Do you look at your garage and just think that it could be converted into something much more useful? Then you are not alone. It’s more than possible for you to add valuable space to your home by simply taking the right steps. Want to find out more? Keep on reading.
Designing Your Space
The first step with any garage conversion would be for you to do a thorough assessment of the structure. You need to see how sound the foundation is, and you also need to check the walls and the roof too. This will go a long way in helping you to find out how much work needs to be done, and it will also help you to create a much more comfortable living environment too. If you know that the building is in a very bad state, then it may actually be cheaper for you to knock everything down and replace it.
If you have an integrated or attached garage, then it should be very easy for you to work with your garage in the accommodation you have. At the end of the day, you can knock through the wall, or you can join it up with the existing zone if you want. It may be that you create a full kitchen diner or that you end up enlarging a hallway. Either way, if you have a detached structure, then you may want to use it as a very quiet home office instead. A single garage will give you around 15-square meters of floor space. This is more than enough space for you to create a playroom, a guest bedroom or even an accessible downstairs bathroom. If you have a double garage, then you can turn this into a big living room or even a bedroom.
With a garage conversion, most of the work will be done internally. You will only be changing the frontage and possibly adding a window. This means that you won’t have to worry about planning permission most of the time. In some instances, such as where you live in a conversation area, you may need to seek change of use permission. If you want to make the most out of your decision, then it is helpful for you to consult a local authority before you go ahead.
As you are changing the use for the garage, you’ll have to make sure that you look up the building regulations that you have to meet. The building notice route will probably be quite sufficient. You will need to inform the authority and tell them that you plan on starting work in around 48 hours time. If you have a much more complex project, then you may prefer to have a structural plan drafted. This will give you the peace of mind you need to know that you are going to have everything confirmed, and this will help your conversion to conform to the highest standard required. In addition to this, you have to make sure that the building is safe.
The most common route that people take is they replace the garage door with walling that matches the rest of the building. It may be that you need to have the wall bonded with the existing brickwork. The design assessment should really help you to identify if the foundation needs to be upgraded so that the new load can be supported. The great thing about planning is that it gives you the chance to add a glazed access door. You can also introduce way more daylight into your space this way, and this can help you to reduce the overall load that is imposed. If you can stretch your budget, then you could opt for a completely glazed wall. If you want to keep things cheap, then having up and over garage doors can also be a good option.
Integrated garages tend to be built to the same standard as your main house. The walls probably don’t need upgrading, but you should check anyway. Attached or detached garages that have a single-skin construction need to be insulated internally. You can do this by having stud walls that have a gap deep enough to accommodate any insulation. You need to have an air gap as well, remember. Buildings that have cavity walls will usually have the insulation blown into the gap. This will preserve the internal floor space. If you want to have a part-conversion here, then you need to make sure that you erect a dividing wall as you need to allow for half an hour of fire protection for safety reasons.
*this is a collaborative post*