The traditional ‘Garage’ seems to be going out of fashion, as homeowners are realising the potential of what might otherwise be used as dead space. A typical garage spans 3 x 6m, which is a huge area, especially when you consider how the space could be used within your everyday activities.
We’re not just talking about garages – conservatories and out-houses are also existing structures that you can develop into a home extensions.
Extending into a garage or out-house is a great investment and if you’re thinking about going ahead, there are a few considerations to note:
Local Council Restrictions
The first question to ask is whether Planning will be required. Even if you are not changing the exterior look, you might still require planning permission to convert your garage into a living area. Planning and building control are the two main obstacles to overcome in order to make a workable room out of old structures. Quite often, old structures like garages or conservatories don’t look particularly nice and may not be in keeping with your neighbouring properties. This will help your case when seeking planning consent as you can argue you are going to create a scheme which is more in keeping with the local area.
The design options are endless and can allow for interesting proposals such as adding windows, skylights and doors in order to allow light to penetrate throughout the home. All of this will have an effect on the exterior look of the garage which will need planning, but as long as you have a dedicated, knowledgeable team on your side, small amendment applications are quick and easy.
On a typical garage conversion, you’ll need to remove the existing garage door and put in a new front window. It’s useful to note that to satisfy planning restrictions, the window will need to match in with the existing windows; the style, material and size must compliment the rest of the property as well as the neighbouring properties.
Most garages are not particularly generous with height because they were never intended to be a comfortable living space. Increasing the height is certainly doable however this is dependent on your local council restrictions and onsite conditions. While most garages have a flat roof, you can create more internal head height by changing the roof type to a pitch roof.
Any space that is intended to be a living area will need to be structurally sound, fully insulated, water tight, ventilated and fireproof with fire escapes routed. In order to comply with building control, the existing condition of your garage or out-house would need to be assessed to verify if the existing structure can be used as a suitable living space. If not, then a redesign and rebuild of the garage shell will be required in order to pass building control.
We have plenty of experience in converting garages and existing structures. Book in a site visit and meet a member of our Architectural Team at your property to discuss your properties potential and design and layout options.