Gutter Glove Pro Leaf Guard System Reviewed!

gutter glove pro leaf guard system reviewed!

gutter glove pro leaf guard system reviewed!

The Gutter Glove Pro leaf guard system is the #1 rated leaf screen system available on the market today. This rating was given by Consumer Reports, arguably the most reliable product rating service out there. The first thing you notice when holding it is the very rigid construction, it is made of extremely sturdy cast aluminum. The product also has a surgical screen with a type of micro mesh attached over the aluminum frame. This mesh has holes that are so small that you can barely distinguish the individual holes from each other. The openings are so small that even the smallest roofing gravel will have a hard time passing through it. You can rest assured that whatever does wash through will easily be carried down through your downspouts and has little or no chance of causing a blockage in your rain gutter system.

However, Consumer reports don’t go into detail about the the price and difficulty of installing such a heavy-duty leaf screen. The price for a consumer who wants to purchase the screens directly from Gutter Glove will pay a staggering base price of $9.00 per linear foot for the screen, which does not include shipping or any of the many accessories that are required to install. In between each piece of screen is what they call a finger, which effectively eliminates any gaps between screens and helps the system stay closed. These fingers are pricey considering you need one between every piece of screen. The Gutter Glove system also requires specialized end caps which are required on your Gutters to keep small animals such as birds and squirrels from nesting in your Gutter System. These end caps cost consumers close to $20.00 each.

If the price itself is not discouraging enough for the consumer who is wanting to DIY, the difficult installation instructions will certainly make you think twice before taking on such a project. Any decent pair of metal shears (scissors) will cut most standard leaf screen systems but this is not the case with the Gutter Glove system. Due to the cast aluminum construction of Gutter Glove Pro you will need a heavy-duty pair of metal shears or more likely a table saw with a high quality blade designed to cut metal. Always remember to wear safety goggles or glasses anytime you are working with power tools and especially when you are cutting metal or wood! It is also important to secure the fingers and fit the gutter glove screens tight against the the Gutter Glove inside miters. Improper installation of any part of the Gutter Glove system will compromise all adjacent and connecting parts of your rain gutters.

When all of these factors are considered I would not recommend Gutter Glove Pro to be installed by an amateur. In fact there are many professionals that will be unable or unwilling to install this leaf screen system for you. Make sure you choose a rain gutter company that has been in business for a while and be patient with them as they work through the various problems they are likely to encounter during an install. To have these installed on your rain gutters expect to pay between $16.00-$26.00 dollars per linear foot. These are a very pricey option but keep in mind that once installed correctly, these leaf guards have the lowest maintenance of any leaf screen on the market and the longest expected life. You can expect a properly installed Gutter Glove system to last well over 10 years with proper maintenance!

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Why Choose a Cowhide Rug for Your Lifestyle?

why choose a cowhide rug for your lifestyle?

why choose a cowhide rug for your lifestyle?

Need a nice quality stylish rug for your lifestyle, but tired of your rugs wearing out or even unraveling on the ends when you run the vacuum over it, long before they have paid for themselves? Then it’s time for to look at purchasing a cow hide rug for your home or office.

Never let yourself be miss led when thinking about a cowhide rug. Most people fall victim to the thinking that a cow hide rug belongs in homes in Texas or on a ranch. Well times are a changing, and that’s not the case anymore.

Many people assume that all cowhide rugs are the same. As a result, they purchase low priced rugs that crack and shed within a few years. Cowhide is a very tough and resilient product. When properly taken care of they will last a lifetime. Hard to tear or puncture, and will never come unraveled on the ends. The natural oils on a cowhide help resist stains and dirt, which is a plus in a home with animals or little ones.

A cowhide rug is also hypo allergenic, so if you have a loved one that suffers from allergies this rug will not cause issues or flare ups. Making a cowhide rug an easy choice from other synthetic rugs.

With modern technology making a cowhide into something that will fit any lifestyle in any town or city, has become easy.

Natural cowhides are all different in themselves. Coming from the hide of a cow, no two are alike. So even if you stay up with the trend of a cowhide rug in your home, it will not be just like your neighbors!

