Wood Garage Plans
Has it gotten to that point? She told you it's you or your power drill (she can't know how much that hurts)? Bob's here to help (and console). Wood garage plans are the easy answer to all your storage needs.
A word on materials- Wood is your all-time preferred choice for these kinds of projects. It's durable, it's neat, it looks great, and it allows for tons of finishing options. It's also the easiest material to work with. Drilling into wood is a breeze compared to concrete or metal.
That being said, here are some initial questions that you can ask yourself to get the ball rolling on your own wood garage plans (i.e. here's a good way to talk about this with the guys without actually doing any of the work. They're also a good way to harness that excited energy while you're waiting for your wife to okay the whole project). What exactly are these plans for? How much space will you require? Will this be used as storage area? If so, what are you storing? Is this a work area? Will there be expensive tools involved? How will you display, I mean, store the really cool, I mean, large tools? What about internal beams? Do you want columns in your garage to distribute the weight more evenly? Or maybe you'd rather an open unobstructed room that has other support arrangements? These oughtta tied you over, at least initially.
If you're good at the numbers game, you can take measurements and draw up your own blueprints. Things to take into consideration when making your own plans are the area you will be working with (you have to give yourself plenty of room- a good few inches all around- exclusive of the structure itself, will you be setting down any foundation or platform? What materials will you use?), the size of your garage (this is determined by what you are using your garage for- a car park needs so much room, while a rec room requires a different size and dimension), the dimensions of the structure (see above), the design (what's your flavor), windows (how much light do you want getting in, how much air do you need, will you be working with sprays that require ventilation?), doors (what kind of access and entry are you looking to provide), height (an extra loft level is great for more storage room in the same area).
If you're not a math wiz, it's ok. You can buy great garage plans from a reliable contractor. Plans are really inexpensive, and for those "graphically challenged" DIY-ers (be a man, admit you just can't put the pen to paper, it's ok), pre-made wood garage plans will take all the stress off your shoulders. Structural designs, window and door placement and framing details, and electrical layout are a few of the crucial elements involved in any decent plan.
Whether going it on your own, or enlisting the aid of trained professionals, here's the bottom line.
Doors- How many are we talking about? Where are they going? Do they have easy access for me, and do they provide the proper accessibility for what I'm using the garage for (i.e. don't have a single door entrance for the garage where your storing your boat!)
Windows- Same as above as far as numbers and locations. Will these windows provide proper ventilation and lighting for my needs? Bear in mind that certain tasks require more or less light, and others cannot be done without sufficient airflow (such as some aerosol sprays).
Roof- What style? What are the measurements? What materials is your roof made from? Can this structure withstand local weather conditions such as heavy loads of snow, severe winds, or intense sunlight?
Electrical layout- Again based on individual needs, are the outlets conveniently located and sufficient for your purpose?
And the biggy, materials list- What does this puppy actually need to get it up and running? Purchased wood garage plans should include quantities and measurements for lumber, millwork and hardware. Plans that include full-size rafter templates that can be traced directly onto the wood for easy cutting score an extra 50 points.
Also remember the all-important rule about measuring. Measurements and dimensions only have to be a few inches/centimeters off to completely ruin a perfectly good garage or shed. As my granddad (and probably yours' too) used to say, "measure twice, cut once"!
One last option for those of you without the time to put the hammer to the nail is to purchase a prefab unit. These kits provide you with nearly all the material necessary for construction, and all you have to do is assemble.