What About Converting Your Garage Into Another Room?Written by Alex under General, Heaters | No Comments
Last week we looked at converting a shed or garage into a workshop but there are a number of other reasons to convert a garage. They can provide additional living space to a home which is starting to feel cramped, or they can add a touch of luxury, being converted into a home gym or cinema/entertainment centre.
Using a car is getting more and more expensive and it’s also bad for the environment so maybe one day everyone will be using bikes and public transport to get around. When that happens garages throughout the land will become redundant and ripe for conversion. So what will you do with yours?
Once you’ve cleared out all the useless clutter that’s built up over the years you’ll be surprised how much space is made available. And depending on the quality of the structure you don’t need to think only in terms of one story. Of course any plans you turn into reality depend on planning restrictions and your local authority but given a sensitive design and an insightful architect the design you agree on should be viewed realistically.
Depending on whether your garage is attached to your house or not, there are a number of different options to look into. If the building is attached you might want to consider turning it into a lounge, a bedroom, building another story and going for both, or an additional bathroom. If the outbuilding isn’t contiguous it could be made into a playroom, entertainment room, gym or office. In these cases the fact that it isn’t attached to your home works to its advantage as it keeps disturbance down.
Currently lounge extensions and second lounges are the most popular conversions that home owners undertake. Before you get started it’s important to know what restrictions you are going to be subject to. You don’t want go to all that trouble and expense only to have to return your conversion to its original state as planning permission wasn’t obtained when it was necessary.
Even if you don’t need planning permission, you will still need to adhere to building regs. If you’re going to convert your garage into a habitable space you’re going to need to make sure the work meets building regulations that stand for any other building. A building control officer will want to view the work at several points during construction, for example, when insulating it’s not enough just to put up studwork and fill it with cavity wall insulation. You will have to dig up the entire concrete floor and install insulation (the fact that this process is unavoidable may make underfloor heating more attractive).
If your garage is attached to your home and you want to build a bathroom or bedroom the plumbing is relatively easy, on the other hand if you’re converting a garage that is not joined to your home plumbing in water or heating is going to be a trickier proposition. The more sensible answer would be to simply use electric heating such as panels or oil filled radiators to warm the space, although, if you have the time and money, a plumbed in shower for your home gym or even a Jacuzzi is going to be very attractive, especially to potential buyers in the future.
If you have a single garage the floorspace you could add to your home amounts to about 150 square feet, a double could be split, offering 150’ and retaining a single garage or you could convert he entire space. If your garage is a stand alone building separate from your home it may be necessary to get prior permission for a change of use. Again, check into all possible eventualities before commencing any building work.
Once you’ve got the permissions all sorted away you’ll want to get on with the building. The most obvious thing you’ll want to do is fill in the garage door, vary attractive to cars, not so much for humans! You could opt for French doors, an ordinary door and a window or bricking up the space entirely. The purpose you want to put the extra space to defines your options here; French doors for a living room, picture windows for a gym…
The garage is unlikely to have sufficient foundations for immediate double story construction. When rectifying the substructure your builders will need to use frost-proof bricks resistant to minerals that are present underground.
Since you will have to dig up the floor you will have to lay down a damp proof membrane if you’re replacing it with a solid floor, installing a suspended timber floor will mean that the floor is more in keeping with traditional housebuilding methods but you will still need to install a damp proof course.
The roof of a garage is only designed to keep the rain out, your new roof should offer insulation and a much better build quality. If you go for a flat roof you will need to allow a 50mm space between that underside of the roof and the insulation. With a pitched roof additional insulation can be placed in, just as in a normal roof.