By converting your garage into a heated room you can provide additional habitable space and can add as much as 10% onto the value of your home. Garages are rarely big enough to house one of today’s modern sized cars and so invariably gets used as a dumping ground for items we don’t know what to do with and will rarely, if ever, use.
Converting your garage is relatively straight forward for the following reasons:-
- All the works can be completed before you create the opening into your home. This keeps all the mess and dust contained, meaning you can live happily in your home whilst the work is carried out.
- There is minimal amount of underground work, usually only to the front where the garage door was, and some drainage runs if you are putting in a toilet or sink.
- The existing concrete floor can be used, just lay a damp proof membrane on top and insulate.
- Usually the existing roof timbers can be used, again the felt comes off, insulate and re-felt, or use a more modern flat roofing membrane (we can advise on your options).
What type of garage do you have?
Attached – This type of garage shares a wall with the existing house, usually to one side. There is a connecting door once the conversion work is finished. The wall connected to the house won’t need insulated either, saving you money!
Integrated – This is also attached to the house, but usually has a bedroom on top already, meaning you don’t need to remove the existing roof. You can just use it as it is, which will have a positive cost implication.
Detached – You can still convert a detached garage into a habitable space, but you may require planning permission as it’s a separate building, we can advise you though, get in touch here to discuss.
Do I need planning permission or Building Control Approval?
Before work begins, it is very important to find out what approvals you will need. It is likely that you can convert your garage without requiring planning permission, however, you will still need building control approval. This will require you (or Acre Design if we are your agents) to submit technical drawings to the local authority for them to check for compliance with the building regulations. They will look at the proposals and comment on things like:
- Fire escape routes
- Structural soundness
Costs of converting your garage
Converting your garage can be a great way of extending your home and there are cheaper ways of doing it. With this type of work often coming in under £10,000.
What should you use your garage conversion for?
Garage conversion, as they were designed to house a car, tend to be quite long and narrow. This shape is not ideal for living spaces. The kitchen is often close by and so splitting the room and using it for two of the following uses is common.
Home office – The garage is usually away from the main living area, and often the main source of noise from TV’s or members of the family. So it is a perfect spot for a place to work from home.
Kitchen-Diner – Where garages are beside a kitchen, you can insert a structural steel to open up the garage to the existing kitchen This creates an open plan kitchen diner, which overcomes the long and narrow issues.
Utility Room – A utility room allows the washing machine and other white goods to be moved out of the kitchen. When coupled with a door to the outside, this can become the daily entrance to the house, where coats and boots can be removed before entering the main house.
Recreation Room – There are other options too, these include gyms, home cinemas, and also spare bedrooms. If you have a detached garage it can be a separate annexe for an Airbnb or somewhere for family members to use as they please.