Garages - Frequently Asked Questions

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Spar Pent Concrete Garage 340 - Dark Woodgrain, Brick Posts

View Garages and Carports.

  • The smallest size for a single garage is 8' x 16' which is a tight squeeze even with a small car.
  • More popular sizes include 9' x 18' and 10' x 20'.
  • The smallest size for a double garage is 16' x 16'.
  • A typical family saloon e.g. Ford Mondeo is 4.724m long x 1.920m wide x 1.448m high (15'5" x 6'4" x 4'8").
  • A typical small car e.g. Nissan Micra is 3.708m long x 1.778m wide x 1.422m high (12'2" x 5'8" x 4'7").
  • A typical people carrier e.g. Fiat Ulysse is 4.445m long x 2.159m wide x 1.448m high (14'6" x 7'1" x 5'6").

Car sizes vary from model to model so we recommend that you check the size of your car before you order your garage.

Where should I locate my garage?

Ideally your garage should have a clear space at least 18" wide on all sides, if possible. This ensures easy access for both installation and future maintenance. In reality this is often not practical and at many sites it is not needed. A reduced clearance is often possible on one or two sides. If the space around your garage is restricted remember to allow for any roof overhang. You should also cut back or remove any nearby shrubs and trees. Remember to allow for future growth. Remember to allow for gutter overhangs and door openings. Remember that an up and over door may project by up to 1270mm or 4'2" in front of the garage.

Should I locate my garage behind the house?

The most convenient location for a garage at an average detached or semi detached house is often set back behind the house, leaving enough access to the back garden. This allows for a wider garage where access is limited. Offset doors can be particularly useful in this situation. Setting the garage further back is often more acceptable to planners and often ensures that below ground drains and services are not disrupted.

What type of base is suitable for my garage?

All garages need a substantial base. The base should be solid, square, flat and level to ensure the stability of your garage. A garage base should be higher than the surrounding ground to ensure adequate drainage and to allow for hinged doors to open. Concrete is the preferred material for garage bases. The base for a concrete garage should always be at least 150mm or 6" wider and longer than the external size of the garage. The base for a timber garage is normally made precisely to allow the walls to overhang for drainage purposes.

What if my base is not quite flat and level?

The base for a concrete garage must be level from front to back and from side to side. If the base slopes down towards the front there will be a gap under the door. If the base slopes down towards the back puddles will form and you won't be able to get the water out. If the base slopes from side to side the door will not fit evenly at the bottom when it shuts. The base must be flat because if it has bumps in it the panels won't fit neatly together. If the driveway slopes down towards the garage a gully must be put in to take any surface water away. The ground surrounding the base should be lower than the base.

What access is required to deliver my garage?

Your sectional garage will be delivered and installed by prior appointment with you. A clear access route is required from the lorry to the prepared base, with no access restrictions. Our concrete garages normally weigh several tons and include heavy concrete sections. Our wooden garages include large flat panels. Possible restrictions include archways, narrow passages, sharp corners and flights of steps. Please advise us if there are any access restrictions at the site.

Is my garage or carport suitable for DIY assembly?

Our metal garages and carports are flat-packed for DIY self assembly. Some of our timber garages are suitable for DIY assembly. Some of our timber garages include free professional installation within the price and some include installation as an option. Our sectional concrete garages include free professional installation within the price.

How should I maintain my wooden garage?

All wooden garages require regular treatment. Summer Garden Buildings recommends that the external timber should be treated with a good quality wood stain every year. This will prolong the life of your garage. All major wood stain manufacturers offer suitable products in a choice of colours, available from good hardware shops. Summer Garden Buildings also recommends that you regularly oil the door and window hinges as required to ensure continued smooth operation.

Can I insulate my garage?

Our concrete garages can be lined and insulated using the unused fixing holes to attach timber studwork. Our wooden garages can be easily insulated with inexpensive polystyrene or fibreglass insulation fitted between the framing members. The insulation is retained by cross battens which also support the lining boards. Wood effect veneered wallboard is a popular lining but plywood and tongued and grooved cladding are also suitable.

Can I have electricity in my garage?

Although providing an electricity supply to a sectional garage is normally a straightforward task, for safety reasons we recommend that you consult an approved electrician first. Since January 1st 2005 all electrical work must be completed in accordance with IEE wiring regulations and BS 7671. Notifiable work must be either notified directly to the local building control department or completed by an operator who is approved under the Part P Electrical Competent Person Scheme.

Is planning permission required for my sectional garage?

Many sectional garages do not require planning permission. However, permission is required for any garage which covers over half the garden, which is not for domestic use or which is over 3 metres high with a pent roof or 4 metres high with an apex roof. Larger garages which are within 2 metres of a boundary and over 2.5m high (8'2") require planning permission. Some larger apex roof garages may be over 2.5m high. Planning permission may also be required for any garage which is nearer to a public highway than the original dwelling. For planning purposes a public highway includes any road or footpath with a public right of way. If you live in a Conservation Area or a Listed Building permission may be required for any garage. This brief summary is not intended to be a comprehensive guide. Contact us for further advice or contact your local planning department. Please note that planning regulations apply to any building whether temporary or permanent including sectional garages.

Is building regulations approval required for my sectional garage?

Many sectional garages do not require approval under the building regulations. However, approval is required for any garage with an internal floor area of more than 30 square metres. Please note that the building regulations apply to any building in excess of 30 square metres whether temporary or permanent including sectional garages.

What is shiplap cladding?

Shiplap is the traditional and ever popular cladding profile for use in wooden garages. Shiplap features smooth planed and fully interlocking tongued and grooved boarding. The design ensures that rainwater drains quickly and the timber dries quickly. This helps to ensure a longer life for your garage. Our wooden garages feature properly tongued and grooved boarding which is stronger than the half lap shiplap or rebated shiplap used by many others.

Why choose granular steel roof tiles?

We offer granular steel roof tiles as an option for many of our timber garages and concrete garages. The tiles are made from the highest quality steel, with an aluminium and zinc coating for maximum corrosion protection. Additionally, the steel is further protected with 2 layers of weather resistant acrylic coating and a coverage of natural stone chips. Uses include homes, flats, schools, offices and all types of buildings. These granular steel roof tiles have been tested and proved suitable for every climate throughout the world from hurricanes and hailstones to heatwaves. Resistance to UV radiation ensures reduced colour fading. An environmentally friendly fungicide is contained within the coating to ensure no moss or lichen growth.

How should I maintain my up and over doors?

Moving parts require maintenance. Check that pivot arms move freely. Oil all moving parts at least twice a year. Check rollers turn freely. Grease horizontal tracks at least twice a year. If necessary adjust spring tension and check that all fixings are sufficiently tight.

View our Garage Buyer's Guide.

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