Prep Guide



I know you're itching to get your Garage project started - and you're likely wondering what to expect with your project.

Throughout this guide, you'll find links to our blogs and videos explaining key areas of your project in more detail. We've been at this shed game for over 30 years, and trust us, we've seen it all! You can rest assured we've got you covered.

And if there's anything else you need to support with - book your consultation with us and we'll walk through it together.

Watch the video:
1. Planning Permission

Planning permission is asking if you can do certain building work around your house. It's not often you need planning permission for a building in your garden, but it is required in particular circumstances.

Do I need Planning Permission?

More often than not, this is one of the first questions a customer will ask us. And the answer is always… it depends.

There are nine questions that will help you determine if your G&M will need planning permission and what you need to consider when choosing the position of your building in your garden.

In accordance with planning law, a permitted development (meaning you don’t need planning permission) is one that answers NO to all of the following questions...

garage planning
  1. Is your Garage for
    business use?

If you’re running a multi-million-pound empire from your garden shed, the council will want to know about it. They love a bit of business-rate action on that kind of thing.

If it’s not for business, you don’t need permission.

  1. Is your Garage going to be outwith your garden?

It’s a serious question. You can’t just put something up in a public park where you like to sit sometimes. However, we think this really applies to communal grounds, where you may have a plot for a Garage but the access is shared and there is maybe a certain size or style you need to adhere to.

If it’s in YOUR garden, you don’t need permission.

  1. Do you live in a
    tenement block?

This one’s for the neighbour who thinks it’s appropriate to erect a 9ft tall pigeon loft three inches away from your kitchen window #DBAD The council like to have a say on where you want to put the building in tenements or shared garden situations.

If you’re not in a tenement block or you don’t share your garden, you don’t need permission.

  1. Is your Garage going to be within 1 metre of a boundary?

This is my favourite! When we ask our customers this question they always look at us as if we're about to burst into a clever 5-line limerick… we're not, it's a genuine question.

“If the 1-metre boundary is crossed

Then the trick is to keep your Shed bossed

Below 2.5 metres

The building's a keeper

And the Planning Permission form's tossed!”

This is achievable for smaller buildings but can become an issue for Garages and Garden Rooms. Oh, and a boundary is whatever separates your garden from the rest of the WORLD!

If your Garage is not going to be
within 1 metre of a boundary
and is under 2.5 metres in height
- you don't need permission.

The Best Timber Garage Specification
  1. Do you live in a
    conservation area?

Conservation; to conserve the historical environment against unsavoury changes. I think 'unsavoury' is the right word but you could say – to stop you from putting up an ugly Garage. Conservation Areas only like really, ridiculously good-looking Garages. The same rule applies if your house is a Listed Building. The more natural the better.

If you’re not in a conservation area and you are not in a listed building, you don’t need permission.

  1. Is your Garage wall height more than 3 metres?

Seriously doubt it. Unless you're housing The BFG, a 3m wall height is ridiculous. Our standard Garage wall height in 2.3m externally.

If your Garage wall height is under 3 metres, you don’t need permission.

7. Is your Garage roof (overall) height more than 4 metres?

Again, this is just CRAZY! I can get a two-storey building under 4m but it’s really hard to do that – chances are if you’re going two-storey then you’re already doing Building Control so will need planning permission regardless.

If your overall Garage height will be under 4 metres then you don’t need permission.

  1. Is your Garage being used
    to create a boundary?

So let's say you’re thinking of putting your building in line with the front elevation of your house to create a boundary between you and the rest of the WORLD. Then, the council will want to tell you what colour to paint it and maybe say you can’t put it there at all because you have too many freckles (no one understands their logic, no one).

If your Garage won’t be used to create a boundary then you
don’t need permission.

  1. Is your Garage going to
    take up more than 50%
    of your garden area?

For example; you’re trying to erect a 3-bedroom detached house and class it as a shed in your back garden. Good luck. The council hates that.

Keep it in proportion to the rest of the garden and don’t go mental big. You can’t make it bigger than 30m2 anyway as that requires Building Control.

If your Garage won’t take up more than 50% of your garden and is under 30m2, you don't need permission.

There you have it, Sheddies!
Answer NO to all of these and you can Shed away to your heart's content under the comforting blanket of permitted development.
If you answered yes to any questions, and you do need planning permission...

