Summary: Garages are often built too small for all the stuff that needs to be stored in them. A dream garage size has an interior size of 32 feet wide by 26 feet deep with 12 foot high walls. Here are some suggestions to build your dream garage.
My existing garage is simply too small. I have the opportunity to build a new detached garage and want to do it right. Can you share some design tips that will allow me to construct a garage that will provide ample space for my two vehicles, riding lawn mower, bikes, a workbench, and miscellaneous other items? What other options can I incorporate that will make this the garage of my dreams?
What a common problem! I thought I was doing the right thing when I made my own garage 24 feet deep by 30 feet wide. Was I ever wrong! Not only that, I made a couple of other silly errors that have become pet peeves of mine with respect to any garage space.
When garages are empty, they appear to be huge. The vast open space is often the largest space in a person's home. Looks can be deceiving. The best way for you to solve your space problem is to do a quick analysis of what you need to store in your garage. Clean out your garage first. Discard accumulated trash and sell things you no longer need.
Arrange the remaining items in the manner you feel most comfortable. Undoubtedly you will see that things are still cramped. Calculate the necessary width and depth of the garage that will give you adequate walking room around and between all of your possessions. With these calculations in hand, you now have the new floor plan footprint of your garage in hand.
How to Create and Maintain Organized Basement and Garage Spaces
Pesky magnets for every spare scrap and belonging that doesn’t quite belong (but can’t be thrown away, either), your basement and garage may spite your cleaning efforts year after year. Rest assured, however, they can be tamed…one way or another. Here are five of the most useful strategies to finally create and MAINTAIN an organized basement or garage space.
1. Flexible Cabinets and Storage Units—It sounds so simple: Your basement or garage is overrun with random items that have no assigned place. You need more storage, right? Probably…but the answer is often more complicated. You can’t just inundate a space with a bunch of cabinets or storage units, throw everything in, and call it a day. For one thing, the cabinets may be their own eyesore without some kind of plan or design. For another, you may never be able to find anything in those cabinets ever again. Go too large and your storage units become an abyss of unidentifiable clutter. Often, shallow or recessed cabinets are the right addition. Modular cabinets are also great to keep flexibility in both the design and overall capacity of your basement or garage storage. If you’re still having trouble assigning a place for all your clutter, maybe it’s clutter not worth saving. It may be time to have one of those self-defining moments where you make a concerted effort to curb your packrat tendencies.
2. Incentivize Your Cleaning and Organization—Bribes don’t just work on the kids: Many homeowners wish to organize their garage or basement spaces for a particular recreational purpose. Maybe you want to have more fun, be in better shape, or watch movies on a 64” screen with surround sound. But you never seem to get around to it. Well, try this: Locate your prize, find out how much it’s going to cost, and make a promise with yourself that you can splurge on this item, once you’ve organized and cleaned your basement or garage. If you like to play for high stakes, go ahead and buy the thing. Watching several hundred or thousand dollars worth of exercise equipment, billiards, home theater system, etc., sitting there waiting for a space, waiting to be used, almost judging your inaction is a nearly foolproof way to motivate yourself.
3. Free and Hired Help—Don’t go it alone: As intimidating as these spaces may appear when you start, once you’ve spent 4 hours moving, piling, sorting, and routing your clutter, you may discover that your basement or garage looks as bad or even worse than it did when you started. Without an encouragement from friends, family, or neighbors, it’s almost inevitable that you’re going to give up. Whether it’s moral or substantive support, find someone to help you out. If you’re trouble is less about the initial cleaning and more about maintaining, your answer may be to hire a professional. Designers are problem-solving whizzes when it comes to tight spaces or long-term organizational planning. Maybe you need a carpenter to come in and build you a custom cabinet or two for those awkward spaces.
4. Easy-to-Clean Flooring—Let’s face it: Your basement or garage may always serve as auxiliary storage space, naturally gravitating toward a cluttered state. Maybe you choose to simply relegate the task to annual spring-cleaning. The key is not to make any harder on yourself than you have to, and this means once you’re done straightening things up, you shouldn’t have to worry about cleaning your floor, too. If you have concrete subflooring, concrete staining will give your concrete permanent coloring that will sharp and disguise grease stains and other filthy eyesores.
