Building An Attached or Detached Garage?
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There are many things to take into consideration when you are trying to decide whether you should go for an attached or detached garage. Of course there are pros and cons to each, but there are other things to consider as well.
Here is a brief list of questions to ask yourself when trying to make up your mind:
Are there rules in your neighborhood dictating what you’re allowed to have?
What type of garage will best match the style and architecture of your home and your neighborhood?
How do you plan on using your garage?
How much can you afford to spend on a garage?
Convenience – The most obvious reason why you would want to have your garage attached to your home is for the shear convenience of it. Not having to walk long distances between your home and your vehicle is not just a luxury for some people, but an actual necessity.
It also eliminates having to trek through unfavorable weather conditions when coming and going from your home. An attached garage is the best way to attain a level of convenience by comparison.
Potential for Conversion – If you think that at some point you may opt to convert your garage into a comfortable living space and utilize it as a den, game room, additional bedroom, or whatever, you’re going to want to have an attached garage. You could still convert a detached garage, however, it will again be inconvenient to have to walk to another part of your property to get to it.
Costs – If costs are a concern then you will want to go for an attached garage because they require fewer materials since you will only need to build three walls instead of four. They are also a lot faster to build for the same reason which will translate into direct savings if you’re paying for a professional.
Safety and Hazards – Many experts actually tout detached garages for being safer than their attached counterparts. For example, cars in attached garages have been blamed in the past for deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Attached garages have also been cited for being fire hazards.
Most people work on their cars, store flammable chemicals and fluids, and use dangerous tools like a welder in their garage. If your garage is attached to your home and a fire ignites, it could cause your entire house to burn down and place you and your family in serious danger.
Rental Apartments – One of the many benefits of having a garage is that you can turn it into an income source by building an apartment above or converting your garage into an apartment.
If you think you may one day want to become a landlord yourself and use your garage to generate some extra income, you will most likely want to have a garage that is detached from your home.
This will allow for additional privacy, safety, space, and will reduce the noise created from tenants.
Sometimes when trying to decide between two options, it can be helpful to get honest opinions from others that have already been there. Real life experiences are very telling and valuable for consumers that are trying to watch where their money goes.
In a poll asking homeowners to way in on their feelings of attached and detached garages, the majority sounded off against the inconveniences of detached garages.
Jennifer Bush states “So much easier to get the kids, the dog, the groceries, etc etc into the house without losing anyone!”
Emily echoes Jennifer’s statement and makes a few good points about lifestyle differences saying “I love an attached garage for parking the cars and having an extra chest freezer handy- running in the groceries etc.. I am amazed at how many people here in WI use their attached garage as a “party room”, I see people that sit in their garage and drink cocktails- play cards etc. and hang out in general.”
However, the poll also turned out a few people chiming back about the benefits of having a garage that is detached from the main part of your home.
Kristen weighs in with “I like detached. As someone with a sometimes to handy husband, I want all of that separated from our home. Not to mention, if a garage is really used, its probably full of chemicals and things. Far to many flammables to be that close to my home!”
If you are like most people preparing to add on a garage, you will need to hire a few professionals to get the job done for you. After all, you want to be sure that your new garage is built with precision and high quality standards.
Hiring professionals like an architect, contractor, plumber, electrician, or designer to build your garage will add some expense to the overall cost, but is often worth it in the long run.
If you are going to hire professionals to get the job done right, you want to make sure you hire the best team possible. In order to get the best team assembled to build your garage, you’re going to need to take some time and do your homework first. Do not simply google “contractor in my area” and expect to end up with a great contractor. Instead you will need to conduct some thorough research.
One of the best ways to do this is to ask each prospective pro questions about the type of work that they do, how they will charge you, and what references they can provide. Make sure that you also take the time to follow up with all of those references too.
Usually past client references that they provide will give you positive feedback but don’t be afraid to try and dig a little deeper with them too. If possible, try to get a hold of some financial references too so that you can ensure that they will be around long enough to complete the job, and do so ethically.
Finally, be sure to collect several quotes from different professionals of each trade. Quotes are obviously important because you need to know how much you will be spending on the project. But, quotes can also be very telling as to what type of work they do. Beware of the bid that comes in at the lowest because it is usually and indication of one of three things:
They are cutting corners somewhere and won’t provide quality work.
They are struggling for business and are desperate for work.
They are new to the game and don’t have a enough experience to charge what everyone else does.
If you are like most people, you will not want to hire someone that any of those things are true for just to save a few bucks initially. Poor craftsmanship can end up costing you a lot more in the long run so its really not worth the risk or the frustration.
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