Garage conversions are a fantastic way of creating extra space that may be needed by your family for many reasons. Converting a garage into a liveable usable area can be more affordable than you think. You already have the structure, you just need a vision of how you can best utilise the garage, and this is where we can help. If you are like most people your garage is full of junk that just piles up over the years, in fact, I don't know why they call them garages as if yours is like mine, once you drive in, it's impossible to get out of your car as they are far too small. Changing a garage especially if it's an integrated part of the house can be a pain-free experience and bring great value when completed. It could be used to extend the kitchen into a kitchen diner, a new downstairs bedroom, gymnasium, office, extra downstairs bathroom, the choice is yours!.
What is your garage being used for at present?
Once the garage door has been replaced by brickwork and a nice new window, you will never know a garage once existed. The new door inside connecting to your main house or maybe an external door down the side, there are many options available to you. Talk to us and we can bring together a plan of action at a great price to suit your budget.
Does a garage conversion add value to my property?
An integral garage conversion could add up to around 10 or 20% per cent to the worth of your home, while you'll gain valuable extra room and liveable space, these types of building projects are less vulnerable to building planning permission red tape and complications. So if the maximum price of the conversion project is a smaller amount than the additional value that will be added to your property, this works out as a lucrative transaction and a fantastic way to gain more space for you and your family. Also, if you are one of the fortunate people that have the luxury of a double garage on your premises and at your disposal, you could just convert half the space, leaving you with a part storage space or garage parking, and some extra living space.
Do I need planning permission for my garage conversion?
Generally speaking a garage conversion project should come under the permitted developments rights, which will most of the time mean that planning permission isn't required. However, there are some instances and occasions where you may need to apply for planning permission or that you are changing the type of use.
If your house resides in a conservation area or the building is a listed property, then it's most likely that you may need planning permission. If you're unsure whether or not your home is situated in a conservation area, please check and discuss this with your local authorities and request details if necessary.
How much extra space will I get by converting
A UK standard single integral garage is approximately 150 square foot area of space waiting to be converted into a potential house extension. Double garage owners obviously have double the volume at around 300 square foot to play with, and as I mentioned before, they can utilise by splitting 50/50 and having a part garage conversion and keep half their garage or convert the whole area into a full garage conversion.
Is my type of garage suitable for a conversion project?
Ask yourself these questions
If you are fortunate to have an integral brick or block work garage, then you could most possibly convert the space into a number of uses, just take into consideration a few things first.
If converted how will you enter this new room?
Would it be possible or do you already have a doorway and access from the main house?
What would your parking be like if you converted your garage?
Would you have sufficient room to store your garage items?
If you did convert your garage to provide further living space, would it be wiser to proceed with a house extension instead?
What is your existing garage built with? Is it constructed with other, more unusual materials? such as, concrete panels and frame or prefabricated paneling of some sort?
If you are not sure how to go about answering these questions, then please do get in touch for a free consultation and quotation. We can guide and advise you on a way forward to create a fantastic new space in your home. We offer a wide range of services, including, house extensions, loft conversions and new builds to cater for everyone and their budget.
Contact us now on 0115-824-3368
For friendly advice and to book your free consultation
Listed building and areas, plus covenants
A good idea before marching ahead with the garage conversion on your Nottingham house, is check if there are any restrictive covenants or planning conditions on your property with regards to converting the garage in any way. Some Property developers, housing estate companies or certain houses may include planning conditions that are attached to your property. As an example, the title deeds may have restrictive covenants, which can in turn cause a prevention for a garage conversion to go ahead. If you're unsure what the details of any written covenants on your property mean, then please take legal advice from a good property solicitor, who will translate any into layman's terms, better to be safe than sorry.
Other issues to consider
There also are other things to contemplate yet when it involves garage conversions. The conversion can’t interfere together with your neighbour’s privacy or their current views. If you reside in an estate where there's a homeowner’s association involved, you are best to make sure that you're not violating any terms or agreements that have been set out beforehand.. If you're planning on using this new space as a home business, there could also be extra taxes that need to be paid and taken into account.
Detached Garage Conversion
If you wish to convert a detached garage into some sort of residential accommodation or an office, you must apply for change of use. Again, it's well worth checking with your local planning department in your particular area or a property solicitor, to make sure that any garage conversion you would like to undertake is fully legal. whether or not your garage conversion falls under permitted development, applying for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) is usually a great idea – especially if you're looking to sell the house or re-mortgage the property at a later date.
Will a garage garage conversion still need building regulations approval?
Yes we always work and adhere to every aspect of the building regulations when we are converting attached garages into habitable liveable places. These regulations apply for various parts of the construction process, including,
Do i need to upgrade my garage Foundations?
As a part of the garage conversion, it's likely that the initial garage doors are going to be in-filled with a replacement wall and possibly a window or door. because the foundation to the present garage isn't likely to be traditional (it's probably a shallow slab)
If your present garage slab of concrete is a minimum of 200mm or above, it can usually be sufficient to build upon with new brickwork. Tests would be made beforehand to be 100% sure.
