In this article
Prefabricated garages: essential information before you buy
Many prefabricated concrete garages come with a finished floor. Nevertheless, they too need solid foundations. They must be mounted on firm, level ground. Loose surfaces are not suitable. The good news is that a simple strip foundation, i.e. a foundation made of concrete strips, is sufficient in many cases.
If you opt for a prefabricated garage without a floor slab, you will have to lay it yourself. This can be advantageous if, for example, you wish to have a special surface or are planning extras such as an attachment for a lifting platform.
Before you order, you should check whether a building permit is required. Many suppliers of prefabricated garages will not deliver their products if you don’t have a building permit. Contact your local building authority to find out whether you need a permit and where to obtain it from. You can also learn more about the local regulations.
Different types of prefabricated garage
Swiss manufacturers of prefabricated garages offer many different designs. Some of them even make garages in line with individual customer requests. You will find some designs that are common standards below:
This type of garage is free standing and offers space for one vehicle. It is usually between 2.5 and 3 meters wide, 4 to 5 meters long and about 2.5 to 3 meters high. Individual sizes are of course also possible.
Two vehicles can fit in this type of garage. It is about 5 to 6 meters wide. The length and height are the same as for a single garage. Two garage doors provide separate entrances. The installation of a partition wall is possible on request.
This type of construction has enough room for two cars, a car and motorcycles or a car and tools. This makes large-capacity garages very flexible. The dimensions are roughly the same as for a double garage, but there is only one garage door and a large interior.
This type of garage is similar to the double garage, only with more than two entrances. The length therefore depends entirely on the number of vehicles to be parked. Multi-bay garages are suitable for large fleets or for renting.
This type of garage is like a single or double garage, but higher. Vans, mobile homes or caravans have enough space to be kept safe and dry.
It’s not a real garage, but still offers reasonable protection against the sky above. Rain or hail won’t do a vehicle in a carport much harm. A carport is space-saving, cheap and quick to set up.
An electric garage is one of the above garages with a solar power system and a wallbox for charging an electric car. A carport version is also possible.
Different materials for prefabricated garages
Concrete always comes to mind as a suitable material for building a garage. It may be the most common, but it’s not the only option. Here we present three commercially available materials for prefabricated garages.
Prefabricated garages made of concrete
A concrete garage is made in one piece. It is delivered by a special vehicle as a single element to be installed on your premises. The main advantage is its robustness. A prefabricated concrete garage is resistant to moisture and defies practically all weather conditions. Even acids, alkaline solutions and solvents can’t damage it. After a few years, cracks may appear in the concrete, but they can easily be repaired.
One disadvantage is that extreme temperatures can prevail in a concrete garage. A concrete garage will be particularly cold in winter and very hot in summer. There is also a risk of condensation forming inside. You should therefore install an efficient ventilation system or open the garage frequently to ventilate it. Extra insulation isn’t recommended because vehicles dry more slowly in well-insulated areas and may rust more quickly.
- Little effort during assembly
- Good weather protection
- Discount on car insurance
- Easy to extend
- Substantial effort for delivery
- Few customization options
- Formation of condensation water inside
- Possible formation of cracks
Prefabricated garages made of wood
A wooden prefabricated garage looks great on account of its natural, warm appearance. You can choose the species that suits you from the wide range of different types and shades of wood available. Domestic woods such as pine, spruce, larch and Douglas fir are common types of wood for a prefabricated garage. Unlike concrete and steel, wood requires much more maintenance, as it can’t withstand the weather without being damaged. This means you will have to repair damage and signs of aging more frequently. You will also need to apply and replace the protective coating regularly. With proper maintenance, a prefabricated wooden garage has a life span of 20 to 25 years.
- Attractive appearance
- Relatively low purchase price
- Pleasant interior temperature
- Multiple customization options
- Considerable maintenance required
- Susceptible to weathering and mechanical wear
Prefabricated garages made of steel
Just like wooden models, steel prefabricated garages are usually delivered in modules to be assembled on your property. However, unlike wood and concrete versions, they don’t require permanent foundations. Steel is highly resistant to weather conditions and mechanical wear. In a similar way to concrete, steel garages heat up quickly – ventilation is necessary here too. The material usually consists of sheet steel covered with a special coating such as zinc, which protects against corrosion.
- Virtually no maintenance necessary
- Easy transport and assembly
- Available in a variety of sizes
- Low thermal insulation
- Possible rust formation
- Roof unable to bear heavy loads
- Formation of condensation water inside
Prices: how much a prefabricated garage costs
There are a great many suppliers of prefabricated garages in Switzerland. In terms of pricing, they can differ considerably. For a simple single garage with a manual metal garage door, you should allow about 3,500 francs.
However, further costs may be incurred by additional extras, as demonstrated here using the example of the Durobox prefabricated garage:
- Basic price
- 3,597.41 francs
- Roof with anti-condensation fleece
- 404.31 francs
- Side door
- 615.52 francs
- Gutter system
- 243.97 francs
- Tilt window
- 397.41 francs
- Final price
- 5,258.62 francs
Open-plan garages start at around 8,500 francs. Special requests such as windows, doors or garage doors made of wood drive up the price even more. A customized solution with a special shape or created by a designer is often particularly expensive. The carport is the exact opposite. Some models are available for just a few hundred francs.
Conclusion: step by step to the right garage
Prefabricated garages are a great way to get a roofed parking space for your car quickly and without stress. Deciding on one of the types listed above and checking whether you need a building permit are the first important steps to take. And it won’t be much longer – until your car is safe and dry.