The styles to choose from are endless. Even exotic options are out there. Now a days you can choose from zebra print, tiger print, leopard and the list goes on and on. With quality and care a cowhide can be dyed into just about any pattern.

If you prefer the look of a nice even rug, cowhides can fill that role also. Many places offer round or oval cow hide rugs, with designs on them. It is becoming ever more popular to cut separate pieces of cowhide to mix and match, then sowing the pieces together to make a design. Results have been stunning and still high quality.

Cowhides are also not just for the floor anymore. They have become favorites as wall hangings. Whether they are hung alone on the wall or used as a back drop for pictures, they can take a dole boring wall, into the focal point of the room. They are very versatile and becoming very popular in all walks of life.

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Ancient Egypt Fish Tank Decor

ancient egypt fish tank decor

ancient egypt fish tank decor

There are numerous ancient civilizations that have awesome fish tank decorations these days. These include the Mayans, Asian and the always famous Greek ruins. Using any of these would create stunning scenes of times gone by, producing an air of wonder and discovery in your very own room.

The one ancient civilization that I personally love to use in my tank designs is the Ancient Egyptians. Who has not seen at least a photograph of the Great Pyramids or the towering mighty Sphinx. With the cool and extremely detailed tank ornaments you can get these days, you will be able to bring the exact replica of the Egyptian landscape into your aquarium.

With the Egyptian tank decor, you basically have a couple of options. You could create an outdoor scene, an indoor scene or just use Egyptian artifacts.

To create an outdoor Egyptian scene, you would be utilizing replicas of the massive structures that are synonym to Egypt. These would include the pyramids as well as the Sphinx. This is placed on top of a sand colored gravel to give it the impression of being in the desert. If you plan to use plants, they should not be of the leafy variety. Java Moss is one option you can look into. To make the theme work, a great idea is to place a fish tank background depicting a desert scene. This would give it a 3D effect to the whole design.

For the indoor effect, you would use indoor structures such as Egyptian columns as well as the Pharaoh’s sarcophagus. Place them to look like a scene from an archaeological dig. The gravel would still be sand colored. As a backdrop, you could either use one depicting Egyptian hieroglyphs or a rock face. These days you would be able to get 3D rock backgrounds where the rocks protrude out instead of a flat print. This makes theme look so much more realistic. Being indoors, you would not place any plants because they might make the theme look odd. You may place rocks if you wish, just make them out to look like they came crashing down from the roof of a temple. This means simply scattering them around the decor. Try not getting smooth faced river rocks, the ones you get should look as if they were once bricks that made up the walls.

Egyptian artifacts are new additions to the fish tank decorating scene. The most common ones that you can find are the Egyptian vases. Though they are only aquarium decor, they are made to look extremely authentic. What I love about the Egyptian vases is the holes that they always have in the side. These make awesome caves for the fish and if you have been following my posts all these years, you would know that I am big on caves for aquariums. Apart from the vases, another really cool tank ornament that I love a whole lot is a bust of Pharaoh. The bust is golden in color and looks very regal. With these ornaments, placing normal aquatic plants around them as well as using other types of gravel are not an issue.

The key point here is that your design needs to look old. It needs to look like an archaeological photo that you might see in the National Geographic magazine. Scan the internet for images that will help you get an idea of what to go for.

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Introduction to Home Textiles and Wholesale Fabrics for Home Decor

introduction to home textiles and wholesale fabrics for home decor

introduction to home textiles and wholesale fabrics for home decor

Home furnishings or soft furnishings is the happening thing in the textile and fashion business today. More the people long for decorating their surroundings with soothing colours and designs, more the textile manufacturers are increasing the production of interior textiles.

Fabrics used in Home furnishings

Home Furnishing Fabrics or Home Textiles refer to the textiles used for manufacturing home furnishings. It has an extensive range of functional as well as decorative products. It consists of both, natural as well as man-made fabrics. The textile fabrics most commonly used for home furnishing may be listed as Silk, Cotton, Jute, Rayon, Wool, Nylon, Polyester, Satin, Organza, Organdy etc.

