A Carport or a Garage: How Should You Build Either?

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Carports and garages are not mandatory in the UK, but they are ideal for extending the lifespan of vehicles. Too much sunlight can cause its paint to flake and fade. Frigid winters can impact the oil and performance of the engine. Hail, which is common in the western region, can surely damage the windows and bonnet.

The question is, how does one build a carport and a garage? The specific rules can vary among cities and local councils. The general guidelines, however, may include the following:

1. Planning Permission

This one can be confusing. Overall, one doesn’t need to ask for permission from the city or local council to build either a garage or a carport regardless of whether they are attached directly to the house or a separate building.

However, councils may impose minimum and maximum measurements, so the definition of “reasonable size” can differ. Usually, the ideal height of an outbuilding, garage, or carport should not be more than 4 metres. They, though, cannot exceed 50 percent of the land that surrounds the original property.

For carports, the highest point of the eaves may not go beyond 2.5 metres from the ground if they are not over 2 metres from the property boundary.

When it comes to garages, property owners may not need to ask for permission if the purpose is to store vehicles, not turn them into living spaces. Otherwise, getting the approval of the council is essential to ensure that it is habitable.

When in doubt, one can take the simplest route and ask the city council. This way, they can avoid the trouble of suspending the work or even paying fines because they failed to comply with the requirements.

2. Roofing

Roofing matters more when it comes to carports since they are usually separate structures from the main house. Two of the popular options are plastic and metal roofs, and each has its different advantages.

Contrary to popular belief, plastic roofing can be more expensive than metal, but it can be more affordable than premium metal roofs. Reputable plastic sheet suppliers can also provide several choices, depending on the budget and need. These roofing materials are often light and easy to install.

The most well-known of the different plastic sheets is polycarbonate, which others consider much stronger than glass. They may also come with a UV coating, so excessive heat doesn’t damage the roof quickly, and they are available in many colours and styles.

Metal roofing, meanwhile, is likely to have a longer lifespan than plastic sheets. It can last between 40 and 70 years, depending on the type. It can also be energy-efficient. But it can be challenging to install and maintain.

Many experts do not suggest wood as a carport roof. Not only are they expensive, but they don’t do well when exposed to moisture. They can even accumulate lichen and moss, which can decrease the lifespan of the roof and ruin its aesthetics.


3. Size

The best size of the garage is the one that can comfortably fit the number of vehicles a household has. For a one-car garage, the standard size is 12 feet in width and 20 feet in length or depth. Note, though, that this may accommodate the vehicle and nothing else. Those who want to turn the space into a garage shed and storage can consider dimensions of 14 feet wide and 22 feet deep.

Meanwhile, around 25 million households in the country own two cars, according to Statista. The ideal size is 18 feet in width and 20 feet in depth. One can also expand this to 20 by 22 for more storage and walking area.

With carports, the size can be 12 feet wide, 20 feet long, and 5 feet high. Extending the width by at least 18 feet may enable them to accommodate two cars.

4. Cost

The cost can vary widely. Based on industry estimates, building a garage could be worth £13,500, including VAT, according to Job Prices. However, it may be more expensive when the homeowner prefers a pitched roof than a flat one.

Carports are definitely more affordable than garages. A one-vehicle carport may cost as low as £2,000, depending on the materials. Homeowners are also more likely to do this project by themselves as many parts are now available and accessible online.

Needless to say, garages may offer more protection to vehicles, and they are flexible spaces. They can double as storage or workshop.

Whether to build a carport or a garage is a matter of choice or preference. What is important is they can protect the vehicle and follow the rules imposed by the local council.

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