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Whether you wish to self build a new garage for your home or like to remodel your old one, you would want to make sure you know what you are doing well ahead of starting the whole project. This is one DIY project that needs a good amount of planning and know-how to get the right results. Prior experience would definitely be helpful although novices too can attempt this if they have sufficient building skills acquired from other construction projects.
People normally wish to build or revamp their garages and carports for a variety of reasons.
Waterproofing and making them strong enough to withstand the onslaught of nature would be one of the main reasons. There is no point in buying an expensive car and parking it in a garage that leaks rain water on the car every time there is a down pour. So it really makes sense to refurbish an old garage or totally build a new one in order to park your car in a safe environment.
Before you start the actual construction however, you need to have the garage plans and garage drawings ready in order to get the right results. You need to know the exact dimensions of your vehicle or vehicles, the number of vehicles you want the garage to accommodate and the kind of vehicles you want to build the garage for. You would want to build a sufficiently large garage if you have more than one vehicle. So you need to decide before hand the number of vehicles you intend to park within your garage. Remember you may upgrade you vehicle later.
If you have boats that you take for your boating trips, you might want to build a bigger garage to accommodate the boat as well as the trailer. Taking good care of your expensive investment would include providing a good shelter for it to guard it from the harmful effects of extreme weather conditions.
Engineer's reports will be needed if you are attaching it to your house, and to look at loads on the ground. A concrete garage with a car in it is surprisingly heavy. It also depends on what is under the ground at the site you have chosen. If attaching to a house or building, there may also be problems with your existing structures. Drains may cross the back or side of your house without you knowing, so a drainage report is required. Contact your local Authority or water company.
These precautions are normal in building projects as it can be impossible to rectify, say, foundation or loading problems after the building has gone up.
Once you know the size of the garage and the kind of vehicles that you would ultimately park inside it, you then need to decide on the type of materials to use for the construction. Metal garages are popular, as are kit garages.
Above: Portable carport in use on a race track
Above: Your new dream garage?
In fact most garages can be made from a variety of materials including wood and wooden composites, log, metal, steel, brick, concrete and a variety of other construction materials.
For people who prefer prefabricated, modular construction materials, a host of kit garages, pre built and prefab modular kits are readily available in the market. In fact, even portable garages are available these days. One just needs to buy one and fit it in the desired location and its done. But those who want custom garages would like to either self build one or get it built by a professional builder.
Normally, sturdy garages are built using bricks, breeze (concrete) blocks or metal sheets. While these might need special expertise to build, they would very well protect the vehicles parked inside from any kind of damage.
Carports are lean-to structures that protect the car from the sun and a bit of rain. They are suitable for hotter environments where protection from a cold winter is not required. Metal carports are common as a simple strong structure is needed. Wood is also used as easy to build. Carport kits and carport plans are readily available for the self build and DIY builder.
Some carports are built into the structure of the building using awnings. This is popular in tropical places where the old style colonial houses had large awnings to keep the house cool.
You will still need Engineer's reports for the usual reasons stated above. Carports can also blow away and cause damage or injury so be careful.
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