1. Upholstery fabrics

Upholstery fabrics are used to cushion and cover furniture. There can be fixed upholstery or loose covers. Fixed upholstery is fastened or glued to the furniture. Mostly acrylic fabric and velvets are used due to their excellent brightness and appearance.

2. Window textiles

Window textiles may include curtains, drapes, blinds etc. This is probably the widest area of fabric development in home textiles. Mostly cotton, flax, wool, silk, acrylic, etc. are used for the purpose. Of late flame retardant curtains using modacrylic fiber, viscose, PVC etc. have also gained popularity. Some blinds allow transmission of a little light into the room whereas the others usually made of cotton fabric, known as black out material, give 100 percent opacity.

3. Bed linen and other bed textiles

Bed linen and other bed textiles include excess bed sheets and pillow cases, bed spreads, quilt covers, duvet covers, cushions, blankets, mattresses, Bed throws, sofa throws and many other items. For bedsheets, bedspreads and similar items, acrylic, viscose, silk and blends are used. For quilted textiles, mainly PET fiber is used. For blankets wool, acrylic fiber, and acrylic polyester fiber blends are used extensively.

4. Bathroom textile

Bathroom textiles include shower curtains, bath robes, bath mats, bath rugs, towels etc. Wholesale shower curtains need to be water proof and so plastic coated textiles either of woven or non woven fabrics are in great demand.

5. Table linen and other table cloths

Table linen and other table cloths include table mats, napkins, placemats, chair covers, chair mats and pads, table runners, coasters. Jute, leather, plastic, silk satin are also used widely for other items like placemats, chair mats, table runners etc.

Rugs and carpets are very important part of floor covering which has gained worldwide popularity. Apart from traditional woolen and silk carpets, other categories like coir carpets, hand knotted and jute carpets have a good market share in wholesale fabrics for home textiles.

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Creative Marketing Ideas For Hardware Stores

creative marketing ideas for hardware stores

creative marketing ideas for hardware stores

With large nationwide chains that dominate the market, small hardware stores sometimes have a difficult time being competitive. The key is to find a unique selling proposition for your business and to capitalize on it so customers see the value in choosing you over one of the bigger stores. Here are some great ways to make your business stand out.

  1. Giveaways-When your store first opens (or even if you’re just looking for an extra push), offer small giveaways to your customers with their purchase. These will be tools or products they can use that are branded with your store’s information-hammers, tape measures, levels, etc. When a customer is using this product and runs out of something or determines the need to visit a hardware store, they’ll see your information and immediately head your way!
  2. In-Store Classes-Hardware stores often form a bit of a culture and social atmosphere, so find ways to play this up. One great choice is to sponsor training classes and educational seminars in your store. Work with your vendors to provide information that your customers will find valuable. Even your employees can instruct these classes-anything from minor home renovation products to full-scale remodeling. List the classes you’re offering that month above your cash registers with a large, visible vinyl banner which clearly-informs customers of their opportunities to expand their skills.
  3. Charity Donations-Offer your products to charity groups and organizations in-town which build or repair homes for the less-fortunate. This is great PR for your business, it makes you look more-credible, and in return you’re often able to advertise at the home-site using a banner or yard sign. When customers see that you’re giving back to your community, they are more-inclined to shop with you.
  4. Ladies Night-Most hardware stores predominantly-market towards men. While the majority of your customers are probably male, don’t neglect the ladies. Host a “Ladies Night” at your store that offers your educational classes and even a special discount on purchases made by women. Use removable window clings to give your store a slight feminine touch. There’s a huge potential market here that is somewhat-untapped, and with the right approach, female customers can dramatically affect your business.
  5. Personal Shoppers-Some customers complain that hardware or home improvement stores are overwhelming. Counter this objection by providing customers with a personal shopping service. Your employees already help customers find products daily anyway, but creating a formal program provides a revenue opportunity. Customers can have one of your employees guide them around the store and help them find exactly what they need for their project, or for even-more convenience, your employee can preselect the products they need so that when the customer arrives, all they have to do is check out.

