There was a time when wisdom dictated that a garage or carport would automatically have a positive impact on your car insurance costs, and would also add value to your home. Is this still true though? How easy is it to build a garage? And do the benefits of a garage outweigh the building costs?
Building your garage
Firstly you need to take into account that a garage can sometimes need planning permission and/or buildings registration. You can use prefabricated garages, which are often counted as a “temporary” structure so generally don’t need planning permission, but always check as there’s nothing worse than having your hard work (and cash) declared a waste.
Secondly decide if you want to have something designed and built from scratch or if you want to go for an easy pre-fab option. This will likely depend on your budget and skills.
Some DIYers have had great success building their own garage, some using alternative materials such as wood so they don’t have to do brickwork. In general though even the best DIYers often hire help to create a concrete floor, as concreting is notoriously difficult, as are foundations. If you do decide to go down the DIY route you can typically save up to £5000, however having some form of professional assistance can be a good idea from the point of view of insurance.
There are some important things to remember as well before you start. Cars are typically bigger than they were a few decades ago, so think carefully about the size of your garage. You don’t want something you have to squeeze your car into – anything that could potentially scratch or damage your vehicle is to be avoided as it will end up costing you a large amount in repairs and headaches.
Will it help you financially?
Car insurance costs depend on many factors, and it is not necessarily true that parking your car in a garage will automatically save you money. If you live in a high crime area, have no driveway or live on a very busy road, a garage may well help you to save on your finances a little. It could lower your insurance premiums, but it will also prevent damages such as scratches and knocks to your car which can happen when it’s on the street. These repairs could end up costing you a lot of money, particularly if your insurer won’t cover them.
In terms of adding to the value of your home, that is also subjective. A good way to judge it is to look around at the local competition – if garages seem to be standard in your area than it will bring your home in line with others. If garages are a rarity, it could be a unique selling point.
If you are able to attach the garage to your home and create a connecting door, then you will benefit from increased privacy and protection when getting out of your car. This could be much appreciated during bad weather, or if you small children or dogs and would prefer not to have them get out of the car onto a road. If you plan ahead you can build it so it can easily be converted into an extra room – and this will almost certainly increase the value of your home.
Automatic garage doors are extremely convenient, they allow you to open and close your garage without leaving your car, which can prove useful in a certain, particular rainy, country…
The doors are operated by a portable remote and the operators should have inbuilt sensors which stop and reverse the door if an obstruction is detected. This ensures the doors are not only convenient but also safe & reliable.
Garage doors are typically manufactured from strong steel and if your door is automated, there are no handles to force or locks to pick for potential burglars. Your automated garage door can also be supplied with a manual release which allows the door to be operated manually in the event of an emergency or power failure.
Modern garage door operators use ‘rolling code” technology,’ like those used in car keys with remote unlocking. This means that a different code is created and transmitted each time the remote is used, making it very secure.
The vast majority of customers will never have a problem with an automatic door opener throughout its lifespan. These incidents can usually be avoided by employing good common sense, but still serve as a reminder of what can happen on a particularly unlucky day…
* Check that the door’s emergency release is not obstructed. This can prove very dangerous if the remote has been misplaced and there is a fire.
* Contact your distributor if you think your remote has been lost or stolen to enable a new handset to be coded.
* If the door is opening and closing by itself, this may indicate that a button in the remote has become stuck and is constantly sending a signal to the door.
* Let children treat the remote and door as a toy. Although the buttons will appear fun to press to children, the weight of the door and the moving metal parts can make it dangerous if left unsupervised albeit with the inbuilt safety features on the operators.
* Leave your opener in your car, especially if it is unlocked in the driveway. It is common for a burglar to get a remote from a car and use it to break into the home.
* Don’t forget to lock the door joining the house and the garage.
Article kindly contributed by Garage Door Systems
Garages are often an overlooked wealth of potential living space. Using a garage for living space can mean giving up the entire garage, or just a portion of it. It is important to evaluate your needs and decide the best way to use this space.
