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  • Corsac Construction Ltd.

Garage 101

Updated: Feb 4, 2023

Building a garage is a significant project, so you need to be well-prepared in advance and have a plan. All successful deeds start with substantial time spent just planning. Even though it is hard to take into account every detail of your project, there are steps you can implement when building your garage to make it a success.

  • First of all, think about your budget.

Think about how much money you can put toward this project. Although building a garage is not a cheap investment, and many homeowners do not have that much savings to spend at once, you can still make your garage a reality. There are different ways to eliminate the financial burden of your project. Talk to your bank and see if you can pull out some cash from your house mortgage. For example, the bank might be able to provide you with a home equity loan for your garage project. Another option is to use a third-party financial institution and get a personal loan or home renovation loan. You will need to send an application and get your credit score checked for that. Finally, spend some time researching and comparing different lenders' rates to find the best solution to finance your garage.

  • Make sure you got all the municipal and community permits.

Check your city requirements and see what documents must be submitted for the permit. You will most likely need a property plan with a garage layout clearly shown on the project. Real Property Report(RPR) with your garage location and few dimensions is typical of all the city is looking for. For example, you could find that report with your mortgage documents if you purchased your house. Make sure your realtor requests the RPR plan with all the other documents from the previous owner.

Otherwise, contact the company that will prepare one for you.

There could be other requirements based on the size and complexity of the proposed garage. In that case, you will need to involve a professional engineer and a drafter to prepare the drawing package. Our Corsac team can advise you about any additional information and guide you through the process.

In addition, check with your community and make sure they are OK with your project. Sometimes communities, especially in rural areas, have rules outside of the city's regulation. Those rules can affect your garage's size, location, height and finishes.

Sometimes, if a garage does not meet the city minimum allowance, you must apply for a Development permit first. Development permit takes longer to review as it needs to go through a few stages of approval. You will need to gather more documents and get a complete drawings package with plans and elevations. Luckily, you can get professional help for that matter.

An electrical permit is also required to install lights and receptacles in your garage. You will need to arrange inspections with the city to ensure that electrical services are done correctly. Usually, electrical technicians agree on all electrical permits. Make sure the electrician you hire has all the licenses to do the work.

If you put a mud tub, sink, floor drain or any other plumbing in your garage, you will also need a plumbing permit. Finding a professional plumber is your best bet. They will consult you about all the details and requirements. Corsac can guide you in that area as well.

  • What garage size should you build?

When deciding the type of garage you need, think about the size and the height of your vehicles. The best scenario is to have at least 2'-6" between your car and any obstacle (e.g. wall, another vehicle, desk, storage etc.). To ensure your garage is built to the right size, we recommend measuring cars that will be parked in the garage. Then add 2'-6" three times to get the approximate width, and add 2'-6" twice to the length of your vehicle. The standard and smallest double-car garage is 20'x20'. If you plan to park a truck, a minivan or even SUV, we suggest going with a larger 22'x22' garage. The price will not be significant but you will sure have shelter for both cars. It is unfortunate to have to park your truck outside because there is no space in your new double garage. Also, consider the need for extra storage or workspace. Think about what equipment you plan to store in your garage and how much space it will take. There is a way to get some space in the attic for storage. Talk to your builder about storage trusses. Storage trusses cost more but will pay you back with additional free space.

  • Layout

Decide on window and door locations. How many windows will you need? Usually, one window is enough, but some prefer two to have extra light. In that case, the first window is typically placed on the back by the entry door, while the second is on the side. Check safety codes to see if the second window is allowed on the side overlooking the neighbouring property.

The best location for the garage door is facing your back house entry; the shorter your walk to the house is, the better. Corsac Construction will suggest the best location and layout, making it easier for you to decide.

  • Finishing your garage.

Typically, exterior finishes such as siding, roofing, gutter, lights etc. match your house finishes, but you can decide on any finishes allowed in your area. Most garages are finished with vinyl siding. You can also do Hardie board, stucco, wood siding etc. Also, the garage can be decorated with trims, gable features, stone veneer, and shingle siding; the list can go on. Custom doors and windows will add highlights and make the garage stand out. In addition, you can choose a custom garage door. There are many different options on the market to choose from. For example, contemporary, modern or barn-style garage doors will add character to your garage.

  • Interior Finishes.

You might want to consider insulating your garage. Without insulation, the garage can get quite hot in summer and cold in winter. So, adding insulation will make it comfortable to enter the vehicle in any weather. Also, if you add drywall, you can paint your garage with a complete, authentic look and even brighten it with lighter pains.

There are other options besides drywall to finish your garage. Shelves, storage panels and cabinets will bring a sense of order and clarity. There are many options to design your garage space and bring style and comfort.

In addition, you can add a special coating to your garage floor to protect your floor from chemical damage, salt, heavy equipment and other exterior factors that may ruin your concrete floor.

As you can see, a garage can be a fun and exciting project, and if you plan, you can make it very functional and practical. Make sure you research and find the right contractor you can trust, and your future investment will be in good hands.

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