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How to Build a Kids Playhouse Foundation From Scratch

how to build a kids playhouse foundation from scratch

how to build a kids playhouse foundation from scratch

When building a kids playhouse, a solid foundation is critical to the safety, sturdiness and appeal of your playhouse.  To ensure that the foundation is property prepared, the following step-by-step method is provided so that the resulting playhouse will give your child years of playing enjoyment.

Select a level well drained area for the location of the playhouse.  Stake out the perimeter (footprint) of the playhouse using mason’s line or some other string and cut in the grass or dirt using a garden spade.  Remove all grass and vegetation from the area that will be covered by the playhouse foundation.  Construct a form for the concrete foundation using either 1 x 4 or 2 x 4 pieces of lumber.  The form will be held in place using stakes every two to three feet will define the perimeter as well as the thickness of the concrete slab.  The form needs to be level at the top edges so the boards you use for this should not be warped or twisted.   In addition to the wood form you will need steel reinforced mesh, crushed stone aggregate or sharp-sided gravel, sand and cement.  Additionally, you will need to rent or borrow a vibrating plate soil compactor.

Once you have dug out the area for the foundation fill the area with about 3 inch deep layer of grade 5 crushed stone and pack it down using the compactor.  Cover the layer of crushed, compacted aggregate with 3-4 inches of sand and tamp it down with the compactor.  The layer of sand is critical for the curing of the concrete to maximize the strength of the slab.  The sand layer will also help prevent the cracking of the concrete while the concrete expands or contracts during changing cold or hot weather conditions.

Place the wooden form on the prepared area and using wooden stakes on the outside of the form, secure the form in place so that it will not shift or move when adding the cement.  Again, the form must be level so take the time to make adjustments to assure that the form is level at this point.

Lay the steel reinforced mesh over the form and cut the mesh to fit inside the form.  At the time of pouring the cement, you will pull the mesh upwards to the middle of the cement.  Smooth the excess concrete off the top of the form so it is even and level.  Allow the concrete to cure and remove the form and securing stakes.

You now have a solid foundation that is level, sturdy and safe for building that dream kids playhouse for your child.

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Holiday Christmas Block Party Ideas

holiday christmas block party ideas

holiday christmas block party ideas

Let’s all try something new and exciting this holiday season. I recently helped a couple in Florida that wanted to do something out of the box this year for the holidays. I suggested a Holiday Block Party.

This would of course only work if you live in an area where you have nice weather in December. If you are lucky enough to have this nice weather and are not dreaming of a white Christmas then let me give you some tips and ideas.

First I would make up some real nice holiday invitations to send out to your neighbors and friends. You should remember that lots of people are busy during this time of year so I would suggest doing it early in the month of December. Give a few dates and let the masses decided when it will be.

Second you will want to let all the participating houses know that they should plan on decorating the house, in festive ways depending on the religion. You have to try to accommodate everyone.

Next I hire a DJ to play holiday music as well as party music. I would have a pony ride, and organise a few games for the even. You can find many idea’s at theblockpartyhome.com .

Someone needs to dress up like Santa and give out gifts. I would have all the parents for the participating houses get a little something for their kids and give to whoever is going to be Santa. You don’t want to leave anyone out, so when you set a household budget make sure you leave some money to buy some cheap toys to give out just in case the parents do give a gift.

Some other Idea’s. Bring the Christmas Tree out to the driveway. Hold a

50/50 raffle (you can get tickets at theblockpartyhome.com). Have a pie eating contest, just be creative.

For more basic block party ideas visit [http://www.theblockpartyhome.com]

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Benefits Of Sheer Curtains Within The Home

benefits of sheer curtains within the home

benefits of sheer curtains within the home

Curtains are there to provide privacy within the home as well as to help accentuate your decorative style. You need to find a balance between the practical requirements of a room and matching the room’s decor. Rooms have different requirements when it comes to choosing curtains.

You may have a room that requires a certain amount of privacy from the outside world, but at the same time you still want the light to shine through during the day. Sheer or semi-sheer curtains are perfect for this scenario as you can keep them closed, but still provide light to the room. Silk and satin materials are popular choices, but you can also use voile which is a light weight woven fabric made from cotton. They are also available in many colors, but it is best to stick to bright and airy colors in order to allow as much light as possible into the room.

