Building A Detached Garage

In recent years, there has been a tendency toward having a garage separate from the house—and there are plenty of good reasons. A separate garage, because of its flexibility’ and its location on your property, can be used to fulfill many more functions than a structure attached to a house. Many of these will come to light as you study the garage designs given in this chapter. But before yon start the actual building of a detached garage, here are three points to keep in mind:

1. Check your local building requirements. Check with your local building official to find out about any special code regulations or restrictions in your area. Sometimes there are height limits or property line set back restrictions to be considered. Also, make sure an additional separate building is allowed. And check your property lines. Precautions like these may save you a costly-rebuilding job later.

2. Match the style to your home. Your garage should ideally be of the same architectural style as your home. But if your home isn’t a definite type of architecture, select a garage design that suits your own taste. Also, while it is usually best, wherever possible, to pick finish roof and siding materials similar to those on your house, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Frequently, it’s possible to select materials that will complement your home. For instance, a brick colonial house with white trim can very well be complemented by a white frame garage.

3. Make sure the garage is big enough. List the ways you’ll be using у our garage (remember you may be using it as a patio or a sheltered play area for the children), then see where it will be most convenient. Also plan for your storage needs—power mower, sports equipment, barbecue supplies, garden tools, etc. It is important to think of your future needs. You may want to add a breezeway, patio, or flower bed later. Additional inside space is handy for workbenches, cabinets, or closets.

4. Plan the best location on your property. Careful planning will be necessary so that the driveway will be wide and straight enough to permit easy entrance to and exit from the garage. The garage site should be as level as possible and located where you can build the structure with a minimum amount of disturbance.

Converting Your Garage Into Living Space

You cant build up or out, but you wish to provide more living space with a minimum of structural work. What can you do? It may be possible that your attached garage can provide the solution. Actually, there are several advantages for such a conversion. First and most important is the saving that is realized because the foundation, walls, and roof are already in existence. This can amount to up to a 50 percent saving in cost where a room would otherwise have to be added by attaching a new extension to the exterior of the house. Since the garage will already have a substantial header, the closing in will consist mostly of laying a sole plate and then erecting studs. Window openings, if any, will not require individual headers.

Another point in its favor is that the room is protected from the elements, and therefore work can be done at your leisure in all kinds of weather. The work can also proceed with the least amount of inconvenience to your family.

PLANNING GARAGE CONVERSION. The converted room can be utilized as a den. bedroom, family room, or even kitchen if desired. Because a powder room is easily installed, your garage can become an attractive studio apartment. But preliminary planning is most important in converting a garage into a liv ing space. Take time to orient .the new room to the rest of the house and the outdoors so it will best serve its intended purpose.

Ask the following questions:

  1. How can the extra space fit into what will actually be a larger house than you now have?
  2. Where should the room be entered? Should it be a dead end in the house traffic pattern, or will the room’s function be such that through traffic will not disturb activities within the room?
  3. Are present windows adequate, or should they be enlarged to provide a better view window and to admit more light?
  4. Should the garage door be replaced with a bank of windows, view window, floor-to-ceiling glass, or sliding doors?
  5. Should there be an outside entrance?
  6. Where will you need electrical outlets for reading, TV, projector, etc.?
  7. How many and what kind of built-in storage units do you want?

DOING THE JOB. When filling in the garage door space, it’s a good idea to plan to have a picture window area or a window and door combination since much work is already done because of the header spanning the existing opening. Rough framing consists of a 2-by-4 inch sill or sole plate (a sill rests directly on the foundation; a sole plate on the floor or subfloor), cripple studs, window sill, and furring. If the header is too high, as with an 8-foot high garage door, either fur down from it or install a false header below it. Install all nev windows and doors.

When all the openings in your former garage space have been relocated and rough-framed where you want them in the new room or rooms, you must add to heating and wiring and locate plumbing and fixtures (if a bathroom is in your conversion plans). Insulate the walls and ceiling. Fit the insulation blankets snug between the sleepers, stapling the side flanges to the wood members. When the ends of two batts are joined, make sure that they are tightly butted. Place the insulation with the vapor side up, facing the inside of the room, so that vapor does not penetrate and become trapped within the insulation material. Narrow spaces along walls, or between two sleepers that have to be placed closely together, should be packed with vermiculite granules poured into the opening and spread evenly.

