Converting your garage into extra living space can be an excellent, cost effective way to add onto your home without the hassle of losing space somewhere else.
Four Common Questions
1. Are planning permissions required?
This will be dependent on whether or not you want to extend the external footprint of the garage. If not, the conversion will typically be covered under ‘permitted development rights’ (PDR).
2. How do I get started?
Once it is established whether or not you need planning permissions or the work will be covered under PDR, then it is best to consult a building surveyor, architect or structural engineer to help design your conversion plans.
3. Will a garage conversion add property value?
Typically, yes. Most anything that improves your home and creates additional living space will add value. You just need to ensure your project is properly planned, managed and controlled so that the expenditure does not exceed the value added.
4. How much will it cost?
The price varies greatly, mostly depending on whether you employ a builder for the work or if you project manage yourself and use individual trades people or do some/all of the work yourself. Depending on what you are having done and by whom, pricing could start around £8,000.
Garages are often seen as a weak point, security wise, and in the UK, are typically used for storage or extra living space and less often used for vehicle storage. Regardless of the space’s usage, garages will usually contain high value items that need protecting. This is even more important if the garage provides access into the home. In order to keep stored valuables and/or your home safe, you should use these methods to improve your garage security:
• A home Security system (especially a monitored one) is a great deterrent for theft, especially when advertised on the exterior of your home.
• Ensuring your security system includes security of the garage and not just the house.
• Exterior motion-operated lights are an additional way to keep your property safe and less appealing to thieves.
• Video Door bells that notify you of motion at your door that link to mobile and allow you to see and speak through the device are becoming quite popular.
• Ensuring garage windows are locked and secured is also important. You can have these obscured so that light still gets through but people will not be able to see inside. You can also invest in window bars.
It is imperative that you keep your garage door in good working order, for several reasons. One being that it will save you money in the long run by prolonging the door’s life. Another important reason is that by keeping your garage door in good condition, it will be more secure which helps discourage theft. A couple tips to ensure that you are getting the most from your garage door are:
• Make sure you purchase a door that is made from the best materials. Do not look at this as an expense, it is an investment that will be responsible for protecting the contents of your garage.
• Regularly check that the surfaces of the moving parts of your garage door are clean and free of dirt and grime to ensure optimal performance. Be sure to check the railing, tracks and rollers.
• Don’t forget to lubricate the moving parts, with a rust protecting oil, on occasion to help keep them functioning smoothly. Do not over-oil as this will attract dirt.
• Attend to any damage or maintenance as soon as you can to prevent additional issues.
Dampness in garages is a very common issue home owners tend to face and there are a few different reasons this may be happening. Finding and fixing these issues should be high on your to-do list to protect any items stored in your garage and prevent mould.
A rising dampness typically is visual moisture on the lower parts of the walls and floor. This is due to moisture rising from the ground. Most newer properties have a water proof barrier and membrane under the flooring so this could be damaged. In older homes, it may not have sufficient waterproofing on the floor so you can consider calling a professional to assess the best options.
A penetrating dampness can happen in any part of the garages and is typically do to waterproofing damage in a specific area. This could be due to damaged guttering, missing tiles or bricks losing their waterproof coating. Corners and joints are also common problem areas. Identifying and remedying the weakness, should solve the problem.
Condensation is another way moisture may be present and is typically prevalent in environments that are not properly ventilated. Installing an extractor fan or regularly airing out your garage could significantly reduce the amount of dampness you experience.
Other ways of keeping out moisture, are ensuring any windows are double glazed and by drying any wet items before storing them in your garage, including vehicles.
Although a leak in a garage roof luckily isn’t a common occurrence it can, unfortunately, happen at any time, it could be due to poor workmanship, faulty materials, or mother nature. As soon as you spot a leak in your garage roof you should aim to deal with it as quickly as possible. Leaving it could make matters worse and expensive to fix in the long run. The damage is likely to spread each day and you could end up with mould, mildew, and rot.
You should ideally hire a professional to come to take a look and determine what is causing the leak, finding the cause is crucial to fully fixing it and preventing further damage. If you decide to fix the damaged area yourself then you must consider waterproofing the whole roof. Treating your whole roof is a sure way to ensure that all of the damaged areas are covered especially as some damage may not be visible to the naked eye.
When choosing a colour for your garage door, most people decide to go with a neutral colour such as white, black or grey but there are some out there who decide they want to go for a bright colour such a red, orange or yellow.
Picking the right colour door really does make an impact on the exterior of your home so it is a big decision to make. Choosing a bright colour for your door it can speak volumes about who you are as a person and can show you are full of character. Many choose to go for a sleek modern colour which is pleasing to more people.
If you are choosing to revamp your garage door rather than purchase a new one, you may want to consider calling in a professional. Regardless of what colour you choose for your garage door, having a shoddy finish can ruin your whole home’s exterior. A garage can add serious value to your home if it is structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing.
You finally have a new garage or its time to replace your worn-out garage door, you now need to make the big decision of what material door you want. There are several different options to choose from but you’ve fallen in love with wooden garage doors.
Is wood a good material for garage doors?
In short answer yes! Wooden doors are beautiful and authentic, many choose this option to keep their garage looking great amongst their home design. They are hard-wearing but don’t last as long as other material options and they do need frequent upkeep to ensure they remain aesthetically pleasing.
Wooden doors although stunning carry a hefty price tag, if the cost is a factor you may want to consider wooden composite doors. These will give you the look you long for without the price tag.
Over time some garages can become very cluttered and disorganised. Many people tend to think out of site out of mind but at some point, you will need to tackle and organise your garage. This can seem a daunting task but shouldn’t be. Garages tend to be a space which can be completely full of storage solutions.
– Vertical shelving is a must. With so much wall space it is a great storage solution idea to use lots of shelving where possible. If you cannot hang shelves you can purchase metal shelving.
– Track systems for awkward shape items such as garden tools & ladders is an easy solution to store them all.
– Hooks come in all different sizes which means you can hang most things on the wall creating more floor space.
– A work station – this can optimise space and keep all of your tools in one area. You can buy tool boxes, trays etc. You can also add labels to ensure everything is kept in order.
Garages tend to be a space that is prone to spills, debris and heavy wear and tear due to vehicles coming in and out. Choosing the right flooring to sustain its aesthetic and be up to the job for its purpose can be tricky. There are several different options;
Vinyl tiles – these require adhesive to lay and although look great they are prone to allowing leaks and debris through the gaps. It is best to ensure these are laid correctly to sustain durability.
Regular tiles – these are hardwearing and tend to have a long-life span making them a perfect option. But they can easily be chipped or damaged if you were to drop heavy equipment – so always buy an extra pack as spares.
Polished Concrete – Most choose this option as it is inexpensive and highly resistant. You can use specialist paint to bring some colour in to your garage.