The advantages of sheer curtains are that you have the opportunity of layering the fabric. You could buy very light shades of sheer curtains to hang together, providing a desired mood. You could also combine these curtains with regular window treatments. An example would be to have sheer curtains hung over the window to gain privacy and blackout curtains hung in front. This would allow you to benefit from the light and privacy during the day, but still be able to close the blackout curtains when you want total privacy or to darken the room. This also allows you to insulate the room from the outside cold temperatures during the winter.

Other rooms that can benefit from sheer curtains are the bathroom and kitchen. These two rooms always need as much light as possible during the day as the windows are normally quite small. Sheer curtains will be able to allow the daylight through and provide the privacy that you need.

These curtains are not expensive to buy and they are readily available at local stores and online. They are also machine washable, but make sure you follow the washing instructions. An added benefit to washing these curtains is that they can be hung back up and left to dry as they dry very quickly.

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The Top B2B Sourcing Websites

the top b2b sourcing websites

the top b2b sourcing websites

Everybody sourcing products from overseas has heard of Alibaba, but for people looking for great deals on products directly from factories should check out this list. New websites have been hitting the scene, and some of them are really helpful for the larger businesses or the work at home eBay seller.

Niche Directories – These websites are focused on a particular industry and often provide better tools and filtering of information.

MFG – The best website for sourcing parts. Upload your projects, and get quotes from suppliers around the world. Also, the members have been active in leaving feedback on suppliers. You can now also source textiles using MFG. Jeff Beezos from Amazon.com is an owner of this company.

Panjiva – Great for sourcing garment manufacturers, their approach is different from other sites. They offer supplier ratings by reviewing the companies current shipments and customers. They offer information on shipment amount, and the type of customer and shipments.

Trade Intelligence – Ever wanted to know who your competitors have been buying from? US customs shipments reports are open to the public.

Zepol – The most searchable database for US customs reports allows the user to create their own custom filters. The system works within a web browser, and allows an unlimited number of searches.

Import Genius – Offers searches by customer name, product name, and supplier name.

Trade Mining – A lower cost system that allows a user to download trade intelligence reports one report at a time.

Piers – The largest trade intelligence company. Piers data is entered and analyzed, then put into their database. Reports are much better looking, but searches are more difficult and results may not have as much detail. They also offer trade intelligence on other countries.

Manufacturers and Wholesale Suppliers– Good websites for smaller orders and selling on eBay.

Doba – Sell goods on eBay without needing stock. Buying though Doba wholesale partners allows goods to shipped directly from the wholesale warehouse. The cost to the seller is 50% below retail, and the seller can select their own profit margin. Doba charges a monthly fee.

World Wide Brands – Allows you to search for suppliers, manufacturers, and wholesale companies. They charge a monthly fee.

B2X – Buy from China- Pain Free. B2X allows users to search manufacturers products online. No experience needed, B2X will ship the goods to you, and take care of all importing quality inspections. B2X charges an unstated fee that should be a great deal for smaller customers looking for good values.

DHGate – A platform for buying goods directly from manufacturers in Asia. Be careful of branded products, as there are lots of fakes being sold by companies who advertise on this site. But, there are great values if you know how to use it, and the site allows feedback.

The Wholesale Forums – An online forum with 5000 active members discussing goods, suppliers, and products. Very good information for people looking to start buying and selling online.

Liquidation and GoWholesale – A family of web sites that offer off-price goods for retail and discounts for wholesale.

Simplx – Another large platform that allows users to sell goods directly from a drop shippers warehouse.

Large Manufacturer and Supplier Directories – If you want to work directly with factories, these are the best large websites. Please be aware if you are looking for a factory that many companies advertising on these sites are trading companies.

Alibaba – The largest online sourcing community has suppliers from almost every country in the world. Also included are forums where your sourcing and trading questions can be answered.

Global Sources – The most reputable sourcing website. Global Sources verifies suppliers and works more closely to ensure smoother sourcing for its users. Global Sources also operates many large trade shows in Asia and has many print publications for sourcing.

