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Garage Styles & Roof Shapes

The way a garage roof is framed defines the style of the garage itself. Four of the most popular roof shapes are gable, gambrel, hip, and reverse gable. Garages are usually attached to the house or located close to it, so the style of the house’s roof usually determines that of the garage.[GARD align=”right”]

Gambrel (“Barn”) Roofs

Gambrel or “Barn” Roof

The most common style of garage roof is the gable. The roof has two symmetrical slopes that meet to form a triangle over the door. Simple to frame and relatively inexpensive to build, gable-style garages drain easily and have good load-bearing capacity.

Although gambrel roofs (pictured above) are tougher to frame than gables, they provide much more space for storage or even a loft. The roof is essentially gable style, but instead of only one slope on each side it has two, which is what contributes to the extra headroom.

Hip Roof

Hip Roofs

Hip roof-style garages provide the most protection from the elements because they offer a generous overhang on all four sides of the structure. Hip roofs are four sided, with all four sides sloping up to the apex and ending in either a point or a small platform. They’re less commonly seen, however, because the shape not only decreases upper storage but the roof itself is also more difficult to frame than either a gable- or gambrel-style roof.

Reverse-Gable Roof

Reverse Gable Roofs

A reverse-gable garage is a gable-style garage with the door relocated to accommodate the style of the house and the orientation to the street.

Reverse-gable garages have the door under the eaves, on the long wall, rather than under the gable. This allows the driveway to come in straight from the street instead of curving around to the gabled end. Otherwise, reverse- gable garages offer the same storage and load-bearing capacity as regular gable garages.illustration-copy-sun

Featured Resource: Find a Pre-Screened Local Garage Building Contractor

Garage Styles & Roof Shapes

The way a garage roof is framed defines the style of the garage itself. Four of the most popular roof shapes are gable, gambrel, hip, and reverse gable. Garages are usually attached to the house or located close to it, so the style of the house’s roof usually determines that of the garage.[GARD align=”right”]

Gambrel (“Barn”) Roofs

Gambrel or “Barn” Roof

The most common style of garage roof is the gable. The roof has two symmetrical slopes that meet to form a triangle over the door. Simple to frame and relatively inexpensive to build, gable-style garages drain easily and have good load-bearing capacity.

Although gambrel roofs (pictured above) are tougher to frame than gables, they provide much more space for storage or even a loft. The roof is essentially gable style, but instead of only one slope on each side it has two, which is what contributes to the extra headroom.

Hip Roof

Hip Roofs

Hip roof-style garages provide the most protection from the elements because they offer a generous overhang on all four sides of the structure. Hip roofs are four sided, with all four sides sloping up to the apex and ending in either a point or a small platform. They’re less commonly seen, however, because the shape not only decreases upper storage but the roof itself is also more difficult to frame than either a gable- or gambrel-style roof.

Reverse-Gable Roof

Reverse Gable Roofs

A reverse-gable garage is a gable-style garage with the door relocated to accommodate the style of the house and the orientation to the street.

Reverse-gable garages have the door under the eaves, on the long wall, rather than under the gable. This allows the driveway to come in straight from the street instead of curving around to the gabled end. Otherwise, reverse- gable garages offer the same storage and load-bearing capacity as regular gable garages.illustration-copy-sun

Featured Resource: Find a Pre-Screened Local Garage Building Contractor

Garage Floor Grids & Mats

A variety of garage flooring products are made for placing on top of the concrete slab to make the surface more comfortable, functional, and attractive. These tend to be either grid/tile systems or mats. Here is a closer look at them:[GARD align=”left”]

Garage Floor Grids & Tiles

For a showroom-finish garage floor, vinyl and aluminum tile systems are available. Most of these tiles link or snap together, so they’re easy to install, allowing you to create patterns using different colors or rearrange or remove them altogether as you wish.

Polypropylene floor grids snap together and provide a handsome, durable floor that can withstand extremely heavy moving loads. Photo: Incstores

Polypropylene floor grids snap together and provide a handsome, durable floor that can withstand extremely heavy moving loads. Photo: Incstores

Tile systems are expensive, particularly those made of aluminum, but they create a more resilient, and certainly more attractive, floor underfoot than bare concrete, and as a result they are favored by car hobbyists and anyone else who spends considerable amounts of time in the garage.

