by Sophie on 4th June 2016
Garages of UK homes are most often an unused space of the house when converting it or optimising its use could not only enlarge your living space but also add considerable value to your house, hence representing an undoubted asset to the home.
Most garages are used to store bikes, tools, Christmas decorations or any other junk that only get used once or twice a year when it could easily be turned into an additional room, whether a gym, office space, or a game room, depending on your hobbies, and familial situation.
If a full reconversion of your garage is indeed something you have envisaged, but for a future date, you could still in the meantime build in clever storage solutions.
Most often, garages aren’t greatly appealing rooms due to their lack of natural. However, many glazing options are available to make them one of the most luminous rooms of a house, such as installing modern roof aluminium windows, flat or new Ultraframe Ultrasky style, which will allow you to flood any space with as much sunlight as needed.
As mostly unused throughout the year, garages are often considered a much cooler room. Yet, this is only because they are not insulated properly like the rest of your property is. Nevertheless, floors, ceiling and walls can be upgraded with modern insulation materials as specified by the Building Control to create a warm, cosy environment whilst meeting modern fire regulations.
The main concern for Building regulations being Fire spread prevention, making sure your home improvements are made in conjunction with Building Control is essential to ensure that your new addition meets all requirements, including a fire escape route. In order to meet Building regulations, you will also need ventilation, which can be achieved by installing uPVC or double glazed windows and doors.
A consideration that also sometimes gets overlooked is that garages tend to have a single external skin of bricks resulting in poor heat retention, which is why it is crucial that the garage conversion is efficiently insulated whether by forming new cavity walls or insulated timber stud walls, to retain heat and thus reduce your energy usage.
When contracting a company, make sure that insulation, cavities and blockwork are upgraded in your garage to meet the standards of the rest of your house, or modern building regulations, as
if your garage conversion hasn’t passed the Building Control inspection, then your new room will not be classed as a habitable room preventing solicitors to class it as an extra room when valuing your house, and thus making you potentially lose a considerable amount of money. It is also important that you get a completion certification if you have had to apply for a building notice, as this would ensure the additional value brought to your house by converting the garage be enhanced.
As a general rule, almost all properties can have garage conversions without the need for planning permission as long as you don’t alter the structure of the building. However, if you live in a conservation area, new estate or in a listed building, then you might be needing a planning permission, even if only for minor work.
Indeed, permission may be required if ‘permitted development rights’ have been removed from a property. Although a rare situation, this can occur for new houses part of estates, or for properties which have been significantly extended already.
If you’re thinking of adding a walk in bay that would bring the front of the building line forward to your conversion, you are most likely to require a planning permission, as this would be classed as an enlargement.
These might seem like a substantial amount of factors to take into account, which is why Framemaster provides a fully rounded service, meaning we will take care of all these specifications, ensuring your new room is compliant with all regulations.
If you are unsure whether you would require a planning permission or not, please give a call on0121 296 8768 or get in touch with us for a quotation with no fee obligation, or to simply further discuss your garage conversion requirements.