Since garage plans are now plentiful you can think about needs and potential features available for anticipated needs. For example, a one story basic garage can be built with a steeper roof using attic trusses. That adds a small amount of cost since you'll be building that roof anyway, but it could add significant storage space. Behm Design offers many garage plans with attic space in the roof, as it has become popular feature.
Another favorite has been garages with shop space. By designing in extra width or depth there can be extra space for work or storage area. Many or our garage plans feature a write-in dimension space so you can indicate an alternate dimension to build. This has given lots of flexibility to our plans.
" BLUEPRINTS " is the old term for what we now call simply " plans ","plansets" or drawings. In the past, original drawings were semi-transparent linen or vellum materials on which they drew with ink or lead pencils. The early technology for reproducing those drawings was to place it over a treated kind of photographic paper and pass it through a certain light source (exposure) and then through an ammonia gas environment (developer). The result was a dark blue page with all drawing images being white - so white lines on dark blue..hence, "blueprints". There were other treated papers available to produce brown lines on white paper, vellum and mylar. All of that ammonia was delivered in bottles and had to be manually connected to the intake tubes. So maintaining and running the old machines was rather smelly. That technology was common until recent years when computers were used to produce drawings and the xerographic industry expanded. Many of our early garage plans were hand drawn but were eventually converted to digital. All of our printed materials is done with large format printer/plotter. We in the industry can now enjoy better and faster production and the customer gets better and lower cost in the products.
Some Q & A emails:
Q: Hi Jay, Thank you for the 1014-1B garage plans, this is the garage I will build with dormers, front and rear facade modifications. When we spoke earlier today you had mentioned that it is possible to increase the room sizes on the second floor by roughly two to three feet by changing the size of the trusses at the time of manufacturing, is this still the case in the 1014-1B plans? If it is, can you please tell me the new truss size and what maximum width size you would reccomend? I would like to increase the upstairs to the maximum limits possible I hope you do not think I am crazy. Lastly I would like to let you know that I greatly appreciate all of your help and your wisdom, you are very kind. Thank you and kind regards, RP
A: The truss technician at a truss fabricabtion company can show you the possibilities because the inner attic space shape is tied to the engineering. With their software they can tweek the proportions of the shape which rearranges the stresses within the truss. So only they can show the possibilities with accuracy. They are usually quite happy to help....Jay
Q: We are interested in garage plan 1476 3 (2 car w/ loft garage) but would like some alterations done so it fits our needs; is that possible? What would be the cost? Here is what we would like: The garage doors must be a minimum height of 10' so the walls need to be taller - but of that we would like to have a 2-foot stub wall of concrete/foundation (lots of snow where we are).I hope this is clear enough; let me know if you have any questions...B.W.
A: I'm sorry, I don't offer custom plans or modifications - just the stock plans as shown, although plans are often modified by owners and builders to suit their needs. Building extra height on the foundation wall is an easy way to gain height for door. And, FYI the building code allows 10' framed wall height. So it is easy to build for the extra height. A builder can usually figure out the build dimensions once they know the specific garage door you plan to use.....A feature of the 1476-3 is that it uses manufactured trusses for the loft and roof, altogether. If you have lots of snow then the trusses would be engineered for local load requirements. They are always made with engineer certification for safety...Thank you...Jay
Q: I want to build a 4 car garage but prefer to have a two car wide double depth (approx. 24x48). All of your plans show a bracing wall in the center of the plans required to bace the long wall. Is there any alternative design that would accomplish the same and maximize the ability to drive in to each bay without issue? J.P.
A: My garage plans use prescriptive (non-engineered) compliance with the IRC/IBC code for seismic category C and less. The interior walls are there to comply with wall bracing for C. If you are in A or B you could X them out and not build them. I recommend asking local building dept if they would require those interior walls. Areas with more extreme rating of D may require certification by a state licensed engineer. We do not provide that. Engineers are usually able to work with a stock plan and add notes and details if needed by marking up the plans.You can see the US seismic categories map here: http://www.behmdesign.com/seismicmap.aspx ..... Jay
Q: Do your garage plans meet California building code requirements, specifically Santa Rosa?...K.J.
