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wellington womble

Securing half a garage

I have a double garage. It has two separate up and over doors and a four foot high breeze block partition along half of its length. I would like to turn half into animal housing and hay/straw storage, and keep the other half for machinery and tool storage.

The animal half will thus be open all the time. Short of continuing the block wall to full length and height, what would be the best way of securing the tools in the other half? The tractor has to live in there, and probably couldn't be got out anyway, but other tools like the brush cutter and mower could easily be nicked if I don't do something.

Why wouldn't you finish the wall? It provide security, prevent crap and water from animals getting into the tool section, provide solid tethering points for storage and hay racks and so on.

If it's expense, I bet it'd be cheaper than you think.

Wot Nick said - extend the wall.
Unattended garages are hard to secure - stick too many locks on the door, it attracts attention. If somebody sees what you keep in there and wants it, it won't be unheard of to go through the roof or through the wall to get in.
Ground anchor/s for mower (available from motorcycle shops) - last one I fitted, I set in a concrete pit so that it was nigh impossible to remove, hard to get cutters on padlock and so you don't trip over it when not in use.
Secure mower with chains and anchors infront of whatever you store other tools in. Ensure tool storage door opens outward to prevent kicking in and also so it is blocked in by mower.
Van vaults are expensive for their size and are not impenetrable. For similar money you could build a secure blockwork cupboard.
And for final measure, hide anything of value under a ton of crap and leave trip hazards, broken windows, rakes, timber with nails in etc lying around (no law against untidyness Wink )

Or just keep dangerous animals in other garage.
wellington womble

The garages are less isolated now. I look out on them from the back windows, so I'm less concerned about theft than I was. But it makes sense to make it hard. I'm going to hang a load of bells on the inside of the door to make an infernal racket if anyone tries to get in. I also have lighting to go up, and maybe a camera. Although that's more so I can check on any alarms without getting out of bed than in any hope of catching or deterring theives.

I guess a brick wall would be the most logical. I don't actually own the garage, which may or may not be an issue. I was stumped about footings though. The garage already has a concrete floor, which would presumably need to be dug up for footings and rebar etc. I might see about a quote.

I was thinking of fixing on mesh of some sort, but thought it might be too easy to cut with bolt croppers. I'd envisaged a sort of wire cage arrangement, a bit like you see for the gas canisters at petrol stations.

ETA, I think there is a law against untidiness. I vaguely recall mum getting into trouble with the planners for keeping an untidy site. It was just neighbourly vitriol, but it was a pain. No need to try here, it happens all by inself!
Mistress Rose

I would suggest making the wall higher; at least 6 foot, but then you could get metal bars above that. You would probably need a blacksmith to make a custom job for you so it fits, but that could then go up to the roof and be attached to the wall and beams. May be cheaper to have a proper wall though.

Onemanband will know better, but I'm guessing it's only 7 foot high, or so. Light weight blocks, not supporting anything won't need footings, unless your concrete base is 5mm thick, surely?

I would expect the garage slab to be 4 inches if not 6 inches thick - so I wouldn't worry about footings - that would be v expensive.
A 4inch medium density blockwall with restraint straps to rafters should be strong enough.
A metal cage made from angle iron and reinforcing mesh might work out a similar price. 12mm high tensile (the ribbed stuff) will require proper (2foot long) bolt croppers. A plywood sheet, even lightly fixed to mesh, will make it harder to access and cut through mesh.
A well constructed timber stud wall might also compare on price and strength. 4 x 2 studs with a layer of thin mesh fitted under plywood.

Block, metal or timber - there's merits to all of them and a combination will add security. What your reasonably priced tradesperson prefers working with, will affect the price and choice.

Wireless alarm ? Fairly cheap these days and easy to install. Not sure on distance sensors will work.

Personally I'd want to seal one side from the other, I wouldn't want petrol fumes etc in with the animals and not sure I'd want the extra dampness in with my tools and equipment.

Onemanband will know better, but I'm guessing it's only 7 foot high, or so. Light weight blocks, not supporting anything won't need footings, unless your concrete base is 5mm thick, surely?

