Garage, garage conversion

Useful tips for building a garage

garage-remodelling-ideasBuilding your own garage often proves a worthwhile personal experience that can add significant value to your property. Before you get started, however, there are number of things that require some careful consideration and extensive preparation to make sure you end up with the best garage possible:

Firstly, you need to clarify the purpose of your new garage; are you simply looking to keep your car safe at night, or do you need the extra storage space – perhaps for a washing machine, or extra refrigerator? Or do you fancy furnishing the place properly and creating a whole extra room – perhaps as a quiet getaway, a study or office space, or even a playroom for the kids?

Next, decide how large you want your garage to be – shape and size are especially important before and during construction. If you need the space for a single, average sized vehicle then the garage needs to be at least 6 metres long and 3.5 metres wide; for two vehicles this should be extended to 5.5 metres in width; and if you are looking to have various appliances along at least one wall of the garage then you should add another metre onto each wall. Measurements should be drawn up before you start purchasing any building materials; if you’re worried about how accurate the size needs to be then you could always hire an architect to draw up professional blueprints to aid your planning.

Although it isn’t usually required, you should also check whether or not you will need planning permission to build your garage. Since 2008 new laws have classed garages attached to your home as ‘permitted developments’ but if you are unsure as to whether you’re allowed to build one, you can always check with your local authority.

Once you’ve figured out the right shape and size of your garage, it’s time to think about the most suitable materials for its construction. Most garages are made of timber or metal; the former is a much better insulator if you live in a colder region but metal will keep things cooler if you live in a sunnier area. High-grade steel or aluminium is the strongest option for a metal garage, while pressure treated wood is your best bet with timber; a coating of protective agents is usually applied with high-pressure steam jets, making it resistant to water, rot, mildew and insect damage – and saving you the job of annual polishing!

You also need to decide whether or not you are going to hire a contractor to build your garage or purchase a pre-packed DIY assembly kit. Either way, you should always hire a professional to lay your floor screed and concrete base; cement mixing is trickier than it looks and this part of the project needs to be done properly, as the floor will be the anchor point from which the rest of the garage needs to be built.

Finally, are there any extras that would help make your garage extra special? Any additional windows or doors to brighten up the place and allow easy access from the exterior and interior of the building? What about furnishing? Hooks and cupboards attached to the side walls make for great ways to maximise storage space and a few armchairs here and there might be just the thing to emphasise it as a space for rest and relaxation.

How much does it cost to build a garage

However you decide to go about building your garage, make sure you always take price into account; the extension to your property should be viewed as a worthwhile investment, so an average cost of anything between £250 and £350 per square metre should help keep things within budget. If you are hiring any contractors, architects or labourers, for instance, you should keep track of how much each is going to cost you – just in case the expense threatens to spiral out of control. As long as you have checked references and portfolio work and compared enough quotes between DIY kits and builders, your new garage should be up and ready for you to use in no time.

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