Garage vs. utility room

(24 Posts)
mickeymoose Mon 11-May-15 20:52:56

We have a bed semi-detached and are planning an extension to create more living space on the ground floor (single storey) and a fourth bedroom above the garage (if we get planning permission).

However, things keep getting added on, the most recent being a utility room! I don't need it at the moment - there are only three of us and the washing machine is in the downstairs loo and the tumble drier in the garage. But with a larger family and potentially a dog in the future I can see how it would be useful.

The only way to incorporate a utility room is to convert the back half of the garage (leaving the front part for bike and lawnmower storage). Access from the front to the back garden is currently through the garage (our garage is attached to next door so no side access), so we would have to traipse through the utility room with bins etc, but I don't see this as a problem.

However, although I don't mind not having a proper garage (it is really narrow anyway so we never put the car in it), I'm wondering if it would put off potential buyers. Is a utility room more valuable than a garage to buyers?

vienaa Mon 11-May-15 21:38:03

We are, we are doing a 2 storey extension garage in the front but you can fit a very small car, but its for storage, but we are using the other space for kids living room/games room and another bathroom with shower/ utility room... I know round here people don't use there garage and its just full of junk... We got refused our first plans as we wanted to build the 4th bedroom 2 meters back from the front of the house, but had to go back 3 meters or we would of had a en-suite with the 4th bedroom, as they don't want the terrace affect, if everyone decides to build 2 storey side extensions... Also we decided to have a passage way from the garage to the garden as I did not want to put bins lawn mover ect threw kitchen as it would of been the only access to garden... Also our 4th bedroom goes across the passage way so its in closed as I wanted a bigger bedroom and did not like the look of it when I saw the front of it on plan, it kind of stopped 2 1/2ft across the garage.... Its very stressful and I must of changed my mine 3/4 times till I got it right....

prepperpig Mon 11-May-15 21:39:49

We have a large double garage which we are converting to a boiler room (new biomass boiler which is rather big) and a gym. We use the garage only for storage and so its not a huge loss. We have never put the cars into the garage.

Hulababy Mon 11-May-15 21:41:35

we have just reduced the size of our garage, to create a new utility room - as part of our bugger extension (old smaller utility being used within new kitchen/dining area).

Our garage was quite long but, typically for a new build, narrow. So we have used some of it. I can just fit my Mini in the new sized garage - we never do though, it is an additional storage space. We can fir two cars on the drive, so felt the reduced garage space was fine.

AryaUnderfoot Mon 11-May-15 21:43:57

I wouldn't be fussed either way, but no garage would be a big deal-breaker for DH who needs to have somewhwere to store the midlife-crisis on wheels.

You need to check with your local council to see if they have any 'parking standards' for planning approvals. Our council insists that a 3-bed house has 2 offroad parking spaces, and a 4-bed has 3. A single garage can be classed as one. When we applied for PP to extend our house to 4 bedrooms, we had to show that we could provide an extra parking space on the plans (we originally had a garage and a single space in front).

Ironically, this only applies to existing houses wanting to extend. On the massive new development of 6 billion unaffordable homes down the road, the 4-bed houses only have 2 parking spaces!

mickeymoose Mon 11-May-15 22:22:30

Interesting about the parking spaces, that wasn't something I had considered. I guess we could pave the front garden but I don't really want to do that, particularly as we only have one car which fits fine on the driveway.

Am worried about whether we will get planning permission for the fourth bedroom over the garage as the garage is attached to next door so does lead to terracing effect. However architect seems to have no concerns...I may have to talk ato some more architects..

TigerFeat Mon 11-May-15 22:27:40

I wouldn't buy a house where there was no external access from the front to the back garden.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Mon 11-May-15 22:31:38

Can you get a utility room put in upstairs and have your garage too? I live in the USA and it's common here to have utility rooms upstairs. No more dragging sheets, clothes and towels up and down stairs. It's also forbidden to line dry here sad so everything gets tumble dried. I'm guessing you would only line dry in dry weather anyway.....

MagersfonteinLugg Mon 11-May-15 22:35:25

We looked at a perfect house for sale. It had everything we wanted. However, they had taken over half the garage with a new utility room.
My DH absolutely refused to put in an offer just because of this.
Most people don't park their cars in the garage, but they do want to store stuff in it, especially if the are self employed and need somewhere to store stock.
If the garage hadn't been tampered with we would have put an offer in.
worst part was that the kitchen was big enough but they had taken out the washing machine, dryer, fridge freezer and chest freezer in order to put in a double oven and a wine fridge. It needed neither.

