- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 04 Nov 2020
How to build a garage
To help develop this article, click 'Edit this article' above.
A garage is a common type of single-storey building, typically constructed to adjoin an existing building, and used for keeping vehicles, as storage space, and so on. The method of connection requires careful consideration, in particular, openings between the extension and the existing building (if there are any), junctions with the existing roof structure, the positions of existing flues, drains, and so on.
Building Regulations approval is required for building a garage but planning permission may not be in all instances – the local authority should be able to advise as to whether it planning permission is needed or not. As an outbuilding, a garage may be considered a permitted development which will not require planning permission as long as:
- It is not forward of the wall forming the principal elevation.
- It is single-storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 m, and maximum overall height of 4 m with a dual-pitched roof, or 3 m for any other roof.
- It has a maximum height of 2.5 m within 2 m of a boundary.
The first stage of building a garage is to develop a design which lays out the dimensions and features in detail. An important consideration is where side access from the main building will be and whether a section of the existing wall will be able to be taken out to allow for the installation of a door. It is also important to establish how vehicles will access the garage, turn and so on.
It will be important, if the garage is to be used for storing a vehicle, that the correct size is ascertained, bearing in mind door opening radii. Typical sizes are 3.5 x 6 m for a single garage, and 6.5 x 6.5 m for a double garage (for two vehicles). The height of the door opening is also an important consideration.
Before beginning construction, the ground must be levelled and the firmness assessed. Hardcore can be used to level and firm up soft ground. Services will also need to be provided for power, drainage and sometimes a water supply.
Some of the topsoil will generally be removed, typically around 6 inches, so that the concrete slab will be level with the surrounding ground. A layer of firm tamped sand should be provided as support for the concrete which will be poured on top. It can be advisable to install a damp-proof membrane if the ground is prone to damp. This should be added to the whole base and also between the concrete and the adjacent wall to avoid damp transfer.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Basements in buildings.
- Building an extension.
- External doors.
- Hiring an architect as a domestic client.
- How to build a porch.
- How to find a builder.
- How to lay block paving.
- Incorporating a concrete garage into the landscape
- Loft conversion.
- Permitted development.
- Planning permission.
- Self-build homes.
Featured articles and news
Prioritising tax considerations.
The four D creative process: discover, define, develop and deliver.
National Cyber Security Centre initiative is announced.
Reviewing trends and projections.
Legislation will establish initiatives to move towards net zero.
How to document contractor employment status.
Tech tools to help manage people and space post-pandemic.
A style that ranges from mock Tudor to arts and crafts to the 'Wrenaissance'.
Free guide from Secured by Design.
BREEAM strategy for sustainability and the circular economy.
Free tool to improve the construction programming process.
Are buildings doing what they're supposed to be doing?
Cities with quick access to everything by foot or bike.
The pressures and pinch points of global destinations.