Planning A Garage Conversion

Increasingly, many homeowners are coming to see their garage in a new light and as a potential source of extra living space within a property. If a garage conversion project is performed correctly, then it can be seamlessly blended with the existing interior of a property. Another reason why garage conversion projects are becoming so popular is that if they are done correctly they can be completed in a matter of weeks.

Integral or adjoined garages are by far the quickest and easiest to convert and result in the lowest levels of disruption within the property. Before going ahead with a garage conversion project it is worth exploring the potential benefits which are provided by an extra room compared with a useable garage with your local estate agent and the result impact both will have on the overall value of your property.

It is important to bear in mind that older integral garages are often too small to house modern cars. Due to this they are perfectly suited for conversion into habitable living space. However these garages are often used as storage space, so a period of removing clutter and junk may be required before the conversion project can commence.

When planning your garage conversion it is important to consider how the space created will be used. The majority of garage conversions result in a room which is thin and long, an excellent way to maximise this space is to include a cloakroom at the back of the space. Introducing a stud wall and an extra door from the hallway means that a downstairs toilet can be introduced into the garage conversion. Doing this also means that a shower or wet room can also be introduced at the back of the garage area and the remaining space can be transformed into an extra bedroom, creating an extremely practical space.

If you choose to include either a toilet or shower room as part of your garage conversion then at some point the issue of drainage will undoubtedly arise. Ideally a conventional gravity drainage system will be employed, however if this is not possible the problem can be easily overcome through the implementation of a pumped macerator. Ventilation may also be an issue, however this can easily be overcome with the installation of an extractor fan.

The placement of the adjoining door is an important factor to consider, due to the impact it will have on both the new space and the adjoining property.

The next consideration should be the aesthetics of the garage conversion, both internally and externally. From an external perspective every effort should be made to use the same material so the conversion seamlessly blends with the rest of the property. Internally, there are a number of tricks which can be deployed to make the conversion appear to have also been part of the property. These tricks involve the replication of interior features such as flooring, skirting boards and also light fittings which both complement the new space and are integrated with those used within the adjoining room.

The selection of paint is incredibly important, every effort should be made to select colours and tones which will make the room appear brighter. Also to maximise the amount of light the conversion gets, consider the inclusion of a window. When it comes to furniture select sizes which match the proportions of the room to avoid it seeming clustered.

Time should be taken to understand what will be involved in the actual building of the conversion. Ordinarily, part of the garage’s floor will be excavated in order to provide foundations to support any additional walls. It is also likely that the floor within the garage will be lower than those found within the home. Due to this it will have to be raised, insulated and protected from rising damp. Often some of the external walls of an integral garage will be comprised of a single course of bricks. Due to this they will not meet building regulations regarding insulation and weatherproofing. There are a number of ways around this issue, including the creation of an independent stud wall off the damp proof course, 75mm clear of the original wall.

When it comes to heating consider using radiators if the flooring is unable to support an underfloor or electrical flooring heating system. Under the latest building regulations planning permission is not required for windows, however double glazing should be selected in order to improve the overall energy efficiency of the property.