Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive with answers. If you can’t find an answer to your question, we welcome your questions and are here to help! Give us a call at (800) 228-1329 or fill out our contact form.
Do you actually build garages in one day?
Yes and no. Some simple buildings can be completed in one day but, of course, construction time varies depending on the structure’s size and complexity.
Is it less expensive to build a garage as an addition to my home rather than build a freestanding one?
No. It’s true that you will have one less wall to build when adding onto a house; however, tying together roof lines and matching wall heights, floor elevations and sidings adds time and labor expense. It also requires following a whole set of building codes. With an addition, you will also have to fireguard the wall between the two buildings, tie in all gutters and downspouts to the existing ones, and build a block foundation.
Do I need to visit your showroom or can I just view the photo gallery of your work on this website?
The photos in our online gallery will get your ideas flowing for your project, but it’s best to stop by and see examples of our work. Besides, we’d like to personally meet you and fully understand your needs. You will certainly want to meet us, as well, so you can gauge our capabilities, experience, and integrity for yourself.
Will you need to see the property where I will be building?
No. We have standard pricing formulas for all of the buildings we construct and can estimate your project without visiting the property. If there is something that you feel is absolutely necessary for us to see, simply take a digital photo and email it to us for review. The most important detail that we will need to know about your building site is if the ground is level. If it’s not, we will ask you to measure or estimate how many feet or inches the property rises or falls.
Do you handle the site prep and grading or do I need to hire another company for that?
One Day Garages is equipped to do almost any kind of site prep, with the exception of tree removal. Every property is different and presents its own set of potential challenges. When excavating, many unknown factors may come up, such as soil conditions, objects beneath the surface that are buried (filled-in swimming pools, unmarked utility lines) or hidden (rocks, tree stumps, debris). This is another reason why we don’t need to visit the job site, as there would be no way for us to know what situation might arise even if we saw your property. We promise to notify you immediately if a challenge does arise so we can work together to find the most cost-effective solution.
Where can I find out about the zoning and building requirements for my new garage?
Most city zoning requirements can be found on the Internet. To do a search, type “city zoning requirements” and the name of your city, county, township or borough into your browser.
Do I need any permits to construct a garage? Who obtains them?
Yes. The city, county, township or borough in which you are constructing the building may require you to obtain a zoning permit or building permit (see “What is a Zoning Permit?” and “What is a Building Permit?”, below) or both. Depending on the building’s size and location, you may also be required to obtain a variance (see “What is a Variance?”, below).
You are responsible for obtaining any permits and associated fees before construction begins; however, we will help you with this process by providing all required construction drawings. Zoning and building regulations exist to protect you from being harmed through the dangerous placement of structures or faulty construction design.
How do I obtain a building permit?
Call or visit the building inspector’s office in your city, county, township or borough. Most municipalities charge a nominal fee for permits.
What is a zoning permit?
It is the first permit you will obtain and the first call you will want to make. Zoning laws regulate the size and location of a building on your property. These regulations may include (but are not limited to) setback requirements from streets, dwellings and property lines, building size in square footage and height, building design and construction materials. A zoning permit is issued through the municipality where the project is to be constructed, provided your local government has a zoning department. If there is no zoning in your area, this permit will not be required. To determine if your area has zoning requirements, call your local administration building and ask to speak with someone in the zoning department.
What is a building permit?
A building permit is issued based on a set of construction drawings (which we will provide) that are reviewed by your local building authority. Building regulations are specific to each city, county, township or borough where the construction will take place. The building department will approve the drawings, which will detail how the building is to be constructed, they will issue the required building permit. If applicable, you will be asked to obtain a zoning permit before a building permit can be issued.
What is a variance?
A variance is a special permit issued by a zoning department in cases where the building to be constructed does not conform to the local zoning laws. If you wish to construct a building that is taller, bigger in square footage, or closer to a se back zone than required by your local zoning laws, your local zoning authority may or may not issue you a variance to do so.
Why doesn’t One Day Garages obtain my permits for me?
We do business in a large geographic territory and, as such, would have to charge a substantial fee to travel to every local government to obtain permits for every customer. We authorize you as an agent of our company to obtain the permits for the building you want us to construct—all the while, we remain available to answer any questions you or your local government may have to help expedite the process.
