Unravelling The Mystery Of How To Replace An Old GarageUnravelling The Mystery Of How To Replace An Old Garage

You have decided that you want a new concrete garage, but before you choose the paint for your new garage door, don't forget that you will need to arrange for the old garage to be removed and the base for the new garage to be laid or repaired.

At this point your local Compton Buildings agent can become your best friend. When you are looking for your new garage, ask the agent for their base laying service, or for advice on removing your old garage.

Just because there was a garage there before, it doesn't necessarily follow that the foundations will be suitable for your new garage. Concrete garages are much heavier than timber or corrugated iron garages, and so they will need a stronger concrete base. Your agent or local builder should be able to offer you advice on this and help arrange to have a new base laid if necessary.

Any building is only as good as its foundations and you'll need a concrete base, which is designed to suit local soil conditions. It should stand slightly higher than the surrounding ground so that water does not drain from the ground onto the base, where it could get under the garage panels causing problems with damp.

A damp proof membrane cast into the base is also a good preventative measure. Your local builders merchant can provide this ? and you will need to ask for 1000g heavy-duty polythene.

It might sound obvious, but the garage base should be flat and square. Compton garage panels are rectangular and cannot be bent to fit a base that is not level. To check whether the base is square, measure the diagonals. If they are the same, then your base is square.

Reputable agents should offer a free site survey with no obligation to buy, as well as discussing your choice of garage with you to make sure it is right for your home. Don't forget to ask about maintenance free options ? they will save hours of work in future. As well as helping to arrange for your garage base to be built, they can also help you with the planning permission forms ? if they are needed.

In the vast majority of cases for sheds, garages, conservatories and greenhouses, you will not need to apply for planning permission. However, it's best to check out the planning regulations at the outset, rather than installing your new garage only to find out ? too late ? that you did need planning permission.

As a general guide, if more than half the land around your house will be covered by the garage, or if the new building will be more than three metres high (or four metres if it has a ridged roof), then you will need permission. Also, if your house is a listed building or in a conservation area, or if the new building will be used for business, you should check out the regulations.

The Planning Department of your local council will be able to tell you whether or not you need permission to build a garage. Compton Garages and Buildings supplies detailed plans of the complete range or garages at no extra cost. It is useful to take along a sketch or plan of the proposed garage to the Planning Department, but again your dealer should be able to help you with all these details.

More information about planning permission and building regulations can be found on the Compton Buildings website www.comptonbuildings.co.uk

Most people who are looking to buy a new garage go to a local dealer because they really need have a good look at the building, inside and out, before they spend any money. It's best not to rely on the brochure for a true picture of the garage, but instead see for yourself the space and features available, such as doors, windows and finishes, as not all concrete garages are the same. It's a good idea to use a local dealer so that you can make as many visits as you need and have more time to think about your choice. What else of this value would you buy from a brochure without seeing it first?

by Neil OSullivan
References and Bibliography

Neil O'Sullivan is Compton Buildings' Marketing Manager. Compton are the UKs largest manufacturer of concrete garages and buildings, delivering & installing around 8000 buildings each year. All buildings have a 10 year guarantee backed by an exclusive Customer Care Promise.

The Compton website http://www.comptonbuildings.co.uk provides links to local agents and answers to all the questions you might have about garages. In a recent survey, customers gave Compton top marks for both customer service and quality.

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