The ever-increasing cost of on street parking coupled with rises in crime and vandalism mean more and more people are looking to add a garage or carport to their properties.
But what should you be looking for in a garage? What does it take to get one built? What can you get for your money? And is it really any safer than parking on the street?
Why should I use a professional?
There are two main ways of getting a garage or carport built. The first is to buy a ready-made garage from one of a number of reputable suppliers throughout the country. The second is to hire a builder to build one for you from scratch.
If you want to buy a ready-made garage, the best thing to do is get a few quotes including your specific measurements, the style of garage you want, and how long you expect it to take. Professional suppliers will come and assemble the garage but you will need to provide extremely accurate measurements and make sure that you have adequate foundations to lay the building on.
Companies such as UK Garages, Eurovudas Ltd, and Compton Buildings can all provide in depth personal advice and brochures before you decide to purchase any pre-constructed buildings such as a garage or carport.
The second option when thinking about a garage or carport is to get a builder to construct one for you from the very beginning. This may work out as a better option if, further down the line, you envisage the garage being used as a study or a den, rather than just somewhere to keep the car.
Local builders can be found on customer rated and vetted websites such as www.findabuilder.co.uk and www.ratedtradesmen.com. An excellent way to find a good builder is to ask friends and neighbours to recommend someone or try to talk to people who have been in a similar situation as yourself.
How much will it cost?
The costs of building a garage or carport on your property vary greatly depending on individual circumstances and preferences in garage type. Some people may need foundations built before they begin, while others may be in a position to start building straight away. Additional features such as electric doors or mahogany doors will cost extra.
Make sure you always shop around with different suppliers to ensure you’re getting the best price. If you’re using a reputable builder make sure to get a quote in writing before they commence work and the cost should not rise above this.
Will I need planning permission if I add a garage or carport to my property?
For already constructed garages which you buy ready-made, the law defines them as pre-cast concrete sectional garages and states that in the majority of cases you do not need planning permission, as they are deemed temporary structures. However, that need not necessarily apply to your specific building, so to be on the safe side contact your local authority planning office to discuss if you require planning or not.
It is worth noting that you may need planning permission if your proposed building falls into one of the following categories:
- The proposed building goes beyond the front elevation of your house (unless you have a very large front garden).
- More than half the area of your garden is covered by the proposed building.
- The building is more than 3 metres high, or 4m if an apex roof.
- The garage is within one metre of your existing house wall.
- The building is going to be attached to the wall of a dwelling.
You may not need planning permission, but may fall under building regulations if:
- The floor area of the building exceeds thirty square metres, or the total cubic area of the building exceeds seventy square metres.
How do I get planning permission?
Your local authority contact number and website can be found at this link. They will also be listed in local directories. They will provide you with the relevant forms to complete, and inform you of the cost.
In the event that you need to apply for planning permission, you should ask your garage supplier or building contractor for basic drawings of the proposed garage and product specification sheet you will need to return with the completed application.
The council will then decide on the application, which varies in time depending on the authority. A typical period for planning is 6-8 weeks.
If you need help with your planning forms ask your garage supplier or building contractor for help, as they should have previous experience of filling in these forms. Make sure that any deposit you pay for your garage is fully refundable in the event of permission being refused.