Floor finishing. If the slab is sound and cleanable, you can lay a floor directly on the concrete by using vinyl tiles or wood block flooring that is made specifically for such an application. If the floor has any large grease stains from the car crankcase. these should be thoroughly cleaned to remove a source of unpleasant odor that would penetrate the completed room. Scrub the floor with a strong detergent, preferably the kind used by service stations to clean pavements.

Boat shelter with patio wings

A place to keep your boat under cover the year around, a patio for outdoor living, and a place for rainy-day repairs— all are combined in a structure that economically makes use of one wall of your garage. Its outer wall consists of two hinged panels that roll on casters to screen the patio area when you want extra privacy.

Front view of the boat shelter with patio wings. It may be attached to either a single- car garage or a double-car garage.

To begin the project, excavate for a slab foundation and set in treated 2-by-4s to create an interesting pattern of squares and allow for expansion. Fasten 4-by-6-ineh posts to the existing building as in the plan view. Set up 6-by-6-inch posts with 2-by-6-inch plates on top and build out a roof exten¬sion. Cover it with roofing to match that on the main building.

Close the rear wall with vertical siding. Make the hinged wall sections of siding, framed with 2-by-4s. with quarter-round moldings in the corners. The hinged sections should also be covered with siding. A swing-up door may be added to the front for complete protection.


Boat annex to the garage

With this addition, you can back your boat right into a tandem garage annex and still have room for your car. The boat will have weather protection, work can be done on it under shelter, and there is room for motors and other extras. The swept-wing roof gives the addition a nautical air. Windows admit daylight, and a side door affords access to the boat without going through the garage.

The extension shelter is added to the back of your free-standing garage in the same fashion as when adding a garage to a house (see Chapter 3). Start the job by removing the studs and siding from the back of the garage. Pour a 17- foot (or longer) concrete slab extension of the garage floor, with suitable foot­ings. Cut back the roof gable so that you can bolt 4-by-4-inch posts to the corners, and set similar posts on 4-foot centers for the three walls, adding horizontal nailers if you intend to use vertical siding. Fixed glass panes may be set into a few of the spaces between the horizontal frame members at the sides and back, if desired.

How to build a Boat Storage

It can be a problem to find a place ashore for boat stor­age. All too often, if you’re a boating enthusiast, the boat goes into the garage and the family car is left out in the cold. There are, fortunately, several ways to solve the problem.

Boatshed. A boatshed can be built as a free-standing shelter or as an addi­tion to an existing garage in much the same manner as a carport. Upon select­ing the site, carefully level and stake out the perimeter. Excavate for the foot­ings and foundation; then pour the concrete, following standard practices. A slab floor could be incorporated or crushed rock could suffice. Consideration should be given to water and electrical service (by code, of course), if desired.

The framing consists of 4-bv-4-inch posts on 2-by-4-inch sills, with 2-by-8- inch beams at the outside top for both wall units. Two-by-six-inch rafters are supported by the beams. Apply 1/2-inch exterior plywood diaphragms at the post/rafter joints. The wall paneling is 1/2-inch exterior plywood applied to the inside of the 4-by-4 posts. Rafter spacing may demand some trimming of the plywood sheathing for the roof. Cover the sheathing with the building paper and roofing of your choice. Also, the wood surfaces may be finished as desired.

This boatshed can easily be attached to an existing house or garage. The drawings here and on pages 52 and 53 illustrate a 16-foot boatshed. You can easily add "sec¬tions" to make a 20- or 24-foot unit.

The boatshed can be built with either a shed or hip type of roof. If a boat hoist is to be employed, be sure to use roof trusses (see page 78) to provide the necessary support for the boat or for the engine. If you have a concrete driveway (left), then you may wish to add a lean-to complete with a workbench and storage areas. Or, you may wish to have an open-air garage (right). Construct the unit, using a truss support. Great for pulling and cleaning or repairing an engine.

How to Build Mini-garage

Here is a solution to the overflowing-garage problem—a shipshape addition you can build onto the right or left side of a garage. Never more need you stumble over the power mower or open the car door against a jumble of bikes and long-handled tools. Separate doors open onto three com­partments, one for bicycles, a center one for mowers, spreaders, and other big gardening equipment, and a small end storage room for fertilizer, small tools, and potting supplies.