Tiles come in several varieties. Some are solid surfaced while others have an open, lattice-like pattern. Most are 3/8- to 1/2-inch thick. Contrasting or matching beveled edge strips provide a finished look. The top-of-the-line aluminum tiles are typically metal laminated to a plastic base.

Vinyl Mats for Garage Floors

The latest in garage floor finishing is roll-out vinyl floor mats. Much like the resilient flooring used in kitchens, the mats are available in 8-foot-wide rolls up to 36 feet in length.

Vinyl floor mat, imprinted with a coin pattern, rolls out on a garage floor. Photo: Incstores

Vinyl floor mat, imprinted with a coin pattern, rolls out on a garage floor. Photo: Incstores

Three 8-by-24-foot rolls will cover a typical double (two bay) garage floor. According to Gladiator Garage Works, which introduced this product in 2007, once the mats are installed they will not creep, tear or wrinkle in normal use, even under the weight of automobiles.

There is always the possibility that water can become trapped beneath the mat, or that insects will take up residence underneath it. Edges, especially those facing the garage doors, also could be vulnerable to curling and casual damage.

Gladiator claims that a bead of silicone applied under the edges prevents the mats from lifting and keeps water from seeping in.

 

Garage Floor Grids & Mats

A variety of garage flooring products are made for placing on top of the concrete slab to make the surface more comfortable, functional, and attractive. These tend to be either grid/tile systems or mats. Here is a closer look at them:[GARD align=”left”]

Garage Floor Grids & Tiles

For a showroom-finish garage floor, vinyl and aluminum tile systems are available. Most of these tiles link or snap together, so they’re easy to install, allowing you to create patterns using different colors or rearrange or remove them altogether as you wish.

Polypropylene floor grids snap together and provide a handsome, durable floor that can withstand extremely heavy moving loads. Photo: Incstores

Polypropylene floor grids snap together and provide a handsome, durable floor that can withstand extremely heavy moving loads. Photo: Incstores

Tile systems are expensive, particularly those made of aluminum, but they create a more resilient, and certainly more attractive, floor underfoot than bare concrete, and as a result they are favored by car hobbyists and anyone else who spends considerable amounts of time in the garage.

Tiles come in several varieties. Some are solid surfaced while others have an open, lattice-like pattern. Most are 3/8- to 1/2-inch thick. Contrasting or matching beveled edge strips provide a finished look. The top-of-the-line aluminum tiles are typically metal laminated to a plastic base.

Vinyl Mats for Garage Floors

The latest in garage floor finishing is roll-out vinyl floor mats. Much like the resilient flooring used in kitchens, the mats are available in 8-foot-wide rolls up to 36 feet in length.

Vinyl floor mat, imprinted with a coin pattern, rolls out on a garage floor. Photo: Incstores

Vinyl floor mat, imprinted with a coin pattern, rolls out on a garage floor. Photo: Incstores

Three 8-by-24-foot rolls will cover a typical double (two bay) garage floor. According to Gladiator Garage Works, which introduced this product in 2007, once the mats are installed they will not creep, tear or wrinkle in normal use, even under the weight of automobiles.

There is always the possibility that water can become trapped beneath the mat, or that insects will take up residence underneath it. Edges, especially those facing the garage doors, also could be vulnerable to curling and casual damage.

Gladiator claims that a bead of silicone applied under the edges prevents the mats from lifting and keeps water from seeping in.

 

Garage Floor Paints & Finishes

In This Article:

Epoxy for Garage Floors

Liquid floor finishes are easily applied to a garage floor with a simple paint roller or paintbrush, straight from the can, and are the most inexpensive option. They bond to the concrete surface while filling small cracks and open pores, creating a smooth surface that makes sweeping or mopping up less of a chore and finding dropped items less of a challenge.

Concrete sealers are usually clear acrylic or polyurethane. Floor paints may be oil-based, modified acrylic, or water (latex) based. A minimum of two coats is required to ensure coverage, but, because raw concrete is porous and tends to suck up finishes, especially first coats, you may need to buy and apply more.

