6 points to consider in a garage conversion

Garage conversions add value to your property

1. Financial opportunity

Garage conversions are starting to trend, not only do they offer an opportunity to create a unique functional space, it is one of the few spaces where your design is only limited by your budget and you imagination. A small development project can cost as little as £10,000 or £500 to £700 per square metre. According to a report by Nationwide Building Society, a well executed conversion can add 20% more to the value of the property, so the financial cost of a project to convert a garage, can be more than justified.

2. What should you consider

Structural engineers - can assist in the creative and engineering requirements to convert or create the space

Architects - work alongside engineers to document and realise the build from a plan, they can be expensive so fees are a consideration

Planning applications - Required by law to be sought with any build, redevelopment or rennovation, if in doubt ask, costs vary by project and regulatory requirements.

Foundations and the build - work with engineers and builders to determine the best foundation to support your project, also, consider environmental impact and sustainability

Interior design - again consider the purpose of the space, and how the space will be outfitted, sustainability and environmental considerations should be weighed in also.

Space saving is another benefit, given the medium the plants are immersed in. Also, the roots don’t need to spread out as much to get the nutrients they need, the oxygenated nutrient rich water, which makes up an essential part of hydroponics, allows the plants to be packed together more closely creating a smaller footprint. This is a huge space saving benefit meaning you can put more indoor plants together and grow them in a smaller space. For urban homeowners who are looking to grow a variety of plants in a small space, this represent a viable solution.

3. Consider a project manager and or architect

A project manager and an architect can both endure that the conversion is structurally sound, the design is realistic and acheivable given the budget and the build falls within regulation and planning permissiona that cna be secured.

4. Expand on regulation

A conversion garage project will need to adhere to any building regulations as if you fail to comply with your regulations, you may have to undo some or all of the work undertaken, which can be expensive, a waste of money and of time. Regulations to consider are:

- Ventilating the conversion

- Fire, Health and Safety

- Acoustic performance

- Thermal and enegy performance

There is also a requirement to submit a notice or planning application to your local building control department. They will register the conversion carry out inspections for the duration of the project and issue a final certificate of completion. If your existing garage foundations are not sufficient for the conversion, a 1 metre footing wall will need to be dug and fortified with concrete. Or a 140mm x 100mm concrete lintel will need to be nested in the wall, below ground level on either side; you can the construct an infill wall on top.

5. Insurance

Getting the right insurance is also something you will require. Conversion insurance excludes loss or damage whilst the property is being developed, this should be the case if you are undertaking the project on your own, or you have contracted tradespeople undertaking the work. This is because if anything goes wrong in either scenario and a fallback plan or other type of protection from loss or damage is not forthcoming, you can then exercise your policy rights. Conversion insurance covers the existing state of the property (garage) being converted as well as all the new conversion work that goes on with the property (garage). It also covers the main property (house) so if this is damaged during the works then the site policy can be used to cover the damage and rectification. You will need to speak with your Home insurance policy provider to understand the nature and validity of your conversion policy running concurrent to any home insurance policy.

6. Final points

A garage conversion can be a workshop, office, games room, or something else all together. We hope these ideas help you with a potential garage conversion project. If you enjoyed this short article, check out our other articles How to find a builder this article is one example of how billntrade.com is working with builders, to help them find leads and grow their business

About the Author

Sarah Tring
Hi, I'm Sarah, I'm a blogger who enjoys eveything related to home improvement, I'm passionate about sustainable homes, home improvement, home developments and technology used in the home. When not blogging, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two children and our dog 'Leto'.