With the square meter price at a premium across the UK, many people are looking at maximizing their living area without switching houses. Even when it means some kind of home remodeling, lots of people are searching to find those extra inches of space in their homes no matter what. From rear extensions to loft conversions, all kinds of home conversions are a great way of maximizing your living space.
Another great way to secure that much-needed extra room is the possibility of a garage conversion. Although it requires careful thought and planning to make sure you maximize the possibility, a garage conversion is a great way to make the most of your existing place. If you own a garage that you barely use that is attached to your property, it’s well worth considering a garage transformation. Besides the obvious extra space you gain, a garage conversion is known as an excellent way to add value to your property. While around 90% of all garages in the UK are left empty or barely used, estimates suggest that such a conversion can add up to 20% to the value of your home depending on what you do with the garage.
Highly functional in so many ways, a garage conversion is almost never a waste of money. Yet, like all other home improvement projects, it’s very important to plan it properly and know what to expect. Here are the most important things you should know before you start converting your garage.
How much does a garage conversion cost?
Always depending on the complexity of the job, the type of room you will be converting it to and the size of the space, garage conversion prices are relatively small compared to the value you will add to the property once the job is finished. With the average prices for a garage conversion varying between £400-£650 per square meter, every garage renovation is different.
You will need to be aware of various factors that have a great implication on the cost of the finished project. One of the most important things here is the garage size, whether it’s the single garage (average size of 18m2) you are going to convert or a double-sized garage (average size of 36m2).
Other than the size, a very important thing to know is what type of garage you are going to transform in the process. Mainly, there are three types of garages and each brings a different money structure on the table. The cheapest conversing option is if you own an integral garage, one which is directly built into your home and already has all the necessary built-in foundations. A bit more pricey option is the attached garage – the one that is attached to your property either at the side or rear that shares at least one wall with the main building structure. The most expensive option is the detached garage, the one that will need additional work such as electricity, heating, and plumbing.
Other factors you should have in mind are the condition of the walls and floors and if they need detailed repairment during the process, the ceiling height adjustment, planning applications, and the fees for design and engineering.
What about planning permission and building regulations approval?
While it’s always for the best to check with your local authorities, integral garage conversions typically fall under permitted development which means that planning permission is not required. You should also check for any planning conditions attached to the garage when constructed (i.e, the garage must remain a parking place), as an application will need to be submitted in order to remove the conditions. When speaking about converting a detached garage, then you may have to apply for a change of use.
On the other hand, your builder will need to stick to the building regulations when converting an attached garage into a different kind of space. These regulations apply to numerous aspects of the construction including fire safety, ventilation, acoustics, and thermal performance. After an application is submitted, your local building control department will register the conversation and carry out inspections during the process. Here you can find all necessary information regarding garage conversions in England and Wales.
Do I need an architect or other professionals?
Technically speaking, no. It’s totally doable, you could convert a garage by yourself. Never forget though, without the full expertise to carry out a massive project like this one you will eventually need some help. Besides the design issues, there is a high risk in terms of safety and health too, so we encourage you to hire highly-skilled professionals to ease the process.
As professionals, architects are not only experts in design and aesthetics, but part of their job is to organize the paperwork and deal with potential implications if not completed correctly. They can deal with the local building control and adhere to building regulations when applicable – an integral part of the process that could easily be overlooked. You may also need the services of a structural engineer to inspect the building and to provide advice on any additional foundation work required.
Are there restrictions regarding the type of room I can convert the garage into?
There are absolutely no restrictions on what type of room you can convert your garage into. Yet, there are added regulations you need to cling to such as ventilation, fire safety or whether the building is energy efficient. There is a reasonable amount of modifications that can take place without any formal paperwork or inspections, but it’s always recommended to check with your local authorities.
Just make up your mind about the type of conversion you need, whether it’s a kitchen, an extra bathroom or even another bedroom. Plan it well and don’t worry – a garage conversion is one of the best home remodelings projects that you could go with.