A. I'm sorry, no. Our garage plans are designed/drawn using "prescriptive" method for "C" seismic and 100 mph wind speed under IRC code. You would need to have plans reviewed, marked up by CA engineer for the more severe seismic factors using the "engineered" method. It usually entails adding hardware and substituting a heavier foundation with more steel reinforcement than standard. Thank you....Jay
Q: Can you do the 2000-1b garage plans with storage trusses? .
A: You can easily order the trusses as storage trusses. The truss fabricator could also change slope if preferred, for more storage space within truss profile. They would also need to re-size the garage door headers for the greater roof load which they could also provide as part of the package....It would probably be best to ask your local inspector or building dept. if they would allow the slight change to the garage plans design. It's usually not a problem....Jay
Q: I live in the northwest snow country, and roof load requirements are #105 psf, are there any engineering changes that I need to consider in garage plans? Thank You....R.E.
A: If the garage plan uses a truss design it is easy to have the trusses engineered for the greater load. However, being a significantly greater load ,the truss fabricator/designer may require adding a center bearing (beam + posts + footings) to reduce the span. Also, when snow loads exceed 70# /sf the building dept. may require having a state licensed engineer provide a "load path analysis" to verify wall and foundation bearing capacity in the garage plans. Footing width may need to be increased............I would recommend contacting your local building dept to find out their requirements and then, a truss fabricator to find out what they can do with that heavy snow load. As the garage plan is drawn, the snow load is specified at 30 #/sf. Thank you...... Jay
Some Emailed Q & A:
Q: Regarding garage plan , 1208-1B 32'-10" x 26'. We live in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Can the plan be endorsed for roof snow live load for my region? Thanks...J.O.
A: My plans use prescriptive (non-engineered) compliance with the IRC/IBC code with 30#/sf snow load assumed. Areas with more extreme conditions for snow, earthquake and wind may require certification by a state licensed engineer. We do not provide that. I recommend contacting your local building dept. as they can advise you about required local snow loads and any other requirements whic may or may not require special engineering. Engineers are usually able to work with a stock plan and add notes and details if needed by marking up the plans. Colorado is one of the few states that often require additional engineering because of more difficult than average building conditions. Thank you....Jay
Q: I just purchased your garage plan 1476-3. My project is in Alaska thus I need 2X6 wall framing and 60# snow load and a design for seismic area D. Can you modify your plan to reflect those parameters?...M.S.
A: You can substitute the 2 x 6, no problem. Since this uses trusses for roof and they get engineered in their manufacture you can have the snow load at 60#, no problem. The D seismic may be okay as is even though it's labeled for C. Your building dept.can advise you. If they do require seismic lateral force analysis and certification by an AK engineer you can have a local P.E. take care of that. They often charge a few hundred $ and become the "engineer of record" for your project. It's better to avoid that if local authority allows. I do not modify or provide engineering - just the stock garage plans as designed. Please call me if you have questions. Thank you....Jay
Q: I really like the looks of Garage Plan 676-7, but the second floor loading would not let me put a small wood shop on the second floor. (car stuff is on the first floor) and was liking 1476-3 but with a gambrel roof. Any chance this is one of your many plans? I'm working with the local building approver and the current height of 26'4" exceeds the maximum allowed by two feet.
A: I don't have a different profile. However, since this uses attic trusses you could substitute gambrel attic trusses. The fabricators can easily work out the heights and clearances for you for whatever you prefer. Truss fabricators are usually happy to work with customers that way...Jay
Q: We want to build a garage/workshop combo, and we really like some of your garage designs. We are in the process of purchasing a 1922 Craftsman bungalow, and we really want the garage plans to complement the design of the house. We're "more than handy" homeowners, and we've done this before. In our city, however, you have to have an engineer sign off on your foundation plan. Our last workshop we designed and built, but we didn't have to go through the engineering process. It was also nice that my dad, who was a mechanical and structural engineer, was able to tell us how we needed to design our slab. If we want to customize one of your garage plans, how do we go about it? I really like 572-3, but it needs to be longer and the pitch is going to have to be lowered. We have a 15' height restriction for garages in our historic area, probably to minimize the problem of people buiding things that can easily be converted to apartments over garages. The length we'll want is going to be 40', making the building 22' x 40'. We'll build an interior partition wall, making the garage part 22' x 22'. We'll make some other changes, but we can make those when we do the framing - the workshop will have a couple of passage doors and either a roll-up or barn-style door. Thanks, L.W
A: The 572-3 garage plan has provisions in the drawings to allow changing depth dimension, as well as, roof slope and resulting height. Below are screen shots of the Floor Plan and Cross-Section views. Builders usually have no problem with this method and most inspector/building depts allow (but I would check with them first before buying the garage plans) Thank you... -- "I want to say that your site has be the most helpful that I have found. You offer more garage plans info than the others and looks to be a better value as well. I'm 99% sure that I'm going with 624-1 monitor. I would like the free material list for this garage so I can get a idea of the cost. Thank you .....G".
