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 6 metres, 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.

Design Options

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.1st Clapham SW4 jpg

With 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 complement the rest of the property, as well as the neighbouring properties.

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Garage Condition

Most garages are not particularly generous with height because they were never intended to be a comfortable living space. Increasing the height is certainly do-able, however this is dependent upon 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.

At Build Team, we have plenty of experience in converting garages and existing structures. Book in a free Design Consultation with one of our architectural designers to discuss your property’s potential, as well as design and layout options. You can also call us on 0207 495 6561 or email and our Enquiries Team will be more than happy to help with any questions you may have.

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