A two-car garage can become additional living space, as well as still be a garage. You can split the garage in half and build a wall. Choose to use the half closest to the home for living space as this is just more practical. One you have the wall up, it is like adding an additional room and still having a garage space to park cars, store things or anything else you used your garage for. The new space created from your garage can be used as a spare bedroom office space, family room or anything else that you want to add to your home.
Converting a garage will take a few extra steps. It is not like any other room in the home where you can just change paint and floors and then add furniture. First, if your garage and home are on different ground heights, you may need to raise the floor a bit. This will prevent things like water from seeping into your new space. You also need to assess insulation, security, heating and air conditioning, plumbing and electricity. You will want the space to be functional all throughout the year, so all of these are necessary to make this happen.
Know Local Building Regulations
Since this is a remodel, your area may require certain permits before you can start work. This is especially true when things like electricity are involved because they often have to be inspected for safety and to ensure that it was installed properly. You can find phone numbers are addresses for your local office that handles permits.
Which Room Do You Want?
Once you have the practicalities and regulation rules all hashed out, it is time for the fun stuff. You will start to plan your room. Do you need an office? How about a family room? This room can become anything that you want it to. Now, before you head to the hardware and furniture stores, it is time to plan your room. You should measure the space and note what the exact dimensions are. This is critical because not having exact figures can cause problems down the road. You should also sketch out things like furniture placement so that you have a rough idea of how things will go.
Getting the Lighting Right
Most garages are not the richest sources of natural light. This is where you have to decide on the right lighting strategy. You can install windows, but this can get pricey and require a professional. If windows are outside of the work you want to do, the right lights can get the job done. Recessed lighting is always a good option because it offers adequate brightness without being overpowering. It also takes up no space, making it ideal for rooms that are a little smaller in size.
If your garage is not attached to your home, you can still use it for extra living space. Some people choose to create an art studio, an office separate from the home, a small guest space or even a fully equipped gym. You would follow the same regulations and consider the same practicalities as you would with an attached garage. The nice thing about this is that you can choose to leave the regular garage door on and then open it in the nice weather for a nice indoor/outdoor feel. The possibilities are truly endless.
About the Author: Jerry Davidson has been writing about home design and remodeling for nearly ten years. He specializes in garage doors and roll-up counter doors.
For homeowners looking to maximise the storage potential with the home then this is where a roller garage door comes in. The tough door curtain will easily protect your belongings thanks to the simplistic but effective design.
Due to the fact that a roller door lifts vertically within side guides, the door is very difficult to break through. To increase the security, the bottom of the door features a reinforced bottom rail that is designed to resist anyone trying to force the door from the bottom. Coupled with a strong locking mechanism, the effort required to break through a door of this type often means that thieves will simply not bother to target your home and move on to an easier target.
Along with this simplistic vertical lift design come a whole host of other benefits. This is because unlike other forms of garage door, the curtain of a roller door coils around a compact drum wheel as the door rises within the opening. The door roll simply sits inside the garage space behind the lintel meaning that additional ceiling space can be created in which to store items like ladders, bikes or anything that may be suited to being stored in such a position.
Compare this to a traditional one piece canopy door that retracts back inside the garage and it is obvious to see the benefits in terms of storage space. The other drawback to an up and over door is that as the door opens, the bottom will swing out somewhat as the door lifts. This means that parking the car very close to the door is out of the question otherwise access inside might become difficult.
A roller garage door in comparison allows for cars to be parked virtually touching the door without access becoming restricted. This makes them the ideal solution for home where the driveway is fairly short or for instances where the garage opens directly onto the street.
Generally available in either single skin or insulated variation, a roller garage door is available to suit all property types and budgets. With prices starting from around £300 they offer a cost effective security solution.
So in addition to creating additional storage space, adding security, you can now even specify a garage door that will provide additional levels of insulation to you home that will in turn lead to long terms savings off expensive energy bills. And let`s face it, in this economic climate, every little saving that can be made to household expenses can only be a good thing.
When looking to purchase a new door, the best place to compare prices it on the internet. Here you will find a wide range of roller garage doors online from a wide range of leading manufacturers for much less than you may first imagine.