Q:Gentlemen, I live in the northwest snow country, and roof load requirements are #105 psf, are there any engineering changes that I need to consider in garage plans? Thank You...., R.E.
A: Since this garage plan uses a truss design it is easy to have the trusses engineered for the greater load. However, being a significantly greater load the truss fabricator/designer may require adding a center bearing (beam + posts $ footings) to reduce the span to 12'. Also, when snow loads exceed 70# /sf the building dept. may require having a state licensed engineer provide a "load path analysis" to verify wall and foundation bearing capacity in the garage plans. Footing width may need to be increased............I would recommend contacting your local building dept to find out their requirements and then, a truss fabricator to find out what they can do with that heavy snow load. As the garage plan is drawn, the snow load is specified at 30 #/sf. Thank you...... Jay
Q: Interested in garage plans for number 576-16, the 24-foot square Victorian garage with attic. What type of access to the attic is in the plan - pull-down steps? If so, where in the structure would the opening be located? Thanks! ...F
A: Hello, The garage plans call for a 22" x 30" attic access opening, which is the building code minimum requirement. You can leave as just opening with simple removable panel or install an attic access, pull-down ladder. They are commonly available and would have instructions for installation since they are designed to fit between the trusses which are spaced at 24" o.c.. My Resources Directory has a few manufacturers listed here: http://www.behmdesign.com/atticaccessladders- garage-plans.aspx and you can probably see some examples @ a local building supply store like Lowe's. I don't detail for them in the garage plans because they may require added blocking or not. Thank you....Jay
Q: I don't really like trusses, and when there is a fire they seem to crumple quickly. What of traditional rafter work/design?...R
A: Trusses fail in fire because of the metal plate connectors softening from heat and/or the 2x material burning through relatively fast. That's why GWB Type X, fire resistive, 1 hour separation is MANDATORY, by building code, for all garage-use applications. Only 4 x thick or larger "timber" framing can be left exposed because it take a much longer time to burn through and fail. I use trusses in the garage plans when spans exceed 20' because they are by far more efficient and much less cost. I use lumber framing for less than 20' span garages because it then becomes the lesser cost. Since garages should always have GWB protected ceilings the truss vs. rafters issue is all about cost. For larger than 20' wide garages you just can't beat trusses. Thank you. .... Jay
Q:I am looking at garage plans for # 2280-5. My city requres a brick vineer. What would you charge to change the garage plans?........M
A: I don't offer custom garage plans or modifications - just the stock plans as shown. However, I can include brick veneer detail sheets from other garage plans sets which have brick veneer, which you could use as reference. Usually the officials allow just noting that change on the stock garage plans, indicating that it would be brick veneered instead of sided. But I would ask them to be sure. If you decide to buy the 2280-5 garage plans, just email me a reminder to include those extra drawing sheets. No extra charge, of course. Thank you.....Jay
Q:Hi, I'm looking at your #1260-1b 3 car garage plans. Can it be spec'd to meet Southern California seismic codes? Specifically Ventura County.....Thanks..C.
