Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Build your car a CASTLE

Garages your car, and you, will love

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BRIGHT bands of colour trace a horizontal path around a bright blue wall in a garage that would do justice to the finest automobiles.

"These are NASCAR colours," says Linda Pauls, referring to the yellow, green and red racing stripes that culminate at a checkered flag painted on the back wall.

At 2,037-square-feet, the 10-vehicle structure is actually larger than the house, says Pauls, who owns the house and the attached garage on Henderson Highway with her husband Peter Pauls.

The luxury automobile digs double as a home garage and a parking pad for some of the cars owned by Peter, who sells pre-owned vehicles from the premises. It also boasts hot water radiant floor heat, security systems, an insulated envelope built to R-2000 standards and a "suspended concrete floor built over piles."

"It's like a separate entity (from the home)," says Randy Douglas, president of Stefan Home Builders, who built the house and garage two years ago, referring to the garage's separate heating system. Even the boiler used to heat the water for the tubing in the concrete floor is located in a section of the garage rather than the house, says Douglas.

While it's difficult to separate the cost of the attached garage from the cost of building the house, Pauls estimates the parking structure would have cost between $100,000 to $120,000.

You may have more modest needs when it comes to garages, but that still leaves you with plenty of choice in construction, design and price. Rob Swan, custom builder and partner in Huntington Homes with his brother Sheldon, said garages may be insulated or non-insulated, attached or detached, and oriented in various ways.

One interesting orientation positions the garage at a 90 degree angle to the house "so the garage doesn't dominate the home." The driveway in this style has to be wider, making it more costly, said Swan, who says about one-third of his clients request the design.

Others opt for a three-bay garage, not for a third vehicle, but for extra storage space. The company has also deepened part of a two-vehicle garage to accommodate storage for lawnmowers, etc.

"It costs about $7,000 or $8,000 for a two-car garage, then an additional bay onto that would add another $3,000 or $4,000," said Swan, referring to a non-insulated attached garage built onto a new home. But many factors such as size will vary the cost of the structure.

Do-it-yourselfers, meanwhile, may want to check out what local lumber yards and home stores have to offer.

Van DeLury, in charge of package sales for Star Building Products, said owners can buy materials separately or in packages which ensure that do-it-yourselfers have all the necessary components to build a garage. But the company will also build a garage for those who prefer, says DeLury. "We can supply all the materials and do the framing, install the electricity and we basically provide everything that's needed."

The garage packages range from about $2,300 to $4,000 for a two-bay garage, said DeLury, while the company can build a garage for homeowners, including the materials, for about $4,200 to $9,500 (with usual amenities). DeLury said infloor heating packages are also available.

Darren Suski, install co-ordinator for RONA Home & Garden, said the company sells its own garage packages and can also put the building up for homeowners who so desire. "We can pour the pads and we can build the garage."

He said homeowners will also have some choice in exterior materials such as vinyl siding or stucco. Suski said owners only need come in with professional drawings that have been stamped by an engineer, and the company will take it from there.

Sandra Nowicki, of McDiarmid Lumber, said detailed information on the company's products and services are available on the Internet at www.mcdiarmid.com. The company encourages those who want to build a garage to call for a free computerized estimate and says it sells a variety of garage packages.

In addition, McDiarmid Lumber will arrange to custom build any size garage for a homeowner.

Custom-designed garages open up a whole stream of possibilities for new or existing homes. Owners can also go for the gusto and hire an architect, custom builder or renovator to design the ultimate garage of their dreams.

This could include everything from extra storage space to a home office, as Douglas has done in his own garage, to a workshop for any number of uses. They may even develop garage space for commercial ventures.

Paul, a Headingley resident who does not want his last name used, bought a Huntington Homes show home then set about to equip part of his garage as a woodworking shop. He uses electric heaters for heat because he enjoys working in the garage in the winter.

But with a little planning beforehand, any new homeowner can customize their work space, and in the case of a workshop, install extra electrical outlets, heat sources or any other amenity that might improve the work space.

A number of Winnipeggers have found their garages, mostly detached existing structures, handy for uses that range from a gym to a beauty parlour to an artist's studio. Greg Rusk, owner of Garage Masters, said its not uncommon for homeowners to have the company custom design and build a new garage in place of an existing garage for special uses or renovate an existing garage for the same reason.

The structures are most often insulated and heated and may be attached or detached, but all have to be built according to building code requirements. He said homeowners who want to do their own work should also take the time to understand what local codes and bylaws require.

Rusk also advises owners against insulating a garage when it is for vehicle parking only, saying it will not only add to the cost, but importantly "because it tends to rust the garage out." Cars carry heat and moisture into the garage, particularly during snowy winter days, generating the conditions that lead to the rusting, he says.

Once technical requirements have been met, the sky is the limit for imaginative useful garages, say Rusk and others.

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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 28, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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