Pour a concrete slab about 5-by-18 feet with suitably deep footings and low sills for the new walls. Set in bolts for the 2-by-4-inch sill plates. Erect 2-by-4- inch studs, doubled at corners, with doubled 2-by-4 plates across at the top. Remove the fascia board from the garage roof so that you can nail new rafters to the old. Choose new siding, trim, roofing, and finish to match or harmonize with the main structure.

A mini-storage unit such as shown here can be added to any hip-roofed garage.

Howto Extend Your Present Garage

If Your present garage is too small, there are several ways to extend your present structure’s usable space. You can convert it from a single-car unit to a double, add a “mini-garage,” or attach an add-on shed. Of course, one of the simplest ways, as described in the previous chapter, is to add a carport as an additional garage-type shelter.


One of the simplest ways to remedy the “too small” garage problem is to convert your present one-car structure into a two-car affair. This task is very similar to that of attaching a garage to a house (see Chapter 3). In fact, you’re really attach­ing a garage to a garage.

The first step in the conversion job is to remove the trim siding, sheathing, windows, and doors from the side of the finished garage where the attach­ment is to be made. Do this job carefully as many of the materials may be re­used in completing the project.

The next step is to pour the slab for the new portion of the garage. It should be made the same thickness as the old and tied to it with reinforcing rods. These rods should be set into both the new and old sections and concrete poured around them to tie the two floors together. Any large cracks or sepa­rations can be treated as a concrete repair (see page 150). To give a continuous floor effect, screed a thin coat of the new cement over the old portion. To effect a bond between the two concrete surfaces, use a cement adhesive or bonder as directed by the manufacturer. This can be accomplished after the two garages are joined together.

The framework for three walls and the roof structure is completed in the same manner as when attaching to a house; no studs are needed for the wall that adjoins the old garage. The corner studs, ceiling joists, and roof rafters where the two structures are to be joined should be fastened together with lag screws. This will mean that there will be double corner studs, ceiling joists, and roof rafters where the two garages meet. The wall studs and bottom plate of the old portion of the garage can now be removed. An adjustable floor jack post should be placed in the center of the double ceiling joists and should be tightly secured to help support the roof load.

Sheathing for the roof and sidewalk is nailed in place on the new garage. Then the finish roofing and siding, which match the house or the old garage, are added. For details, see Chapters 3 and 6. Once the trim and overhead door are installed, you’ll have a two-car garage instead of one GARAGE ADD-ONS. One of the easiest ways to forever end the extra work of hauling garden supplies out of the basement, without letting them clutter up your garage, is to construct an add-on storage building. This structure can range from a simple lean-to that can be tucked under a wide roof overhang or built onto a garage with its own roof extension to a mini-garage for handling both bicycles and garden equipment. It’s also possible to add some extra features in a simple lean-to building.

Framing details for attaching a garage to a garage.

Outdoor storage and dining lean-to. This add-on shed was designed to be a multipurpose unit. The shed has a spacious well-planned barbecue cupboard that holds pots, pans, and utensils, as well as a table that folds down to provide table space for four or more people. In addition to this dining facility, there are two perforated hardboard-Iined walk-in closets that can solve all of your outdoor storage problems. The smaller closet has enough space to accommo¬date all of your garden tools and equipment, including the lawnmower. The larger closet is just right for storing extra tables and chairs and any other items that may need protection from the weather. The removal of such items from the garage will make it appear to be bigger.

Adding attached garage to your home

I your house doesn’t have a home for your car(s), consider adding an attached garage to the present structure. Remember that with the “right” attached garage, you’ll add livability and convenience to your home and substantial resale value to your property.

The “right” attached garage for your home should be of the same architecture as the existing house. The new garage’s roof should be of the same design and material as that of your home to keep a feeling of harmony. Also, to create a pleasing effect to the eye, have the roof of the garage parallel to the roof of the house, or nearly so. While it is usually best to use the same mate¬rial in the construction of the garage as was used in the building of the house, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Frequently, a complementary, or even a contrasting, material will add interest to the overall design of your home and its attached garage.

An attached garage added to your home increases your property value and gives you greater convenience.

Where to attach the garage to the house usually depends on the design of your home and the amount of property available to build the new structure. For instance, it’s usually preferable to have the garage facing the side or back of the lot so that the garage interior won’t be visible from the street when the big door is open. But, either of these locations need space, since they generally require a turning area.