5. Renovate to Resuscitate—Call in the big guns: Some basements and garages are in such a state of disrepair that it’s hard to justify simple cleaning and reorganization. If your garage door doesn’t reliably open or close anymore, if your basement is so dank that it smells more like a stale swamp than a residential space, if your garage walls are dilapidated, if your basement plumbing leaks, if your garage has no working light fixtures, you may not professional renovation, before you can reasonably clean or organize your space. Naturally, these projects aren’t cheap, but they also have plenty of benefit on the back end. Besides being able to customize the space for whatever use you have in mind, you’ll had a good chunk of change to the value of your home.
Where does Your Money Go for a Home Improvment?
One of the most important, comprehensive, and frequently asked questions homeowners have for any home improvement, knowing the answer is critical to making the best possible decisions throughout the renovating process. The details of home improvement budgets will naturally vary from project to project, but armed with a general understanding and basic cost-cutting strategies you can ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck for all your home improvements.
Cost of Finished Products
Many homeowners believe the cost of finished products—ready-to-install materials bought from manufacturers—should comprise 50 percent or more of the final cost. Except for the highly-furnished kitchen area, this is almost never the case. One corollary of this misconception is that homeowners typically underestimate the amount of knowledge, training, and time that goes into a quality home improvement, along with the risk contractors take on should something go wrong, as can happen to even the most experienced contractors.
Reducing the Cost of Finished Products
Changing a product choice can create complications in delivery and installation, but it can also substantially reduce the cost of the project. Switching from a granite countertop to a laminate countertop may save not just the difference in material cost but the mark-up contractors put on delivering and handling the materials from manufacturers. Yet, this can work both ways: Switching to a granite counter may raise the cost of the project more than you think. One strategy you might look at is ordering the materials from the manufacturers yourself, although you should compare prices and fees with your contractor before you make any purchases. The discount contractors receive often offset their mark-ups, leaving you with the responsibility for handling the materials without any real savings.
Cost of Labor and Contractor Expenses
Almost any home improvement source out there will tell you that the “complexity” of the job significantly influences the cost of labor. But this complexity can mean many different things. Building a large, curved retaining wall requires a specialized skill set even in the best circumstances. A full kitchen remodel, by contrast, is considered complex simply because it’s an unknown quantity. Once the walls are torn out in an older kitchen, often it’s anybody’s guess what you might find and what problems may arise. This is why in new home construction, where everything is a known quantity, labor costs are generally half that of major remodels and renovations.
Home Improvement Budgets: Reducing Labor Costs
For major home improvements, labor costs are generally pretty fixed. Sure, different contractors charge varying amounts for their labor, but otherwise not much can be done. You need someone qualified to do the work, and more experienced contractors, who are able to finish the job more quickly, typically charge more per hour, frequently creating a wash. One way of possibly reducing labor costs is to do some of the site preparation or post-job clean-up yourself. Of course, just like any DIY project, don’t overestimate your own ability and knowledge level. Smaller home improvements may be more labor intensive and allow for more opportunities to reduce labor costs. Clearly communicating what you need done to a handyman or repairman will increase the likelihood that this professional doesn’t need to make an extra trip to the local hardware or supply stores. Meanwhile, stating upfront that you’re willing and able to move furniture for house painters and carpet cleaners will likely help you solicit lower bids from contractors.
Contractors’ Profit Margins
Generally speaking, contractors are wary of divulging profit margins, deemed to be proprietary information. The industry consensus says that contractors who mark-up the cost of a remodel by a 50 percent gross profit margin can expect to reap a 33 percent net profit bottom line. Indeed, the National Association of Home Builders recommends their builders seek a 50 percent gross profit margin. Frequently, smaller remodeling and home improvement companies will be able to charge a smaller gross profit margin because these companies tend to have smaller cash outlays and are able to more efficiently convert gross profit margin into net profit. However, these smaller companies, less able to make bulk purchases, also tend to receive fewer discounts from manufacturers, often leading to another wash in total costs for a homeowner. The fact is many homeowners are surprised and skeptical about the mark-ups most contractors charge, but they’re frequently needed to keep their business financially viable.
Negotiating Mark-Ups and Final Costs
Home improvement contractors don’t run flea markets. Most contractors are more than willing to help design a project that will stay within a predetermined budget, but their pricing methods are generally set. What you should be able to ask for is an itemized estimate so that you know where your money is going and how it can best be utilized. The true cost-cutting advantage homeowners have is soliciting multiple estimates. Seeing more than one bid and seeing how your money is spent will lead you not only to the best price but to the best overall value for your home improvements.
