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Compare My Local ... Garage Conversions

Moving home can be expensive, not to mention the additional stress it places on the entire family. In these tough times many of can’t afford to move but still crave more space within the home. Whether you have a growing family or would just like the extra room, then a garage conversion is the perfect extension for your home.

Loft conversions are very popular at the moment and seem like the obvious choice, but why not utilise the space that already has the foundations in place? If your garage could qualify as a hoarder’s paradise and you aren’t quite sure what is even in there, then converting it could be the ideal opportunity for getting rid of all your unwanted items and create that much needed extra space. Unlike other conversions, which can take many weeks, garage conversions have a relatively short time frame for completion. On average, and depending on the type of conversion you require, you can expect your garage to be finished in the region of just two to three weeks.

What should I convert my garage space into?

Garage conversions can be used for all kinds of different purposes. You could build an extra lounge, a much needed utility room, a dining room, an office or study. Why not even a gym or a playroom? A bedroom would create much more room in the main home and depending on space you could even have an en-suite fitted as well.

The good news is that garage conversions do not usually need planning permission if the work is carried out internally as this is considered a permitted development. There are always exceptions to the rule, so if your garage is a listed building, in a conservation area or you are extending the existing building in anyway planning permission will be required. Sometimes permitted development rights have been removed from some properties with regard to garage conversions, particularly if you live in a new housing development. There may be other circumstances when planning permission is necessary, so it is always best to contact your local authority to check.

Building regulations do apply for garage conversations. Building regulations make sure that your building work is safe, healthy, accessible and energy efficient. Depending on the amount of work that is required will depend on the regulations that will need to be met. Contact your local authority about building regulations for any help or guidance, and to ensure you follow all of the requirements

 

Garage Conversion Ideas

Did you know that 90% of people who own garages do not keep their car in it?!

Did you know that the average garage is approximately 12.5m (150sq ft)?

So if you have a garage, just what do you keep in there? Old toys, clothes, electrical items that you are hanging on to because you think they may ‘come in handy.’ Why not utilise the area, use the opportunity for a good clear out and create some extra living space? Your garage can be converted into whatever you like, whether that’s an extra bedroom with an en-suite, a games room, another reception room, a gym or even a state of the art cinema room!

The possibilities for your garage conversion are endless, just open your mind and let your imagination run wild.

Dining room

If you love to entertain then converting your garage into a dining room will help to create a magnificent ambiance for all of your dinner parties. Whether catering a full blown 3 course meal or just serving drinks and nibbles, guests can relax away from the messy kitchen and really feel at home.

Games room

Come on, we’ve all hankered after a games room at some point and now is your chance to make your dream a reality. Imagine inviting all your friends round to play some pool, darts, table football or spend all night on the games console, and with the added bonus of being separate from the main house. Get that mini fridge, stock it with drink and create the perfect room.

Extra bedroom

If you want a fancy guest room or are adding to your family or the kids are growing up and even the thought of them sharing a room for much longer is turning you slightly crazy, then an extra bedroom is an ideal choice. It will give the main home that much needed extra space. If there is enough space then why not thinking about adding an en-suite to?

A gym

Everyone is watching the pennies at the moment and gym memberships can be an expensive extra, especially if you are paying all of that money each month and hardly ever going. It can be tough to get out of bed and make your way to the gym. What if it was next to your house? You would be more inclined to work out and you wouldn’t have to pay any membership or worry about queuing for the equipment. You could build a private gym in the comfort of your own home.

An office

If you regularly work from home or are thinking of setting up your own business, then turning your garage into an office is a wise choice. It can be tough to work from home with so much going on. The kids are home, you may quickly put the washing on or have a tidy round. Shutting yourself away from distractions means more concentration and a better working environment. Building a specially designed office to suit your needs means working from home can now be easy.

Workshop

If you’ve always wanted a workshop then here is the ideal opportunity. Whether it is your business or you simply enjoy tinkering around then a workshop can be a great way of utilising your empty garage.  

Home Cinema

Surely we’ve all noticed how incredibly expensive the cinema is now a days, maybe you don’t even find them that comfortable and you hate sharing the space with loads of other people. Just imagine the big screen, the comfy leather sofas and inviting whoever you like whether that’s all of your friends, your partner or just you. A home cinema is such a great idea we’re surprised not every garage in the UK is now a converted cinema – popcorn at the ready!

More good news - garage conversions do not usually need planning permission if the work is carried out internally as this is considered a permitted development. There are always exceptions to the rule, so if your garage is a listed building, in a conservation area or you are extending the existing building in anyway, planning permission will be required. Sometimes permitted development rights have been removed from some properties with regard to garage conversions, particularly if you live in a new housing development. There may be other circumstances when planning permission is necessary, so it is always best to contact your local authority to check.

Building regulations do apply for garage conversations. Building regulations make sure that your building work is safe, healthy, accessible and energy efficient. Depending on the amount of work that is required will depend on the regulations that will need to be met. Contact your local authority about building regulations for any help or guidance, and to ensure you follow all of the requirements.

Insulation

If you have decided to convert your garage into a liveable space, whether that be a bedroom, a dining area, a games room, a gym or in fact any room you want to spend time in, then you need to make sure the naturally cold ceilings, walls and floors are properly insulated so your new conversion remains warm and cosy. Insulating the floor, ceiling and walls during a garage conversion is essential if you want your new room to be comfortable as well as energy-efficient.

Building regulations state that a garage conversion should adhere to the minimum insulation standards in order to make the room a habitable area. Building regulations are in place to help you and make sure your new building works are safe, healthy, accessible and energy efficient.

