It’s often the case that the modern car no longer fits in the garage, with older garages being too small for the increase in size for most cars. Even if you have a newly built garage the chances are that you store your household junk in there more than you do your car.
With that in mind, many people are choosing to make better use of their garage and space it offers by converting it. This can either be a lengthy process or fairly swift and easy depending on the type of house and garage you have, as well as what you actually want to get out of the finished product.
There are several uses you can put your dark, dingy and cold garage to once converted. More living room or kitchen space are often popular choices, or you can go even simpler and convert the space into a room for general use, whether that’s for a children’s play room, a recreation room for a snooker table or a study in which to read and work peacefully. A more stylish and complex idea is to have a bathroom or wetroom fitted – this offers the luxury of an extra bathroom if you’ve previously been limited by the space in your house.
Aspects which you need to consider when undertaking this kind of project however are varied and, depending on what you existing structures and your future plans involve, the time and cost involved can vary too.
What You’ll Be Using the Space For
First and foremost, whilst it might sound redundant to say, the main objective of converting your garage should also be at the forefront of your mind. It should be reflected in each stage of the process from planning right through to building and completion. For example, if you’re looking at converting your garage into a home gym you might opt for different types of flooring than that of a bedroom or home cinema.
A fully bricked up room won’t be attractive inside or outside, but make sure you get the right windows to match your existing ones otherwise it will look jarring from the outside. You should also take this opportunity to choose windows and get the best energy rated double glazed windows in order to help make savings on your energy bills.
You’ll no doubt have news walls built or add insulation to your walls, and this is an important part of making your new addition to the home a solid and comfortable one. You don’t want drafts or a room which sucks the warm air away replacing it with cold air. Floors also form an important part of your insulation, and building regulations require you to have a high enough standard of insulation.
This will again depend on how your existing garage relates to your home and whether it needs a new roofing solution. A flat roof should be upgraded to a pitched and will need to be made watertight, if you keep the flat roof then ensure it has been resealed properly. Adding a tiled roof will help integrate the conversion to your home and be less obvious as an extension.
If you’re making more than just the most basic changes then the chances are that you will come across a point where you need planning permission and to interact with your local building control department.
Before any work starts you should ensure you have all of these things covered and sorted out as it will save you a lot of hassle later. If you make changes to your home that require permission and you don’t have that permission, you could be ordered to undo all the changes made. When you employ a good builder they should be able to help talk you through these issues before work begins.
Hiring a Professional
If you’re feeling brave doing it yourself is a cost-effective way to save money but it will naturally cost you time. On the other hand, hiring professional builders will cost you money but save you time. It’s a catch 22 situation but the benefits of hiring a professional come with a host of advantages such as their experience and advice when undergoing home conversions.