Garage conversions are becoming increasingly popular with our clients, either to provide additional habitable space for an expanding family or to create annex space for elderly relatives requiring regular support and care.
These days we visit very few homes with garages that are actually being used to store a vehicle, where instead they have become storage spaces (dumping grounds).
Converting your garage to a habitable space that can be used as part of your existing home can add as much as 10% to the value, without even increasing the overall building footprint!
Do I need Planning Permission to Convert my Garage?
In most instances the conversion of an existing garage to a habitable space will be deemed permitted development. There are some cases where planning permission will be required, for example in a conservation area and on some newer housing estates where the permitted development rights have been removed, so it is always worth checking on an individual, case by case basis before proceeding with any works.
If your garage is detached, then you may need to apply for a change of use.
So can I get straight on with the proposed works?
If your investigations result in confirmation that the proposal is deemed permitted development then you will still need to obtain building control approval before you can commence any works.
In our experience this is best dealt with by an approved building inspector and we can assist you through this process, ensuring that you have the relevant drawings and details.
The main areas that the building inspector will be looking at for compliance with building regulations will be;
– adequate insulation
– means of fire escape
– damp proofing
What else should I consider?
One common scenario with garage conversions that are attached to the main dwelling, is you can often find that the gas main and electrical consumer unit are located on the external wall of the property, inside the garage itself. Should this be the case, whilst it is possible (if necessary) to conceal the electrics inside a cabinet, the gas main must be relocated to an external wall. Identifying this requirement and a suitable alternative location early on can save some delays when works commence. Since this can only be carried out by your supplier, you will need to arrange a suitable time slot for this and sometimes there can be a long lead-time which could potentially hold up works on site.
It is also advisable to check the deeds of the property for any restrictive clauses in addition to the possible removal of permitted development rights already mentioned, that may have been put in place when the property was built. Some developers place restrictions on any works that might change the external appearance of the property. If you find this to be the case, then you might be able to have this waivered for a fee.
If your garage is currently used as a storage space, you might also want to consider what you will do with everything currently kept in there. If you store bikes, garden tools and the like, then you might want to put up a new garden shed/bike store. If you don’t have the garden space to spare for a shed then it might also be possible to retain a portion of the front of your garage as a storage space, leaving the garage door in-situ.
So where do I go from here?
Once you’ve decided that a garage conversion is right for you, get in touch and we can guide you through the staged process towards making your ideas a reality!
We offer free initial consultations to give you the opportunity to discuss your ideas and requirements and we can answer any questions regarding converting your garage and provide you with a no obligation fee quote for our services that would relate to the project.
T: 01892 506988