Such problems as the location of the connecting door or breezeway be¬tween the house and the garage, and the part of the house into which the door or breezeway opens, must also be decided upon. Architects usually avoid having an entrance from a garage into the kitchen or dining room and prefer to locate it so that it opens into a hall or the living room. However, there is usually not too much scope in this matter when you are attaching a garage to a house that is already built. Probably the garage can be in only one or two places, and the location of the door or breezeway between it and the house won’t be subject to too much choice.

The size of the detached garage is also determined by the location and space available. Keep in mind that the minimum size for a one-car garage is about 10- or ll-by-20 feet (some have been built smaller) and for a two-car garage about 21-by-20 feet. However, these sizes provide room for one or two cars, but little else. Since the average car is about 6 to 7 feet wide, mini¬mum width doesn’t leave much room at the sides. If you could add another foot or two, you’d have ample room for opening the car doors and you’d have some of the conveniences described in Chapter 2.

Pouring the concrete slab. The first step in building an attached garage is to outline the slab so that the site can be excavated for the foundation and floor. It’s an easy job to square up the outline of the new garage with a sur¬veyor’s transit; but without it you can parallel one side or the back of the ga¬rage with the house by running cords and measuring carefully.

To square up the side of the garage with the existing side wall of the house, for example, it is necessary to mark off the location of the new structure in relation to the old. That is, measure the length of the foundation and establish the two corners of the garage. (If possible, these corner points should line up’with wall studs in the house.) Drive nails in the foundation wall at these two corner points. Attach a piece of twine or stout



string to each of the nails and carry the string out past the desired location of the other side wall. Working with one string at a time, pull it taut and sight along the string to establish each of the wall corners. Then, drive a stake at each point and attach the cord to it so that it is accurately aligned with the house. To check the squareness of the house corner, measure 3 feet on the house wall and 4 feet on the string. Mark these distances and measure the straight-line distance between the two marks. This distance should be exactly 5 feet.

Making The Most Of Your Present Garage: Making the Most of Your Present Garage

The garage is an important and useful part of the home. Unfortunately, most of us don’t take full advantage of it. Many of us keep the family car, a few tools, and some other “junk” there, but that’s about all we use the garage for. If you presently don’t use it as a “real” storage area, workshop, garden work center, or a place for the children to play on rainy days, then you’re not getting the most from your garage. Let’s see how you can remedy this situation.

STORAGE. Lack of storage is a problem in every home. With a little effective planning, a cluttered, catchall garage can be turned into a well-organized area that could relieve a great deal of the storage problems in the house. Your garage is usually either square or rectangular. But, since your car doesn’t match this shape, there are vacant corners, spaces overhead, and room all around the car that can be used to store the thousand-and-one things left over from the scanty closet room of the house.

Shelves. Shelves are an easy way to turn wasted space into storage space in your garage. You’ll need a plan, so ask yourself these two questions: What needs to be stored? Where can you “shelve” it? Between the studs? At eye level for often used items or high up for less used things? And don’t overlook the possibility of adding hooks to shelf bottoms for hanging things to double the efficiency of the shelf. There are many materials available for making shelves. They include 1-by-4-inch to l-by-12-inch pine and Douglas fir boards, pre-cut particleboard, hollow-core slab doors of Philippine mahogany (lauan) for big utility- shelves, and, of course, plywood. For safety, the brackets should be securely attached to the wall studs. There are three types of commercial shelf brackets available that can be used to build garage shelves:

1. L-brackets. To install these steel shelf brackets, you simply screw one leg of the bracket to the wall stud and the other leg to the wood shelf. If the shelf is longer than 36 inches, you may need to install another bracket in the middle to prevent sagging.

2. S-brackets. Shelves installed with S-brackets give you the added advantage of having a “stop” at the end of each shelf so stored items can’t fall off. They also make handy “dividers” on shelves to help keep things organized.All you do is mount one edge of the S-bracket to the wall, the other to the shelf. The bracket can also be conveniently used underneath the shelf.