A replacement foundation is also needed for the new wall. the present foundation could also be checked by digging alongside it until it's bottom is reached. Foundations are required to transmit the load of the building safely to the bottom. Therefore, all buildings should have adequate foundations that are normally usually concrete in form, but are most likely to vary from one garage to another, it all depends on the circumstances of the particular project.
These foundations are cast as deep-fill (filling most of the trench) or shallow-fill (where the minimum thickness to transfer the load to the soil is provided). There are other styles of foundations which will be used if the bottom conditions don't make trench fill practicable. It's always advisable to contact a structural engineer if you are constructing yourself, but of course, if we are completing the conversion we will take care of the foundations as part of the contract. But please take into account and consideration if DIY construction is your chosen route.
Garage door options, infill opening and foundations
As this will be an important and visible part of your conversion from an external view and whatever you decide on to infill the opening it'll need some kind of support structure. Some existing garages will have a foundation that runs across the garage opening which you'll use to support your infill project. Unfortunately, the only possible way to inform you that the front of your garage has in fact an existing foundation is to dig a test hole and make sure a foundation exists. If there's no foundation to be found under your garage space door opening there are two options available to you.
Excavate a foundation 1metre in depth or to the identical depth of the original foundations of the original garage. This will need to be examined by the building inspector but we will take care of this as the contract proceeds. Once accepted the foundation trench will be backfilled with concrete.
If by chance the opening is barely the width of one garage door we will install a couple of 150mm deep concrete lintels that will stretch across the garage door opening supported by the current foundations. We can take care of this or any building Control Surveyor that is appointed to your conversion will be able to produce you with more advice if you are completing the work alone.
With these lintels and concrete foundations now in place, the garage door opening space can be filled into your chosen requirements. There are plenty of options made available to you for how this can be achieved. The garage opening can be closed in with brickwork that matches your house and the window.
Sometimes it can pay to generally reduce the garage door opener because a full large width window can appear right out of proportion with the rest of the property. Damp needs to be kept out and this can be provided by building a cavity wall and a double glazed window unit fitted during the build-out.
Other options available to you can include the installation of a light-weight timber frame panel with a weather-proofed external surface and fitted insulation. This has the advantages of being quick and cost-effective and if you ever sell the house or would like to change back to garage use, it would be easy to do so.
Whatever you decide upon, it's most important that the infill part protects against the weather and is insulated properly and everything works together and blends in with your present building. We can advise and guide you, about your options on your particular property when you book a free consultation and quotation.
Garage Flooring, damp proofing and floor insulation
Standard existing garage floors will most likely be set lower than the flooring in the main property. They usually are set on a downgraded slope towards the front garage doors. Because of this, they need to be raised during the conversion project to the same level as the house floors. There are a couple of ways you can raise the garage flooring which I have listed below. Whatever you choose and go with it will always be necessary to add a damp proof layer and suitable insulation product.
If concrete will be your choice, then a polythene membrane layer will need to be added first, the insulation layer and followed by another polythene membrane. The whole floor will then be levelled with concrete or a sand and cement screed that will be levelled and laid to join the same level as the main house floors.
Timber wood flooring
If timber floors is an option that suits your needs better, then treating timber flooring joists can be installed over a polythene damp proof membrane which will be fixed to the present concrete flooring. Next step would be to insulate between the timber joists and then fit tongue and groove chipboard, standard floorboards or marine plywood. Once this main base floor is down you can pick a suitable decorative covering, examples would be carpet, tiles, laminate or just polish the floorboards.
If your garage conversion is to have a new bathroom, shower room, sink or toilet facilities, then it's most important to think about the drainage factor. The previously mentioned items will need to be plumbed in connected at some stage of the building process, and taking these into account early on will pay dividends later on. When we design and plan a conversion we double-check the existing pipes and drains and make sure that everything can be connected to the right services and also that they can handle the pressure of these new facilities.
External walls and Wall Linings
Lining the external walls The walls that are currently constructed in your garage aren't normally up to habitable standards, they're sometimes only formed from one single thickness of brickwork and even when constructed and built from cavity masonry they're often not even insulated. When converting your integral or external garage the walls will almost always and must be upgraded.
There are three main major areas of concern when upgrading your garage walls during conversion to make them habitable and inline with the building regulations. These are weather, damp resistance, insulation and sound acoustics. The upgrading scheme that you simply choose is going to be motivated by the actual construction of your existing garage walls. These will be widely divided into a couple of categories.
If you have an existing garage that is constructed from cavity walling, then weather aversion and damp proof issues are unlikely to be problematic. These walls will probably have a damp proof course present and providing that your wall has no deterioration and looks in good shape, and isn't showing any signs of water ingression or rising damp problems, then the walls will simply only require insulating and a smooth plaster finish ready for your chosen decoration.
