Planning your garage

Adding a garage is not only practical – it also increases the resale value of your property. With planning, excavation, foundation, construction, electrical and other costs, a simple garage can easily cost upwards of $10 000. Such an important project requires some serious planning.


Budget is the starting point with just about any construction project. A garage is no different. Start by deciding how much you can afford to invest in your new garage.


How you plan to use the garage is the largest factor influencing design. Will you use the garage for:

– Parking a vehicle or vehicles?
– Storage?
– Workshop?
– Additional accommodations?

Will the garage require;

Electrical outlets?
Windows or a service door?
Heating or insulation?

Take time to carefully consider all of the uses you want now and in the future. You may only have one car now, but down the road you might wish you had planned for a two-car garage.


An unnecessarily large garage will cut the amount of useable space on your property, while one that is too small will limit its uses. When is comes to size, build as large as possible while still being practical and affordable. This will allow maximum flexibility for the future even if all the space is not used right away.

To better visualize the layout of your garage, do a sketch on graph paper including rough size dimensions. This will help when discussing the project with a professional.


Regardless of whether you purchase plans or have them custom designed; you will require them in order to receive the necessary building permits from your town or municipality.


Your plans will need to be approved by local authorities that will issue the appropriate building permits. Often multiple permits are required for electrical, structural, foundation and other work. Check with your local municipality for the complete regulations in your area. Remember that obtaining permits is not optional – it is a legal requirement.


Your final decision is whether to hire a contractor or build it yourself. Although doing it yourself will save on labour, building a garage is a complex project that should not be undertaken by inexperienced individuals.

A contractor can manage every step of construction including permits and working with sub-trades like foundation and electrical. You may spend a little more, but the results will be worth it.


Plans and materials estimate
Financing costs
Site preparation, excavating and grading
Foundation / footings
Framing and carpentry
Windows and doors
Exterior siding

There is 1 comment for this article
  1. Matt at 22 h 03 min

    There are many options available for finishing the inside of the garage. Instead of dry wall you can get wall systems, such as Gladiator GearWall. These install directly onto the studs with no drywall necessary, saving you time and the frustration of the drywall. Once installed your options are endless for easy installation of cabinets, hooks, shelves, bins, baskets, and lockers. If you need to change where you have these items placed, no problem simply move them, no tools necessary. Best advise is to check out all options first so you don’t end up wasting money.

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