Concrete Garages - Essential Information You Need To Know When Buying.
This page contains information that we think you should know if your thinking about buying a concrete garage;
Concrete Garages as an Alternative to Conventional Brick Construction
- Garage Appearance
- Construction Time
- The Base
- The Concrete Construction The Roof
- Planning & Building Regulations
Concrete Garages as an Alternative to Conventional Brick Construction.
Since the total cost of a concrete garage is usually about one third of that for a comparable brick built structure, many homeowners have chosen the sectional concrete approach to enable them to save money and time. Erection time for sectional concrete is generally one day whereas brick construction which requires deep foundations, will mean a minimum of four to six weeks at best.
With the sectional garage, groundworks are cheaper, as the depth required for the footings is about a third of that required for brick construction (about a metre), and the earth removal costs, now running at about ninety pounds per skip (in part due to the new landfill tax), are drastically reduced.
As an additional bonus concrete garages can be extended very easily at a later date, with door and window arrangements changeable at any time. They can even be removed and re-sited elsewhere.
Where the exterior finish of the dwelling is rendered, our interlocking panels are the only type that can be rendered to match the existing house without the prospect of the seal between the panels opening up with time. All our panel garages feature the exclusive tongue-and-groove construction system.
Where the property is of brick construction, the front pillars either side of the garage door can be finished in brick.
Today's home buyer is well aware of appearance, or shall we say, "kerb appeal". Estate agents have commented that a cheap looking garage can hold the price of a property down, whereas our Heritage Model with it's side-to-side roof ridge, will add as much as three times it's cost in many locations.
Most of our garages, even the double models, can be erected in one day as mentioned above, and at any time of the year, weather permitting. Conventional brick or block construction is affected by weather conditions and requires deep, concrete foundations (usually about 1 metre in depth) which need to harden before any bricks are laid. Typically a conventionally-built double garage will take four to six weeks to complete.
You should also be aware that the builder that you select is required to notify the Health & Safety Executive (H&SE) of the project, if the construction time, including preparation of the site, extends beyond thirty days. As current legislation stands, you are not responsible for complying with H&SE requirements, but your builder is. If he fails to comply your project could be stopped. A competent, professional builder should have no problems in providing the local authority with all certifications presently required. These include matters such as First Aid, scaffolding tower erection, plant, especially for any engine-driven units, etc. However, anyone carrying out work without the correct training certifications, which today include even scaffolding, would be stopped. This could delay your project, or even necessitate the appointment of a new builder.
It is the responsibility of the customer to provide a good base, if you are not able to do this yourself, take a look in your local yellow pages or Yell.com for a local groundworks company to lay your concrete base for you. Please note that there is always the possibility that the garage erector may reject the base and not erect the garage if it is not up to standard. We will provide you with the base dimensions..
The base must be flat; with the exception of the outer edge which needs a roll-off profile to ensure that rainwater is drained away from the garage, not attracted into the building by an inward fall from the edge. It is important to remember that an uneven base may well be rejected by the erector if, in his judgement, the garage cannot be erected in a level and upright manner, or if he feels that rain will run back into the building. Although a fillet of sand and cement is provided, water laying up against the garage wall will eventually gain ingress and, with frost, will start to break the seal.
Making concrete is not unlike making a cake. The chief components of concrete are sand, of which there are many grades, cement, of which there are also many grades, and the aggregate of which there is a vast selection of sizes and types to choose from. All these components need to be carefully selected, and in the final analysis it is the hardness of the concrete that demonstrates the quality of the mix.
Local materials usually do not combine to make the best concrete, and it may well be necessary for manufacturers to purchase from a distant quarry, which has higher cost implications bearing in mind today's increased transportation costs. The stone needs to be hard and sharp edged to bond properly. Aggregate coming from sandstone regions (sometimes called Jurassic limestone) is not hard enough, and river stone is too rounded. When broken, concrete made with river or pit stone has the stone exposed, looking like the peanuts in a broken chocolate nut bar.
There are two systems, the post and panel and the vertical panel system.
The Post and Panel Garage.
A post and panel building, whether a garage or shed, uses vertical posts at 4' centres, with fill-in panels, each panel being about 2' height. Different building lengths can be achieved with as many 4' or 2' add-on panels, as required. The panels usually fit to the posts with a tapered groove joint and a metal clip clamping the panel to the post.
If you wish to select a building of this type we suggest that you check the following:
- Thickness of the panel that it is not less than 1.5" at any point and over 2.5" around the panel edge.
- Steel Reinforcement of Panel - needed for strength. .
- Post Section Size - The corner cross section should be 4.5in by 8in and the interposts measure 7.5in by 5.5in.
- Steel Reinforcement of the posts should be approx 8mm rods
- Finishes Available are Rockwall, Shiplap, and stone covered panels in six finishes.
The Panel Garage
Panel Garages do not require posts. Each panel has a thickened edge and panels are bolted together.
Our Concrete Garages have a UNIQUE panel construction with interlocking joints. Constructed with three bolts joining each panel, the exclusive design provides a weather tight joint without the need for messy mastic, that may shrink and leak in the years to come.
Attractive Derbyshire Spar aggregate gives an external appearance that will blend with virtually any property.
Garages are supplied with roofs made from a wide variety of materials. Choices can be made from corrugated metal, fibre cement or tiles. Metal sheets can be galvanized, which is the cheapest, painted or steel, plastic laminated. Fibre cement sheets are less likely to generate condensation, however they can be slightly porous and need a minimum slope angle to ensure that water runs off cleanly, otherwise they can saturate and seep. Cement pantiles can be used and provided by the customer or we can supply metal formed tiles in sheets form.
In some parts of the country there are Planning Restrictions that require that roofing must be in accordance with local requirements. We can supply without a roof , thus where local slate or stone tiles are mandatory they can be fitted. However should this requirement affect you, be certain that the roof supports of the garage will carry this heavier load or ask for them to be increased.
Guttering is essential for garages that have a ridge roof running across the building, such as our Mayfair Heritage model, and it is provided on this garage so that water does not drip down your neck as you open the door. Most models are supplied without guttering, as it can, in certain circumstances, serve to concentrate water flow over the same section of the garage base, causing soil or plant erosion, unless proper drainage has been provided for when the base was laid.
Planning & Building Regulations
In most parts of the country, our concrete sectional garages and sheds do not require Planning Consent Approval, whereas any brick structure will certainly be subject to Building Regulations if not planning. If Planning Consent is required we can provide a set of plan and elevation drawings for any model of our range of garages for a modest charge, this fee will be refunded upon completion of the garage..
If the proposed garage is not going to project in front of the existing property, planning permission is not normally required, providing the garage is within certain size limits which, in turn, are governed by the size and other aspects of the existing building. Normally you do not need Building control to erect a garage of less than 30 square metres (322 square feet) floor area, but you may need planning under certain circumstances.
We hope that we have given you an insight into the world of sectional concrete buildings. The range of products on the market may look very similar but, as you will have read here, there are important differences. A well-styled garage that blends with your property will add value greater than the direct cost. A Mayfair Heritage will usually add twice it's purchase price to the overall property value, or even more depending upon location. Steer clear of cheap-looking models. In today's property market they can have a negative effect on your property value.
Our concrete garage panels overlap. Most other manufacturers use panels that just butt-up this permits a hacksaw blade or similar instrument to be forced between their panels enabling the two bolts to be cut through and the wall panels forced apart. No blade can be forced between them.
All wall panels are secured with strong coupling bolts.
Our post and panel garages can be fitted with anchor bolts in the posts so that no bolt head can be sawn off. This addition to our normal specification carries a slight extra cost.