temperature extremes. You are also trying to keep the freshly poured concrete from drying out too rapidly. This can be helped by keeping a steady source of water on the concrete as it cures or covering it with plastic to reduce evaporation. The curing period generally takes about 5 to 7 days from the time you pour your concrete.

The PCA also tells us to expect some cracking to occur in the concrete because it does shrink a little as it dries. Expect about 1/16th of an inch shrinkage for every 10 feet of concrete poured. Your concrete contractor will know this and how to compensate for it so your slab doesn't end up looking like a desert lake bed during a drought. When you hear the concrete guys talking about a five sack (or bag) mix, they are talking about how many bags of portland cement are used to make a cubic yard of concrete. The PCA suggests that a good rule of thumb for quality concrete is to make sure your contractor (or you if you're doing it yourself) uses a six bag mix, or six bags of Portland cement per cubic yard of concrete. Other sources recommend a 5 or 5 1/2 sack mix, so it's probably a good idea to consult with your local concrete supplier. A sack of Portland cement (not the pre-mix concrete you might buy at your local Home Depot or Lowes) usually weighs about 94 lbs.

You've no doubt seen finished concrete surfaces that have flaked, or spalled. This can be caused by

  • freezing and thawing of the concrete
  • excess water in the mix
  • finishing before excess surface water is gone

There is a type of Portland cement called air-entrained that contains microscopic air pockets which can reduce the effects of flaking due to the freezing cycle. Other additives can also be added to the concrete mixture to have the same effect. Ask your concrete supplier.

So there you have it, temperature is going to be the driving force behind your garage building schedule. Concrete pouring and curing are the most restrictive elements of the project. For most areas that means you are going to have your best luck with your garage building project during the spring and fall seasons. We'll discuss some other driving forces in your project in future posts.

 
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Garage Size

My Garage Plans Staff

Garage Size - How Much Room Do You Need?

How much room do you need for your new garage? If you are planning on building a new garage or replacing an old one that is ready to fall down, it just makes sense to sit down and take stock of your needs before starting your garage building project. It never seems to fail that we don't have as much room as we thought when it comes to storing all our valuables.
  • Cars
  • Trucks
  • Bicycles
  • Motorcycles
  • Lawn Mowers
  • Snow Blowers
  • Boats
  • Trailers
  • Snow Mobiles
  • Waverunners
What did I forget? Probably dozens of things. The point is, when picking out your garage plans don't forget to include these things plus anything else you can think of in your list of items to store in your garage. Here are a few measurements you can use as a rule of thumb to help you size your garage.

Typical vehicle sizes (approximate measurements in ft/m):
 
Length
Width
Compact car 14.8' / 4.5m
5.7' / 1.7m
Mid-size car 15.8' / 4.8m
5.9' / 1.8m
Full size car 17.2' / 5.2m
6.3' / 1.9m
Compact SUV 14.4' / 4.4m
5.9' / 1.8m
Mid-Size SUV 15.6' / 4.8m
6.2' / 1.9m
Full size SUV 17.3' / 5.3m
6.3' / 1.9m
Compact pickup truck 15.8' / 4.8m
5.8' / 1.8m
Compact pickup truck crew cab 17.0' / 5.2m
5.8' / 1.8m
Mid-size pickup truck 17.8' / 5.4m
6.0' / 1.8m
Mid-size pickup truck crew cab 20.3' / 6.2m
6.5' / 2.0m
Full size pickup truck 19.2' / 5.9m
6.6' / 2.0m
Full size pickup truck crew cab 20.5' / 6.2m
6.6' / 2.0m














Make sure to leave yourself about 3' of space on either side of your car to allow the doors to fully open, a little more for two door cars. Allow yourself about 2 feet on the lengthwise measurement of your car to give yourself some wiggle room when parking. An adult sized bicycle is going to take up about 5-5½ feet if you need to park it lengthwise in the garage.

Look at the How To Buy Garage Plans series of articles to help you with other important decisions.

Next time we'll take a look at the sizes of some other things you might want to park in your garage, such as boats.


