ARTICLE Clare Chapman
Building a garage, while a relatively simple process, can accumulate some cost depending on the level of consent required. Whether or not you will be able to gain consent to build a garage depends on where you live, what sort of zoning your property falls under, and many other considerations such as whether or not your property has covenants, is in a heritage listed zone, requires a certain square meterage allocated to turning space if it’s on a busy road, or the intended garage’s proximity to neighbouring dwellings.
So, if you’re looking at building a garage, the best place to start is to find out what the restrictions are, if any, in your area. This can either be done by checking with your local council, or if you’re unsure about how to go about making these enquiries, a Refresh home renovation specialist can do the research and let you know. You may also need to check your property’s title, which will list any covenants in place. A Refresh renovation specialist can also assist with this process and let you know what the covenants are, if any.
A main considerations territorial authorities look at when considering whether a garage can be built on a residential site is the proximity to other dwellings. Some sites have restrictions around how close you are able to build to the fence-line or border of the site, while others will have height restrictions in place, or limitations on how many square metres building coverage you are allowed on a certain sized section.
If your home is in a heritage zone, this may also affect whether or not you can build a garage. For many houses occupying a site within a heritage-listed zone, there are requirements around fencing and what is allowed to be done to the front of the property. This can include whether or not a garage can be built if you are planning to build it on the street-facing area of your property.
In certain areas, local authorities set requirements around the amount of off street turning or parking space. This is often the case if your home is located on a busy inner-city road. If you are required to maintain a certain area of turning space, this can impinge upon what you will be allowed to build, however a Refresh renovation specialist will be able to assist you with looking at ways to overcome this issue based on design and placement of the intended garage.
Covenants are another area where you may face issues if you’re looking to build a garage. Some sites have covenants placed over them that dictate what can be built on the site. In some new subdivisions for example, there may be rules that allow for garages or don’t allow them. Covenants could also dictate whether you are allowed to build a garage attached to the main dwelling, or whether it needs to be a separate structure.
If, for whatever reason, whether it be local council rules, covenants or available space, you are unable to build a garage, it may be possible to instead build a carport or other similar structure under which to park your car. If you’re unsure about what the other options available to you are, a Refresh renovation specialist will be able to assist you.
In some cases, and depending on budget, if regulations don’t allow for above-ground garaging, it’s possible to build underground parking areas. There are various futuristic underground parking solutions including vehicle stackers and platforms that operate via remote, allowing a homeowner to drive onto a platform, park the car, and then press a button on the remote to lower the car into the ground, creating useable landscape area until the car is required again.