A: Hello, I cannot adapt the garage plans for that severe seismic zone, as it is of "prescriptive" compliance (non-engineered). Most of our garage plans are usable in categories A, B & C. (WA state, in D1 & D2) You will likely need to take such garage plans to a consulting engineer for the lateral force analysis, plans mark-up and stamp - as is typically required for the larger sized garages in Southern CA. In certain areas of CA the building departments usually need to have an "engineer of record" because of liability and insurance issues relating to the severe earthquake risk factor .....unfortunately. Costs for their fees vary so it pays to shop a bit. They are typically listed in yellow pages as "consulting engineers" and some of them work on small projects of this type.....Jay
Q: I have a question about 240-2c garage plans that I hope you can help me with....I have the side a rear walls erected and have just noticed that the front wall should have been full width. I framed the sides full length (20') and intended the front wall would be inside this as with rear wall. Would this be ok or does the LVL header need to have the minimum 16" bearing as specified.......Also, in the front wall framing plan on page 3, does the top plate over header run full length or does top plate from side overlap header? Thanks...Neil
A: Hi Neil, I showed the header extending fully across the front wall (except for the 1 1/2" thick end studs) because that is how the IRC code shows that condition. However, it is very likely that your inspector would allow it to be built as you have described, especially if you are not building in an earthquake prone or high wind exposure location. That framing arrangement is for extreme lateral loading conditions. I would check with your inspector or building dept. before proceeding to be certain it's ok. If you do not have an inspector involved and it is just your concern for structural correctness, then, as far as I'm concerned, the way you have built thus far is fine, no problem. (the LVL 16" contact to wall below is not for gravity bearing but, rather, for moment resistance of the header to wall connection - making a rigid right angle like a carpenter's square. That detail makes the garage front wall rigid to the sideways forces of wind and earthquake, so it cannot rack) The side wall top plate extends over/into the front wall, tops flush.....Jay Comment: Just used your PDF instant download tool to purchase Garage Plans for #1292-1. And I mean instant..... Downloaded and printed within 5 minutes after ordering. Very impressive....Excellent garage plans for a reasonable price. Will recommend....Cam
Q: Was looking into building a garage 24 x 26 with storage above similar to plan 856-1 but I need more than a 7 foot high door to get my vehicle in. Can height be added to walls to allow for an 8 ft high door? Or are there similar garage plans? I was hoping for a single double car garage door not two single 9 x 7 doors. Thanks ........P.
A: The #856-1 garage plans include an alternate to install an 18' or 16' wide garage door. Because this is a code prescriptive compliance plan you could simply build the walls to as much as 10' in height (which is the max. allowable). Both items could be noted on the prints. I would recommend first asking local building authority if it is allowable with stock garage plans. It usually is not a problem. Thank you. Jay
Q: Hi. I just got my garage plans and they look great but can't find details so I can build the roof trusses myself. 26 years ago I built my house and built the trusses myself and they worked out great. Could you tell me where to get that information? I'd like to build them myself to save money.....T.
A: Hello. The days of site-building trusses are past. For a long time the building codes have required that any "truss" (which is an assembly of parts spanning between supports, carrying a load) be manufactured by a state-licensed truss fabricator. Most building material suppliers have at least one fabricator they use to supply the trusses they order for their customers. The garage plans we provide show exactly what is required, including the layout of the trusses and associated framing in the Roof Framing Plan at 1/4" scale. The Cross-Section view shows the required profile for the truss(es) including slope, height, desired configuration, etc. The truss fabricators use that info in their computerized system to produce the required engineering and specifications for their package of trusses for your garage project. The package is then trucked out to your building site and crane lifted to stack on top of your erected walls. Nowadays it is the most used and best way to build roofs. And, for spans greater than 20', the most economical way in terms of materials and labor costs...... In some agri. or rural zoned areas the building codes are not enforced and it is allowable to site-build trusses. And for very small structures it is fine. But I highly recommend that, for the garages and larger outbuildings, use the local, licensed truss fabricator to provide your roof package, as it is much, much safer and of greater quality than building yourself. Thank you...Jay Q.Do your garage plans meet California building code requirements, specifically Santa Rosa?...K.J. A. I'm sorry, no. Our garage plans are designed/drawn using "prescriptive" method for "C" seismic and 100 mph wind speed under IRC code. You would need to have plans reviewed, marked up by CA engineer for the more severe seismic factors using the "engineered" method. It usually entails adding hardware and substituting a heavier foundation with more steel reinforcement than standard. Thank you....Jay
Q: Q:Comments or Questions: can you do the 2000-1b garage plans with storage trusses? ....bhg
A: I don't offer garage plans modifications but you can easily order the trusses as storage trusses. The truss fabricator could also change slope if preferred, for more storage space within truss profile. They would also need to re-size the garage door headers for the greater roof load which they could also provideas part of the package....It would probably be best to ask your local inspector or building dept. if they would allow the slight change to the garage plans design. It's usually not a problem....Jay
Q:Hi There, I have emailed you a few years ago, as I have your garage plans bookmarked for our future garage/studio......So, I will be using it for a printing studio, & would like to add a few windows, as well as a closed in area in back for a darkroom, and a sink area. Do you do changes to garage plans for a fee? We also mainly use 2x6 construction here due to snow loads (western canada)--is this plan for 2x4? Can it be adjusted? ....Thank-you!....U
A: Hello, I'm sorry, I don't offer custom garage plans or garage plans modifications - just the stock plans as shown. Actually it would be easiest and probably least expensive to work out the changes with the builder, If your builder isn’t inclined to work that way there are plenty who will. The window changes and interior partitions you suggest are not structurally significant. Changing wall framing to 2 x 6s is simply a substitution and would not affect anything. These all could be penciled in on the garage plans (which is easy because the drawings are all to correct scale of 1/4”=1’- 0”)..Thank you.....Jay
Q:Hi there,I really love your 2402-1 50' x 28' plan, but i live in Edmonds Wa and was wondering if this plan would be okay to use here since I see you have garage plans just for washington state ... but not this plan.Thanks.....C.C.