Made-In-China – The 3rd largest sourcing website in the world. They also work with SGS and supplier audit reports can be purchased online.

Global Market – A newer souring website offers a huge amount of suppliers and products. Also, you can email them projects, and they will send you back a list of qualified manufacturers.

India Mart – As the name implies, a huge directory of Indian suppliers and products.

Product Pilot – All types of suppliers and products are listed in the most visually appealing of the large sourcing websites. An arm of the Messe Frankfut tradeshow group in Germany, most of the suppliers listed have also exhibited at their events, but since these events are so world wide, the website gets a good assortment of manufacturers.

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How to Build a Garage: Save Thousands Building DIY Garage Vs Hiring a Contractor

save thousands building diy garage vs hiring a contractor

 save thousands building diy garage vs hiring a contractor

Learning how to build a garage is not as daunting as one would expect, well, for detached structures at least. Homeowners who build their own garage can save thousands over hiring a builder who, in many cases, will subcontract to the same construction crews that you can hire. Or if feeling adventurous, or just downright thrifty, one can invite friends over for a few beers over the weekend and put them to work.

There are many items to consider while in the early planning stage such as:

Garage size: One car, two car, or even a three car garages can be designed with various sizes, but the lot and homeowner’s budget are generally the limiting factors. Local building codes vary, but typically a structure must not encroach within eight feet of property lines in rural areas and from zero to four feet in city limits. Detached garages must also be set back from other buildings by a minimum of eight feet, but this must be confirmed with local building offices as bodes vary. One important consideration is roof overhang. Eave and gable end overhangs are typically 12″ – 24″ (although less than 12″ is common in windy areas) and must be considered when determining building size and placement.

One method of determining the perfect size is to add 12′ to 15′ of width for each vehicle. If planning to use the interior walls on the sides for storage this will require another two feet of width per side. The length should be a minimum of 22′ and add four to ten feet for a work bench and storage. A two car garage could be calculated as 2 x 12′ +4′ for storage along each wall = 28′ x 22′ long without a work bench. Common sizes include:

1. One car: Common garage sizes include 12′ x 24′, 14′ x 24′, and 16′ x 24′. A length of twenty four feet is pretty much the minimum if you have a full size truck and even with a small or mid-size car there will be little wiggle room at twenty or twenty two feet.

2. Two car: The most common garage size in many states and provinces is 24′ x 24′ because many building codes required an engineered drawing and two inspections by a structural engineer for concrete floating slabs (monolithic) larger than this size. If space is scarce and the two cars are small to mid-size a 20′ wide may adequate, but certainly not comfortable.

3. Three car: There are many three car garage sizes due to more room for numerous designs and homeowners often have larger budgets when considering these larger construction projects. Common sizes are 36′ – 42′ wide by 26′ – 30′ long.

Foundation: floating slab (monolithic) and slab with frostwall are the two most common foundation options. The floating slab is less expensive and easier to build, but often require an engineered drawing and two inspections for larger concrete slabs (i.e. 24′ x 24′). In cold weather climates many contractors install 2.5″ foundation foam under the concrete to reduce heaving during freeze/thaw events. Engineered floating slabs in cold climates usually require this with an addition two feet extending out around the perimeter of the slab.

Adding 6′ x 6′ #10 wire mesh to the slab is an inexpensive method of increasing the floor strength and reducing cracking of the concrete. Most contractors install floating slabs with a thickened concrete perimeter 12″ – 16″ thick around the outer 16″ – 24″ of the perimeter. Adding two rows of #4 rebar will increase the edges. Concrete strength should be a minimum of 3,000psi and many contractors use 4,000 and 4,500 psi as the additional cost is minimal. Another consideration is ordering concrete with fibermesh, and macro-synthetic fiber used for secondary reinforcement of concrete. Local concrete suppliers can provide costs for adding this to concrete. Slab thickness is dependent on the concrete strength and reinforcement designs, however a good rule of thumb is to pour a 4″ or thicker slab.

