Prefabricated Garage Kits -
Pros And Cons of a Prefab Garage
Prefabricated garage kits offer a quick and easy way for the do-it-yourselfer to add extra space. Most require no special skills or construction experience. They can be assembled with inexpensive tools just by following instructions. If you plan on hiring a contractor to build it for you, using a prefab garage kit can save you a great deal on labor costs, too.
There are a number of different types and styles available, as well as different building materials that can be used. Some packages are based on a pole building design, some use steel arches for the structure, and others are simply stick-frame buildings that already have the lumber pre-cut to size. For a summary of the different types that are available, click on the "Garage Building Kits" link on the left.
Prefabricated garage kits offer a number of different advantages over building one from scratch:
- The components are preassembled in a factory environment. This means that the components are more consistent. All the parts should be square and straight, making assembly on site easier.
- Prefab garage manufacturers buy materials in huge quantities, resulting in lower material cost. This allows them to manufacture the components and then sell them to you for not much more than you would pay for the raw materials in some cases.
- There is little to no waste for you to have to dispose of after it is built.
- There is no need to hire an architect or buy plans. The building has already been engineered for you. Many times the building package will come with blueprints that can be taken directly to your local building authorities to obtain permits.
- Prefab garage kits can be erected in much less time than a conventional building. This means that there will be less exposure to the weather while it is being built. If you are hiring a contractor to build it for you, this also means a shorter period of time that you have strangers coming and going, and a shorter period of time that you have materials lying around that could be stolen.
There are a few limitations to using a prefabricated garage kit, though.
- Most prefab garages come only in certain length and width increments. It may not be possible to get one that is exactly the size you want. If you want one that is two feet longer or wider than a building that is offered, you may have to go up to the next size that is four or five feet larger. Some companies can accommodate custom sizes, but you will pay the price of one that is four or five feet larger.
- Most prefabricated garages are simple squares or rectangles. Some types of kits can be built in other shapes, but others cannot. If you need one that is "L" shaped or has other custom features, it can add significantly to the cost.
- Some types of prefabricated garages can only be one story. If you want an attic, loft or apartment, that will eliminate some types of prefab kits.
- Similarly, some types of kit are height limited. If you need room for a vehicle lift or RV parking, this will also limit your available choices. Many kits can be built on top of a stem wall though, which may give you enough height but adds to the cost and construction time.
- Many prefab garage kits require that your building site be accessible by a big truck. If you are two miles down a winding, narrow dirt road, this may limit your choices somewhat. The same thing goes for building one in a residential neighborhood where the houses are very close together. If there is no way for a truck and trailer to get to your back yard, you have to keep that in mind when making your choice.
One thing to note when you are considering a particular building package is to make sure you know exactly what is included and what is not. Some packages include garage doors, roofing materials, fasteners, etc, and others don't. If they don't, you will need to remember to add those items to the total cost.
If the limitations above don't apply to your situation, then prefabricated garage kits have a lot to offer. They can be assembled very quickly, don't require any special knowledge or skill, and in the end may cost less than building one from scratch. They are a lot less hassle than building one from scratch, too. There are a lot of different types to choose from. Visit our Related Pages menu (above right) for more information on some of the different types of prefabricated garage kits.
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