When it comes to building a whole new garage for your home, there are a few things you’ll need to consider before you get started. Asking a local contractor/architect to design and build a garage room on your property is a good first step, but you should have some guidelines to give them so that your new garage can cater to your needs and wants. We’ll look at the key factors to keep in mind when planning your new garage build in this article. Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first; planning permission.
When building or renovating a garage, it’s important to consider whether or not you’ll need planning permission for the structure. There are a variety of rules and regulations out there which control what you can and can’t build on your property, and these rules can vary depending on your location. For instance, if you live in a National Park or in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s likely there will be restrictions on what you’re allowed to build. The planning rules surrounding these and similar protected areas are restrictive because it’s important to preserve vital habitats and beautiful spaces for future generations and native wildlife. Even if you don’t live in a protected area, your home may be a listed property, which gives the building itself certain securities. Modifications may have to adhere to strict aesthetic rules which can dictate the materials you use, the style of the building and the size.
Even when it comes to an unlisted property in a non-protected area, there may be some regulations to consider before starting work. If the garage is to be attached to your main property, or if it is bigger than a certain size, then you may have to apply for planning permission. Our advice is; no matter where you live or what you think you know about your permissions, it’s always best to check with your local authority before making any moves towards building your garage. If build without checking first and are found to be in breach of the law, they can legally make you demolish the structure and fine you a lot of money, leaving you out of pocket twice – which is certainly not worth the risk.
Space and Environment
Now that the paperwork is out of the way and you know what you need to do in order to legally build your garage, let’s think about how big it should be and its location. You may want to discuss this with a contractor or architect. It’s important to check things like where pipes will go if you want it to be plumbed in, accessibility to the grid, if you’ll need to remove any existing buildings or trees, and accessibility for construction crew.
Think about the layout of the land attached to your property – does it flood in certain areas? Which direction does the sun shine from? How easy will it be to open and close the garage door? Is there enough room for manoeuvring your vehicle into it? These are all important first considerations.
The main focus of your garage will be your garage door, and if the structure is to face the street, then you’ve got to consider what you want the first impressions of your home to be like. Garage doors take up a large area and will draw the eye, so getting it right when choosing the ideal garage door is important. You should first look at the various different styles available and see which you like best. Then check on prices and sizes – it may be a good idea to liaise with your architect/contractor at this point so that you can budget for the right size of door. If you want an electric garage door which opens at the touch of a button, then you may want to look into sectional or roller doors as a space saving option. These styles don’t ‘kick out’ when opened, which means you can park right up to the entrance and still be able to open the door without restrictions.
Finally, you should consider what you’ll be using your garage for. This may dictate the type of garage door you choose, the size, and the utilities/amenities it needs. If you’re building it to house your vehicle(s), then it’s important to consider security, for instance. If you’re building your garage to use as a workshop or kids playroom, then insulation, light and utilities is an important consideration. Speak with the members of your household who will be using the space to get their input on the finer details. This way, you’ll have thought of everything before construction even begins and you won’t have to think about renovating it for a long time to come.