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What do you do with your garage? If it’s become more of a storage room (or a trash yard for that old exercise bike) than a secure place to
park the vehicle, it’s time to think about repurposing what might be a useful asset.

A garage conversion is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to expand your living space: a typical project to create a new
home office or playroom can be finished in less than a week.

Plus, you won’t have to move to find a home that meets your family’s requirements, saving you money on stamp duty, lawyers, and other
costs. It also won’t take up any of your garden amenities, unlike a traditional house addition.

A garage conversion may also enhance the value of your house.

Creating your own place

The first stage in any garage conversion is to evaluate the current structure, paying special attention to the foundations, walls, and roof.

This is an important element of the design process since it will show the amount of work needed to create a pleasant living environment. If
the structure is very decrepit, it may be more cost-effective to demolish and rebuild.

The size of the project, how you intend to utilise and integrate it into the house, and how far your budget will extend will all influence the
final outcome.

Working with an architect on a higher-end project may help you discover innovative methods to maximise the possibilities of your garage
and create a space that flows seamlessly into your house.

Another common option is to hire a firm that specialises in garage conversion design and construction.

Many will take your project through planning and building control as part of their charge, and the outcomes may be spectacular ” though
not quite as avant-garde. Furthermore, their on-the-ground expertise may aid in ensuring a seamless project and a predictable budget.

Conversion of a garage while it is being built

Work on converting a derelict garage into a livable area begins, including modifications to the existing structure.

The garage, whether integrated or connected, should be relatively simple to incorporate into the main living space. You could, for
example, tear down a wall to connect to an existing zone, maybe expand a corridor or create a front-to-back kitchen-diner.

In contrast, a detached building lends itself to separate purposes, such as an annex or a peaceful home office. A single garage may hold
up to 14-18 square metres of floor space, which is more than enough for a playroom, separate drawing room, guest bed, or even a
basement shower and WC.

A double garage, at approximately 30-36 square metres, offers you additional options. It may be used to accommodate a larger living
room, an ensuite bedroom, a large kitchen-diner, or an extension.

Alternatively, you may keep one parking spot by constructing a well insulated and fire-rated barrier and converting the remainder to living

Planning approval is required.

The majority of the work in many garage conversions ” especially integrated or connected rooms ” is done on the inside (with the
exception of changing the frontage and adding a window or two).

This is expected to be classified as permitted development (PD), which means it won’t need official planning approval.

PD rights for this change of use may have been revoked in certain instances, like as in conservation zones, so check with the local
authorities first. You may get a legal development certificate for piece of mind.

Some contemporary homes have restricted covenants requiring the garage to be used as parking, which would have to be released
(check the deeds to find if this applies). Changing the usage of a detached garage is also more likely to require official approval.

If you wish to make major modifications to the exterior look, such as changing the windows, using new materials, or building an extension,
you’ll need to submit a complete application. Listed building approval (if you reside in a listed building) and party wall agreements with any
neighbouring neighbours are among the additional licences you may need to get.

Regulations for construction

A garage conversion will always be subject to the Building Regulations since it includes a change of use.

The building notice method, in which you or your contractor notifies the local government of your plan to start construction 48 hours
before starting on site, may be adequate for simple projects.

You may want to have complete structural drawings drawn out for more complicated projects. This provides you with the assurance that
building control has reviewed the plans and verified that, if built according to the authorised schematics, your conversion will comply with
the regulations.

Your building control officer or authorised inspector will check for damp proofing, ventilation, insulation and energy efficiency, fire safety
(including escape routes), electrics, and plumbing in addition to structural safety.
Important work

The walls and roof must be sound and waterproof before the project can begin in earnest. Following that, the majority of the work will be
done within the existing garage.

The first task will be to take down the main structure, which will give you the clearest picture yet of what’s ahead ” including where you’re
most likely to run into unforeseen difficulties (such as uneven foundations or hidden faults in the walls) that will drive up prices.

Here are some of the most important factors to consider:

Slab for the floor

An existing concrete floor may be sturdy enough to withstand normal household usage. To provide sufficient thermal performance, it may
need to be levelled (consider a self-leveling liquid screed), damp-proofed with a suitable membrane (lapping into the walls’ DPC), and

Because garage flooring is often lower than those in the main home, it may be feasible to integrate all of this while maintaining a step-free
transition between the two zones.

Filling the hole in the door

The most typical solution is to replace the main garage door with conventional walling that matches the rest of the structure, such as a
completely toothed and bonded masonry infill.

The foundations should be assessed during the design stage to see whether they need to be upgraded to support the increased loads. If
planning permits, you may install windows or a glass access door to provide additional light into your new area, thereby reducing the
loads imposed.

If your budget allows, you could even go creative with the design, opting for a completely glass wall, for example.

Insulation for the walls

Because integrated garages are often constructed to the same quality as the main home, the walls may not need to be upgraded.

Internally, single-skin garages may be insulated by constructing stud walling with timbers deep enough to accept adequate insulation
(plus an air gap).

Insulation may be blown into the gap between cavity walls, maintaining the interior floor space.

If you want to do a partial conversion while keeping a parking spot, you’ll need to build a fully-insulated interior dividing wall that can
withstand a 30-minute fire.

On the garage side, this may be done in blockwork or with wood studwork lined with plasterboard.

Insulation for the roof

The easiest place to insulate a garage roof is in the loft.

Warm roofs with rafter-level insulation are also feasible, allowing for the use of rooflights to bring in more natural light.

Flat roofs will need stiff insulation between and under the ceiling joists, as well as a ventilation gap above to avoid condensation. Choose
thin items if you want to keep your floor-to-ceiling height.

Doors and windows

If you want to keep your expenses low, stick to standard-sized units.

By drilling an appropriate hole in the wall and installing lintels as needed, casements, sashes, and doorsets may be integrated. The same
may be said about the doors between the main home and the garage.

A reinforcing steel beam may be required for greater spans to allow for a more open-plan effect. A structural engineer’s calculations may
be required for this kind of construction.

Regulations for garage conversion

Integrated garages may be subject to contractual limitiations that require them to be maintained as parking only. In this case, speak to a

You’ll need an escape window if you’re building a livable room that doesn’t have a direct protected path to an exterior entrance or its own
door going outdoors.

Electricity and heating

Qualified professionals should be engaged for this to ensure that this work complies with Scottish Building Standards.

New electrical circuits and heating loops will almost likely be required, putting extra strain on your consumer unit and boiler. If these
systems need to be upgraded, the cost of the project may quickly rise.
Because they can be readily incorporated into the new ceiling framework, efficient LED downlights are an excellent option for lighting.

The cheapest heating option is to install a suitable-sized radiator, but slimline underfloor heating is a stylish alternative that may maximise
the layout and free up wall space. You’ll need to consider hot and cold water sources, as well as drainage, whether you’re designing a
kitchen or bathroom.

Another important consideration is ventilation. In most instances, openable windows with trickle vents would suffice; but, if you’re
integrating a bathroom or kitchen, a strong enough extractor fan will be required to control moisture build-up.

The expense of converting a garage

This kind of renovation should be more cost-effective than building an addition or doing a loft conversion if the structure is in acceptable

Luke Lloyd Builders is here to build your Glasgow garage conversion project all the way from design to completion. Click to find out more