TigerFeat Mon 11-May-15 22:51:48

myfriends can I ask why it's forbidden to line dry? That seems crazy!

mickeymoose Mon 11-May-15 23:12:35

Good to know Magers. Might be worth talking to an estate agent to see what they think.

MyFriends we don't have space for a utility room upstairs unfortunately. (Unless we use the space designated for the fourth bedroom). I do line dry most of the time between March and October.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Mon 11-May-15 23:17:23

No idea why. It's a bylaw of our county here in Texas. You only line dry if you live in a trailer park apparently....... blush

MyFriendsCallMeOh Mon 11-May-15 23:20:46

When we were in the UK (admittedly years ago), we would pay more car insurance for not parking our car in a garage (we didn't have one). Is this still the case in the UK? My dad has a garage he can't park in (it's too short for his car) so it's stuffed full of crap. It's ok til it's raining hard and he has to take all the shopping out of the car in the rain and through the front door (as opposed to through the garage in the dry) or til he has to scrape frost off the car in the winter......

vienaa Mon 11-May-15 23:28:22

Yeah that was another thing, we had to show we could fit 3 cars in our front garden on the plans, which was not a problem,

TigerFeat Mon 11-May-15 23:29:17

I don't know anyone who puts their car in their garage. Ours is full of all kinds of rubbish, mostly bikes and camping gear.

That is the craziest law I ever heard of. Seriously.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Tue 12-May-15 00:57:46

Plenty crazy when it comes to Texas .... You want to talk about open carry of firearms, 20 lane freeways, 72oz steaks or religious prophet drawing competitions, we have it all.....

GreenSpaghetti Tue 12-May-15 05:35:34

We're just about to start work replacing our garage with a utility. No problems with planning and parking but we'll still have a drive for that and have never used the garage for a car (too narrow). We do also have additional storage in the cellar so weren't too worried about losing the garage from that point of view but might have done otherwise. Is there room for a big shed in the garden for things like the mower?

I also agree rear access is quite important

paxtecum Tue 12-May-15 05:40:43

Can you just put the washing machine and dryer in one end of the garage without building walls and turning it into a utility room?

paxtecum Tue 12-May-15 05:43:51

Some new estates in the Uk have no washing outside covenants on them.

No exactly cutting back on carbon emissions.

It makes you realise that there is such a mockery of reducing power consumption.

prepperpig Tue 12-May-15 07:46:09

Actually, having read your post again I agree with pp who said that they would never buy a house without external access to the back. That's a bad move.

mickeymoose Tue 12-May-15 08:56:23

Well the rear access is currently through the garage anyway as it is linked to next door, do people consider that to be "rear access" or "external access"? If we had the utility room installed, you would have to go through it to get to the garden, but wouldn't have to go through any other part of the house.

Yes we could put the washing machine in the garage if we had plumbing installed (dryer is currently in there anyway). I would like a sink too really for washing the (potential) dog). It definitely could be a good compromise and would mean any buyers that want a garage could easily just take the sink out and use it as a garage again.

mandy214 Tue 12-May-15 09:26:03

I think it depends on where you live and the road you are on. We are in a 3 bed semi but the garage is not attached to the house, it is off to the side at the back of the house. We applied to knock down garage and have a double storey side extension (we have a gap of about 2.75m at the moment between the house and our boundary) with a "half" garage for storage at the front of the extension and we had to leave at least 75cm between the extension and the boundary (so to access the back garden from the front of the house). That may be different if your garage is already built up to the boundary. You may not be able to go double storey to the boundary though.

We also had to show 2 off road car parking spaces (by showing the front garden paved over) as part of the application.

The other thing (slightly more positive) is that the vast majority of the houses where we live have compromised their garage - either by using part of it for laundry / utility or converting it properly to living space. Alot of houses have demolished the garage altogether (although have a shed in the garden). Its quite unusual at least for 3 bed semis around here (where people would rather have the living space) to have a full sized garage to park a car in. So if its the same in your area, I wouldn't worry about losing potential buyers.

limesoda Tue 12-May-15 09:30:54

Garage every time, but that is because DH is a complete petrolhead weeps at the thought of the amount of cars/bikes at our house

AryaUnderfoot Tue 12-May-15 09:37:51

Same here limesoda. The midlife-crisis has to be kept overnight in a garage as it has a specialist insurance policy for modified cars with a very restricted mileage and heavy discount for overnight garage storage.

Our garage is not attached to the house but is attached to the neighbours garage, so there really would be no point modifying it.

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