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Old 06-07-2010, 03:29 PM   #1
Gareth
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Post Two Car Garage Build in Lancashire, England

As you can see from my 'Join Date' I have been lurking on this site for a long time, and I am finally in the position to build my own decent garage.

After spending the last 6 months clearing the site, work has finally started on my two car garage / workshop. My wife and I purchased the house last November, but due to work commitments we will not be moving into it in the forseeable future (we currently live 80 miles away from the house!) and this has given us the perfect opportunity to build a decent garage/workshop and extend/renovate the house without having to live on site.

Before I could start on the garage, I had to cut down 27 very large trees, move a greenhouse and break up around 100 sq foot of dense concrete (and shorten the existing concrete sectional garage) before I could clear the site! The existing garage will be going just as soon as the new garage is watertight.

The plan is to build a 18ft x 26ft garage which is basically a long two car garage. I'm going for a cavity wall construction (1ft total wall width) rather than a single block wall to keep the options open in the future regarding the potential use of it. The best bit about it is the fact that it will have a full height room above the garage (9ft useable width, 6ft 7 headroom over at least a third of the width and 26ft long).

The gables are quite substantial with the ridge being at a height of over 16ft above ground level, and I was surprised not to have any issues with gaining planning permission.

There will be a waterproof self coloured render finish over the concrete blocks, with stock brick on the bottom few courses to tie it in with the house a little. I'm also putting in cavity wall insulation to make it a bit easier to heat in the winter, and there will be 3 windows in the side of the garage, 1 in the front over the door, and 2 Velux-type windows in the roof.

Here is the approved plan for the garage:



It doesn't show the cavity walls and the roof windows (which aren't a planning issue anyway) as I didn't want it to look as though it might be used for anything other than a garage, which might have made the process more complicated if any questions were asked. I have no intention of using it as anything other than a garage though, as you'd expect!

There have been several changes to this plan, none of which should cause any issues with planning. The side door is now at the rear of the garage, and there are 3 tall/narrow side windows rather than the two shown on the plan.

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Old 06-07-2010, 03:37 PM   #2
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This is the house as we found it last Summer while we were enjoying a week off work back in the area me and my wife grew up in. I'm not sure if it was the alcohol we'd had over lunch that day, but we put in a spur of the moment offer which was accepted! Luckily we don't have to live there while all the alterations are carried out. I reckon it will take 12 - 18 months to make it habitable again....



All those trees were in our garden, all 27 of them and most of them much taller than the house!

The site of the new garage, directly behind the existing one:



The first job, started the day after we got the keys was to start chopping down trees. They were all horrible Leylandiis, so no loss to anyone. We've planted quite a few nicer replacements to do our bit for the environment.

At least 5 weekends of solid work, with the help of family and friends, saw the trees gone. The easy part was cutting them down - the hard part was logging them and getting rid of the horrible foliage which wouldn't burn without an incredible amount of smoke.







Just when I thought the hard bit was over, I started on trying to dig out the stumps. I spent an entire weekend with the help of my dad and two mates, and we managed to get ONE out! There was no option but to pull down the (admittedly awful) fence and get a JCB in. Best 90 I have spent so far.







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Old 06-07-2010, 03:39 PM   #3
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Me and my Dad then shortened the existing garage by around 6 foot, which was a relatively easy job, and means there is a (relatively) dry and secure area for building materials and equipment.



Then Easter this year was spent putting up the fence, which I couldn't have done without the help of my Dad, a few mates, and even my wife, my Mum and one of my wife's friends got involved painting the fence panels! Oh, and my 86 year old Grandad was around, acting in more of a 'supervisory' roll. My Dad nearly hit him with a spade at one point.

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Old 06-07-2010, 03:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Two Car Garage Build in Lancashire, England

Nice one, that's going to be a great bungalow!!
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Two Car Garage Build in Lancashire, England

I then spent a while marking out both the garage and house extension to check that everything worked 'on the ground' as well as on paper.





The height of the garage will restore the privacy to the house/garden taken away by the new apartments, and the gap between the house and the garage is large enough to get a car/trailer through, which was always the aim.

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Old 06-07-2010, 03:44 PM   #6
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Nice one, that's going to be a great bungalow!!
You're not the first person to say that! I'm still amazed that we had no issues with planning, bearing in mind that the house is within 150ft of the centre of a historic market town!
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:51 PM   #7
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I then served what's known in England as a 'Building Notice' on the local authority before the real work commenced. Due to the size of the structure, various stages of the build need to be inspected by the Building Officer, and structural plans confirmed with him. It is possible to submit detailed plans first, but this costs more and is a more rigid process.

As I'm reasonably competent with DIY, I served the notice without any plans and the process assumes to a large degree that you (and your builder) know what you are doing. Obviously, if any work is not done to the satisfaction of the Building Officer it has to be corrected before a completion certificate will be granted. It does give you the freedom to make changes as you go along and I anticipated wanting to make changes as I went along.

Not a fun way to spend the equivalent of $400 US (270).
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:29 PM   #8
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I took a few days off work to go and get started with the builders.

