Why convert your garage?
The garage is quite often an unused space. When people are undertaking extensions to their properties, garages are not always taken into consideration – but as per any other space, garages can be renovated to provide an additional living area. If you have a growing family, or you simply need extra room, a garage conversion can be a very cost-effective and practical exercise – providing you with a tailored solution to meet your exact needs and requirements.
Let’s face it – what do you actually use your garage for at the moment? It’s a fact that in recent years, cars are generally getting much bigger and houses a lot smaller. Years ago, the family car had to be protected from the harsh elements, however, as technology has advanced, cars are routinely galvanised, negating the need for garage parking. Car ports are also becoming very popular – allowing for easier parking outside of the home and providing protection from the weather.
As a result, garages tend to turn into unused spaces or they get filled up with junk or un-used gardening equipment. The majority of households will have fitness equipment, toys or memorabilia stored in their garages – and quite often it will take some effort to dispose of these items, so instead they tend to sit in garages for years or even decades. In the meantime, we are struggling to find the space that we need in our homes.
Why convert your garage?
Garage conversions can be a very cost-effective way to provide the additional space that you require. By converting your garage, you could actually add extra value to your home – the value of your conversion will rise in tandem with the price of your home. Obviously, in very uncertain financial times, it’s vital to add value to your home wherever possible. Also, if your garage is attached to your house, you can brighten up your home, using glazed doors for access and letting more light into the adjoining room.
Clearly, garage conversions can provide us with a number of key benefits – so why aren’t more people getting them done? Perhaps cost is one factor – any job, be it a do it yourself project or a ‘call in the professionals’ task, is going to incur costs. However, it could be that your garage is more suited to conversion than you think. Clearly, the kind of garage that you own will dictate the conversion costs, but many key aspects may already be in place.
Getting past the red tape
Rules and regulations can also be a worry – you may be thinking about converting your garage but really have no idea about planning permissions, building regulations and other key requirements. Contacting an architect and builders can also be a daunting process; you may have concerns about choosing the best people for the job, or if you intend to take the conversion on yourself, lack the inspiration or ideas to get the project off the ground.
All in all, the process of converting a garage can seem like an impossible task – but it doesn’t have to be that way. With the correct help and guidance, you can easily start a garage conversion project and can look forward to obtaining the extra space that you need. With expert advice, hints and tips, you can get your garage conversion designed and completed quickly, efficiently and with minimal disruption to your family’s day-to-day schedules.
The questions that you need to ask
If you are considering a garage conversion, there are a number of important questions that you will need to ask. Try to think of it as a fact-finding mission – by establishing a few key points now, you could avoid a lot of hassle further down the line. Many expensive mistakes are a direct result of mis-information or not asking the right questions at the start of a project.
Here are examples of the kind of questions that you will need to ask before you start your garage conversion project:
- What kind of garage do I have – and what can I do with it?
- How do I go about creating my garage conversion plans?
- How can I create a budget for my garage conversion?
- What are the best ways of ensuring that I add value to my home?
- Do I need planning permission – and how do I obtain it?
- Are there any building regulations that I need to adhere to?
- What flooring/roofing/insulation and wall changes are needed?
- Are there any specific electrical requirements?
- What kind of windows and doors can I use?
- How do I choose the right builder/architect for the job?
Before you commence with your garage conversion, it’s vital to get answers to all of the above questions. By arming yourself with the information that you need, you will be fully prepared for any eventuality and can potentially avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes.
Getting started with your conversion
If you have performed a little research – and have decided that a garage conversion will be of benefit to you – it’s time to get started with your project. It’s true that planning really is the key to a successful conversion – by taking sufficient time to plan your design, identify any building requirements, establish the materials that you would like to use and cover any legal requirements, you can make the project go much more smoothly and with minimal hassle.
The most important decision has already been made – now it’s time to iron out the smaller details and get the work started. If you are unsure about creating your own plans, or any aspects of the initial planning or building phases, you can refer to our informative FAQs section.