Should You Convert Your Garage?

Is that additional living space you so badly want right under your nose? If you are looking for additional living space within your property then converting your garage may be the perfect solution.

Why move house and pay all those charges such as stamp duty, solicitor’s fees and removal fees when you can create additional space by having a garage conversion.

Garage Door

Many garages are too small to house today’s modern large vehicles so converting them makes sense for the home owner you needs extra living space. Of course you will need to have a plan as to where you are going to home all the items you currently store in the garage, you may well need to build a shed or erect a small summer house for these items.

However if your property has a double garage you may consider a part conversion which will give you the living space as well as storage for garden furniture and tools.

Double garages can very successfully be turned into a self-contained flat or granny annexe.

Before going ahead with this idea it’s advisable to ask an estate agent if the conversion will add value to your property and will be more beneficial than keeping the garage.

How to Use Your New Living Space

Due to the size and shape of the garage which is typically 3m by 5m or 9m by 10m the room will naturally have a long and narrow feel. To add shape you may be able to knock into the downstairs WC which you would be able to turn into a small shower room.

Depending on your own family’s needs a garage can be converted into an office, gym, bedroom, play room, kitchen, utility room, family room, (self-contained flat – double garage) or additional relaxing space.

Getting The Look Right

Getting the right look for the outside is just as important as how the inside is finished. Work with your builder to create the minimum distribution to the front of your property. If adding new windows match your existing ones. New windows won’t as a rule need planning permission but, under the latest regulations they will need to be energy efficient and double glazed.

If you have one external garage door which you access from your back garden you may consider if space allows it to have bi-folding doors which you can fully open allowing the garden to seamless meet the inside of the new room.

The key design point to the conversion is making it look like it was originally part of the house and adds to the overall look of the property, as well as adding additional space and financial value.

From the inside of the property the main job is to join the new room to the house as if it was always a part of the home. To achieve this use; the same interior doors, door furniture, flooring and skirting boards. This will help make the conversion become part of the house rather than a new room tacked onto the house.

Planning Permission

If you live in a listed building or conservation area, as with any home improvement projects for these types of homes you will need planning permission. If you are adding volume to the property this would be classed as an extension and would fall into the category of home improvement projects that do require planning permission. Planning permission will also be needed if the permitted development rights have been removed by the planning office.

However for everyone else you shouldn’t need planning permission. But my advice is to always check before any work is started.

What’s It Going To Cost?

Expect to pay around £9,000 to £10,000, this will including new windows, doors, plumbing, electrics & decorating. Prices will vary depending on each job and your location. A double garage conversation will naturally cost more than the above price.

Ursula Robinson is a passionate blog writer for http://www.prior-homeimprovements.co.uk and has extensive knowledge on the DIY and Home Improvements subject.

Erin Emanuel

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