Considering I woke up on Day 1 at 6.45am to heavy rain, the day turned out to be particularly successfu.

I was greeted by this site at 8.00am, just as promised by the builders:



We then marked out again, to be 100% sure that it was how I want it. That's the main contractor on the left and me on the right:



The first earth was then 'broken' which was a particularly satisfying moment, after over 7 months of planning it:



The ground conditions couldn't have been much better, with a good firm base only 8 inches below the top soil, and no sign of any unwanted interference from tree roots which were a potential complication. The trenches were dug to a depth of 2ft at the front, going back to around 3ft at the back due to the slope of the site.

The first trench:



Earth piled up very quickly:



And was disposed of using a 'Grab Wagon' which can hold around 2.5x 8 cubic yard skips. It took 3 full loads to get rid of all the excavated material which due to my naivety was an unexpected expense.



The end of Day 1 saw the trenches completely dug, the slab levelled to the correct depth, and all the material taken away. The Building Inspector turned up towards the end of the day and gave us the OK to pour the footings.



I'm very pleased with that for a day's work!
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Two Car Garage Build in Lancashire, England

Looks good! Are the footings being poured tomorrow?
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:38 PM   #10
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Looks good! Are the footings being poured tomorrow?
Cheers.

I'm a few days behind with the photos, but I've reached floor slab level now. I'm currently back at work, so 100 miles from the build which is frustrating to say the least. Unless I can get some more time off, I'll be limited to weekends and providing instructions to the builders by telephone.

I'll post some more photos as I sort through them, and provide some more details about the garage, the design of which is evolving as it's built!

Last edited by Gareth; 06-17-2010 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:17 PM   #11
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Default Re: Two Car Garage Build in Lancashire, England

Looks like a good sized garden to satisfy your needs !!
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: Two Car Garage Build in Lancashire, England

Looks good keep the pics coming
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:50 PM   #13
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Day 2 saw the footings poured first thing in the morning, and then everything had to grind to a halt while the concrete set. I used 7 1/2 cubic yards of C20 concrete for the footings, giving a minimum 14 inch depth for the footings which is way more than the minimum requirements specified by the Building Inspector. The lay of the land makes the footings look off level, but they are dead straight and its the floor area needs further excavating and levelling, especially in the right rear corner. The land drops and rises in all directions which has made things slightly harder than usual, especially with regard to the slab height and DPC (damp proof course).





By late afternoon the concrete had set hard enough to walk on, and then the blocks arrived. The unhelpful delivery driver refused to lift them into the driveway using his crane as apparently he is not allowed to do so, as he would have to pull into the drive partially. So he dumped 7 packs of dense concrete blocks (over 500 blocks weighing 42lb each) on the road outside, and me and my wife had an hour and a half to move them all before the next delivery arrived. The hot weather (for England!) made it a horrible job to do, but we got it done, and then enjoyed a few beers in the sun.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: Two Car Garage Build in Lancashire, England

did you put rebar in there?
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:59 PM   #15
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Default Re: Two Car Garage Build in Lancashire, England

Great stuff Gareth.

Will be watching this build.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:20 PM   #16
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Great start!

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Old 06-08-2010, 06:29 PM   #17
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did you put rebar in there?
No - a borehole indicated it wouldn't be necessary due to the excellent ground conditions, which was confirmed when the footings were excavated. The Structural Engineer and the Building Officer both agreed it was not necessary. The ground was rock solid so I'm not at all worried.

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Great stuff Gareth.

Will be watching this build.
Thanks - I've been watching your thread with interest.

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Great start!

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I think progress may slow down a little, especially with the weather today, but I'm fortunate in that I'm not really in any rush. I have a single car garage where I live now, and also have the benefit of a 3 car (plus work area) unit which I rent only a short walk from my house. I'd rather get it done properly, and exactly how I want it rather than rush anything. Plus slowing it down helps with paying all the invoices I seem to be getting!
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:03 PM   #18
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Default Re: Two Car Garage Build in Lancashire, England

With all that space in the garden you should have gone bigger!
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:09 PM   #19
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With all that space in the garden you should have gone bigger!
It was originally bigger, but I decided to build it to make the most use of the garden and driveway, whilst still being big enough for everything I'll want out of it.

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Old 06-09-2010, 02:14 PM   #20
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The builders arrived nice and early on Day 3 to get started, and soon had a course laid out all the way round to get the final size. I put in the trunking for the water and electric/cat5/telephone wires ready for casting into the slab. You can see the trunking in the front right corner and the rear right corner. The water will go in at the back, and the electric, etc will go in at the front.





13 tonnes of recycled hardcore arrived first thing in the morning, ready for the slab base. The builders worked very hard in the hot weather and got to slab height on the inner course and things are looking very good now. The stock bricks are rested on just to work out how many will fit to a row.



And that's how it looked at the end of Day 4. I've had the specs through from the structural engineer now for the roof (attic) trusses, and the final work needed from the structural engineer is in relation to the beam for across the top of the double door opening. I've decided to go for a manufactured UB and plate design rather than a purpose made lintel costing over twice as much, and not being as strong.


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