I would like to build a garage, and I would like to know the best building material to use for it. We plan on living in our residence until retirement (we are newlyweds). Our house is in the country and we would like to know what will last and what is structually secure to adjust to future changes in our lives (small kids, teenagers, guests, possible parents moving in, and our own retirement).
Also, how do I find someone that can help me determine where to build this ajacent to our home? I have talked to several salespersons for information from different companies, but they only tell me about the items that they are selling.
Your help is greatly appreciated.
There is no better situation for hiring an architect than yours. An architect is essential to getting questions like this answered, getting the project properly planned with proper specs, and finding a builder competent to build it as designed - or determining whether you can built it yourself.
This is exactly what architects do. They draw up a design plan you can submit to contractors to get bids. As you've learned, if you ask a salesperson or contractor for these insights, they're likely tell you what they know how to do. So it's key that you hire a design professional first. This person can come up with a design and specifications, and create a plan. Then you submit those plans to various builders for a price, and can compare proposals apples to apples. You could also use an architect for progress inspections - that is, have them check builder progress against the original plans after the building is framed, and/or before it's closed in, to make sure progress is in accordance with the architect's plans.
Your scenario is exactly why we have design professionals. The American Institute of Architects might have database of recommended architects by zipcode.