If you want to add a garage to your property, there are a few different ways to approach its construction. Two of the most popular are prefabricated concrete garages and wood frame garages. But how do the two line up against one another to help you decide? Let’s look at the main pros and cons.
Cost is always a factor with any building project and when it comes to getting the very cheapest option, then prefabricated concrete garages will always win. They are made from sectional panels that often use steel as reinforcement and means they can be sold cheaply. They don’t have any kind of fire risk either, so this makes a house with this kind of garage slightly cheaper to insure.
Wood frame garages such as oak garage kits will cost more but definitely have that wow factor that will make them a standout feature of the property. If you are considering selling the house in the future, then investing in an attractive garage can help boost the price and make the house more appealing to buyers.
You do need to factor roofing materials into the cost. This may need wood shingles, corrugated iron panels or even lightweight metal tiles. Often this will be either an optional extra to the cost of the garage or something you need to discuss separately.
Ease of installation
Both of these types of garages are easy to install. For a wood frame garage, you can usually have it up in 2-3 days then the roof can be added, usually adding a fourth day to the job. The larger the garage and more complicated the design, then the longer it will take to build it.
Prefabricated garages can also be installed in a few days and are easier to move around than wood because the panels tend to be lighter. Either way, buying the right quality kit is very important as this will play a part in how easy it is to install.
If you decide to go for a two storey garage that also extends the upper part of the house remember this will significantly add to the work time involved. You will also need to factor in the work needed to create access from the property if you aren’t using the doorways already available.
Wood frame garages don’t need too much in the way of a foundation to construct them so this can make them easier to install than concrete prefabricated styles. The latter needs heavier foundations as the construction materials are heavier so this can increase the initial costs.
Appearance and longevity
When it comes to looks, timber frame garages will always win. They can be tailored to match the style of the house and finished into a range of colours. Prefabricated garages tend to look less natural and there are very few variations of colour so they can end up looking like every other prefabricated building you have ever seen.
In terms of longevity, both styles will last a long time although the prefabricated concrete may last the longest. There is some maintenance required for wood to ensure that the treatment remains in place to protect it and both styles will need the same kind of regular cleaning that other buildings require.
One final consideration for some is the environmental credentials of the materials being used. Looking at things from a sustainability viewpoint, both the materials have a strong case. Timber is a sustainable material that is now managed carefully to ensure that timber which is felled is also being replaced.
Prefabricated concrete is also quite a ‘green’ material in the modular format because almost 90% of the work is done offsite, disturbing the environment less and using fewer resources. Often the concrete is made with recycled and recyclable materials as well.
The right option
Both timber frame garages and prefabricated concrete garages have lots going for them and few downsides. When it comes to choosing the right option, it is very much a case of what your preference is. Timber definitely has the strongest visual appeal while prefabricated is quick and easy to install. And either way, the result will be a style and useful garage.