Building a New Garage

Framing the Walls

Building a new garage may be an exciting experience for a seasoned DIYer. You’ll learn many new skills, including pouring a foundation and frame-and-roofing, as well as installing soffits and fascia. Siding or shingle installation on your own house is safe on this garage project.

You have the opportunity to practice various skills, from pouring a foundation to framing and erecting walls and rafters to hanging soffits and fascia. If you’ve never dared to install siding or shingle a roof, this garage project provides a manageable way to explore those skills.

We’ll get you up to speed on all the essential tools and techniques so that you may feel more comfortable tackling more extensive projects. We’ll even show you how to install windows, a service door, and a sectional overhead garage door so you can complete the work entirely.

Table of Contents

Create a Plan

Create a Plan

Before you start building your garage, gather all of the required drawings. At a minimum, you will need a site drawing showing where your garage will go regarding other buildings and landmarks, front, back, and side elevation drawings, and a plan view drawing. In addition to these, you must have an estimate of the costs for your building permit application process.

Additional drawings, like very detailed drawings of the roof or framing, can be helpful. Also, having a plan with dates for when everything needs to be finished is helpful. Make sure to note when you need deliveries or help with the project.

You will need to start by creating detailed construction drawings. These drawings will help you break the project into smaller tasks and figure out how long each task will take to complete. You may also need help during specific project phases, so plan for that.

Garage Floor Plan

The floor plan shows the layout of the walls or upright supports, with the top half of the structure sliced off. The floor plan indicates the locations of all doors and windows.

Plan The Foundation

To ensure that your foundation will last, locate your garage on solid soil in an area that won’t collect water. The foundation must be level so that the garage doors open and close properly.

The type of foundation you use will be determined by the climate, the soil, and whether or not you want your garage to be a permanent or temporary structure. Some common types of foundations are:

•Poured concrete footings

•Pier and beam



You will also want to consider the height of your garage. You will need a taller garage if you plan on working on tall vehicles. The average ceiling height for a garage is 9 feet, but it is not uncommon to have an 11 or 12-foot ceiling.

Mind the Setback

The setback is the minimum distance a building must be from the property line, which varies by municipality. The average setbacks are between 5 and 10 feet, but some municipalities have different requirements. For example, in Calgary, accessory buildings must be at least 1 meter away from the main dwelling or garage, 0.60m from side property lines, and 0.60m from rear property lines if the building is under 10 square meters.

Utility Lines

Utility lines, such as gas, water, and electrical wires, must be placed before the concrete is poured for the foundation. The lines should be placed, so they do not interfere with the garage’s framing or doors.

Talk to Your Neighbors

If you plan on building an oversized garage, it is always polite to talk to your neighbors about the project. This way, they are not surprised when construction starts. It is also a good idea to inform them about any deliveries that need to be made or parking issues that might arise during construction.

Building the Foundation

A slab foundation for garages is a type of foundation that is made from concrete. The concrete is poured onto the ground to make a thick slab. This slab will be the base for your garage.

Slab-on-grade foundations are built on the ground to be used for detached buildings in cold weather climates. The design requirements for slab-on-grade foundations vary depending on location, so builders should check with the local building department to find out what is required. In the example project, the slab is 31/2 inches thick with an 8×8 inch footing along the perimeter.

The top of the slab will be 4 inches above ground level (grade). Underneath the compacted gravel will be a 4-inch layer of concrete with reinforcement from a layer of 6 × 6-inch 10/10 welded wire mesh. You may need to add rebar in the foundation perimeter in some localized areas. Checking the local code would be advised. Later on, after the concrete is poured & finished, 8-inch J-bolts will be set along the edges of the slab for wall framing anchor points.

If you’re looking to pour a concrete slab for your garage, remember that you’ll need A LOT of concrete. Ready-mix delivery is probably your best bet for such a large amount.

Pouring the Concrete

Once the footing forms are in place, mixing and pouring the concrete is time. Professional builders use a ready-mix truck to deliver the concrete to the job site. This is a big job, so it’s best to have professionals do it.

The concrete is mixed onsite in a large drum mixer. The truck driver will back the truck up to the forms and start dumping concrete into the form. The concrete is then spread evenly with a shovel and leveled off with a straightedge.

After the concrete has been poured, it needs to be smoothed out with a trowel. Then, any expansion or control joints cut into the forms must be filled with a concrete sealant.

The concrete needs to cure for at least 24 hours before you can do anything else to it. After that, you can remove the forms and start framing the walls of your garage.

Use a coat of sealant to waterproof the slab

Use a coat of sealant to waterproof the slab

Watering the concrete during the curing stage will help prevent cracks and ensure its longevity. Once a few days have passed, strip off the forms and give it at least 24 more hours before beginning to build on top.

Crawl Space

If you are building your garage in an area with a high water table or poor drainage, you may need to build a crawlspace foundation. This type of foundation has an 8- to 10-foot-tall concrete wall around the garage’s perimeter. The space between the ground and the bottom of the garage floor is filled with gravel to help drainage.

Framing the Walls

Framing the Walls

The first thing you need to do is mark out where the walls will go. To do this, drive stakes into the ground at the corners of where you want the garage to be. Then, tie the string between the stakes to outline where the walls will go.

Once the perimeter is marked, you can start excavating for the footings. Your local building code will determine the depth of the footings. In most cases, they need to be at least 12 inches deep.

After the footings have been excavated, you can start forming them. To do this, use 2x4s or 2x6s to create wooden forms around the perimeter of the excavation. Make sure the forms are level before you pour the concrete.