Single-part Epoxy Floor Paint    Photo: Drylock

Single-part Epoxy Floor Paint Photo: Drylock

Surface finishes on concrete are problematic. They look great at first, but both paints and sealers wear off over time, and they wear unevenly. They also can be very slippery when wet. Sand may be sprinkled onto a wet finish to offset this, but it will wear away before long.

Another big problem with most floor paint is that a car’s hot tires will lift it right off the floor, no matter how well the paint is applied (or what the paint manufacturer claims). Solvents also attack most types of paint, and in a garage much of what is spilled usually contains some type of solvent.

If your garage floor has a water problem-that is, if water seeps up through cracks or mysteriously appears under items left lying around-surface finishes are probably not a good option for you. The hydrostatic pressure that forces underground water up through the floor will also prevent the finish from adhering.

Epoxy for Garage Floors

If you can imagine a paint for your garage floor that bonds like it’s welded to the surface; resists oils, acids, and just about anything else spilled on it; always looks like new and never wears off, you’re probably thinking of epoxy. These finishes have been around for years, but epoxy is notoriously difficult to mix and apply, so in the past you were better off hiring a pro to do it.

Today, there are do-it-yourself epoxy floor finish kits that are much easier to work with, and they offer an affordable alternative to lower-cost floor paints and expensive tiles.[GARD align=”left”]

You can buy single-part epoxies, like the one shown here, or two-part epoxies: With the latter, you still have to mix in a catalyst and work quickly to prevent the material from drying before you complete the job, but the process is more forgiving and the results are just as professional looking.

Epoxy floor finish kits include plastic grit particles that are sprinkled onto the wet finish to prevent slipperiness. These particles generally last longer and perform better (and look more attractive) than sand additives. As with paints and sealers, preparation of the concrete floor is all important to ensure a permanent finish.

 

Garage Floor Paints & Finishes

In This Article:

Epoxy for Garage Floors

Liquid floor finishes are easily applied to a garage floor with a simple paint roller or paintbrush, straight from the can, and are the most inexpensive option. They bond to the concrete surface while filling small cracks and open pores, creating a smooth surface that makes sweeping or mopping up less of a chore and finding dropped items less of a challenge.

Concrete sealers are usually clear acrylic or polyurethane. Floor paints may be oil-based, modified acrylic, or water (latex) based. A minimum of two coats is required to ensure coverage, but, because raw concrete is porous and tends to suck up finishes, especially first coats, you may need to buy and apply more.

Single-part Epoxy Floor Paint    Photo: Drylock

Single-part Epoxy Floor Paint Photo: Drylock

Surface finishes on concrete are problematic. They look great at first, but both paints and sealers wear off over time, and they wear unevenly. They also can be very slippery when wet. Sand may be sprinkled onto a wet finish to offset this, but it will wear away before long.

Another big problem with most floor paint is that a car’s hot tires will lift it right off the floor, no matter how well the paint is applied (or what the paint manufacturer claims). Solvents also attack most types of paint, and in a garage much of what is spilled usually contains some type of solvent.

If your garage floor has a water problem-that is, if water seeps up through cracks or mysteriously appears under items left lying around-surface finishes are probably not a good option for you. The hydrostatic pressure that forces underground water up through the floor will also prevent the finish from adhering.

Epoxy for Garage Floors

If you can imagine a paint for your garage floor that bonds like it’s welded to the surface; resists oils, acids, and just about anything else spilled on it; always looks like new and never wears off, you’re probably thinking of epoxy. These finishes have been around for years, but epoxy is notoriously difficult to mix and apply, so in the past you were better off hiring a pro to do it.

Today, there are do-it-yourself epoxy floor finish kits that are much easier to work with, and they offer an affordable alternative to lower-cost floor paints and expensive tiles.[GARD align=”left”]

You can buy single-part epoxies, like the one shown here, or two-part epoxies: With the latter, you still have to mix in a catalyst and work quickly to prevent the material from drying before you complete the job, but the process is more forgiving and the results are just as professional looking.

Epoxy floor finish kits include plastic grit particles that are sprinkled onto the wet finish to prevent slipperiness. These particles generally last longer and perform better (and look more attractive) than sand additives. As with paints and sealers, preparation of the concrete floor is all important to ensure a permanent finish.