Minneapolis Garage Construction - How To Build A Garage - The Step by Step Process

Detached Garage Construction Specialist Since 1949

I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Western Construction, Inc. and provide you with some general construction related information on how to build a garage that will improve your overall experience and streamline the garage construction process.

  • Minneapolis St Paul Garage Construction Time Line

Depending upon the complexity of your project and whether you live in Minneapolis, St Paul or the suburbs, it usually takes 30-60 days for completion (weather permitting). You'll be notified at least a day or two in advance prior to any excavation, concrete, or framing to take place. Please feel free to contact Western Garage Builders so we can provide you with an approximated time line.

 The Garage Construction Process:

  •  Survey

Unless otherwise specified, after a garage is purchased we'll send out our surveyor to stake the property lines. Since this relatively quick, non-intrusive process, the surveyor will stop by to install stakes on the property lines at his convenience. Some city suburbs will require a full surveyed site plan for the permit. This can be a lengthy process that sometimes takes up to two weeks complete.

  •  Permit

Minneapolis St Paul or almost every city for that matter has different permit requirements and processes by which to obtain them. This usually can be done within one week, but when some cities like St Louis Park, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Maplewood, White Bear Lake, Bloomington, Columbia Heights to name only a few get backlogged it can take up to two weeks. Usually this process can begin right away, but some situations will require the survey to be done first (especially if a surveyed site plan is required).
 When the garage construction building permit is approved, it will be mailed out by Western directly to your home and the work can begin. Please make sure the permit is posted on the on the front door and is visible from the street. Also, it is required that the permit be made accessible to inspectors and workers at all times. Once the garage is framed, the carpenters will often times hang the permit inside the garage which is perfectly acceptable.
  • Demolition/Excavation

Please make sure anything of value is removed from your old garage and vehicles are out of the way prior to the crew starting. Anything remaining in the garage will be hauled away with the debris. There is an additional charge for hazardous materials such as tires, batteries, paint, etc. that are hauled away by the excavators. Please make sure any existing power is off to the garage by shutting off the breaker prior to demolition. If special accommodations are needed please contact us right away.

  •  Garage Builders MN Concrete Construction Process

Vehicles will need to be moved prior to the crew starting. Typically all of the concrete work (slab & driveway) will be poured and blocks will be laid in one day. Certain conditions and situations will cause driveways, sidewalks, or blocks to be done on a second trip, but the slab is the first priority on the initial visit.
During this process the inspector will conduct their first inspection and will need to sign off on the permit.
Also, please note that the crew may need access to a water hose while they are pouring any concrete.
Once the slab is poured it will be hard enough to walk on the next day, but it is standard practice to let the slab cure for around 10-14 days before we can start building on it. It is usually recommended to wait at least two weeks before driving vehicles any new concrete.
If you would like any concrete sealed, the concrete crew can do this for you when it is poured for an additional charge. You can also seal it yourself by purchasing a sealer from a home improvement store and following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  •  Damp-proofing/back filling

If the project calls for it, damp-proofing and back filling may be required. This is typically only required when the blocks extend below grade. If the blocks are not below grade this is usually not a part of the project scope, but damp proofing can be done for additional protection. Sometimes homeowners elect to take care of this on their own and it isn’t included in the bid. If you are not sure, check with your sales representative or the contract to see if it is included. 
Once the blocks are laid on the slab and have had a day or so to set up, the damp-proofing material can be applied. This helps prevent any moisture from seeping through the blocks to the inside. If handling this part of the project yourself, you can purchase the material at any home improvement store and apply the product following manufacturer instructions.
If a significant amount of back filling is needed, often times the excavator will leave a pile of dirt on site to use for that purpose. When the slab is significantly below grade it is not uncommon to use a drain tile to help the flow of water underground near the base of the slab. This will help prevent any water from getting trapped underground and causing future problems. If and when drain tile is installed, the dirt can be put back into place. It is important to note that it should be filled higher to allow for the settling that will occur over time. Back filling will need to be completed before any sidewalks can be poured up to the garage. 
  • Garage Construction Framing