We register with your local building authority and provide proof of insurance and bond ahead of time to make it easier for you to obtain your building permit. If we instead obtained your zoning permit, we would have to perform a survey; this would further increase the cost of your project. Most property owners already have this information or can work with their neighbors and local government to obtain it. Simply put, by obtaining the necessary permits on your own, you save yourself a great deal of expense.
Do you do concrete work?
Yes. We have our own crews that pour concrete and do gravel floors and driveways. Our standard concrete floor comes with a 4”-thick gravel base and 4” concrete surface that is reinforced with a fiber mesh. With concrete work, there are a few things to keep in mind. Depending on your soil density, your project may require extra gravel to build a solid base for the concrete. We always include enough gravel in our prices to give you a 4”-thick base; however, if the soil is not dense, the area is wet or the ground is more than 4” out of level, more gravel may be required, and we would pass this extra cost onto you.
Do you offer a warranty on your concrete work?
While we guarantee our work, we do not offer a warranty on concrete work. Neither the concrete manufacturers nor the installers guarantee a product like concrete. No matter how hard we try or how well we install the concrete, the earth is a very powerful force. Concrete will eventually crack; we just don’t know where which is why concrete floors have lines cut into them. These “expansion joints” are the areas where we hope the concrete will crack so they will be unseen from the surface.
What is the difference between a foundation and a floor?
The foundation of a building is what the walls are built upon and it bears the weight of the entire structure. Typically with a house, the foundation is a block wall with a concrete footer beneath it. A floor is either gravel, concrete or blacktop and is poured between the walls of the foundation (that is, the foundation borders the floor).
What is an Outdoor Wood Foundation? What are the benefits?
This foundation system, which One Day Garages engineered in the 1970s, remains our best-selling foundation today over block and pole style. In this system, we drill holes a maximum of 8’ on center around the perimeter of the building. Each hole is a minimum of 12” round and 42” deep. The bottom 8” of each hole is filled with concrete then a treated post is set on top of the concrete. All of the posts are cut off about 8” to 10” above grade then treated lumber beams are placed on both the inside and outside of the posts; everything is capped by 2” X 8” treated bottom plates.
We then construct a standard stud wall on top of that foundation, giving you a minimum of 2” X 4” studs at 16” on center. This system is used instead of a block on level ground and a concrete floor can still be poured inside of it. The type of treated wood we use gives our customers a lifetime warranty on the foundation.
Engineered Outdoor Wood Foundations come with a lifetime warranty through the treatment manufacturer; in fact, it is the only system that comes with a warranty. This system is highly reliable, durable and the most economical.
Your prices seem quite low. How are you able to provide high-quality service at such reasonable prices?
For one thing, we have our own lumberyard right here at our One Day Garages headquarters. For another, we have our own staff of builders. As a result, we’ve strategically developed the absolute most efficient, least wasteful way to construct your garage or outdoor building. Working in this way is, quite simply, ingrained in our family values and culture. We don’t waste our time or your money searching for materials and workers.
What can I do to help keep my costs down?
Do the necessary paperwork ahead of time and obtain a zoning permit. Have a pretty clear idea of the type of building you want and what you will be using it for. Be flexible and open to suggestions about the design and materials. We promise to save you money wherever we can!
Does it make a difference if I purchase my building materials from my local hardware or lumberyard versus a big chain retailer?
You may think that the materials you buy at a big box lumber or hardware store are the same as what you’d purchase at your local independent dealer’s store, but this is far from the truth. Big chains have enough buying power to force manufacturers to cheapen their products so they can sell them well below typical independent retail prices.
Unless you know what to look for, you wouldn’t notice the difference, especially since many manufacturers use the same serial and model numbers on the products that you are buying at either store. This can be the case for virtually any item sold in a chain store. Here are a few examples:
- Kitchen and Bath Faucets: Chain retailers are known for using all-plastic washers and cheaper o-rings. Even the castings can be thinner than the typical faucets found at independent stores.
- OSB: When purchased at chain stores, you might notice when installing OSB on your roof that there is a little more spring in your step. This is because manufacturers make OSB to a minimum specification, which just passes building code for big box stores. The OSB at your local lumberyard is more durable.
