When was the last time you put your car in your garage? For most of us, the garage is simply a place where we store unwanted furniture or garden equipment. It is rarely used for its purpose (to house the car). The reasons for this vary, a lack of storage inside our homes, inconvenience and the fact many garages are simply too small for the large cars we have these days.
Converting your garage into a habitable room seems to make perfect sense and more people than ever are considering this home improvement. Before you start, you need to make sure you know some important facts about garage conversions so that you get the very best results.
There’s no need for planning permission
In almost all cases, a garage conversion will not need planning permission as it comes under permitted development. This is because it is not substantially increasing the footprint of your home. You will need permission if the garage is being converted into a separate dwelling. Despite this, you should still check with the planning department to ensure you are carrying out the work correctly.
You do need to comply with building regulations
When you convert any part of your home, the building control department will need to be informed. This is to ensure that the new room meets insulation, electrical and energy requirements. You also need to make sure the work has been carried out to a good standard.
You can convert all kinds of garages
A single attached garage will add around 150 square feet of space to your home, but you can also convert other garage types. You can choose to convert half of a double garage or just the back portion of a very long garage so that you have another room and somewhere for storage or car parking. A stand-alone garage may require permission as it may be a change of use issue.
It all needs upgrading
To meet building regulations it is very likely all parts of the garage will need upgrading. This will include an upgraded roof, increased insulation, a new front wall and window, new flooring and possible dampproofing and an internal skin. The electrics will also have to meet internal house standards.
Don’t fall foul of parking restrictions
If you live in a built-up area there is a chance that your garage forms part of the required parking for your property. If you convert it, you lose that parking space and therefore it may become a planning permission issue. You might need to provide additional parking on your front garden to replace the space.
Converting your garage is a simple and effective way to get more space in your home. You just need to do your homework first.