Frostwall minimum depth is determined by local building codes and is typically 48″ in cold climates and 36″ in more moderate areas. Once the trench is excavated a footing approximately 12″ wide by 8″ thick is formed and poured and a keyway is etched the length of the footing to prevent movement of the concrete wall. The frostwall is formed and poured on the on the footing and anchor bolts are installed in the to attach the walls to the foundation. The concrete slab is then poured to designed thickness. Obviously this foundation system requires more time and expense.

Wall construction: If the garage is going to be insulated now or possibly any time in the future the wall studs size is important as 2″ x 6″ studs allow more insulation that can meet building code requirements (for garages with apartments) than 2″ x 4″ studs. Of course, 2″ x 6″ studs are stronger, which results in a more structurally sounds building.

Walls height: Walls are generally 8′, but 9′ and 10′ walls are common. In city downtown areas there is often a height restriction on structures, such as less than 16′ to the roof peak based on the average height from the four corners measuring at grade. This means that you can get a little extra height if the garage is nestled into a bank with a concrete curb or retaining wall on this end and backfilling to top of retaining wall. Another method to maximize height in these areas is to pour a 12″ concrete curb on the concrete slab perimeter and backfill earth up to the top of the curb and grade away from the structure. This method can gain 12″ of height while still meeting the height restrictions (confirm this will local building offices prior to implementing this strategy).

Garage door placement: The garage doors can be on the gable end or the eave side. A few things to consider:

1. Existing house design may dictate the direction of the roof line. A method to assist visualize this is to take a picture of the house and include the area where the garage will be built. Print two copies of the picture and hand draw in the garage using both the gable and eave options.

2. If the garage will be built in a cold climate the garage doors in the gable end is a better design as snow and ice will slide down the eave end.

3. Flexibility with the garage doors in the gable end allow height for a future car port.

Roof style: Often the roof style is dictated by the existing house, for example if the house has a hip roof this would be a good option for the garage. If this is a DIY project and the homeowner is building the garage it should be noted that a hip roof is more difficult to build than installing standard trusses. Roof pitch must be considered as well and often this should match the existing house. Roof pitch less than 4/12 (rises 4″ for every 12″ of run or length) is not recommended due to increased chance of water leaks. Higher pitch roofs with certain truss designs can allow for storage, loft, or even apartments above the main level. The most common roof trusses for garage roof design include:

1. Standard Fink: This is the most common residential truss.

2. Double fink: Designed to handle high weight loads for higher snow load requirements.

3. Attic: Common for designs that allow storage above the main floor. Access can be stairs or attic drop-down stairs and the option available may be dictated by local building codes.

4. Scissor: This options provides cathedral (vaulted) ceilings that provides more interior ceiling height. For example, a 24′ x 24′ garage with an 8/12 pitch may have a ceiling height of 12′ in the center and 8′ at the wall. This system is usually weighted against building with regular fink trusses and higher walls.

If this is a DIY garage project don’t forget to order two gable trusses for each gable end. Otherwise two regular trusses will require wood filling for attaching sheathing and siding (not too mention the building inspector may not pass the framing inspection. If insulating the ceiling consider ordering “raised heel” trusses to allow adequate insulation between the wall top plate and the roof sheathing. This is the only way to meet many attic insulation level requirements (i.e. R40).

Garage plans: Once decisions are made on the above items it is time to get the garage plans for the building permit application and the builder. It is important to obtain good quality garage plans that are easy to follow, accurate, and provide a materials list (well, a material list is not important, but it will certainly save a lot of time). There are several websites that offer garage plans create by dozens and hundreds of different company so consistency and quality control are something to keep in mind. There are a couple of companies that do their own in-house drafting and a search of the internet should find these companies. Another option is to hire a local draftsperson to create the garage plans.

Plot (plat) plan: The building compliance department will require a drawing showing (site plan) the lot with existing structures, proposed structure, and property lines with measurements indicating distances between property lines and structures. This can be a hand drawn diagram of a marked up copy of the plot/plat plan. The building department may require a survey to confirm accuracy of measurements for precise garage location requirements.

Building Permit: Make an appointment to meet with a building inspector to discuss the project and submit the garage plans, material list, and site plan to the building department. A building permit may be issued at this time or the building inspector will require a few days to a couple of weeks to review the documents.

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