Cost Breakdown of Specific Projects
It’s difficult to talk about details of project costs without looking at specific projects. Where your money goes for a kitchen remodel is remarkably different than a bathroom remodel. For homeowners about to undertake a major home renovation, here is what you need to consider during the budgetary and planning process.
The Skyrocketing Price of Lumber
Posted by Al Tompkins at 12:01 AM on Apr. 14, 2010
The cost of lumber has skyrocketed in the last year. I noticed this last week when I bought a bunch of 2x4's for a project at my house. Then I spotted the cost of lumber in the commodity tables in The Wall Street Journal and realized it was not my imagination.
The cost of 1,000 board feet of framing lumber was about $208 a year ago. Now it is $342.
These are the highest prices since 2006, when the housing boom was still in full blossom and Asian countries were using lots of construction materials.
Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal explained what was happening to lumber prices:
"Lumber prices shot up because of a shortage of supply. When the housing market cratered, mills in the U.S. and Canada slashed production; output plummeted about 45% between 2005 and 2009, according to Random Lengths, an industry data provider.
"Wholesalers shrank their own inventories and had little incentive to build them back up last year. Housing is the largest single source of demand for lumber, and new-home sales fell 7.6% in December from the prior month, to 342,000 units.
"So when builders began their annual re-stocking for the spring construction season, there was little slack in the supply chain, causing a squeeze on prices. Some firms also stepped up speculative construction in the hope that an expiring federal tax credit would boost the market.
" 'Any increase in demand is going to allow the mills to raise their prices,' said Gary Vitale, president of the North American Wholesale Lumber Association."
This winter was nuts.
It’s not just us, right? The mid-Atlantic has gotten pounded with one blizzard after another, the west coast is getting tons of rain, and we’ve actually heard the term “Snowpocalypse” in the news.
So not to get all, “the sky is falling”, but seriously, the sky could be falling. Of course we’re referring to the inside sky – your roof. Roof repairs jump by 66% in March. All that snow, rain, and fluctuating temperatures surely take their toll.
So now is definitely the time to get your roof inspected.
Here are the most common issues you might hear about:
Asphalt is especially prone to damage during spring and might need replaced. Metal roofing is susceptible to the changing temperatures. Natural slate, though extremely strong, is prone to cracks from bad weather so a couple individual tiles may need to be replaced. Look for uneven shingles, visible cracks, and wet spots on your ceilings.
The sooner you take care of any roofing problem, the better. A few repairs here and there are definitely cheaper than a new roof. And after Snowpocalypse 2010, surely we’ve all had enough excitement for one winter. Side note: We should send some shovels to the mid-Atlantic. Pretty sure they’re still skipping work. Slackers
Custom Garage Builder and Construction Company
Budget Garages and Construction Company INC. is a locally owned, family business in the Denver area that is knowledgeable about construction for residential and commercial property, from the first building permit to the last coat of paint. We specialize in constructing affordable gable garages with brick, wainscoat vinyl and stucco front and we build them according to custom specifications including space for a tall RV, boat or mobile home.
Our custom built garages are attractive buildings that blend perfectly with the residence as well as the surrounding landscape.
We understand that you may need a larger home, want repairs, general upgrading or a larger garage but don't feel you have the money to undertake such an expensive endevour. That is why we have made financing as easy as possible. Our credit application is simple to fill out and approval can come in as little as one day. We don't require any money down and there are no prepayment penalties. Our interest rates for the financing are very competitive and you will not find easier financing anywhere. You will be financed by the people who are actually doing the work, so we have a personal interest in helping you in every way possible. Serving our customers at the best price possible is very important to us, and we guarantee you will be happy with our work.
At Budget Garages we are proud of the high quality workmanship we offer for single, multi or custom garages as well as for renovation including additional windows, repairing roofing and siding upgrades with vinyl, aluminum or cedar. We can add lofts, barn roofs, brick or stone work, retaining walls, electrical hookups, overhangs and any other residantial upgrades you can imagine.
You can request a quote on the work you want done by filling out our online form or, if you live in the area, you can call us (303-757-1800) and give us your information. We will give you a quote on the total job with no additions later, in one business day. You will find that you will not get a better quote anywhere along the Front Range of Colorado. You will not have to wonder if your new addition will be safe or pass final inspection because we will guarantee it.
We offer you a chance at a better lifestyle at a price you can afford. For whatever reason, you may not want to sell your house or move to a larger one at this time. We can help you make your living space more comfortable which in turn will add value to your home. Contact Budget Garages and Construction Company Today!