What is a prefabricated garage?
which are built on site from commonplace materials such as bricks,
prefabricated garages are a little more specialised. Comprising of
panels that have been manufactured off-site, for quick and easy
installation, these innovative solutions to car storage have steadily
grown in popularity over the last decade. Needing little specialist
construction knowledge, prefab garages are an ideal DIY project for
beginners and frequently prove to be more cost-effective than a
bricks and mortar build.
styles of prefabricated garage are there to choose from?
you can get any look you like, from a wood finish through to steel
and even concrete, but the style you choose will impact on overall
cost. The most common style of prefabricated garages include:
The compacted concrete walls can be shaped to resemble a more
attractive material, with brick-effect being a popular choice. A
layer of textural gravel is also a widely chosen and cost-effective
For a more traditional and organic look, which can be more in
keeping with rural or period homes, a wooden prefabricated garage is
a definite option. Large side panels and doors are created in a
specialist factory and are simply transported to and erected on
site, to complete a garage in a matter of hours. Wooden garages are
often on the more expensive side.
Steel prefabricated garages are usually notable for their slightly
industrial appearance, but offer fast construction times and
excellent weather protection. They tend to be most suitable for
foundations will you need?
The foundations you lay for
your new garage need to be capable of easily supporting the final
load that will be placed on them. Because of this, poured concrete
tends to be the recommended course of action, with a secure and level
pad laid well ahead of prefabricated panel delivery and erection.
Deep-fill concrete pads are
best and UK legislation states that a minimum thickness of 4 inches
in the middle and 12 inches at the edges must be assured. It is also
important to remember that you’ll need at least 3 inches of
foundations extending past the edge of your garage, on every side.
You can also look into the
possibility of a stone pad for your garage, but this is generally
only recommended if you are not going to be exposing it to a lot of
weight, or if you don’t need a smooth floor.
should you go about constructing your garage?
are steps you will need to follow, in order to properly erect a
prefabricated garage, if you’re planning to do it yourself, and an
order in which to tackle them, that goes as follows:
- Choose a suitable
location. You need to pick a spot that is within your boundary
constraints, has easy access to drainage (for your gutters to flow
into) and you need to make a decision as to the size you need.
Check with your local
council if you need planning permission, or if you will need a
buildings inspector to come and sign off on your finished work. Most
UK councils have a planning portal on their websites, which will
allow you to check this.
Think about safety. While
your garage is being made, you can be stocking up on all the
goggles, gloves and safety boots that you’ll need to tackle the
Lay your foundations. If in
doubt as to the size you need, speak to your panel manufacturer, as
they will be able to give you exact dimensions to work to. You might
like to hire a contractor to complete this phase for you, just to be sure that you have a
level and square finish.
Read all the accompanying
instructions before building. Think of a prefabricated garage as a
giant Meccano set. It has been efficiently designed to go together a
certain way and will be simple to complete, if you follow the
instructions to the letter. Always have a few people on hand to
assist you and take it at your own pace.
will affect the cost of a garage?
short answer is size, materials and style. The bigger or fancier your
garage is, the more it will cost you. A single steel prefabricated
garage will be a cost-effective addition, but a double or triple wooden garage will prove to be a large investment.
are better; traditionally built or prefabricated garages?
The differences between the
two construction methods are vast and as to which is better; that
really is a personal choice, but for cost-effectiveness, speed and
ease, most people agree that you can’t beat a prefab design.
Price-wise, you can be as
frugal or indulgent as you see fit, but on average, in the UK,
prefabricated builds come in at around 25% cheaper than standard
construction garages, including your foundations.
In terms of construction
time, you simply cannot beat a prefabricated garage. The longest part
of the process is waiting for your foundation pad to harden and that
should be done in under a week. It’s very rare to hear of a prefab
garage taking longer than 14 days to complete, from start to finish.
It’s generally accepted
that for a sturdy and long-lasting garage build, you are better off
choosing a traditionally constructed variety, just because bricks and
mortar have more staying power. You can also customise more with a
traditional build and adapt to solve any unforeseen issues quickly
and without incurring more expense.