Father Winter has been making himself known in the West this year, dumping more than 16 feet (yes, feet) of snow on Tahoe and battering all elevations of the Intermountain West with snow squalls, hail, sleet and rain.
And while this is great news for the western states that have suffered unprecedented droughts for the past couple of years – not to mention the powder-hungry skiers now flocking to their local resorts after a few less-than-stellar winters – these unpredictable storms can wreak havoc on your vehicle and cause a mountain of pain and frustration.
If you’ve been leaving your car out in the cold to face the elements this winter, it might be time for a pole barn garage.
Benefits of a Pole Barn Garage
If you’ve never had a garage – or if your attached garage is used for storage and there is no room for a car – you might be surprised by all the benefits of storing your car in a safe, warm and dry place during the winter.
Saves Time and Effort in the Morning (No Scraping!)
We’ve all done it. You wake up late, hurry to get ready for work, run out the door… only to find your car covered in a foot of snow and ice. By the time you get your windshield and windows scraped, you’re already late for work and can’t feel your hands from the cold.
A pole barn garage saves you from having to scrape your car in the morning, making your commute that much smoother (and warmer) in the winter months. What’s more, storing your car in a garage helps minimize foggy or dewy windshields. It’s a win-win.
Extends the Life of Your Car (& Its Parts)
Extreme heat and cold can affect the short-term and long-term performance of your vehicle. Keeping your car in a pole barn garage can help minimize the effect of harsh winter conditions.
Longer Engine Life
An insulated pole barn garage is much warmer than the ambient temperature and its interior temperature stays fairly consistent. This helps keep the engine lubricated and maintains the engine oil at its optimal viscosity for starting up and running in the cold. A lubricated engine is a happy (and long-lasting) engine.
Longer Battery Life
Freezing temperatures can make your battery slow to respond and interfere with its ability to start your car. More concerning, extremely cold temperatures can cause your battery fluid to freeze – which in turn can damage the battery cells and shorten the lifespan of your battery.
Longer Tire Life
If you’re one of the many people who do not have snow tires for the winter roads, below-freezing temperatures can greatly affect your standard tires. Standard tires deflate in the cold and tire pressure can decrease by 1 PSI (pounds per square inch) for every 10 degrees in temperature drop. Deflated, cold-stiffened tires can lose traction and even crack upon impact with the road, as stiff rubber is unable to flex as necessary for safe driving. Additionally, sub-zero temperatures can make the seal of the tire (where the rubber meets the metal rim) loosen, resulting in a slow leak.
Keeping your car in a pole barn garage can greatly reduce the negative effects of freezing temperatures on your tires, thereby extending their life.
The mixture of cold weather and the moisture from snow, sleet and rain can accelerate the natural rusting process of your brakes. Storing your vehicle in a metal detached garage can reduce your brakes’ exposure to the elements, prolonging their life.
Additionally, excessive moisture from snow and other elements can cause the corrosion of your brake rotors – which can bring up a whole host of brake issues.
A Metal Garage Protects Your Car’s Exterior from the Elements
Winter storms can cause hurricane-force gusts of wind in the Intermountain West. Whether that wind is blowing golf ball-sized hail, your neighbor’s unsecured trampoline or pieces of downed fences, your car is at the mercy of the winter storm gods when parked outside.
Likewise, sleet and heavy snowfall weigh down tree limbs and can cause downed branches or whole trees. A dedicated car garage can protect your vehicle from all of these dangers.
The body paint on most vehicles is now protected with a wax and Teflon coat, which helps prolong the life of the car’s paint job. Unfortunately, harsh winter weather and days spent buried in snow can damage this coating, resulting in fading or peeling. Eventually, this protective layer will no longer be able to protect the body of your car from moisture damage, rust and dings.
The rubber components on your car’s exterior (think window and door lining) expand and contract with extreme temperatures. Over time, harsh winter weather can wear out these rubber components, causing rattling and squeaking during the colder months.
Lower Car Insurance Cost
Many car insurance companies offer lower monthly premiums for people who store their car in a garage since the car is better protected from comprehensive damage and theft. Over time, the money you save in insurance by parking in a garage can be substantial.
Cost to Build a Garage
By now, you might be considering the cost tradeoff between keeping your vehicle parked outside and building a pole barn garage. If you’re looking to build a garage on your property, a detached garage is more likely than not your best – and most affordable – bet.
How much does it cost to build a garage?
Metal pole barn garages are much simpler and less expensive to build than conventional stick-framed buildings or steel structures, and their quick build time and flexibility in design make them a great option for detached garages. Because pole barns are so customizable, however, the final cost of a pole barn garage can vary greatly depending on accessories and customization.
On average, a standard pole building garage costs $32 – $38 per square foot and a deluxe pole building with various accessories runs roughly $39 – $50 per square foot. Ultimately, the cost of a garage depends on the size of your pole barn and the cost of the accessories you choose.