A: Hello, I lived in Edmonds for over 20 years and had my office there in Old Milltown.....Small world.... This garage plan, as drawn, would not , because of the D2 seismic requirements of that region and also, that is has some engineered beams. You could take the plan to a consulting engineer (p.e.) They would do the force analysis and possibly mark up the plans a little if additional hardware is required. That’s about the only way that plan could be built there. The other possibility is to have a WA state architect make a new set of plans, which would be the most expensive way to do it. “consulting engineers” are usually listed in the yellow pages of phone book. Some of the local firms will do small projects like that. The engineers I used to know are no longer there so I cannot refer............The WA state garage plans I have are small enough to be prescriptively compliant with the IRC code for lateral, so engineering is not usually required. Thank you....Jay
Q:I am building a new garage and was looking at some of your garage plans...1500-1B looks very close to what I am looking for, but there are some minor things I would like to ask if they would fit in the variables that you talk about in your FAQ section...I was wondering about the ability to make the walls 12', allowing for 10' garage doors, and 2x6 walls for extra insulation....Thanks....P.T.
A: The IRC building code limits framed unsupported bearing wall height to 10’. Your local inspector may allow increasing to 12’, especially if you substitute 2 x 6 wall framing. You can also build your concrete foundation wall a couple feet higher above grade and put the framed wall on top of it to create the increased ceiling height above garage floor ..... Jay
Q: Does garage plans for 1014-1b (26x26) come with all 3 foundation plans? How high above the slab is the stemwall or foundation wall?.....R.
A: Like all of our garage plans, the 1014-1b shows one foundation plan and references the details and options: You can build a thickened edge, monolithic-poured slab or a perimeter footing with stem wall of either concrete or concrete block. For all of the details I show a minimum 6" top of foundation concrete to finished grade. One can easily increase that if preferred, simply noting it on the plans. When the slab is poured within the perimeter foundation to is usually from flush with top of foundation wall to 4" below. Thank you...Jay
Q: Hello there, I was looking at your garage plans for 960-L - 32' x 30'...I see that this is 2x4 framing. I would like to do this in 2x6 framing. Is this a possible option? Thanks!...B.D.
A: Hello, this garage plan doesn't list it as an option, however, you could note "2 x 6" on the plans in the few places where it calls for "2 x 4" - simply, a substitution which would increase the strength of the building...Thank you....Jay
Q: Hi Jay, I just purchased garage plan 1152-1, which in the preview states is variable length to 34'. Do you have plans available with this length? Also, can I get plans for 119 mph winds? Thanks, C.W. A: No, this is one of the garage plans which have only the write-in place on the floor plan dimensioning. However, I do have a 30', stretched version the plan, #1440-1, http://www.behmdesign.com/garage- plans-1440-1-4x30.aspx ............I'm sorry but I need to use the 100 mph, 3 second gust wind speed because it is the limit for using the prescriptive (as opposed to engineered) approach. You could take the plan to a "consulting engineer" (as engineers are listed in phone book) and they can check wind loads and as-drawn load capacities. They often would mark up garage plans to change wall sheathing nailing or increase/add metal straps and connectors. Their fees are usually a few hundred dollars. Probably still the least costly way to have permit ready garage plans..............If this doesn't work of course you may have the full refund. If you wish to use the 30' deep version instead let me know and I'll send you the 1440-1 PDF to replace the 1152-1 PDF. Thank you....Jay
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