Choosing a garage for your car.

"A look at common structural issues with garages"

Keeping the damp and wet off your car is a major consideration in most countries.

It provides a dry safe and secure place to work on your car and store it.

Garages and outbuildings are often very poorly constructed and badly designed.

We look at the common pitfalls and issues and provide tips on how to spot structural problems early on before it is too late.

Structural problems and defects

Common structural defects we see are the lack of supporting pillars, adequate ties and poor quality door lintels.

Defects and problems such as this often manifest themselves as cracking in walls or lateral movement or dropping of the door frame.

If your prospective garage is showing these signs we suggest you call in a structural repairs specialist to investigate and rectify the issue.

Modern garages are often very small, and we often see the double skin supporting brickwork right where the driver would want to open his door, reducing the usable garage space considerably.

If space is limited it makes sense to get a steel framed garage, as bricks will reduce the width of your garage between 10 and 20 centimeters.

Erecting a new garage is accomplished in a couple of days with some superb kits out there.

One of our members posted this progress video of his garage going up, and it gives him a lot more space to work in for repairs and servicing.

Keeping it dry

Damp is a big problem so ensure there are no roof leaks and that water cannot freely run under the garage door.

A small drain across the front of the door can help to avoid puddles and pools of water building up and flowing into the garage area.

Assuming you will want to work on your car yourself it makes sense to get a garage with a pit that allows you to get underneath the car.

It is possible to consult with a structural specialist and retro fit an inspection pit but this will often affect the overall integrity of the garage and could undermine the foundations if you are not careful.

If the garage has a window it will allow natural light in easily and it's much easier to work on a car with natural light compared to artificial light.

Garage security & safety considerations

Security is a factor to keep in mind, the more windows, openings and doors there are the less secure it will be.

Few people buy a garage or fit a garage to keep a car secure, the main motivation for getting a garage is to keep the car dry and to provideĀ  a place to work on your car safely and out of the elements.

Alarms can be fitted to the garage and we see more and more people fitting wifi enabled security cameras, allowing them to keep an eye on their investment.

Most garages are adjacent to the house of the owner, and if this is the case be careful that exhaust fumes are not able to ingress into the house, for example when you are running the engine inside for prolonged periods of time, and always ensure the garage has good ventilation, we strongly recommend a front and rear door, to allow the maximum air flow.

Cheaper convenient alternatives to a garage

The primary benefit of a garage is to keep the rain and sun away from your paintwork, so anything that covers the car will offer it some protection from the elements.

A lean to that attaches to the side of the house is a popular addition and will provide a sturdy secure space to park your car.

Gazebos are another option, but you should avoid the temporary ones with a light metal frame construction. These will usually fail after being left in situ for many months and can actually damage your car as they deform or collapse.

We have found some very study high quality modern Gazebos that would work very well as a car protector.

The sturdy oak frames, and solid metal construction will stand up to many years of weather, and most designs can be tailored to fit the space you require. Look for powder coated Aluminum or hard woods if you are choosing a Gazebo structure to use to protect your car.

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