A well-thought out garage conversion can add as much as 10 per cent to the value of your home, and is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your property’s resale value. An additional benefit is increased living space without incurring the costs and inconveniences of moving house.
Design and Space Planning
The internal space of most garages is longer and thinner than most people prefer their rooms. To achieve a more natural shape for the conversion, consider using stud or block walling to convert the garage into two rooms. The additional room is often used as a toilet or shower. A storeroom suits others better.
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What Type of Garage do you Have?
Garages tend to fall into three categories — attached, integral and detached. Each comes with its own issues:
Attached or Integrated: This type of garage is connected to the main structure of the house, sometimes to one side, but also often projecting out from the front of the house with a room above, commonly a bedroom. Attached garages can usually be accessed from inside the house, making the conversion even easier.
Detached: Just because a garage is detached does not mean it is not suitable for conversion into living space. However, you are more likely to have to apply for planning permission to change its intended use if it is a separate building.
How Big is Your Garage?
A standard-sized single garage can give you around 14m² of extra space, so is ideal if you are looking for somewhere to house a home office, playroom or guest bedroom — or even a downstairs shower room and utility. It might also offer the potential to extend an existing space, such as your kitchen or hallway, depending on the layout of your home.
A double garage can add around 28m² and gives you the option of using part of the space for storage or still as a garage and the rest as living space. The same goes for ‘tandem’ garages.
Can I Convert my Garage?
Check for any restrictive covenants or clauses that may prevent you from making changes that alter the external appearance of your home. Even if you find you are subject to such restrictions, you may still be able to convert the space, retaining the front section for storage and converting the rear area.
We also need to consider the following:
fire escape routes
• Foundations – often the foundations of a garage are not deep enough to handle the extra weight of floors, walls and ceilings so will need to be tested to see what strengthening is needed. Infilling door opening – should include suitable foundations, damp course, weather proofing and insulation.
• Structural strength – often garage walls are of single layer of bricks which may not be suitable to carry an additional floor, new roof or additional insulation.
• Weather proofing and insulation – the garage will need to be weather proofed and insulated if it is to be used as a living space.
• Windows and ventilation – windows will need to meet minimum energy efficiency standards and have adequate ventilation provided.