Building a garage shed can be a wise investment if done correctly. A garage not only provides protection for your vehicles, it can also add value to your property and provide some much-needed extra space. Surprisingly, building your own garage shed can be a lot easier than it seems.
We have a list of tips below that can help guide you through the initial phase towards designing the perfect garage for your needs.
Working out your requirements
Before starting to design your garage you should first ask yourself, what is the purpose of your garage shed project? Each customer will have a different answer based off the garage’s intended use.
Do you require a garage purely for parking vehicles?
What are the dimensions of the vehicles you intend to park inside?
Do you require extra storage space either side or a longer garage to include a workshop space?
Are there any other requirements your garage must have?
After defining the purpose of your garage, we recommend measuring around the vehicles you intend to park in your completed garage to get an idea of the dimensions your garage needs to be.
If it’s a double garage or a multi car garage, have each vehicle parked side by side with enough room between to open a door. Then measure the length, width and height needed; these measurements will form the basis of your garage dimensions.
Deciding on the garage location
Now it may not seem like much but choosing the right location is essential! Your garage won’t be going anywhere after you install it. After deciding on your garage dimensions, you must ensure you choose the perfect location for your garage shed.
In residential areas we recommend having the garage setback at least 1m from your neighbour’s boundaries to not only help with building the shed but to help with passing your proposed garage through council.
Pegging out your garage location is going to give you a great visual of the overall size of the garage and help identify any problems which you may encounter such as trees, underground services and ground levels which will affect the foundation.
Also make sure you check that vehicle accessibility into the garage will be easy. You don’t want to be conducting 3 point turns every time you drive in and out of your garage. Once you are happy with the location and dimensions of your garage it’s time to think about the other aspects of the design and your project budget.
Working out your budget
It’s always wise to work out your project budget early on in the design process so you don’t waste time designing something you won’t be able to afford.
Working out your project budget can be done in 2 ways.
- If you are fixed on the size you would like your garage shed, you can get some garage kit supply quotes and then double that price to get a total project cost to use as your budget.
- If you already have a fixed budget in mind, half your fixed budget should be allocated to the garage kit purchase, so get some supply quotes at about half your budget price.
Garage design tips
Choosing your roof shape – A garage roof design can either be gable or skillion or a combination of both. Garage and shed roofs are most commonly a gable shaped design but skillion designs are becoming more popular and provide a more modern look. Skillion roofs can also be a cheaper option in some cases.
Choosing the main openings – The choice of main openings to a garage can include large steel sliding doors, roller doors or sometimes sectional roller doors and depending on the application, each has their pros and cons.
When deciding on roller doors the main considerations is opening height and widths of openings.
If you plan on building a double garage, consider the option of one wide roller door instead of two smaller roller doors; it can work out cheaper in many instances especially if you intend on adding electric motors.
- Roller doors are the most common and generally the cheapest option, especially if you plan on your garage being a DIY project.
- They are the easiest to install and provide quite a good weathertight seal.
- Roller doors can have restricted opening heights due to the roller door drum depth.
- Larger roller doors require chain drives or motors to open/close, increasing their price.
- Roller doors require servicing to keep running well.
Steel Sliding Doors
Steel sliding doors are a great low maintenance option and provide the benefit of having the largest openings, however the upfront cost is usually more.
- Allows larger openings both in width and height
- No servicing required
- More expensive to buy and install
- Less weatherproof from wind driven rain.
Sectional Roller Doors
Sectional doors are another option but are generally not included in prefab garage kits but can be supplied and installed through a separate company.
- Allow a higher opening height than roller doors for a given wall height.
- Provide the most weather tight seal
- Can be made wider than the widest roller doors.
- Need to be installed by a professional
- Require regular servicing
Customizing your garage
Whilst there are many options available for customizing garage sheds, we thought we would quickly mention a few of the most useful.
Personal access door
We always recommend adding a Personal access door (PA Door) to your garage. A PA door allows easy access to your garage without the need to open your main opening each time you wish to gain access to your garage.
Tip: if electric motors are fitted to your roller doors, consider adding a PA door as it avoids you being locked out of your garage in the event of a power outage.
The best way to keep your garage cool in hot weather is to insulate the roof area.
Roof insulation options include a blanket type or foam foil type, each having their pros and cons.
Tip: A garage in summertime can be almost unbearable to be in for any extended period of time, so if your garage includes a workshop, consider insulating the roof area.
Electric motors and chain drives
On roller doors, electric motors or chain drives become a must have when the roller door opening height becomes too high to reach with your hands.
Tip: Consider adding automatic openers to your roller doors for your convenience especially during the rainy winter months.
Making your shed extendable
If you are limited by budget but wish in the future for a bigger garage or adding a workshop space, consider designing your garage to be extendable to future proof your shed. Garage designs these days can offer the flexibility to upgrade end portals for future garage extensions to either the front, back or add a lean-to to the side.
Consider speaking to your garage designer about your options.
When you are beginning the enquiry process of building your garage, be sure to check with one of our team members about any additional add-on options for your garage.