We can apply for planning for you to save you the hassle. The cost of this service is £650 for drawings, submission and liaising with the local council. Decision times are dependable on the council - typically it's a 4-6 week waiting time.

Our planning success rate to date is 98.9%.

What in the shed is Building Control!?
Seen this mentioned on this page and you want to know more about what it is? Read our blog: Does a Garage Need a Building Warrant?
Related Content:
2. Site Access

Okay, if there's one thing you need to be absolutely sure of it is:

How on earth do we get to your site!?

We build your Garage in the workshop as panels and then deliver the panels to your site where they will be constructed together. The team need to be able to navigate the panels through your site and we also need to work out how long it's going to take.

Every Garage project will receive a preliminary Site Visit and as part of this, we will assess your access. If there are any major challenges you know of - let us know in your consultation.

Gaining access to your site is as follows...

"You can park in our massive driveway, unload the sectional building right outside and carry it, say 10 metres, to the actual site without anything at all in the way..."

Then you can skip this bit. You are our favourite kind of site access and ROSS LOVES YOU
Site Access Questions to Ask:
  1. Distance

Is the carrying distance, from where the guys can park their van to where the G&M building is going, more than 30 metres?

If YES: Please let us know the exact distance and the terrain so we can calculate an additional labour charge for long distance access.

  1. Tight Turns

Are there any tight turns between existing buildings, walls or fences that will restrict the team when carrying the panels to your site?

If YES: Please let us know as we may need to conduct a site visit to ensure access is doable with the standard panel sizes or whether we need to make adjustments to suit. There will be an additional charge for this.

  1. Obstacles

The lads' nemesis is the dreaded plant pot or overhanging wiring! Are there any obstacles in the way of the guys when they're carrying the panels to the site or erecting the building?

If YES: Please make sure you move all planters, pots and ornaments out of the way before the guys arrive.

We cannot be held responsible for any accidental damage to garden furnishings should they not be moved out of the deliverers' way.

  1. Watch Your Head!

Are there any overhead restrictions? Our guys will be carrying panels above their height. Are there any arched gateways or through-wall access that will stop them from being able to do this?

If YES: Please let us know as we may need to conduct a site visit to ensure access is doable with the standard panel sizes or whether we need to make adjustments suit. There will be an additional charge for this.

With this kind of access if you can measure the diagonal of the opening, it's a great help to know that measurement on order.

  1. Steps

Are there steps up to or down to your site? Is your garden elevated in tiers?

If YES: Please let us know. Feel free to send us in pictures and give us the exact amount of steps or tiers.

If you don't tell us about your unusual access before delivery it means that when the guys come to deliver they won't have enough time to do so.

This will mean your building won't get assembled on that day and you will be expected to pay a re-delivery charge as well as following the lead time for a new date.


Health and Safety

Your garden or land becomes a construction site from when our deliverers arrive until they leave.

For your own safety we ask that you remain indoors whilst the team construct your building. Our deliverers will give you the all clear when they are finished then you can enjoy your brand new G&M.

3. Base Work

This is super important!

You'll require a concrete plinth for your G&M Garage.

Gillies and Mackay do not construct the bases for your building and it’s something you’ll need to consider as an additional cost.

We work closely with our accredited trade as part of our Garage project management service. If you choose not to use our accredited trade, the liability of meeting our specific base specification returns to you.

After your consultation, we will introduce you to our Grounds Work Team.

Base Required for a Garage:
Concrete Plinth
An existing concrete plinth is often not compatible with G&M construction - however, we will conduct a site visit to determine what needs to happen to get it up to scratch.
Recommendations for Garage Bases:
Got Questions about Base Prep?
If you're looking for base plans, or if you have any concerns, please contact us.
4. Aftercare

As standard, Garages come with Tanalised Cladding, regardless of whether it's vertical or horizontal. This means the cladding is already pretreated against rot and fungi.

The weatherboard needs a little more protection against UV because of its dressed appearance. You can either do that with a Block Colour/Stain in Sadolin or with a clear primer. 

Going forward, you can either continue to maintain the Sadolin/Osmo as per the tin guidance or as per the appearance of the building. 

Close Board and Strap Vertical Clad does not need to be treated and is left to weather naturally, due to their hairy nature - taking on a silvering colour.

Where can I buy Sadolin or OSMO?

A tin of Sadolin or OSMO ranges between £30- £80 depending on the size of your building and how much paint you will need.