3. Adjustable brackets. To install this type of bracket, mount the standard strips to the studs with screws, and snap in the shelf brackets at just the height you need. The proper size shelf board can then be set on the brackets. If you wish, you can make your own shelf brackets. As shown here, it is possible to build three strong shelves, plus all the necessary brackets from a single sheet of 4-by-8-foot plywood. The thickness of these shelves need only be 5/8 inch. They are made as follows: 1. Lay out all parts on the plywood and then cut them to size. 2. On the sides of the studs, measure up from the floor to the desired shelf height and mark the support location on one side of each stud. Apply a wood glue to the stud below the mark and nail the support in place. Install all other supports in the same way. 3. Lay the shelf across the supports and mark the position of the notches around the studs. Cut the notches carefully with a saber saw. Then nail through the shelf into the supports. 4. Smooth the cut edges of the plywood and then seal or finish as you wish. A free-standing shelf unit can also be used in a garage. This unit is built to stand against a wall, yet doesn’t have to be fastened to it—the weight of the unit itself and the shelf load hold it firmly in place. Because it’s not anchored, the whole unit can be moved to another location when your space requirements change. To build a free-standing shelf unit, cut all parts to size from a 3/4-inch plywood panel. This includes the supports which are 6 feet long and the shelf supports which are 18 inches long. Glue-nail the plywood gussets to the upright supports. Then install the shelves. You can either permanently glue-nail the shelves to the supports or, if you expect to move the unit occasionally, you can use 1-1/2- or 2-inch flathead wood screws instead.

How to build Your own Wooden Garage and Carport – Manual, Plan, PDF, Download

Contents: Your present car storage situation; making the most of your present garage; attaching a garage to your home; extending your present garage; converting your garage into living space; building a detached garage; the garage door; attaching a carport to your home; free-standing carports; plan your driveway carefully.

Give yourself a garage or carpot designed for maximum service – note only as shelter for your car, but as multi-use structure. It can provide the necessary added space for storage of many items that are now overflowing the closet or overcrowding the basement in the home itself. Or, it cat provide for any number of uses that will increase the everyday enjoyment of living. And here’s a very important point to keep in mind: It costs approximately half as much to provide extra living area in the wooden garage as it does to add an equal amount of space in the your present home.

If you have a garage or carport, you don’t have to worry about the problem of a shelter for your car(s). Or do you? Have you come home recently to a garage so cluttered with junk that you can’t put the family buggy to sleep in its own home? An answer to this problem is quite easy to find. Carefully plan storage areas in the garage that will neatly store garden tools of all kinds, fertilizer, sporting equipment, off-season gear, swings, lawn and porch furniture, sleds, boats, bicycles. Or, it might provide storage space for hand tools, stationary power tools, ladders, paint and paint brushes, and other useful articles. Garage clutter — as well as storage problems —in the house itself can be solved by employing a carefully thought out storage plan.

The garage is an ideal location for a home workshop. It’s also a good place to change the car’s oil, make engine repairs, or remove minor dents. Note: When working in a garage, beware of carbon monoxide. This poisonous gas is exhausted by the engine when it is running. Allowing the engine to run in a closed one-car garage for only three minutes will poison the air so that it becomes dangerous to breathe. If run for longer periods, the air will become deadly. Therefore, never run an engine in a closed garage.

If you don’t presently have a garage on your property, it should be rated very high on your home improvement list. Our car is the second biggest investment most of us make; our home, of course, is the largest. And when you consider that a garage or carport which shelters and protects this large car investment is relatively modest, it makes good sense to add one to your property. Not only does a garage protect your car from the body and chassis damaging effects of rain, sleet, hail, ice, snow, dirt, dust, and sun, but it safeguards the parts of the car itself from larceny. It also protects the car against damage by mischievous children and teenage vandals.

A well-designed garage or carport will enhance the looks and value of your property. It will increase the selling price if and when you wish to sell your home. But before the plans for the garage or carport are too far along, you should refer to the building code in force in your locality. This is especially important where the garage is to be attached to the house since a few codes still require special fireproof construction to prevent or at least retard the spread of fire from the garage to other parts of the house. This may mean building the walls of concrete blocks or brick, with the ceiling of concrete or other nonburning material, plus the use of a fireproof or metal-clad door between the house and the garage.

FINANCING A GARAGE OR CARPORT. For many of the improvements in this book, “pay-as-you-go” financing is the only feasible way of paying for the work. But when adding a garage or carport to your property, or when converting a garage to living space and then adding a garage or carport, “pay-as-you-go” tends to drag the job out, resulting in inconvenience and perhaps additional costs. In such cases, monthly-payment financing is often the best, and only, way to go. Check your local banker on the type of loan that would be best for you.