A good garage can provide hours of entertainment, frustration, refuge, hope, despair and pride when you own a classic or performance car. It’s the place where you go to tinker and polish your automotive pride and joy.
If you’re looking for a place with a garage, or you want to build one, there are some questions you should consider so that you get what you need.
What are you going to use it for?
Showroom or workshop?
Is your garage a showroom for the pristine pride and joy that gets trailered to the mechanic when anything needs to be done, or are you going to be the one with grease under your nails?
Do you need an entertaining area for when you have your mates around to marvel at how clean your engine bay is?
Are you going to be actually working on your vehicle, or just rubbing it gently with polish?
What storage do you need?
Do you have to store any other non-car-related gubbins in your garage, like bikes, canoes, a lawnmower, or boxes of stuff you can’t fit in your house?
How will you organise your tools? Do you need a set of tool drawers on casters, or are you hanging the tools on the wall?
Will your brother ask you to store his motorbike for a few months and next minute it’s 3 years later (true story…)
Do you want built-in cupboards and shelves, or a mezzanine floor?
Do you need a bench?
Do you want to put in an attic?
What services do you need?
Do you want to install an electric vehicle charger?
Do you want to have a sink in your garage (or on the outside wall)?
Where do you want the power points?
Where do you want the lights, and how many do you need so that it’s not gloomy?
How tall does it need to be? Will you be working on a tall vehicle such as a Land Rover Defender, truck or motorhome? Or is it just for a motorbike and a few things?
How wide does it need to be? Will you have enough room to work around your vehicle? If you have a double garage, is it simply enough to remove one of the vehicles to work on the other?
How long does it need to be? Six metres is a good benchmark minimum if you want plenty of room to work around an average-sized vehicle.
Do you want to install an alarm that is connected to your house alarm?
Do you want security lights and cameras?
Have you considered what sort of lock you will have for any other doors into the garage?
Have you spoken to an architect about your requirements?
Do you understand any limitations regarding the size or height of your garage in relation to your local planning laws?
Do you have any covenants on your property that force you to maintain a certain style for your garage?
There are a lot of questions to ask. Do your research and find out where other people have done something you like. Use Pinterest to build a board of interesting ideas. Talk to professionals – you’ll need an architect, builder, plumber, electrician, garage door supplier, roofing contractor, someone to dig the foundations and lay the concrete, etc, etc. Get some quotes and some advice.