A garage is the ideal solution to protect your car and house your tools and whatever else you’d like to store inside. For some, though, pursuing a standalone garage is out of the question because of the cost and their lack of construction expertise. If this sounds like you, a prefab garage might be just the right fit for you and your home.
A prefabricated garage, or a modular garage, is one that is manufactured offsite and transported to the location where it will be used, in comparison to a regular garage which is built at your house. There are many different styles of prefab garages on the market that include custom products that can be customized for specific purposes. Modular garages are ideal for Malaysia because here, you need to ask for permission with any addition to your property, and prefabs are generally quickly approved.
There are three main materials required for a prefab garage: wood, steel, and concrete. You can opt for either a wooden or steel-made garage, but both of these styles need to be situated on top of a concrete slab to support your car and give the structure support.
Most Malaysians opt for wooden modular garages because they are much cheaper. It will be more than enough if you are only looking to store a few tools and a car and can be built apart from the home or designed to attach to it. They are also totally customizable and can be designed to match your home color and style.
If you want more serious garage space, then consider modular steel garages. Garages made from this material are stronger than the typical wooden prefab and are often used by industrial companies for their sturdiness. These steel buildings can even be more than one story and have plumbing and ventilation, almost like a mini home-outside-your-home.
Precast concrete prefabs outperform metal and wooden prefabs. They’re impact resistant, maintenance free as they won’t rust or warp and retains finish without maintenance, they’re weather-proof, and they’re more secure. These, of course, are the costlier option.
There are two options for a foundation: concrete slabs or piers and stone pads. Before placing either one, you need your plot of land to be ground level and compacted so that it can be properly filled in and provide more stability for your prefab.
Concrete slabs are one of the best options, as they are readily available and easy to fit onto any plot. You can also invest in slabs that are reinforced with steel rods. You can also purchase ready-mixed concrete that can be poured into the leveled ground.
Stone pads can be ordered in the size you need to create a suitable foundation. This gives you the ability to create a foundation that’s as deep as you need to support your structure.
1. Determine a location for your garage. It should be on level ground and drain well for when it rains. Measure your plot and decide on a suitable size.
2. Get your permit. Ask for permission to build from your State Commissioner by filling out an application.
3. Get your safety materials like eyewear and gloves before you start.
4. Set the foundation. You can do this yourself or hire an experienced contractor.
5. Read the instructions that come with your prefab and assemble as directed.
The cost of a modular garage depends on its size and the materials used to make it. We’ll give you a good idea of the prices by listing a few dimensions, whether it’s a one or two-car garage, and the materials used to construct it.
- Wood: one-car, 6x6m averages about 17000 MYR. A two-car garage at 9x9m more than doubles to 47000 MYR.
- Metal: one-car, 6x6m costs about 20000 MYR, while a two-car (9x9m) costs about 54000 MYR.
- Concrete: one-car (6x6m) starts at about 34000 MYR, and a two-car (9x9m) can get up to 60000 MYR.
When you compare the two designs, you’ll notice that modular garages are less expensive, take less time to build, and have more possibilities for customization.
- Modular garages are about ⅓ to ⅛ the price of a traditional garage, and that’s even including the foundation. Of course, this depends on the model, maker, and quality of the prefab.
- The build time for a traditional garage can last months, while a modular design takes 14 days maximum. On day 1, pour the foundation and wait an additional 3-5 days for it to harden. Depending on how many people you have to help, it can be 16-48 hours of construction time.
- Traditional garages do have more durability and have a higher quality, especially when built well, but when compared to a concrete prefab, the quality can be comparable.
- Modular garages come with more options for customization. There are thousands of molds already in storage for you to browse through to find the perfect fit for your home.
As with any home addition or extension in Malaysia, you need permission to build it. Send a construction application to your State Commissioner and detail what you will be building. The Commissioner needs information such a frontage, access, and the design of the building. If the Commissioner is satisfied with everything, you will have permission to build. This usually comes with some building restrictions, but if you’re lucky, you can get unconditional permission and build whatever you want. If you are denied for whatever reason, you can resubmit it within a certain time period.