Yep. The point loading of a car wheel will (probably) be more than the evenly distributed load of a 6 or 7 foot high wall.
wellington womble

If it has no footings, how does it have any lateral strength i.e. what's to stop it falling over sideways if lent on?

I'm not hugely concerned about damp or sealing. I take the tractor out about once a fortnight in the summer, so the engines don't really run for long periods in there, and not often. It's also pretty well ventilated. I don't expect the chickens or sheep will hang about in there while I'm starting it up either. I plan to replace the up and over door with a side by side, so it can be mostly closed in wet weather.

I've no idea how thick the slab might be. I've been saying garages because they have garage doors, but I don't know that they've ever had cars in. It was most likely built as animal housing, or the slaughterhouse, and I'm guessing has since been used as a stable. My house is the old butchers shop and there was a smokehouse in the garden until a few years ago. Goodness knows who put the slab down and what for. Since I've known it, it's simply been full of junk.

I'll see about getting some quotes. Thanks for all your help. If it's more than a grand or so, it would be cheaper to install a field shelter, so I might go down that route and keep the garages shut after all.

I'm thinking you're going to be pleasantly surprised.

Lateral support will mainly be provided by restraint straps to roof and it being tied in at either end (various methods available).
Yes a wall can 'roll over' because of insufficient footings, but for your purposes, without any wind load or load other than it's self weight, the garage slab should be fine. If it looks solid and isn't breaking up, it will be fine.

Side by side doors can be made much securer than an up and over.

I reckon it's not beyond the realms of possibility to get a brand new set of doors fitted and the wall built for under a grand.
New doors 250, ironmongery 100, blocks 200
that's 550, leaving 450 for labour and that'll depend on who you know and how much you do yourself.
wellington womble

My only experience of building is lego (this possibly shows...)

I'm surprised about the doors. I'd have thought the metal garage door would be more secure. I dislike them, though. They are a pain to open from down here and have mechanisms that go wrong. Even I can understand how hinges work. Also, the locks are not very good. I was vaguely thinking of putting those hinged bollards in front of them, but perhaps I won't bother.

Pleasantly surprised at cost will make a change. I have discovered that land sucks money out of you.

My only experience of building is lego (this possibly shows...)

..........I'd have thought the metal garage door would be more secure.

Lego is where I started.

Metal door v timber door for security could be debated, but I'd say timber as it's far easier to beef up security. With timber you can easily fit locks, hasp and staples, shoot bolts, hinge bolts (to counter hinge removal), alarm sensors etc etc Timber is also easier to repair if you do get visitors.
Ty Gwyn

Without knowing said construction and size of garage except single block wall for half its length,tying in at either end depends on what the ends are built of,brick or block ,no problem,cut indents or use a profile,but personally I would build a pillar in the middle for stability. dpack

metal mesh/ ply the ceiling

reinforcing mesh and two sheets of ply sandwiched together and held to the existing timber work by strips of metal and lots of long coach screws is a nasty combo for anyone making a stealth entry from above

locks are only as good as the door and frame , don't skimp on extra metal for the frame and door, a few sections/plates and fixings can put hours on an entry Wink

go big on fixings, chemical anchors are ace for fixing metal to concrete and always use lots of good quality fastenings

use a combination of "weak" materials to create a strong and difficult to deal with obstacle , if you want to get really nasty a middle layer of chicken wire and glass fibre in the ply and mesh sandwiches is rather fun and very good value for money Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

bells are good ( as are alarm mines Twisted Evil )

any box can be opened but one can make it difficult, unpleasant, noisy and slow

there is "going equipped" but few would be equipped for a proper structure or even if they were they would be unlikely have the time to exploit their knowledge and considerable toolkit Laughing

Remind me not to try and break in to your place Shocked Laughing Laughing Ty Gwyn

You missed the claymores coming up the drive,lol. sean

And the punji sticks. Don't forget them. wellington womble

My sheep will be scattered over the field in bits!
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