There are a couple of options for insulating your walls. They can either be injected with cavity wall insulation or fitted with an insulated lining board that is fixed to the inner surface of the wall before the plaster-boarding or plastering commences. Various types of plasterboards are readily available depending on your project requirements.
Solid brick walls:
Most UK garages are generally only one brick approximately 100mm thick and that they often have intermediate piers that buttress the walls which provide them with additional strength. These single brick walls won't provide the best weather resistance for a future habitable room and another wall will have to be provided behind the first wall. This may be done either by building a further skin of masonry to make a wall or the cavity may be insulated as the construction takes place. Then the wall can be plastered and skimmed over or dry lined.
Another option would be an independent timber-framed wall can be built with a cavity area between the new frame and also the existing wall. The frame should be built from a treated source of timber and be insulated between the timber studs. When our frame is in situ the insulated plasterboard finish may be applied ready for decorating. Sometimes garages are constructed with 225mm wide solid brick walls. If they're in sound condition and already have a damp proof course present, then this will be sufficient for weather resistance, but insulating boards will still need to be installed for insulation purposes.
Upgrading Garage Party walls.
It could be that some of the walls of your garage are shared with a neighbour. If this is the case it's considered to be a party Wall. Walls that fall into this category will almost always need to be upgraded to cut back the sound transfer between your garage conversion and your neighbour’s property. The Building Control Surveyors are going to be happy to produce you with advice on how you'll be able to upgrade any Party Walls and if we are doing the job there is no need to worry as all this is accounted for within our quoted price.
Garage conversion ceiling requirements
Your existing garage probably has an inadequate ceiling that will need to change. You'll have to provide one as a part of your conversion project. Plasterboard is most likely the commonest material used for ceilings because it offers good fire resistance and flame retardant spread properties.
Other materials are used but they're going to need to be treated to boost their fire performance. If the garage is open to a roof you must provide insulation above the ceiling and therefore the roof void will generally have to be ventilated above the insulation to cut down the chance of problems with condensation. With a pitched roof installation, fibreglass insulation will normally be fitted, be ok and suffice but flat roofs, where the spaces are generally confined, building inspectors will insist on high-performance insulation boards.
Garage conversion ventilation and window requirements
Any new rooms that will eventually become habitable rooms must be ventilated at some point. Generally, this is most often achieved by providing an opening window equal to 1/20th of the ground area of the space with a flow vent at a reasonably high level. Any newly fitted windows must comply and be fitted with high efficient modern double glazed units and it's a good idea that they will contain an opener with a transparent area of a minimum of 0.33m2 and 450mm wide which also should be big enough for your body to pass through, just in case of a fire risk.
This is often essential if the door out of your garage opens into space apart from your lobby. Special emergency exit hinges should be installed to the current window to confirm that it will be fully opened if you ever need it. In bathrooms or shower rooms and extractor fan should be fitted and any rooms without an opening, the window extract fans should be fitted that are triggered by a light switch with timers that overrun and allow the fan to stay on after the light is switched off.
Garage conversion electrical requirements and upgrades
It will most likely need to complete numerous electrical alterations as a part of your conversion project. It all depends on the condition and the age of your electrical system that is already in your main property, it may need upgrading to take the extra requirements and load from your new electrical fittings. it's sometimes possible to increase existing circuits if you're original electrical system can take it, but new circuits and even a replacement distribution board are going to be required if they cannot.
It's always best to seek professional advice from a competent certified electrician at an early stage of the project. When appointing an electrician please make sure that they're able to issue you with BS7671 test certificates after they have completed their installation, as these are going to be required before your building regulations Completion Certificate is issued as you will incur additional costs if the test certificates haven't been provided. As always if premium conversions are building your garage conversion, this will all be taken care of for you so you don’t have to worry about this factor as everything is included in the price.
To expand the usage of the garage conversion area you may probably want to put in some kind of heating. In most cases, the best and most effective way of doing this can be to span off your present central heating system. It's always best to check with your current heating engineer to confirm that your boiler in the main property can indeed be sufficient to serve any other additional radiators that you have in mind.
Also, any new radiators should be fitted with a thermostatic valve to manage the area's temperature. If it's not viable to increase the present system, or, if you would like to introduce another method of heating to your new area, example, panel type electric heaters, then careful consideration should be a priority on how these may be switched and controlled to make sure that they function efficiently.
When you are investing this kind of money into your home it's a very good idea and opportunity to review and upgrade the fire precautions that you currently have set in place, and the future alarm set-up. Smoke detection, mains operated alarm systems can unquestionably offer significant improvements to fire safety within your home. Also building regulations will require alarms to be fitted when integral garages are changed to a habitable environment.
This website Local Authority Building Control has some good sound information regarding the building regulations that affect garage conversions.in England.
Also this is a link for Nottingham City Council Building Regulations F.A.Q
A full plan of application or building notice will need to be issued to your local building control department, They will in turn register your conversion and carry out various inspections throughout the building process. On completion you will be issued with a final certificate of completion for your project.
For a Free Consultation, friendly advice and a transparent Quotation