The decision to build a new or replace an older detached structure is not one to take lightly. As you begin researching various contractors and collecting estimates, it is important to have a solid idea of what it is you are looking to build and why.

Educating yourself on the process is always encouraged. Not only can this investment increase your curb appeal and meet your storage needs, it can also increase your overall property value.

A quality detached garage is more than four walls and a roof; therefore, it is important to determine what your needs are and how you desire to best utilize this space before the process begins.

Questions To Ask Your Builder

  1. What is the purpose of your new detached garage?

As you meet with your builder initially it is important to inform them of the purpose of the structure. What you have in mind and what is allowed within your municipality may not align.

Are you desiring more space to allow for more cars to fit or are you looking to add storage above the garage, keeping it the same size?  If this space is going to be utilized for work or hobby space, there may be electrical or plumbing issues that will need to be addressed.

  1. What are your local zoning ordinances, requirements, and restrictions?

New structures or tear downs of existing ones may require permission from your local municipality to execute. These extra steps are put in place to ensure that you are meeting current codes, safely. Before going forward and making such an investment, it is important to know what steps or changes must be taken to build a new garage on your property.

The process of applying for permits will inform you and your builder as to what restrictions and regulations (size and height limitations, etc.) your municipality has put on your area. It is crucial that your builder comply with these ordinances to avoid the project being halted, potential fines, or having to be taken down all together.

  1. What is included with your builders estimate?

Remember, a detached garage should be more than four walls and a roof; therefore, it is important to inquire as you are collecting estimates, what each builder includes with every garage they build and what the options are going to be for your project.

Items such as the garage door, type of shingles and siding, and the style of roof offered should be included and detailed in the provided estimate. Details such as a weather wrap, garage floor epoxy, gutters and downspouts should be considered.

How the builder plans to protect the integrity of your investment is important. A warranty and what it covers should also be considered and discussed.

  1. Will your current driveway need to be relocated or enlarged?

If you are considering relocating your current structure to another place on your property it is likely the driveway will have to be relocated/extended. For those garages increasing in size, the driveway may need to be enlarged to accommodate more vehicles and garage entrances.

For those rebuilding where an alley garage is already located, a driveway may not be necessary.

  1. What is your budget?

The more custom the garage, the more it will ultimately cost. Going into the project, it is important to determine what your priorities are in the build and what you are willing to spend to get achieve that goal.

The builder you are working with should not only include the cost of the garage construction, but also the fees included from the municipality within your estimate. While surprise costs may come up throughout the process, it is important to ensure that there will not be any hidden fees or costs that you are unaware of.


If you are in the market for a detached garage and would like a free consultation and estimate, contact Heartland Garage Builders at or 224-326-2698.