Once the concrete has cured, you can remove the forms and start framing the walls. First, build a bottom plate by nailing two 2x4s or two 2x6s. Then, nail the bottom plate to the slab with concrete nails.

Next, build the stud walls by nailing two 2x4s or two 2x6s at each end of the bottom plate. The stud walls should be 16 or 24 inches in the center. That means the space between each stud should be 16 or 24 inches.

After the stud walls are in place, you can start framing the top plate. To do this, nail two 2x4s or two 2x6s along the top of the stud walls.

You can now start framing the door and window openings. To do this, cut out the bottom plate and the studs where the openings will go. Then, add headers across the top of the openings. The header is a horizontal beam that helps support the roof’s weight.

Building The Roof

Building The Roof

The first thing you need to do when building a roof is to build trusses. Trusses are the framework that supports the roof. They’re made up of two rafters joined at the top by a ridge board.

To build trusses, first cut the rafters to length. Then, mark where the ridge board will go and nail it. Next, position the rafters evenly and nail them to the ridge board.

Once the trusses are in place, you can start attaching the roof sheathing. Roof sheathing is a layer of plywood or OSB nailed to the trusses. It provides a surface for attaching roofing materials.

After the roof sheathing is in place, you can install roofing felt. This is a layer of tar paper that helps protect the roof from leaks.

Finally, you can install the roofing materials. The most common roofing materials are shingles, metal, and tile.

Shingles are the most popular roofing material because they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Metal roofs are becoming more popular because they last longer and require less maintenance than shingles. Tile roofs are also becoming more popular because they have a long lifespan and add a unique look to a home.

Installing Garage Doors and Windows

Once the roof is on, you can start installing the garage doors and windows. Garage doors come in two main types: sectional and rolling. Sectional doors are made up of four or more panels that hinge together. Rolling doors roll up on a track.

Windows come in various styles, but the most common are double-hung and casement. Double-hung windows have two sashes that open and close. Casement windows have a single sash that opens outward on hinges.

Finishing the Interior

Once the doors and windows are in, you can start finishing the interior of your garage. If you’re planning on using your garage as a workshop or storage, you might not need to do much to the interior. However, if you’re planning on using your garage as a living space, you’ll need to insulate and finish the walls and ceiling.

You can insulate the walls by attaching fiberglass batts to the studs. Then, you can cover the batts with drywall or plywood panels.

You can install a suspended ceiling made of acoustic tiles to finish the ceiling. Or, you can simply attach drywall or plywood panels to the underside of the roof trusses.

If you’re planning on using your garage as a living space, you’ll also need to install flooring. The most popular options are concrete, carpet, and tile. Concrete is durable and easy to care for, but it can be cold and hard on the feet. The carpet is warmer and softer than concrete, but it’s not as durable. Tile is durable and easy to care for but can be cold and hard on the feet.

Check the walls

Measure the width of your wall at the top. Then, using a 2×4 block and nails, fasten the block to each top corner of the wall on the outside. Push a nail into the block until it’s halfway in, then tie a piece of mason’s line around the nails. Tighten the string and measure the distance between it and the wall’s top plate; your width should be 11/2″ all along the wall.

Installing Roof Structure

The next step is to install the roof structure. This includes the rafters, ridge beams, and hip rafters.

Rafters are the beams that run from the roof’s peak down to the wall plate. They support the weight of the roof sheathing and shingles. Ridge beams are horizontal beams that run along the roof’s peak. They support the weight of the rafters. Hip rafters are diagonal beams that run from the roof’s peak to the wall plate. They support the weight of the roof sheathing and shingles.

To install the rafters, first cut them to length. Then, mark where the ridge beam will go and nail the rafters.

To install the ridge beam, first mark where it will go on the top plate. Then, cut the beam to length and nail it into place.

To install the hip rafters, first cut them to length. Then, mark where they will go on the top and bottom plates. Nail the hip rafters into place.

Installing the Roof Sheathing

The next step is to install the roof sheathing. This is the plywood or OSB that will form the roof deck.

Start at the bottom and work your way up to install the roof sheathing. Nail the boards into place, making sure to stagger the joints.

Installing the Shingles

The next step is to install the shingles. Shingles come in two main types: asphalt and slate. Asphalt shingles are the most common type of shingle. They’re made of fiberglass or paper impregnated with asphalt and coated with mineral granules. Slate shingles are made of natural stone, such as slate, clay, or concrete.

Start at the bottom and work your way up to install the shingles. Nail the shingles into place, making sure to stagger the joints.

Installing Gutters and Downspouts

The next step is to install gutters and downspouts. Gutters are installed along the roof’s eaves to collect rainwater and direct it away from the house. Downspouts are installed at the corners of the house to carry rainwater from the gutters to the ground.

To install gutters, first mark the location of the gutter on the fascia board. Then, cut the gutter to length and nail it into place.

To install downspouts, first mark the location of the downspout on the wall. Then, cut the downspout to length and nail it into place.

Finishing Touches

Once the gutters and downspouts are installed, you can add the finishing touches to your garage. This includes trimming the eaves and installing doors and windows.

To trim the eaves, mark the trim’s location on the fascia board. Then, cut the trim to length and nail it into place.

First, mark the door’s location on the wall to install garage doors. Then, cut the door to size and install it in the opening.

To install windows, first mark the window’s location on the wall. Then, cut the window to size and install it in the opening.

Building a new garage is a big project, but it’s one that you can do yourself if you have the time and skills. With careful planning and execution, you can build a new garage that will serve you well for years.

Building a garage in your home can be complicated and time-consuming, but our Canadian garage door repair Calgary experts can do it for you quickly and efficiently. If you have any questions or want more information, please contact us; we will be happy to help.