Every home needs a garage. Whether it is for housing the vehicles, providing a workshop, storing the household extras, doubling as a teen retreat or masquerading as a man cave, the Australian garage is indispensable. If you are about to purchase a new garage, ask yourself a few questions to avoid making any rash decisions. After all it is a considerable outlay.

What Is The Height Of Your Vehicle?

Make sure you check the height of the vehicles that you will park in the garage. You need to consider both the garage height and height of the entry roller door, and then allow for adequate clearance.

Take careful measurements and confirm them with your garage specialist to avoid a last minute setback when a new boat or four wheel drive does not clear the doorway. You can achieve a little more height by choosing a gable style entry, erected over a side wall.

Are You In A Snow Loading Area?

There are legal regulations that specify that garages and sheds in Australia, which are erected at a certain altitude above sea level, need to be structurally designed to a snow loading capacity.

Before going off and buying and installing your garage, find out if you are in a snow loading area. If so, your garage will need to be able to withstand the weather conditions and have the additional strength required to bear the weight of ice and snow. Consult with your local council to get the best advice about the regulations and standards for your area.

Snow loading determines the pitch of the garage roof and your garage distributor will be able to tell you if their sheds and garages comply with snow loading codes for your district.

Do You Live In A Windy Location?

Perhaps your home is located high on a hill, on a ridge at the beachfront or in another wind-prone position. This is another factor where the strength of the shed is paramount and it will need to be designed with a stronger construction to tolerate the conditions. Garages and sheds have wind ratings, and fortunately your council and garage distributor will be able to inform you about your requirements.

Will You Build It Yourself?

Doing the job yourself is a great way to save a considerable amount of money. Many homeowners tackle the task and successfully install their own garage, even if they haven't undertaken such a project beforehand. If you are not a particularly handy person or you don't have relatives and friends who are, then it makes more sense to hire the professionals to save you a lot of time, effort and potential headaches.

Very often your garage company will have a team of contractors or can recommend reliable ones to install your garage.

If you decide on undertaking the job yourself, your first task is to consult your local council. It is very important to find out if you need a building permit. For very small garages and sheds with floor areas of less than ten square metres and heights of less than three metres, no permit is required.

Regulations vary slightly between each local council. For example:

  • Some allow garages to be constructed on a boundary fence
  • Some require the building to be a few metres away from perimeters.
  • Some will only allow particular colours for aesthetic reasons.

Consequently, it is vital to be very clear about the requirements for your area and obtain council approval for your project.

Will You Leave It To The Experts?

If you decide to leave your garage installation in the hands of the professionals, then you should have your garage much sooner than if you build it yourself.

However, it still takes time for each part of the project to be completed and may take up to six weeks or so. You can expect the schedule to go along these lines:

  • Delivery – will take around three to five weeks
  • Pouring the concrete slab – takes a day and a further two for it to set properly, depending on size
  • Erecting the garage – allow approximately two days, also depending on size

How Will You Finance It?

Paying cash up front is a great way of negotiating a cheaper price and better deal. However, having a considerable sum of cash readily available is not often an option. A personal or home equity loan is usually an ideal way of obtaining the cash to pay for the garage outright and achieving a great deal. Interest and repayments will be far better than the rates of a finance company.