Garage Building

Building a Garage

Most homes have either a carport or a garage. To differentiate the two, a carport is basically a roofed but wall-less shed projecting from a side of a building used primarily to house a car. A garage is an indoor area for sheltering a vehicle. A garage has taken on added functions. It is no longer only used for storing cars but it also serves as winter storage for garden tools, bicycles, and other yard stuff like furniture. It is also functions as the all-purpose storage room of everything that is not currently needed around the house: think Christmas and Halloween decors. You might also designate the garage as the tool room or your do-it-yourself workshop. To make the garage even cosier, you might want to add that extra "beer" refrigerator and an armchair or two.

As most homes are two-car or even three-car families, there is a need to either expand an existing garage or build new one. Taking it from a builder's perspective, it is sometimes easier to build a new garage than do an expansion. Building a garage is also profitable as it will increase the value of your property in case you want to sell in the future.  What are the things that you should do to build your garage?

Start from scratch or order a kit? It is necessary for you to decide on how to build your new garage. Do you want to start from scratch and just hire subcontractors for the hard part like the foundation? Do you want to just order a garage kit and have some experts help you put the modules together? Whatever it is that you prefer, you must first decide on this factor.

How big do you want your new garage? Choose the size of your garage according to your needs. Is this your first garage? Is this garage an additional one? Basically, a single garage should be at least 6 meters long (inside wall to wall measurement) and at least 3.5 meters in width.  For a double garage, the length is still at 6 meters but the width should be at least 5.50 wide.  If you plan on using the garage for other functions like as storage or as a tool room, add at least a meter more on the length.

Get your garage plan. First, decide if you want the garage attached to your house or you want it as a separate structure. If you want it as a separate structure, decide on the best place in your lot to build it. You can do these two ways. You can either buy a garage plan from a reputable company or get an architect to design it. Either way the set of plans should include all the necessary sectional and elevation details, plans and details for the floor, walls and roofing. If electrical and mechanical plans are not included, then demand for these plans to be included it need be. 

If you plan on connecting the garage to your house, make sure that the facade of the garage is similar in style and materials as the house. In fact, even if the new garage will be a separate structure from the house, symmetry in design is still desirable. If you have an architect, he or she will know what to do. If not, you could add details or modify the materials used for the new garage and the house design to be cohesive.

What are the local rules and laws that apply to construction your new garage? Different areas have different zoning and building codes. Make it a point to secure the necessary permits before you start to build. Failing to get one would cost you money in terms of penalty. The local building official might even refuse to issue a permit to build.   As a rule, securing a building permit requires that you present the plan and working drawings of the garage and the plot plan. If your garage is not connected to the house a separate permit to connect your garage to an electrical and water utilities could also be required.

Make sure that you adhere to the plan that you submitted for approval from the local building officials and to the building codes of the locality. A periodic inspection from the local building office is expected and failing to comply could delay your construction or worse, mandate you to start all over again.

Get quotes and estimates from contractors and subcontractors. As an avid DIY you cannot possibly do all the work by yourself. You need to get subcontractors to do the excavation and backfilling, the laying of foundation, the wall framing and roof framing, and a qualified roofer. If you can do the masonry and brick laying, finishing carpentry, insulation, plumbing and electrical, then so much the better If not, then add these to the quotes. You also need to get quotes on windows and doors from an installer and the manufacturer.

If financing is needed for the project, then you should decide to either get a loan from your bank or increase your mortgage payments. If in a quandary, your bank could present you with more options for the loan. It is roughly estimated that a garage construction could cost anywhere from £ 250 to £ 350 per square meter. This estimate does not include other aspects such as sewer connection and driveway paving. If you have a contractor, don't settle for a rough estimate. Ask for a detailed estimate. For comparison, you can opt to get the services of an estimator. An estimator can also give you a list of all the materials needed for the construction.

Garage Building Schedule

Construct the new garage! Now that you have a list of all the material needed and the services of qualified subcontractors to do the "hard" part, buy your materials and build your new garage. For the sake of sequencing here is loose schedule that you can follow.

After all these steps, install other cabinetry, plumbing and electrical, paint your new garage and you are done.

"These costs will be more for a pitched roof and if a usable room above the garage is required"

R B Sayers