If you’re looking for more storage that won’t cost monthly at a facility far far away from your home. If you’re wanting a space for that shop for all your DIY and home improvement projects. An extra garage might be just what you need.

Are you are thinking about building on your property? Building a home is a huge project and can be daunting, but with the right steps, information and help, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Understanding the construction process, city codes, and how an interior designer can help can make all the difference. Here, we’ll discuss the steps to build on your property, the city codes you’ll need to follow, and how an interior designer can help. So let’s get started!

Before you dream up all your plans, check your city code

This is a pretty simple step, but can feel complicated real quick. Head to your city’s website and there is typically a section of the site titled Planning and Zoning. Here, you should be able to boil down where your home’s site lies on the scale of having it’s own accessory structure.

Let me tell you where it got complicated for me for a minute in my experience. I was looking at set backs for my property and I was setting up my drafting in AutoCAD for it to be on our side yard. But since our home is on a corner lot it changed a few details about the set backs, so I needed to alter plans part way through. See the site plan here for the different set backs and how I utilized the space I could with what I was given:

This is where having a professional (like an interior designer or architects) to draft up your plans for you would come in handy. You see where I cut back a corner of the garage? Making it not quite a perfect square? Per code, the structure could not go into the front yard. So instead of minimizing the overall square footage, I just cut off a corner to sit flush with the front of the home structure. I felt pretty clever doing that!

Second step, draw up plans to get your permit!

Sounds easy, right? It took me a good 40 hour work week, perhaps more with the adjustments we made while drafting up these plans. As a design professional, I was able to draw up the Site Plan, Foundation Detail, Floor Plan, Exterior Elevations and Electrical plan.

I’d ask a professional to do this if you don’t have the correct training. These plans act as a binding contract between you and the city and the General Contractor you’ll hire to do the work.

We had an unusual rooftop too, with the corner being slanted the way that it is to match the front of the home, so we hired an engineer to do the roof plan for our contractor to order the custom trusses needed to construct the roof this way. If you want some help with your roof, check out this roofing blog.

You usually need to have an estimation of your project on hand. So, you’ll want to simultaneously be collecting bids from General Contractors in the mean time.

Third, find your trusty workers

We collected bids in the slow construction months for our state (Utah), so we had the opportunity to get 5 to 6 bids, all from a variety of companies. We were lucky to find a trustworthy General Contractor for the price range we were hoping.

We had used an electrical company that I really liked working with before, so we discussed hiring the electrical sub-contractor all on our own and our General Contractor was ok with it. Some Gen. Contractors don’t like the uncertainty of different subs apart from their sources, so you’ll have to discuss that in your specific situation and project.

Fourth, get ready to project manage

Depending on how the project flows, you may be doing more of this or less of this. I think every project is different, so you can’t know for sure!

Just be ready to explain different aspects that may not have been thought up in the plans initially. So, know your finishes, your preferences, and the codes that the one’s constructing your garage should know but may over look. My husband and I were pretty up on the project as they were going through each stage cause I knew so much about the plans since I drafted them myself.

Fifth, everything goes smooth and you get your final inspection!

This is your final step. The city will come in one more time to inspect that everything is up to code and well constructed. Holding the Contractor responsible for sticking to the plans and contracts. It’s come in handy for us because it has held our construction crew accountable for a few things that were missed that may have come out of our own pocket. So don’t skimp on the city being involved!

At the end of this extensive process, I have been able to practice my Interior Design skills to the max from start to finish on my own which is a huge achievement for me! And we have some incredible extra storage and parking space for our motorcycles and projects.

Tell me what you think! I hope this information helps someone on their journey to construct and see what Interior Design professionals are capable of.


This Lost Mama

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