How to Plan a Garage Conversion
These days many homeowners are finding it difficult to live in a home which has a limited amount of space. There may be a demand for a new bedroom, a games room perhaps or even a new office or study. For homeowners who are fortunate enough and can afford to move then the simple solution is buy a bigger house with all the facilities that they need or desire, but in the real world, upping up and leaving is not such an easy option. When we consider related costs such as solicitors fees, estate agents fees and even moving fees, then suddenly moving home is not such an easy thing to do, at least not financially anyway.
Make Use of the Space You Already Have for a Garage Conversion.
Another alternative would be to extend your home perhaps to the side or back or even possibly convert the loft space if it is suitable; but if you’re fortunate enough you may have a garage at your home that can be converted into habitable living space. The purpose of this article is to help you on how to plan a garage conversion.
A garage conversion is a cheap alternative into gaining that extra much needed space and will be a far cheaper alternative to converting the loft space or adding a new extension. Most of the structure will already be in place and it is simply a case of bringing the space up to spec.
Before You Start the Garage Conversion
Depending on where your garage is located you may or may not need planning permission from the local council. In most cases now planning permission here in the UK, will not be required, particularly since the planning laws relaxed and changed in 2008. You should contact the council however to clarify this to ensure you have permitted development rights and don’t need a formal application.
When we think of how to plan a garage conversion you almost certainly need building regulations approval. This is when the local building inspector will come to your home and inspect construction that you carry out to ensure it is up to current standards and that the new dwelling areas is safe and habitable. An application can be made for building regulations at the local council office.
Converting the Space
You’ll probably want as much light in the new conversion and also for it to look like part of the house so the first thing you’ll want to do is remove the old garage door and brick up the front, providing a new window to complement the existing structure.
The floor will be lower than the existing house so will need to be raise (probably by about 150mm) to become level with the existing house floor level. Please note that you are not allowed to step down into a garage that has been converted. It must run flush to the existing house floor and you will need to provide insulation beneath it.
The new floor maybe either of concrete or timber construction depending on your architects design (if you’ve used one). Some people with a little building knowledge will do their own design for a garage conversion as the process is fairly straight forward in most cases and their builder will understand the building regulation requirements and liaise directly with the inspector. In all other case though you will employ the services of a designer or architect to get the initial concept.
Most garages will only be of single skin construction so the walls will need to insulated and studded out before any plasterboard or plastering can be applied. Depending on your design you should also ensure that you have all necessary services in place, I.E, Water, radiators, electrical wiring etc.
The ceiling will also be boarded and insulated with any wiring already pet into place.
Depending on your design layout you will also have had to provide a new entrance to the garage. This is commonly done by making a new opening in the external wall of the hallway in the house which will then lead to the new room you are creating. You will need to ensure any new opening is correctly supported with lintels or beams. Your building inspector may want to see structural calculations for this.
Once the room has been boarded and plastered it will really start to look like something and be a total transformation to that old cold and naked garage that used to be there before.
Hopefully this article has helped you how to plan a garage conversion and will help you to decide whether such a conversion is right for you. For growing families it is an ideal solution for an extra bedroom and for others it is simply and easy option to getting a new office or even sun or playroom.