When you're in the initial stages of planning the design of a custom garage with a local builder, you should consider whether you want a one-level garage or a two-level garage. While the former style is common in residential applications, there are lots of advantages to having a two-level garage. The increased storage space and the ability to use the upper level as a home office are two significant perks to think about. If you're in favor of an upper level, the next thing to think about is how you want to travel between the two levels. Here are three stair options that your builder can offer.
A popular choice for providing access to the second level of your garage from the ground floor is a set of stairs inside the garage. If you expect that you'll be traveling between the two levels virtually every time you're in the garage, you'll likely favor the ease of navigating a conventional staircase. Thinking about how you'll use the upper level of the structure can influence how your stairs will look. It makes sense to choose a straight staircase, rather than one that turns, if you plan to store large objects on the upper level. The former will be easier to navigate than the latter when you're carrying bulky things.
If your garage is going to have a relatively small footprint, you might not want a conventional staircase because of the amount of space it will consume. In this scenario, a good alternative is a set of pull-down stairs. A lot of peoples' homes have these stairs leading up to the attic. You'll simply pull a handle to reveal the stairs, which you can then climb. When you're done in the upper level of the garage, you can push the pull-down stairs back into a closed position to get them out of the way.
While there are a lot of advantages to having stairs inside the garage, you might also consider exterior stairs that run up the side of the building. Many people favor this option with their two-level garages, as it provides convenient access to the upper level without having to enter the garage. If you anticipate eventually using the upper level of the structure as a short-term rental unit, exterior stairs will be your best bet because you won't have to worry about your guests having access to the main level of your garage.
Contact a company like Affordable Garages to learn more about your options.