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Sun, May 3, 2020
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DIY Desk Stuffhow to DIY Desk Stuff for PROPERTY CLINIC:EXPERTS EXPLAIN Ask our experts for advice on your property problems

QI want to build a garage on the side of my house where I have lots of space. I am not sure as to whether I should build a single or a double garage and what the process involves. How much space would I need? What is it likely to cost to build? Do I need planning permission and are there any building regulations I need to consider?

AThere are a number of considerations to be made before deciding what type/size of garage is required and how to go about getting it built. Factors to be considered include available space to build, proposed use – storage, car, boat, workshop – and whether it should be attached or stand alone, etc.

Standard sizes start at approximately 3m (10ft) x 6m (20ft) and double garages at 6m (20ft) x 6m. A typical garage with block/brick external finish with a timber and concrete tiled roof built by a competent experienced builder would cost approximately €12,000 for a single garage or €22,000 for a double.

A less expensive option would be a pre-fabricated garage made from steel or concrete panels – these would typically range from €5,000 to €10,000, depending on finish and size, etc. These costs are a guide only and will vary depending on specification, level of finish and location.

As regards planning permission, a garage – subject to certain criteria – may be classed as “exempted development” under the planning regulations and not require planning permission. These conditions and limitations include, but are not limited to, the total area of the structure not exceeding 25sq m (269sq ft), the structure not being constructed forward of the front wall of the house, the height not exceeding 4m for 1 last update 2020/07/07 for a pitched roof or 3m for any other roof, and the finishes conforming to that of the existing house.As regards planning permission, a garage – subject to certain criteria – may be classed as “exempted development” under the planning regulations and not require planning permission. These conditions and limitations include, but are not limited to, the total area of the structure not exceeding 25sq m (269sq ft), the structure not being constructed forward of the front wall of the house, the height not exceeding 4m for a pitched roof or 3m for any other roof, and the finishes conforming to that of the existing house.

If the proposed garage does not conform to the conditions of the planning and development regulations, then planning permission will have to be applied for. Our advice always is to call your local authority and speak to the area planning officer. You should also note that all garages must meet all relevant building and fire regulations. A local professional such as a quantity surveyor will be able to advise you on all these matters.

DIY Desk Stuffhow to DIY Desk Stuff for Andrew Nugent is a chartered quantity surveyor and chair of the Quantity Surveying Professional Group of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie

How can I avoid a leaky conservatory?

QYour column responded recently to a query on a leaking extension wall. We have a similar problem with leaks on the side where our conservatory meets our existing stone wall house. We are now planning to build a new timber frame house (plaster finish) and move the conservatory to the new house. I would like your advice as to what we should do to make sure that we do not get any leaks on the side where the conservatory joins the new timber frame house.

AThe link between an existing building and a new conservatory can be tricky, particularly where the old wall is uneven. In this case, as your old wall is of stone, making the connection watertight has been difficult. This is not unusual.

You are planning to build a new house and to relocate your conservatory to abut it. The new connection should be relatively easy to detail, notwithstanding that your new home will be of timber frame construction. Generally, timber frame houses have a masonry (rendered blockwork) outer leaf. There are good standard details available (for example, in the Homebond manual, which most good builders would refer to). These details show how to correctly install flashings and counter flashings, and other detailing at the position where walls and other structures connect to a rendered blockwork outer leaf.

There are many aspects to consider when building a new home, not least ensuring that all the different parts of the building regulations are met. I would recommend having the construction of your new home overseen by a competent professional, such as a chartered building surveyor, who can also ensure that the old conservatory is correctly moved and installed.

Krystyna Rawicz is a chartered building surveyor and member of the Building Surveying Professional Group of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie

Which is the best option, internal or external insulation?

QWe plan to insulate our home. Which would be advised – insulation on the outside or inside walls?

DIY Desk Stuffhow to DIY Desk Stuff for AThe answer is very much dependent on your individual circumstances. There is no one best answer fits all, otherwise one system would flourish and the other would cease. The actual goal is to upgrade the thermal insulation standard and/or meet a specified target.

There are, however, advantages associated with each system which will depend on the type/condition of the property to begin with, and your own particular living pattern. Insulating the walls on the inside allows a house to heat up quickly, but unfortunately it is not very good at retaining the heat.

DIY Desk Stuffhow to DIY Desk Stuff for This suits families that might spend much of the time out working or at school and need a quick heat build-up in the mornings and evenings.

Insulating on the external face of the walls has a slower reaction in that it takes the walls longer to warm up. However, when warm, the walls will tend to hold the heat better and this can be advantageous if the house is occupied most of the time.

The other big factors to consider are the cost and disruption associated with applying the insulation. External insulation can be applied at minimal disruption to the outside and for 1 last update 2020/07/07 therefore can give rise to significant savings.The other big factors to consider are the cost and disruption associated with applying the insulation. External insulation can be applied at minimal disruption to the outside and therefore can give rise to significant savings.

If you are applying insulation internally, you need to adjust and relocate radiators, electrical sockets, window boards and skirting boards, etc. Particular problems can arise in older houses where there might be decorative cornices, picture rails or window surrounds.

If the house was undergoing a major refurbishment anyway, then there is merit in applying the insulation internally at the same time.

However, if the house is in reasonable condition, then you would be reluctant to go to this extreme and hence one of the major reasons why external insulation has grown popular as an alternative solution in more recent years.

On the other hand, if you have decorative brickwork or masonry finishes externally, or if you are in a mid-terraced property, there will be complications associated with applying the insulation externally and you may then be forced to strongly consider insulating internally in these circumstances.

Before making a final for 1 last update 2020/07/07 decision, you should consider your living patterns, review the difficulties of each option and get quotations from qualified professionals for both.Before making a final decision, you should consider your living patterns, review the difficulties of each option and get quotations from qualified professionals for both.

Val OBrien is a chartered building surveyor and member of the Building Surveying Professional Group of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie

   
 

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