 
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Tips on Using the Garage Plans Search Tool

My Garage Plans Staff

How to use the Garage Plans by TRC Garage Plans Search Tool

With the garage plans search tool you can search by any combination of the following garage attributes:

      • Number of Cars
      • Maximum Width
      • Maximum Depth
      • Living Space
      • Number of Levels
      • Storage Space
      • Workshop
      • RV Storage
      • Carport
      • Name of Garage
You can select just one or any combination of the search criteria based on your garage needs. If you have a specific number of stalls you want to have in your garage, pull down the Number of Cars drop-down box and click on 1, 2, 3 or 4. That will restrict your search to one car garage plans, two car garage plans, three car garage plans or four car garage plans respectively. If you don't care how many stalls the garage has just leave the drop-down box alone and don't make a selection.

In some cases you will have a limit on the width or depth of the garage you plan on building. It might be due to the size of the lot you are building on or it might be due to government regulations. Whatever the reason, just pull down the Maximum Width or Maximum Depth pulldown box and select the limited number of feet you have available to build in. The Maximum Width and Maximum Depth pulldown boxes are in increments of 2'. You can select either one of the boxes or both of them. If you don't have any size limitations you can just leave the boxes unselected. For example, say you only have a 30' wide space in which to build your garage. In that case you would select the Maximum Width pull-down box, scroll down to 30' and click that entry in the box. Select any other criteria you want to set then click on the Search button. In another example, if your site limited you to a depth of 39.5', you would select the next lower increment in the Maximum Depth pull-down box, in this case 38'. Select any other criteria you want then click the Search button.

There are three options you can choose from with the Living Space selection drop-down box, None, Apartment and Loft. If you don't care whether the garage plans you search for have living quarters or not, then just leave the drop-down box unselected. In some cases you might choose to leave an apartment area unfinished, or you might choose to finish a loft into an apartment. If that is the case then you should probably leave the box unselected and the search will return you all possible options including both apartments and lofts. Once you have made your selection in the Living Space drop-down box and selected any other applicable options, simply click the Search button and you will get back the garage plans that meet your needs.

You can also search based on the name of the garage. If you have been here before and seen a garage plan you liked, you might remember the name of the garage. Simply type the name of the garage in the Garage Name box and click the Search button. Your results will show up in the search results area under the search criteria box.

 
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Introduction to My Garage Plans

My Garage Plans Staff
Hi there! You might be wondering why there is another site online offering garage plans for sale? During an economic meltdown? While we are undergoing one of the biggest re-sets in the housing market ever?

Well we happen to think there is going to be a nice rebound in the housing market over time and things will eventually get back to normal. But still, why another ecommerce site selling garage plans? Not because there aren't some really great plans out there already. Certainly not because the world needs another ecommerce site. No, the reason we are doing this is because we think most of the other sites offering garage plans make you do to much work to find what you are looking for. Why should you have to look through dozens of plans trying to find what you want when it can be narrowed down by setting a few simple criteria. You probably already have a pretty good idea of what you want, the number of stalls in your garage, whether or not you want some extra living space or whether you just need a simple carport. So why spend time having to filter through so many other plans that just don't do it for you? It just doesn't make any sense.

What you will find here is an intuitive site with an easy to use Garage Plans Search Tool that will help you find what you want without the hassle. If we don't have the garage plan you are looking for you will know it in a matter of seconds. An ecommerce site shouldn't be set up to make you suffer through an ordeal just to find out they don't have any garage plans that suit your fancy. Our intention is to add more plans over the coming months so you have a better selection of plans to choose from, but we will never stray from our mission to make your search as simple as possible.

You will also find other useful information to help you with your garage building project, whether or not you choose to buy your garage plan from us. Undertaking a project of this magnitude is going to be time consuming and frustrating at times, so hopefully you will find some things here to make your life easier. Feel free to use whatever you need from our article pages and How To papers. To get started, take a look at the 3 How To Buy Garage Plans articles. There is some great information to help you navigate your way through the morass of building permits and other arcane requirements you will encounter while building your garage.

Welcome to our place, wander around as long as you want and come back often to visit with us again!

 
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