The ‘ins and outs’ to know if you have a garage’ conversion on your mind…

credit – loveproperty.com

Recently here on this blog we highlighted the fact that over the past Covid year or so Home extensions and renovations have been very much on the up and up as more and more homeowners got improvement and refurb projects underway as lockdown forced more and more to work from home. 

Previously we highlighted various facts and guidance on garage conversions, highlighting the potential of such projects, their convenience in many cases, their favourable outlook with regards to price and also, the ins and outs of the planning guidance you might need to know to get your garage conversion successfully started.

relatively simple 

In many cases a garage conversion can prove to be relatively simple and in such a case then an architect may not be needed – a useful saving perhaps – as you and your builder could probably between you ‘scheme up’ a modest design plan to get that garage converted without too many complications, design sort out issues or delays.

online search 

You could opt for a company local to you that specialises in garage conversions. They will be experienced in dealing with the planning issues and the building regulations specific to garage conversions. The Checkatrade operation have  such a listing . An online search will do the trick andenable you to find you a local operation who will soon have your project on track.

key work areas 

As touched on previously, there are a number of key work areas to be engaged for your garage conversion project. These include:-  Making sure the walls and roof are sound; Review the condition of the floor slab, (the existing floor may need to be levelled, damp-proofed and insulated); Infilling the door – in most instances  all that needs to be done is to simply brick up the garage door space once the door has been pulled down; Fit those two key important insulations – wall insulation and roof insulation; Windows and door fitting for your converted space and the all important heating and electrics..both obviously vital to convert to real working room.

insulating

It’s not just important it’s a must that you make sure your new room is warm and energy efficient. In order to comply with building regulations, it will need insulation! The simplest way to add insulation to the walls is with insulated plasterboard fitted to timber battens above the damp proof course.

damp proof membrane 

Garage floors, of course, will usually be lower than the floor in the main house, so you should be able to add a damp-proof membrane, insulation and a new screed plus floor covering relatively easily and end up with your garage conversion being on a level with the rest of the house. 

…..and don’t forget

It is possible to plan and convert your garage yourself. This could be a good option if you only have a small budget and are a pretty skilled DIY-er. If you do decide to go for a DIY approach, be aware that your work will have to be checked by a buildings control officer and if it doesn’t comply with building regulations you will have to put it right at your own expense. So, get on track from the off to be safe and sure!

the insurance issue 

Insurance is another important matter requiring attention If you are using a builder like Mint  they have their own insurance to cover the building project. Make sure your chosen builder has professional indemnity insurance before they start work. You will also need to inform your home insurance provider before you start your garage conversion. Major building works can invalidate home insurance, so get it checked.  Take note, also you may need to take out specialist additional insurance during the work if your home insurer won’t cover you. Once your conversion is complete get back in touch with your home insurer again. The work may have increased the re-build value of your home, which means your premiums may cost you more.

a detached garage 

If your garage is detached take care. It could be a bigger job than converting an integrated garage linked to the side of the house. In this case, you will have to apply for ‘change of use’ with your local planning authority.

You will also need to factor in extra costs such as enhancing the foundations, which may not be strong enough for what you are planning. You may also have to consider costs such as bringing power and plumbing out to the building. 

Good guidance all this for sure, and more on garage conversions and the ‘ins and outs’ of such projects from the always informed HomeOwners Alliance. 

We at Mint Builders are, of course, here to help locally with all kinds of questions and ideas relating to the priority planning and organisation of your planned new garage conversion or other home extension or renovation for the late Autumn and Winter this year…. and on into 2022.

Feel free to request our project planning and quotation visit to refurbish or extend your home for more ‘liveability’ and increased future sales value in these vaccination focused Covid crisis times. Contact Mint Builders on 07734 211958 or email mintbuilders@hotmail.co.uk