How to Design a 2-Story Garage

Updated February 21, 2017

The cost of building a two-story garage will enhance the value of most homes. An in-law apartment, rental-income apartment or loft space for hobbies are all relatively easy to build in this space. Creating the right type of space begins with leaving the attic space as open as possible. By using pre-made trusses, the attic loft area will need no centre support posts. This means a room or apartment can be constructed more easily, since the floor plan will be open, without walls. The rafters for the first-floor garage ceiling will double as joists for the attic loft.

Find garage designs that look appealing in home design books. Plan to build a two-two garage that harmonises with the house design in every way. Keep in mind that a home's resale value will be higher if the garage exterior and house exterior are both constructed of matching brick, for example. Try to build the garage so that it will look as if it's always been in place, not built as an afterthought.

Measure the allowable yard space for a garage. Make plans to build a garage with interior dimensions that are no less than 22 feet by 22 feet. Build a larger garage if it will not overpower the house and the budget will accommodate the extra square footage. Plan to add windows in the attic loft area, so that these will already be in place for construction in this space later on. Add windows now, since the cost during initial construction will be minimal.

Sketch the roof shape to fit the home's roof lines. Draw an A-frame, barn shaped roof or roof with multiple slopes and lines. Add dormer windows if the house has similar windows. Plan to build the bottom part of the garage with ceiling joists constructed as trusses, so they will serve as the flooring joists for a future room built in the attic space. Use trusses for the ceiling joists for the first-floor level, since this means no support posts will be required within the garage space.

Create overhangs for the garage that match overhang spaces on the house. Sketch trim that harmonises with the wood trim on the house in every respect. Add a walkout door to the garage on the side next to the house. Plan to install double garage doors that will be installed side by side, or hang a large single door that is wide enough to accommodate two cars driving in. Use carriage doors, if this matches the home's architecture.

Draw all details of the garage on graph paper. Use hardware for garage doors and walkout doors that fit the home's design. Install colonial hinges on garage carriage doors, for example, if this fits the design of the house and its entry doors. Sketch the driveway and surrounding landscaping of the garage space on graph paper too. Make sure the garage looks proportionate with the house in all respects.


Create a stairway to the second floor of the garage outside the garage, if this is appropriate. Build the stairway wide enough to accommodate future building materials needed to finish the attic. Avoidi building stairs up to the attic inside the garage. This will take up valuable floor space

Things You'll Need

  • Home design books
  • Measuring tools
  • Sketch pad
  • Pencil
  • Graph paper
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About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.