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What materials are used on garages and why?

Understanding what materials we use during your Garage Refurbishment or when we are building your garage is a great place to start. But most importantly, knowing why we use these materials will help to ensure your final design is perfectly suited to your space and your needs. Here we will discuss the potential options available, explaining their benefits and why they do or don’t feature in our builds.

After replacement image of a garage roof which has been replaced by VSF with galvanized steel
Galvanised steel

 

A galvanized steel garage roof is an incredibly durable, versatile and low maintenance roofing solution. During construction, the Plastisol coated sheets of metal are overlapped before being secured, to provide the reassurance of strength and longevity. Manufactured to various lengths, a galvanised steel roof also boasts an easier installation and the benefit of a super-efficient completion. There is no need for extensive structural support for the rest of the building as the material is lightweight. 


Whilst other roof types may require regular attention, galvanized steel is the best all-rounder, with no annual assistance required. This type of roofing is scratch and fade resistant, meaning it is perfectly suited to any garage’s location. With a wide choice of colours, thicknesses and coatings available, galvanised steel will provide a stylish finish whilst resisting weathering and corrosion for years to come.

Concrete base

 

Every building requires a sturdy foundation and a concrete base is vital to the stability of any garage. A garage base has the difficult job of withstanding the weight of the whole building’s structure, as well as anything you choose to put inside of it. The more pressure your garage experiences, the more substantial the weight bearing requirement will be, and that is why concrete’s strength and durability make it perfect for the job. A foundation that is flat, square and level throughout is essential to ensure your garage is here to stay. Whilst other materials can experience subsidence and movement, the steadfast nature of concrete means it is certain to hold up to the tests of time. 


Concrete is fire resistant, easy to clean and it also withstand wear, stains and scratches. For every garage installation we do, we first see if the cement base from the previous garage is still in good condition. If so, we can save you some money by building on top of the existing garage base.

 

Concrete structure

Choosing to use concrete for a garage structure carries a number of advantages, with the first being its strength. Significantly more sturdy than wood or metal, concrete’s toughness provides reliable protection from the elements, including heavy winds. Concrete walls are thick enough to keep out drafts, reduce moisture and protect against dampness. This also offers great additional security and acts as a huge deterrent to thieves. 

The materials’ fire resistant and insulating properties provide a safe and quiet space that will reduce the chances of disturbing your neighbours if you are planning to use the space to work. When it comes to design, there are also a wide variety of options available to suit every style of garage when deciding on how you want to finish off the exterior.  

Wooden Structure

Choosing wood is an efficient alternative when deciding on what material to make your garage structure. It is easier to install than any other garage style and the lightweight panels can be assembled quickly, but at a cost. Thinner walls leave the question of security, making it easy for someone to gain unwanted access to your possessions. Since wood is a natural product, it is more likely to rot over time. 

 

The small holes essential for the construction of a wooden garage can be vulnerable to the elements and quickly cause structural issues as panels can become damp and then warp. Even when treated annually, the lifespan on a wooden garage is significantly shorter than the more robust concrete alternative.

This is an image of a refurbished detached garage, with the garage door being done in white, as well as the garage roof and fascias

Garage doors

 

Lightweight metal doors

 

Metal doors are widely used on garages because they are low maintenance, attractive and great value for money. Posing very little stress on the hinges and overall garage structure, metal doors are lightweight but extremely strong and sturdy. Able to perform for longer than the other alternatives, metal doors are not to be underestimated when it comes to withstanding dents, temperature changes and cracking. 

 

Depending on your choice of thickness, metal doors add great insulation value. Choosing this style of door has great potential to further increase your garage’s energy efficiency as well as lasting for years to come. Available in a wide range of colours and textures, metal doors are even available to mimic wood, with the peace of mind that they require barely any general maintenance. 

 

Wooden Doors

 

Wooden doors are a valid alternative to metal, but whilst they offer a rustic finish, they can be some of the most expensive on the market. A good wooden door can carry a lot of weight, and with regular use this can lead to increased wear for your garage’s hinges and structure. Wood is also one of the most vulnerable materials to weathering and regular maintenance is essential for the doors to continue to function effectively over time. 

Garage side-doors

 

uPVC

 

When designing a garage, a side door is undoubtedly a great addition. Suiting both traditional and modern garage structures, uPVC doors are an extremely popular choice. Available in a large variety of colours and styles they are crack resistant, unlike other materials, and aftercare is limited to just an occasional wipe down. A side door is not only convenient, but ideal for saving time when entering and exiting without having to open up the entire garage. Finally, adding a side door to your garage could be helpful for security reasons, particularly if you are storing valuables or items that you wouldn’t on display when opening the larger main doors.

 

Steel


A galvanised steel garage door boasts all of the benefits of using the material for the roofing and more. Galvanised steel is extremely strong, weather proof and resilient. Metal doors are known for their easy to install, high-quality locks, making them great for garage safety. Steel Is great at resisting wear and tear with heavy use, whilst providing a clean and simple finish. This choice of door is great value for money without compromising on quality with plenty of styles to decide between.

A side on image of a refurbished garage with galvanized steel garage roof, white fascias and new garage side door
Side door window & garage windows

 

All of VSF’s garage side doors and windows come with an impressive 10 year warranty. Traditionally made from glass, VSF fits double glazed PVC windows as standard. PVC windows are much more resilient and provide the same level of security you see in your own home. If you choose to add a window to the side door or walls of your garage, your space will benefit from significantly more natural light as well as saving on electricity bills. Double glazed PVC helps to reduce condensation, insulate from noise and increase energy efficiency during the colder winter months.

 

Conclusion 

 

Whether you are looking to replace your garage roof, simply update your garage structure or build something completely new – at VSF we offer a range of services to suit your needs. It is important that the foundations of any garage are made from concrete so that the structure build on top remains safe and sturdy. Concrete is amazingly resistant to strong winds and all types of weather, which is also great to think about when deciding on your final choice of garage structure. Wood is a worthy alternative to concrete which leaves an authentic finish, but it will not last as long. 

 

There are two types of roofing available at VSF and whether you decide on EPDM Firestone Rubber or Plastisol coated galvanised steel both options are watertight, reliable and made to last. Rubber is perfect for flat and low incline roofs, whilst galvanised steel can add a stylish element to any garage. 

 

VSF are the UK’s leading garage specialists, with an upper tier waste carriers license, meaning we are also authorised to remove all types of asbestos. A side garage door can make a great addition to either metal or wooden main doors for quick and easy access to the space. Choosing to add a window, or multiple will allow the natural light to enter your garage without compromising on energy efficiency or safety. No matter whether you know exactly what you want, or if you require assistance to decide the best solution for you VSF are happy to share years of expertise and help. 



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Another Leaky Garage Roof

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