The ceilings, walls and floor need to have a certain ‘U’ standard in order to meet building regulations. The U value will measure how much heat is lost through the bricks, timbre, construction etc, in one hour over a square metre. It is measured in watts. The lower the U value, the better the level of insulation. At the moment, the minimum U level your garage conversion needs to meet is as follows -

The wall insulation thermal performance U value should be equal to 0.35 W/m2K

Flat roofs to 0.25 W/m2K and pitched roof to 0.2 W/m2K.

The ground floor should achieve a thermal performance U value of 0.25 W/m2K.

Windows must achieve a thermal performance U value of 2 W/m2K and should incorporate vents that can be opened to the equivalent to 1/20th of the floor area of the room.

If you are unsure about how to measure the U value of your walls, floors and windows then you should strongly consider employing a professional organisation who is knowledgeable about garage conversations. They will be able to make sure your conversion meets the U standard regulations. If you do not meet these requirements then your conversation may turn into a costly affair trying to put these regulations into place after the build. It is far better to make sure you meet standards during the building works.

Planning & Building Regulations

Planning permission

The good news is that garage conversions do not usually need planning permission if the work is carried out internally as this is considered a permitted development. There are always exceptions to the rule, so if your garage is a listed building, in a conservation area or you are extending the existing building in anyway planning permission will be required. Sometimes permitted development rights have been removed from some properties with regard to garage conversions, particularly if you live in a new housing development. There may be other circumstances when planning permission is necessary, such as if you live in a flat or maisonette, so it is always best to contact your local authority to check. They can advise you on whether or not your garage conversion needs planning permission and the correct channels to go through if it is required.

Building regulations

Building regulations do apply for garage conversations. Building regulations make sure that your building work is safe, healthy, accessible and energy efficient. Depending on the amount of work that is required will depend on the regulations that will need to be met. We have listed a few circumstances when specific building work carried out on your garage will need to adhere to building regulations.

Garage door

It is highly likely that your original garage door will need to be infilled with a new wall and possibly a window or door. As the foundation to the existing garage is not likely to be traditional new foundation may be needed for the new wall. All buildings are required to have appropriate foundations laid to support additional weight. Many factors need to be taken into account when designed foundations such as –

Type of soil – it needs to be able to support additional weight and cope with changes of moisture

Trees – they draw moisture from the ground and could result in the ground shrinking

Drains and sewers – the extra weight from the foundations may cause pipes to crack

Size – the size of the foundation is important. It needs to support the additional weight the garage will bring

Floor

Although your original garage flooring may be strong enough for habitable use, it may require damp-proofing and / or thermal insulation to meet building regulations.

Ventilation

All rooms in a house should have adequate ventilation for general health reasons. The amount of ventilation required will depend on the type of extension you are building. For example, a liveable room such as a bedroom will need more ventilation than a simple room used only for storage.

Below is a list of common work used when converting a garage that will also need to meet the requirements of building regulations.

Doors and windows

Building regulations now apply to all replacement glazing. These regulations apply to thermal performance and other areas such as safety, air supply, means of escape and ventilation.

Electrics

We highly recommend you use a reputable and qualified electrician. They can successfully stick to all building requirements that have been put in place for your protection.

Drains

You may have to change your plans to suit the depth and location of the underground drain that you intend to connect to. Just building over an existing pipe can cause problems when building your extension and in the future if the drain blocks or leaks. Drains may need to be moved or protected.

We strongly recommend that you use a professional organisation when converting your garage so all building regulations are successfully met. This will ensure that your building work is safe, healthy, accessible and energy efficient. If you are carrying out part of the work yourself then it is always best to contact your local authority about building regulations for any help or guidance, and to ensure you follow all of the requirements.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Garage Conversions

Moving home can be expensive, not to mention the additional stress it places on the entire family. In these tough times many of can't afford to move but still crave more space within the home. Whether you have a growing family or would just like the extra room, then a garage conversion is the perfect extension for your home, and available at a modest cost. Your garage can be converted into whatever you like, whether that's an extra bedroom with an en-suite, a games room, another reception room, a gym or even a state of the art cinema room!

Yes. A garage conversion will add extra living space to your home and will therefore increase the existing value.

 

  • It will increase the value of your home without the expense of moving
  • It will create extra space within your home
  • Utilise your empty space to its full potential
  • It is a great investment with a minimal outlay
  • The building works won't take long and will not impact on your day to day living
  • Avoid the stress, upheaval and associated moving and legal costs.
  • You can convert your garage into whatever you choose

 

Garage conversions do not usually need planning permission if the work is carried out internally as this is considered a permitted development. There are always exceptions to the rule, so if your garage is a listed building, in a conservation area or you are extending the existing building in anyway, planning permission will be required. Sometimes permitted development rights have been removed from some properties with regard to garage conversions, particularly if you live in a new housing development. There may be other circumstances when planning permission is necessary, so it is always best to contact your local authority to check.

Yes. Building regulations do apply for garage conversations. Building regulations make sure that your building work is safe, healthy, accessible and energy efficient. Your garage conversion will have to adhere to requirements such as electrics, fire safety, appropriate insulation and drainage, adequate ventilation and that particular doors, windows, walls and roofing have been installed. Depending on the amount of work that is required will depend on the regulations that will need to be met. Contact your local authority about building regulations for any help or guidance, and to ensure you follow all of the requirements.

This will largely depend on the type of conversion you choose and the individual requirements. An average garage conversion usually starts from around £5,000 - £6.000.

Again, this will depend on the type of conversion you want and the amount of building work that is required, but you can usually expect a garage conversion to be completed in around 8 - 10 days.

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