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Building a Man Car

Building a Man Car Published: 25th Apr 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Building a Man Car
Building a Man Car
Building a Man Car
Building a Man Car
Building a Man Car
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It may be a once in a lifetime opportunity but if you have the chance of building a dream garage and don’t take it then you’re a fool who will regret it

You can never have enough space, and whatever you have, always gets used up. So if you’ve out grown your old lock up then why not treat yourself to a new garage before you start the restoration?

If you opt for a professional ready to fit prefab type then you’re possibly looking at between £4500 and £7000 for something that’s up to 30 feet long and 10 feet wide (well, if you have to have one, why not go large-ed) but if you do some of the work yourself you can do it for much less – brick built ones will be much more, of course.

What’s so appealing about a new garage is that effectively you have a blank canvas to work your magic on with, hopefully, few compromises. If you’ve always yearned for an inspection pit, then now’s the time to add it to the wish list. Do it right and you’ll end up with a dream workshop that you can spend many happy hours in working in a first class environment where you do the jobs much better.

Sounds great – but before you crack on, double-andtreble check the planning permission surrounding your replacement garage with your council – it will you save a lot of time and hassle later on.

For instance, if it’s located next to the boundary with any neighbours, you may run into height restrictions. Also, if you exceed the allowed allocated ‘footprint’ you may have to apply for expensive building regulations, – the entire garage may not exceed 50 per cent of the land around your house (including driveway, front and back gardens), depending where you live.

Don’t be under illusions that it’s nothing but hard dirty work, breaking up the old concrete to lay a new base and bear in mind that you’re going to have to find somewhere to store all your old gear in the meantime. Most folks will have the hard work done by a builder or the garage installer and a prefab can be bolted together in a day by the professionals.

Once built, it’s up to you to gild the Lily by adding some personal touches, such as painting the floors (always a good idea to keep dust down ) and walls for natural light and carefully think about where to put your bench, tool cabinet and the amount of lighting required – a tip; you can’t have too much and the same goes for plug sockets. And why not plumb in water so you can clean up before venturing into your house?

All done? Now all you have to do is to keep it junk free, spotlessly clean like the F1 boys do – and ban the rest of the family from using it as a store room. Yeah, right…

Variations on a theme

Possibly pick a portable

Cheer up, if you can’t have your dream garage, for whatever reason, you don’t have to go without as there’s a decent range of portable types – such as tent-like or hard shelled – although they are chiefly for storing than seriously working in

Consider a carport?

Well, it’s better than nothing as it keeps the rain off and again there’s some splendid designs around. Add external lighting and some power points, and you’re all set up during the warmer months. All you may need is a car cover

Love that lock up!

As before, it’s better than now’t although space will be at a premium as they are a regulatory size and perhaps in another part of town. Security can be a problem (see separate feature) but cordless tools and lights means you can work contentedly

Five top tips

Size matters…

If you are deciding on a new garage and have the space, then go as big as you can because it affords better, safer working space and room to design a proper workshop

Shop around

Before you take the plunge study what’s around and compare the specs, design and prices as they can vary. Decide if you want to do it all, have the pros do the job or meet somewhere in between as many do

Financial sense

A new garage isn’t always a selfish extravagance, it can also add value to your property, so speak to your mortgage lender as they should be able to advise you on how best to fund your fun

Bricks VS Prefab

Apart from wood, which is still available but very much in the majority as it possesses a shorter working life, the choice lies between bricks and prefab; all have their respective merits and drawbacks. By and large, bricks will always be the preferred material but it’s much costlier and labour intensive. In contrast, prefab is appreciably cheaper and easier to erect. The material has come a long way from the council lock ups but can still suffer from condensation issue because it doesn’t breathe like bricks; a dehumidifier will counteract this. Again, speak to a garage supplier for best advice and the best of doors (swing, roller or up and over) for your needs

Is it allowed?

Before you wield the first pick and shovel, speak to your local council to ascertain if your plans are allowable and whether if will affect your council tax ratings, usually by increasing the ratable value of your dwellings

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