Garage builders and what they need to know to help you

If you’re looking to build a garage on your land whether it’s a standalone or a lean to, there are a few things you need to know before you hire the right garage builder, especially if you live in a rich elemental environment like Central Oregon. You simply cannot build anything you want any time you want because of licensing, safety, city and county regulations and/or requirements. Let’s take a look at what you need to know before you bring garage builders over to look at your place or when considering doing it yourself.

Car Storage

How many cars do you have? The typical Oregon family has 2. In Central Oregon, it’s wise to store both of your cars in a garage because of the elements. The size of your current cars may not be the issue. As we get bigger, so do cars! Cars are slowly getting wider and wider so calculating for your current cars may not be such a good idea. Give it some thought before you make your final decision.

Storage Space

This is a no brainer. Every garage is used for storage so while you are considering the length, width and height, also consider what you are going to be storing between now and in the future. Think about your regular routine and how much stuff you have stored over the years. Calculate what you may accumulate. A rough guess is ok but you will be happy in the future you really thought about this. Storage space is a must.


Exhaust, paint and fumes are going to be permeating throughout any garage from time to time. Gas (propane and gasoline) and paint will be spilled so you need to account for this when deciding on a design or before building. Consider a window or vents above near the ceiling walls so fumes can exit without problems.

Heating and Cooling

If the garage is made for cars and storage, no need for insulation. However, if you are going to be working in the garage, you definitely want to insulate and sheetrock it. Without it, you will be in the extremes and uncomfortable. Make sure you give it a lot of thought and budget for insulation. Even with cars and storage, you never know what you may do in the future and you will be glad you did it.


A garage with a workspace must be accounted for during the winter if you plan on keeping the cars indoors while you are working. A workbench and room to reach around tools, shelves and cabinets should be considered during the winter. Give yourself a few more feet in length to account for fixing things and tinkering around.


What devices will you be plugging into the wall? Welding machine? Shop Vac? Industrial heaters? Compressors? Electrical hydraulics? Give it a lot of thought here because you may want to install 220 volt outlets for certain items. If you’re going to build a garage or have us do it, make sure you request the 220. You will be happier knowing you can plugin to both types of outlets. Also consider installing outlets on all sides and in strange places, You would be surprised where you could use an outlet. Also, consider Ethernet for internet modems and routers.

Tool Storage

Everyone who is building a garage has tools. If one is building a garage, they naturally would be a homeowner and homeowners have tools. It’s a must! Close your eyes and act like you are walking through your new garage. See if you can imagine the cars and plenty of room to get around them along with getting to your tools. Your imagination is a must for a project like this and the garage builders will appreciate the time you spent putting your specs together.

Concrete Sealant

After concrete is poured, there will definitely be cracks where fluid can leak to the ground. Consider sealing it with paint (epoxy) or any type of sealer so that when something does leak, the cleanup is a snap.

Licensing / Permit

All construction, except one and two family dwellings and their access structure are subject to the requirements of the Oregon Structural Specialty Code. Exemptions are listed here. This means you need a permit to build a garage whether it is a lean to or not. Why do you need a permit? Because according to the City of Redmond, “Building permits are usually required when building safety might be affected. You will need a permit to construct, enlarge, alter, move or demolish any one or two family dwelling or related structure.” It’s all about safety. If you build the garage by yourself and it falls on someone else, the state does not want to be responsible for your mistakes so it takes precautions like this in order to protect itself and others. How do you get a permit? Oregon makes it really easy. They have a simple online form you can fill out here.

We hope this guide helps you make a good decision about building a garage on your property. If you’re interested in a free estimate, please contact Kirk Sandburg 541-923-5064 or