What type of foundations do you specify?
We show standard strip foundations with all our plans. The depth of the foundations are a minimum of 750mm deep but the actual depth is determined on site depending on the soil conditions. The local Building Control officer will advise when he is satisfied with the depth. The width of the trench is dependent on the thickness of the walls. All the single skin wall garages have a trench width of 450mm and the cavity wall garages have 600mm trench width.
Can I use a thickened slab foundation?
A thickened slab foundation is a base where the floor and the foundation are cast as one piece, usually the floor portion incorporates some mesh reinforcement. The problems with this type of foundation are that the weight of the car also is carried by the slab. We decided that the strip foundation was a better method of construction after seeing a number of garages that had started to settle producing cracking within the walls and floors. The strip foundation acts independently to the floor, allowing the floor to settle without affecting the structure of the garage. There should not be any difference in construction costs between the two.
Can we build near large trees?
The nearer to the trees you intend to build the deeper the foundations have to be. We can email detailed guidance on building near trees on request. If the depth of the foundation is excessive you may need to use engineered foundations such as pile foundations or raft foundation. This type of foundation must be designed by a local structural engineer.
What materials are your garages made from?
All our garages have brick or block and render walls (masonry). We don't have any timber garages. Other system built garages such as concrete garages, timber/wooden garages, oak frame garages, are already well served by specialist companies.
I want to use a timber frame. Is this possible?
We can convert our drawings to include a timber frame for all garages that have cavity wall construction. We can't provide details of the frame construction, this will be provided by the timber frame manufacturer and must be attached to our drawings when applying for Building Control approval.
How do I wire a garage?
We provide basic electric layouts for the garage that include lights, sockets and light switch locations. Part P of the Building Regulation for England and Wales require that a qualified electrician design, install, inspect and test the electrics for the garage.
Can the garage have stone walls?
Stone faced garages are fairly common, especially in conservation areas. The stone used is non-structural and is attached to the face of the garage with wall ties. The foundations to the garage are made wider to support the weight of the stone. We can show the stone facing on the garage on special request.
Can I mix and match the wall finishes?
Some garages are constructed with bricks to the front and breeze block rendered walls to the sides and rear. We can change the drawings of our garages to show this.
Can I use a roller shutter door?
Roller shutter doors are fitted behind the garage door opening. This allows for the garage door opening to be of standard size. Additional headroom is therefore required within the garage to allow for the roller, this means that the ceiling must be raised so that a distance of 450mm between the ceiling and top of the door opening is available. If you would like a roller shutter door fitted please let us know and we will alter the drawings accordingly. Please note that if a roller shutter door is fitted a pedestrian door must also be provided within the garage, this is because roller shutter doors are slow to open and encase of fire a quick exit is needed.
Do you have plans for a garage pit?
We have had a number of e-mails concerning adding a service pit to the garage. Pits were a common feature to many garages in the past, however, since the introduction of health and safety laws garage pits are no longer constructed in domestic garages. The main concern is the risk of fire and escape while someone is in the pit. Some commercial garages still use pits with a secure area to one side with a fire door. An alternative is to use a scissor hoist or ramp to raise the car. Where a hoist or ramp is being installed in a double garage a scissor truss can be used to gain extra ceiling height along the centre line of the garage. P.S. We will not show a pit in our garages under any circumstances.