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3-Tier Shed or Garage is finally an example of a question that is fairly straightforward!

Every other question starts off with an “it’s complicated”, or “it depends”. But 3-Tier Shed vs Garage is neither of those things. 

Because a 3-Tier Shed and a Garage have only two differences between them: their size and their floor. 

How is a timber garage built?

It can be tricky getting to grips with all the different types of timber building out there. Even within a single company, we have five completely different product types that have five completely different uses. So let me explain how these two different products came to exist, to help you decide if you need a 3-Tier Shed or Garage.

Both 3-Tier Sheds and Garages came into being because of water ingress. What don’t you want on the inside of a garage? Water.

In a large timber building like a Garage, water ingress causes the same problems that it causes in a small building. But you probably don’t keep a car in your shed. While they’re both used for storage, Garages usually have larger, more expensive contents. 

If you’ve been around here for any length of time you’ll know that a Gillies & Mackay Garage is not just a big shed. It has a 3-Tier specification consisting of a layer of external cladding, an air cavity and dampproof membrane, and a layer of OSB.

A diagram of the Gillies & Mackay timber garage specification.

Our Garage specification was developed as a direct response to a problem. That problem was water ingress.

We used to build single-skinned Garages, but when the Scottish weather got to doing its thing, water would penetrate the timber cladding that formed their walls. Since nobody wants water inside their Garage, we decided that enough was enough. Our directors applied their very clever structural engineering brains to the problem, and the 3-Tier Garage specification was born. 

Now we have Garages that don’t leak. They just don’t. They’re engineered not to, and they don’t. It’s as simple as that. 

Do sheds leak?

A Gillies & Mackay apex shed painted pale blue, with dark grey trims and door.

Are we saying that all of our sheds do leak? No. Of course not. We’d never be done dealing with furious customers if that was the case.

But we have to be realistic about the limitations of a single-skinned building. If you need a space that’s 100% watertight, you can’t build it from a single layer of timber cladding. It doesn’t matter how thick that layer is; it’s still possible, even likely, that water will get into your building.

If there’s a Biblical amount of water tipping down for days at a time, (hello, Scotland!) the percentage of moisture in the air rises. Even the most carefully-painted timber surface will take in water under these circumstances. If there’s enough water for long enough, water may soak all the way through the timber cladding. This isn’t going to cause a huge deluge and massive puddles, but it might be enough water to show through on the inside of your building.

And the Garage specification eliminates this problem. No water on the inside, unless you put it there on purpose!

Since we have a watertight specification, why keep it just for Garages? Why not share the love? And so the 3-Tier Shed was born.

What are 3-Tier Sheds used for?

The interior of a Gillies & Mackay wooden 3-Tier Shed, showing the framing, OSB and a uPVC double-glazed double window.
The interior of a 3-Tier shed, with a uPVC double-glazed window.

A good-quality shed is a perfect solution if you need a small storage space that needs to be reasonably watertight. But a 3-Tier Shed is a different class altogether.

As your storage needs increase, the natural water ingress that is mostly managed by that good-quality shed starts to cause bigger problems. That’s why we recommend our 3-Tier specification if you’re buying a shed larger than 12’ x 10’/3.6m x 3m. 

3-Tier Sheds are ideal for:

  • Watertight workshops
  • Storing electrical or delicate equipment
  • Stormproof studios
  • Whatever else you need!

We’ve built 3-Tier Sheds that house laboratories and small businesses, and store film equipment and power tools and all sorts of things. These buildings are a perfect hybrid of Shed and Garage – the security and solidity of a Garage without the large front entrance needed to store a car. 

Does a 3-Tier Shed have a floor?

Our 3-Tier sheds have tongue-and-groove floors, made from sturdy 19mm Scandinavian redwood. Depending on what your plans are for your building, you may wish to install laminate flooring or a suitable alternative. You don’t have to do this, of course, but additional flooring will protect the timber floor from wear and tear, and if you’re an interior design sort of person, it may fit better with your chosen aesthetic.

It’s worth noting that if you have plans to insulate and line your building at a later date (or have some clever joiners do it for you), you should make sure the floor of the building is insulated when it’s installed, as it’s not possible to insulate under the floor afterwards.

Does a timber Garage have a floor?

The interior of a Gillies & Mackay wooden Garage, showing the framing and walls of the building and the poured concrete floor.

Timber Garages need a poured concrete plinth, made exactly to our specifications. As with the sheds, if you want to put flooring on top of that you can do that, but it would be for purely cosmetic reasons.

The base for your building is almost as important as the building itself. If you’re looking for recommended contractors, or a guide to prices for a concrete base, we have plenty of information on this topic in our Learning Centre.

Which costs more: a 3-Tier Shed or Garage?

A Gillies & Mackay timber garage painted dark brown with an anthracite grey roller garage door.

Another difference between these building types is the cost. While they’re built from the same wall specification, various factors contribute to Garages being the more expensive project.

What kind of base do I need for a 3-Tier Shed or Garage?

Some 3-Tier Sheds can be installed on a level slabbed base. If a 3-Tier Shed is bigger than 14′ x 10’/4.2m x 3m, then the weight of the building means you need a concrete plinth. Ground screws may be an option, but this will depend on the individual site.

All our Garages need a poured concrete plinth. While the exact costs of these two different bases depend on the details of your specific project, a concrete base is generally more expensive than a slabbed base.

How much does a Garage door cost?

Another factor that differentiates between the cost of the different building projects is a Garage door. If you want to store a car in your Garage, you need a suitable door. The majority of our Garages have Hormann sectional doors installed, but there’s a wide range of options available at a range of price points.

A 3-Tier Shed doesn’t need a garage door, so this is a saving for your project. Instead, 3-Tier Sheds have uPVC access doors and windows.

Is there a price list for 3-Tier Sheds and Garages?

Because each 3-Tier Shed and Garage is different, there’s no set price list for these buildings. These bespoke buildings are custom-built by us to suit your preferences. However, there are guide prices available for Garages in a range of sizes.

Where can I buy a 3-Tier Shed or Garage?

If you want to know more about getting your 3-Tier Shed or Garage project started, we’re here to help. You can book a consultation in person here at our Show Area, over the phone or via video call. Consultations are free and there’s absolutely no obligation to buy – it’s your chance to ask our expert team all your questions and discuss your individual project.

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