Looking to Add a Garage to your Property

Have you outgrown your house and need to add some space? Like a fortress of solitude, or some place to work on that collectible car you have your heart set on? Building a garage could be the answer to all of those and more.  As DIY homeowner, we share the following process, a step-by-step guideline on building that garage:


First: Homework and Research

The first thing you need to do is check with the local municipality and find out what you need to do for making this project legal and legit. Some points to clarify with them are:

What is the size restriction in regard to height, width, square footage.

Is there a limit on the percentage of your lot that can be used for an impervious structure? Does this include any aprons, driveway, and sidewalks?

Is there a limit to how many buildings are allowed on the property?

 Where on the lot can you build your garage?

Talk to neighbors on all sides and behind you. Yes, it is your house and property, but being neighborly is key to a long happy life.

Get the official survey of your lot.

Create a proposed outline of your garage on the survey.

The Design

Mark with snap lines where the inside of the walls will be located.

The Foundation

Lay out wall plates to mark studs, doors, and windows, allowing three inches for trim.

If your garage is for a car, plan the foundation to have a slope so water can run out. If there is an overhead door, slope the floor down and outward so rain doesn’t come back inside.

Communication with Contractors

Hiring a local Garage Builder Calgary always best because they will know the local laws and requirements. Communicate with them and ask questions, among those questions:

  • Appropriate Elevation
  • Base Material
  • Concrete Mixture PSI
  • Thickness no less than three and half inches
  • Type of reinforcement
  • Verify the slope

Start the Build

Build the door and window openings then assemble the window openings in the following sequence:

  • King Studs
  • Header
  • Trimmer
  • Lower Cripples
  • Windowsill Upper Cripples

Order Materials

Work with a lumber supplier you can trust and then you won’t have to stress over ordering the enough of or the right materials. Even if you have to use a local lumber supplier instead of the big box home improvement store, the little higher pricing will be worth the one-on-one attention you’ll receive.

Straighten Wall Top

Sight the top plate then push and pull until it is absolutely straight. Brace the top with long 2x4 boards, nailing them together if needed.

The Trusses

You can save some money if you hand-frame your own trusses, but it will take more time. Ordering prefabricated trusses, you’re sure to get straight and strong trusses that will be easier to install. The different types of trusses you can choose from:  

  • Common trusses – has bottom and top chords that are supported by diagonal webbing then metal gussets hold them together.
  • Gable-end trusses - vertical webbing attaches to sheathing and siding and can be sized to match the common trusses described above.
  • Storage trusses - the center doesn’t have webbing, allowing more space for storage. The bottom chord is thicker to support heavier weight. This type of truss cost a little more.

When you order trusses, they should have installation instructions with them, providing guidance on which truss to install where and how to brace them. You will need this packet when your garage is inspected. There will be plenty of inspections, more to come on that subject.

The Crew

It is assumed you have gathered family, friends, neighbors to help with this garage, many hands make light of work. Use your help in the best way based on their experience and skills. An experienced carpenter can do your layouts assemble doors and windows openings, straighten the walls. A helper with little carpenter experience can cut lumber, sheathing, build the headers, nail studs and sheathing, assist with trusses. The novice carpenter of your crew can help the others by hauling lumber, holding things like chalk line, drown studs, help with lifting walls, clean up, etc. If you are looking trusted Garage Builders  or best Roofing Company Calgary then call Remodeling Calgary to get a free quote.

Inspector’s Advice

There are a few common mistakes that DIY homeowners make. Here’s some advice from inspectors that may help you avoid those pitfalls:

1. The Inspection Schedule: Depending on your local governing offices, you will have inspections at various stages. Never skip one and move on to the next phase without a passing grade.

2. Ventilation in Attic: If your garage will have a ceiling, you need to install 1 square foot of vents for every 300 square foot of floor space.

3. Control Erosion: This should happen as soon you begin the project, install a silt fence or some type of erosion control to prevent soil from washing away in the rain.

4. Portal Framing: On each side of the small walls of your overhead garage door, create additional bracing that will tie the walls and foundation to the header and to the wall.


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