For many people, having a garage has become a compulsory part of a home.  In fact, for properties valued over £500,000, if there is no garage then in most cases it simply doesn’t sell that well.  For properties under this mark, the addition of a garage can help the house fulfil the buyer’s needs while increasing its value.  Even if you aren’t selling, a garage can be a very useful addition to your home.  So how do you go about having one designed and built?

Planning the garage

The planning stage of the addition of a garage should involve some consideration for the future.  For example, there’s no point building a garage that perfectly fits your little two door car and then in two years, upgrading to a 4×4 that no longer fits in it. Also, it’s important think about whether you might want to convert the garage for a different purpose in the future – maybe when the kids get older and they need a space of their own.

The other aspect of the planning stage is to look into the relevant regulations.  At the moment if you want to build a detached garage it will be exempt from building regulations as long as any fixed electrical installation complies with the electrical safety requirements of the Building Regulations (Part P).  Further, the garage needs to be:

  • Less than 30 metres squared in floor area
  • A single storey with no sleeping accommodation
  • Made with non-combustible materials

Always check with your local building regulations department to ensure these standards are still applicable in your area.

Elements to consider

Other factors to consider when planning a garage build include the insulation and the type of garage door you want to use.  Insulation is important if there are any inward facing or shared walls with the property to ensure that heat from the house isn’t lost through the garage. Insulation is also worth considering if there is any chance that you will later convert the space into a living area.

The garage door is one of the important parts of the structure and there are different types to choose from.  Up and over in one piece styles are popular as they offer a shelter over the boot for unloading and are cost effective.  Vertical lifting doors use hinged panels to curve as it lifts.  Steel is a popular option for such doors as it is durable and weather resistant while timber doors have come back into fashion with the use of special stains.

Self-build or professional?

The style of the garage and your own ability to take on such a project are the two main considerations as to whether to self-build or have a professional do it for you.  Timber frame garages are readily available and can be perfect for a DIY garage.  If you want a structure that might later be converted, then it is usually best to allow a professional to take on the project. A professional can also help with checking the building regulations in your area to ensure the garage is compliant in every area.