Once our experienced Minneapolis St Paul garage construction experts start framing you will be on the home stretch to a completed project! You'll be notified prior to the lumber delivery to help prevent any inconvenience. Lumber is usually delivered one day before framing begins so everything is there for the crew to begin work.
The carpentry crew will need power to work efficiently, so if there is not an outdoor outlet please leave a cord out the window for them to use. Let us know if no power can be supplied so we can make other arrangements.
Information about your garage is laid out in for the carpentry crew on our specification sheet, so the carpenters are pretty self-sufficient.
It is common practice to install windows in the center of the wall for aesthetic purposes. The carpenters will also match roofing as close as possible to what is on your home. If vinyl siding and aluminum soffit/fascia is to be installed, the carpenters will find the closest match for these as well. If you have any specific requirements, or would like to look through color selections yourself please contact myself or your sales representative. The framing goes really fast so if you want to make any changes please do so before we begin.
During the framing process the inspector will conduct their second inspection and will once again need to sign off on the permit.
The carpenters will hang the keys for your service door on a stud adjacent to the door itself. Sometimes you may find the keys placed inside the permit bag. If you are unable to locate the keys, please contact us for assistance. Also note that if you have not specifically requested a deadbolt to be installed on your door there will not be one. Please provide us with advanced notice if this is something you would like to add.
Any wood soffits, fascia, trim or siding will need to be primed and/or painted at some point for protection against the elements.
  •  Roofing and Siding

Generally, the carpenters will be installing the roofing and siding for your project, but we also have crews that we use regularly to handle these installations when needed. This process will begin immediately once the garage framing is complete. Power will need to be accessible for this part of the project as well.

  •  Electrical

If the project calls for electricity, Western’s electrician will begin his installation towards the end of the framing process. A separate permit will be pulled by him for this part of the project. He will contact you directly to arrange a time to meet and go over specific placement of the electrical fixtures. He will also need to make arrangements with you to complete the work inside your home.

Once he completes the rough-in electrical work an inspection will need to take place before he can finish. We understand it can be difficult to visualize exactly what you will need for electrical fixtures before the project begins, therefore items can be added on at this point for an additional cost.

  •  Overhead Door

Once the power is hooked up inside the garage (if the project calls for it), or once framing is complete, the overhead doors will be installed. Unless otherwise specified, a standard white raised panel steel overhead door will be provided. There is a limited color selection available if you would like something other than white. There is no cost for choosing one of the other standard colors should you desire to do so. If an opener is to be installed, the remotes are typically left out of sight inside the light cover of the opener itself.  

  • Clean-up

All of the construction debris from the building process will be piled up on site until the project is nearing completion. If you would like to keep any of the scrap material let me know and I'll set it aside for you. Any extra, unused, material will be returned to our suppliers. Included in your garage proposal are the exact amounts of material needed to build your garage. However, it is standard practice for us to order extra to account for waste and to make sure the crews are able to work efficiently.  

  • Final Inspection

There are potentially two types of final inspections that will take place. A final inspection for any electrical work will need to take place first. Once the electric passes inspection a final building inspection will need to take place. You will be notified prior to each inspection to ensure the inspector has access to inside the garage and the permit.

There will be a total of 5 inspections for garages built and installed with electric.

Footing Inspection
Framing Inspection
Electric Ruff In Inspection
Electric Final Inspection
Building Final Inspection


I hope this gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect throughout the Western Garage Builders construction process.Should you have any questions or concerns please contact the office or your sales representative.

I encourage you to review the spec sheet and contract prepared with you by your sales representative to ensure accuracy. This is ultimately the documentation that we go off of to ensure we give you exactly what has been agreed upon. If you feel something is missing or inaccurate please let us know right away so the necessary changes can be made before we start construction.

When it come to the best garage construction process in the Minneapolis St Paul Metro I'm reminded of one of my fathers old carpenter saying's, Measure Twice Cut Once!

Thanks again and we look forward to building you a garage we can all be proud of.

Bradley Chazin
Western Construction, Inc.
4301 Highway 7 #115
Minneapolis, MN 55416