Building Homes or Extensions/Garage build


My father has an old barn.  A previous owner cut out a wall and footer to convert to a garage.  Over the years the barn has slid off the remaining footers.  I searched for contractors to reset the barn but they suggest I tear the barn down and build a new garage.  I told a couple contractors I did not want to be charged $35 or more per man hour if the crew was only being paid $10-$12.  
I think $18,000 is to much for a 3-stall single story with dirt floor, no insulation, no electric, no doors.  They will not give me a cost breakdown.  

I am considering building the garage myself.  To clarify that, I will be the project manager and hire subs for each phase.  

It would look more professional if I provided blueprints to the contractors.  My question is, if I do a 36" man door, do I need a 36" rough opening or do I need additional room for the door frame?  If I use 9x9 garage doors, do I need the rough opening to be exactly 9' or slightly more/less?

Hi Steve,  regular entry doors vary in rough opening sizes depending on the type of frame but you are usually safe to frame the rough opening 4" wider and 2" taller than the actual door size..however if you get a prehung door assembly it will come with rough opening dimensions suggested by the manufacturer and installation far as overhead garage doors go, the finished opening is generally the size of the door so a 9'x9' door will have a finished opening of 9'x9'..again it is best to find the doors you want before framing the walls and follow all manufacturers instructions regarding door sizes, required backing for rails and springs etc.  if you decide to build the garage yourself, go to a local truss manufacturing company and get some simple free spanning trusses with a 4/12 pitch..they will provide you with the engineering to go along with the roof system at the time of permitting.  It's also cheaper to use trusses than it is to hand frame a roof of this size.  I hope this info helps feel free to write again regarding this or other matters, sincerely, Bruce

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Bruce E. Johnson


I can answer any construction related question in regards to carpentry, concrete, drywall, masonry, structural elements of any type of building, residential or commercial. Interior or exterior.


Custom Commercial and residential buildings. Churches, theaters, schools and auditoriums. Most recently I am working with the Catholic Church on several design build committees. I have a website related to scheduling and project supervision. Although my expertise is more related to multimillion dollar commercial, educational and theatrical projects my generous credentials in residential and remodelling construction make me a viable source of information regarding all forms of building questions.

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