- Power Tools: Manufacturers replace steel parts with plastic ones and offer them through the big chains under the same name placard and model number. Want proof of this? Purchase the same model of power tools like a sawsall or electric drill at both a chain retailer and your local hardware store then weigh them both on a scale. The former will weigh considerably less than the latter.
- Dimension Lumber: Big box stores tend to carry SPF lumber (Spruce, Pine and Fir). Their dimensional lumber (like 2 x 4’s) can be made of this mix of woods. Many local lumber and hardware stores carry this same mix; however, at One Day Garages, we specify that all of our dimensional lumber be Hem-Fir or White Fir. Why? Fir is a much denser wood that will stay straight and true longer than SPF, which means our customers won’t have to deal with twisted studs when they finish the insides of their buildings.
What do I need to know about treated lumber?
There are many different types of treated lumber. It is generally made in three different forms with varying “retention” levels. These levels indicate the amount of preservative retained in a cubic foot of wood fiber. Without getting too technical, the three retention levels are 0.25, 0.40 and 0.60. Treated lumber with a retention level of 0.25 is considered adequate protection for lumber that is NOT in contact with the ground. This is the type of treated lumber you will find at most lumber and hardware stores. Treated lumber with a retention level of 0.40 is considered suitable for projects where the lumber will come in contact with the ground or high moisture levels. This is the type of treated lumber that One Day uses on our foundation systems. The treatment manufacturer offers a non-transferable lifetime warranty on this lumber. The third type of treated lumber, 0.60 retention, is used in highly corrosive areas such as saltwater submersion for sea walls.
Should I go with shingles or a metal roof?
Before deciding on roofing material, ask yourself two important questions: “What is the building going to be used for?” and “What is the climate like in the area where I am building?”
At One Day, we have extensive knowledge about the climate in the northeastern part of the country. Ohio and Pennsylvania are known for heavy cloud cover with large amounts of annual precipitation. Our summers are hot and humid with temperatures that can reach 95 degrees or more, while winters are cold with temperatures that can be subzero. This climate is not good for any kind of metal structure. Humidity causes an overwhelming amount of condensation to the underside of metal roofing. The 100-degree temperature range causes expansion and contraction to the metal and fasteners used to secure it, creating leaks in areas that you may not expect.
Yes, solutions exist that can alleviate these issues, such as heating the building year round and dehumidifying in the warmer months. Certain products can be used to solve these issues, like underlayments and rain guard systems that catch condensation as it builds up. However, these solutions drive up the cost of the building; what started out as an inexpensive roof (slightly less than shingles) suddenly becomes much more costly.
This is why we recommend shingles for 95% of the buildings in our area. Only buildings that are used for agricultural purposes as wind barriers or shelter for livestock should consider metal.
Is it okay to use vinyl siding on a pole barn?
In an effort to make a pole barn look more like a framed residential garage, people frequently ask us to use vinyl siding. This is never a good idea! It violates all manufacturers’ warranties, and for good reason. Vinyl siding is a horizontal product designed to be backed by a framed and sheeted wall, which allows it to be nailed not only through the plywood backing but into a wood stud every 16” on center. Pole barns that are built with posts spaced 8’ apart do not provide wood studs to nail to, and they also often don’t stay straight enough to for the vinyl to maintain an attractive appearance. With a One Day Garages project, we design our foundation system to give you the cost-effectiveness of a pole barn but the integrity of a stud wall.
Is the type of fasteners used important and why?
Depending on the type of project to be done and the area where it will be built, different types of nails, screws, bolts, and clips must be used. When drilling into treated lumber, it’s best to use hot dipped galvanized or stainless steel fasteners. This is recommended because, in most cases, the treatment chemicals used in the lumber can react with a standard uncoated metal fastener.
When using wood siding, galvanized or stainless steel fasteners are also the best choice because the heads of the nails or screws will not rust and break off, leaving streaks of rust on the exterior surface. When using vinyl siding, aluminum nails should be used; that way, there is no chance of rust streaks running down the siding should moisture get behind it.
At One Day Garages, we sometimes use hurricane ties or screws to secure the trusses. This prevents the roof from being pulled off the building by an extremely high uplift of air in a storm. These special fasteners are only required in high wind areas.