Chech out The Garage Conversion Guide. The UK housing market has changed dramatically over the past decade, with many homeowners choosing to modify their existing property as opposed to moving house. This could be due to a number of reasons such as fluctuating house prices, an increase in stamp duty or a desire to stay living within the local area. Whatever the reason, home modification is certainly a hot topic among homeowners and building firms alike.
Loft conversions are one of the most popular home improvements in the UK as they can add significant value to your property without changing the overall layout or appearance. However, if you don’t have sufficient space in your attic, why not consider converting your garage instead? A garage conversion can increase the value of your home by as much as 10% and you get the satisfaction of turning your dull, dusty garage into a fresh new living space. Here’s a few tips to help make your garage conversion successful.
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A typical garage conversion will cost in the region of £5,000 – £15,000 depending the size and complexity of the job. If you’re looking to create a new kitchen or bathroom/en-suite, the costs could increase significantly due to the additional plumbing and electrical work required. Other factors that may push the costs up include insulation, glazing and roofing (if applicable), so it’s important so set a budget to prevent the costs spiralling out of control.
It’s also worth having a professional survey before starting any work, as the building regulations for garages are less strict and the build quality may differ greatly from that of your home. If your garage is built to a poor standard, it may be cheaper to demolish it and build a new extension.
Don’t be tempted to cut corners to save costs, as cheaper conversions will always feel like a ‘converted garage’ and may not add the full value to your property. Click here for NHS Discounts.
As a general rule, you do not need planning permission to convert your garage. However, there are some exceptions, so it’s always worth checking with the local planning authorities. Many houses built since the mid-1980’s have conditions attached to the original planning permission the prohibit the conversion of a garage without planning permission. You may need to prove that your house will still have enough parking, or that the work will not increase the property’s volume beyond permitted development rights. We recommend speaking to your local council about your plans before starting any work – see Planning Portal for more information.
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If the floor in your garage is lower than the floor in your home, it may be worth raising it if the ceiling height allows. You should also consider whether or not the existing doorway through to your home is suitable for the new layout, or whether it will cause difficulties when furnishing your new room. We also recommend matching the interior details, such as skirting boards, ceiling coping and textured finishes, to those in your existing home, as this will provide a smoother transition into your new living space and make it feel less like an old garage!
It’s important to use the right materials when converting your garage to ensure the exterior detailing matches the features of your existing home. Make sure the brickwork, door and window frames match with those on your existing house and ask your builders to fully tooth and bond the new brickwork into the old to achieve a seamless transition. You may also consider replacing the guttering, facias & soffits if they differ from those on your existing home.
Who Can Do The Work?
Depending on your budget, skills and expertise, you may wish to carry out some of the work yourself. Finishing touches such as plastering, painting & decorating and fixtures & fittings should be relatively easy for a competent DIY’er but we advise leaving any plumbing, electrical or structural work to a professional. This is by far the safest option, as any work deemed ‘not up to scratch’ by building control officers will have to be undone at your expense.
The best option is to contact a specialist company such as Complete Project Management. We’ve helped hundreds of homeowners in Mid & East Devon, from loft conversions in Exmouth to garage conversions in Exeter, and offer a one-stop service with all work completed in-house. Our dedicated team of professionals can offer advice on planning permission, design and choice of materials and provide free, no-obligation quotes before starting any work. Call us today on 01392 925045 or contact us online to find out how we can transform your home.