Our recommended Sadolin stockists:

Your Paint Colour

Take a look at the selection of paint colours available in our range here at Gillies & Mackay.

View Our Colour Chart
5. The Order Process
So how does it all work?
Research and Design

Familiarise yourself with the Gillies and Mackay specification HERE - understand the pricing points for our standard sizes HERE.

We may have the size you want already priced. However, if not, don't worry. All our buildings are made to order, therefore we can be millimetre specific about size. Regardless, the price list will give you a good idea of how much our Garages cost and if we're in budget for you.

Have a good think about layout in terms of Doors / Windows - what orientation do you want? If you're struggling at this point, we can help by doing our preliminary site visit as a means to determine size/layout too.

When you're ready book in for a consultation with us.

Stage two

Once we know size and layout we can price the following:

  • Garage Body
  • Garage Door
  • Personnel Door
  • Windows
  • Guttering
  • Insulation / Lining

This is your G&M quotation and it's all itemised so you can see what each bit costs. If you're happy with your quotation, we move on to introductions.

The Concrete Base and the Electrics (if needed) are priced separately and you will pay the contractor directly. This avoids any sub-contraction fees and allows complete transparent pricing.

We will introduce you to our preferred Base Layers and Electricians - specific to your area.

This is done by email and we stay in the conversation throughout the entirety of the project, making sure all the technical aspects and project timelines are met.

Stage Three
Where possible, will arrange a site visit for all of us to meet; G&M, Grounds Team, Electrics and we'll address each parties responsibilities, Identifying any concerns that need resolved - things like, cable trenches, drainage, access etc will all be assessed at this site visit. 

Thereafter, we'll receive their quotations and as long as you are happy, we will proceed to order. 

We will create a document that has all your building requirements on it. This is your order form. We will schedule a Delivery Date which everything else leads back from. 

Order Form
  • Delivery Date Scheduled (8-12 week leadtime)
  • Groundworks Date Scheduled (3 weeks prior to delivery)
  • Electrics Date Scheduled (Day after Garage is Assembled)
  • Garage Door Ordered/Scheduled (Ordered 6 weeks before assembly and fitted day after Garage is assembled)
  • Garage uPVC Ordered (Ordered 6 weeks before assembly)
  • AutoCad Representations Scheduled (within 2 weeks of order)
  • Manufacturing Date Scheduled (10 days before assembly date)
  • AutoCad Customer 'Sign Off'/Tech Drawings Scheduled (4 weeks prior to manufacturing date)
  • Custom Timber Ordered (Once Tech Drawings Complete)
  • Tech Meeting Scheduled (Day before Manufacturing)
  • Concrete Base Consultation - G&M // Grounds Team
  • Base Formed and Set - G&M Site Visit to ensure sizing (3 weeks before assembly)
  • Manufacturing of Garage in G&M Workshop
  • Flatpacking / Loading
  • Delivery and Assembly as per Scheduled date
  • Fitting of Garage Door and Electrics
  • Garage Complete
Stage Four

On order we'll ask you for a 30% deposit - this secures your delivery date and allows us the funds to order building materials as well as assign time to the project management.

Thereafter a further 30% instalment is due 14 days before assembly, this allows the allocation of workshop labour. On your delivery date, you will pay the remaining 40% which is due on completion of the Garage.

For all transactions of £5,000.00 we ask them to be made Via Bank Transfer preferably. Payment can also be made by card. Charges may apply.

Prefer to pay in Cash? Please arrange to do this at the office, in person. 

Stage Five
Delivery of Your New G&M

Depending on size, G&M Garages are typically done over 2 days.

You will be the only delivery/assembly on your scheduled date so their arrival time is just the driving time from us to you. The team will erect your Garage typically in one day, then the Garage door will be fitted the following day, by our approved Garage door suppliers.

If your door is Automated, we will arrange for our Electricians to be there on the 2nd day also, to ensure the door fitting goes smoothly. 

A Gillies and Mackay apex timber garage painted dark green. It has a grey roller door and there is a gravel drive and some grass and bushes outside.

Once your very own Gillies & Mackay garage is sitting pretty, it's ready for painting or treating, and in no time you can start enjoying it for many years to come.

Welcome to the Shedlife.

Book your consultation
Want to talk to us about getting your own Gillies & Mackay garage? Head to our appointment booking page where you can choose from a phone call, video call or show area appointment at a time that suits you.