Building a Great Detached Garage – Drummond House Plans Blog

A guest post by Justin White edited by Deb Villeneuve


When you ask different people as to their concept of building a great detached garage, you will have many different opinions. A detached garage must first serve the purpose for which it was intended. Designs and integration are limited only by the imagination.

Cloverdale 2 with detached garage 2999

When built with cohesiveness, a detached garage brings a sense of elegance to your home but a metal building or garage that is aesthetically unpleasing or located inappropriately will have the reverse effect. The process begins with recognizing all the elements contributing to the motivation to build a detached garage — where and how it to be used and the size requirements.

Lowrey with garage plan 2979-15

Deciding on your plans

In order to bring your concept to reality, approximate details concerning dimensions, rooms, roof pitch and design, type of construction materials and so on must all be considered. Don’t overlook the diversity of garage door styles. Garage doors greatly enhance aesthetics and can be used to illustrate your creative side. Automatic garage doors can have any appearance. Exterior archways in front of the door are popular.

Wisteria Walk with detached garage 2987

Multiple windows give the look of French doors, while stencils can give the appearance of a horse barn. These are only a few of the endless possibilities. Pictures of the main residence must depict the shape and position of all gables, dormers, hips and valleys, exterior materials and windows. Samples guarantee a match. Include whether the garage will have HVAC plus driveway installation and landscaping into the equation. When in the design stage, be mindful of the sizes of all construction materials to prevent as much waste as possible. This becomes a significant cost reduction, given the amount of material used.

Maybloom with detached garage 2983

Keep in mind that a detached garage can add considerable value to the property if given enough forethought. You might decide on a garage with a guest quarters above with a breezeway to and from the main residence. Even if the garage sits back from the house or acts as a part of the rear courtyard, the building must be similar in appearance to add value. Regardless of the intended use, the closer the garage is to the main residence, the more it must duplicate height and visual aesthetics. It must look like an additional building yet similar in appearance in all aspects. This is impressive and adds appeal, along with an increase in property value.

Monarch with detached garage 2984

If it is to be a distance from the main residence, the same applies to the aesthetics, but not for the height. It must still have the same roof contours and aesthetics of construction. It is advisable, although not set in stone, to face the gables toward the street. This makes the height and size less evident. Work up a rough estimate of cost by researching the dollar per square foot in your area. Add in the driveway and landscaping. Add an additional 20 percent and you should be close enough.

Bradely 3 with detatched garage 2977-22

Time for Permits

Once the plans are complete, a building permit application, along with a land survey of your plat showing the exact location and garage drawn to scale with the length of the driveway, is submitted for review. You will also need a detached garage specification form. Submit four sets of drawings of the garage including the size and quantity of materials.

Collin with detached garage 2985

A copy of your general contractor and electrical contractor’s license and bond must remain in the permit office during construction. Making a determination as to the time involved is somewhat more difficult due to the need to have every aspect inspected before proceeding. Waiting for the inspector depends on your location and the inspector’s workload.

Lindsay with detached garage 3983


Author bio: Justin White currently serves as Marketing Director for Garage Door Repair, LLC, which proudly serves the greater Washington DC area, as well as Maryland, Virginia, & Pennsylvania with repair, installation and maintenance services. Learn more about GDR by visiting:


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