Deciding where and how large your garage is going to be is the first step in building it. If you build it too small, you will become frustrated with it; too large, and you will be spending money unnecessarily to create space where things you don't need will accumulate. A garage's location should be convenient but not in the way of other activities.
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Build your garage to reflect how you will be using it. If you are going to keep your car in it, it needs to be located in a convenient relation to your driveway. If you are planning to use part of it for a workshop or extra living space, have it connected to the house for ease of access. If, like most people, you will be storing various tools in the garage, don't make the mistake of making it an enormous space. Whatever space you build will get filled, and you may find yourself owning tools that you never use.
The methods of storage that you will use in your garage should be carefully thought out before you build it. Wall-mounted shelves provide convenient storage for items that are used frequently. Overhead racks can store larger items such as extension ladders, canoes and skis. Having a place for everything, rather than just a large interior space into which everything is thrown together, will make your garage much easier and more enjoyable to use.
Most garages are built in a style to match your house. If you live in a 100-year-old Victorian house, don't ruin it by putting a square, vinyl-sided garage next to it. Consider hiring an architect or professional designer to create some ideas for you, if this isn't a skill you have. Most garages are plain, four-sided buildings, but this doesn't mean you can't make yours a bit more interesting through the addition of a cupola, interesting entryway or more creative shape.
Most garages are stick-built out of 2x4s or 2x6s. This is the easiest way to build a garage. If you're looking for something different, you could consider building a fieldstone garage if you have some time on your hands and the desire to do some considerable manual labour. Some other options are brick and cob, a mixture of soil, sand, straw and water. Garage roofs can be covered with asphalt shingles, cedar shingles or metal. You can even cover a flat garage roof with sod and turn it into a wild garden rather than a place you have to reshingle every decade.
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