Garages, whether attached or detached to homes have become a rarity in the United Kingdom in recent years. With many inner-city dwellings now becoming more compact and short of space, garages are almost seen as a luxury item. Off-street and even on-street car parking are now far more commonplace with covered or secure parking spaces less utilised. However, with a climate that can see all four seasons appear in one day, our prized possessions need suitable protection from the elements and a garage is still the number one choice for this requirement.
If you have the space and the means, a garage on your property adds so many advantages. Storage, whether for your car or for the items you simply cannot find room for is a need every homeowner has and a garage ticks all the right boxes.
So the question is, do you build a garage detached or attached to your property? Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of building either garage type and weigh up the arguments for both sides of the debate.
Both options, whether attached or detached offer clear, obvious benefits. A garage is a great place to keep your vehicles overnight meaning they stay dry and warm during the winter months, removing the need to scrape off the ice and frost during the colder months.
Garages are also great for storing all sorts of items or even setting up a workshop, tool area, games and gym room. There are endless things you can do with a garage and this is what makes them such an attractive option.
The one clear advantage an attached garage will have over detached is the convenience of being able to enter the garage directly from the home, without having to venture outside. Having direct access to the garage to jump into the car, grab some tools or anything you have stored is a nice luxury to have, especially if the weather outside if wet, cold or windy. But this convenience also has its pitfalls, which we cover in a later point.
Either option is going to come with a cost involved however, it is fair to assume that any attached garage will have to be built as part of the existing structure of your home.
Seeing that’s the case, it’s highly likely that suitable foundations, bricks and block-work will be involved, not to mention roofing, insulation and of course, building contractors.
Any attached garage is essentially like building an extension onto your home so cost-wise, it is more than likely going to be more expensive than erecting a free standing garage which can easily be built from a timber frame onto a concrete base, causing far less disruption, mess or noise.
An attached garage may seamlessly integrate with the look of your home but it comes at a far heftier price.
Dovetailing with the previous point, it is worth noting that any detached garage will require the structure to be erected to building regulations standards and most likely require planning consent.
That means architects drawings, planning applications and dealings with building control. So a simple humble garage just to store your car or prized possessions could become a longer-term project. That’s quite a hassle.
With a freestanding detached garage you have far greater options at your disposal. With just a standard concrete slab as a base, you could then erect a timber framed garage and have it built and ready for use in a matter of days, not weeks or months which an attached garage will most certainly require.
Both attached and detached garages offer a secure way of effectively storing and locking away your car and valuables however, one consideration that many overlook is the security threat that an attached garage can realistically poses to your home.
In most cases, an attached garage will include an internal door to the main house so essentially, any would be burglar is just one garage door away from gaining access to the rest of your home.
A detached garage at least gives you the peace of mind that a thief who is only interested in what your home contains does not have a potentially easier way of gaining internal access. So bare this in mind when making your decision.
Both an attached and detached garage will add notable value to your home. A garage is a valuable asset and anyone looking to buy a property will see the inclusion of a garage as a value added benefit. Building an attached garage will undoubtedly cost far more than a detached garage yet the curb appeal may not be any different. So when the time comes to sell up and move, it makes sense to go for the more cost effective option so that you make a better return. A detached garage will most certainly offer that in abundance.
The above five points should give you a clearer idea of the small yet significant differences between building a detached or attached garage. Both serve their core purpose very well and neither fall short in the obvious key areas however, what is clear are the time, hassle and costs involved with building an attached garage. Any structure that alters an existing dwelling is a far more labour intensive and is essentially a longer-term building project that comes with a bigger price tag.
A freestanding detached garage can be planned, built and be ready for use in days and cost you far less investment. So if you want something in a hurry, go down the detached route but if convenience and adding square footage to your home is your main objective, then start talking to architects and planners about building an attached garage. Either way, you’ll end up with a great looking addition to your home that will undoubtedly increase its value and curb appeal.