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Converting a single garage into a granny flat

(31 Posts)
photocop Thu 30-Oct-14 09:40:38

Has anyone done this, or seen a conversion at someone else's house? Is it feasible or just far too small? We were thinking studio flat, but I'm guessing it will only be 15m2 or so.

My MIL finds herself homeless and with no property or much in the way of savings and we will need to help her out. She's 69 and healthy so wishes to live as independently as possible.

She has lived overseas her whole adult life so her meagre pension will not be enough to pay for accommodation in the UK. I imagine she won't qualify for any state help in the UK because she's been overseas for so long, but please let me know if you know anything about this.

Fourarmsv2 Thu 30-Oct-14 10:24:05

I know it can cause problems with council tax when you come to sell.

Good luck

LaurieFairyCake Thu 30-Oct-14 10:29:35

Pinterest is great for ideas and it's totally doable. Providing you don't try and set up
an independant meter for electricity supply it should be fine - it's just a room.

You will find it much harder to get permission if no one else has done it though.

ThisBitchIsResting Thu 30-Oct-14 10:34:26

We have a single garage we are looking at converting to an indoor room and it will be a lot smaller than we had thought. The walls have to be made thicker and that makes a big difference. Get a builder out and that will give you an idea. Ours will only make a small bedroom / playroom. Hoping for a downstairs loo too but I don't think it's a goer.

photocop Thu 30-Oct-14 11:00:11

Thanks. Our neighbour converted the garage into a downstairs office, so I've seen the size of the room and it didn't look very big.

But realistically she is too young and fit to be living "with us" and I don't think my marriage or mental health could cope

LaurieFairyCake Thu 30-Oct-14 11:03:04

Perhaps you could do a bedroom and sitting area/tv but she could use bathroom and kitchen facilities in the house?

Do you have a downstairs loo? Getting plumbing for kitchen and loos is the big cost

photocop Thu 30-Oct-14 11:10:29

There is a downstairs loo, we could perhaps brick it up inside our house so she can have it for herself (opened up from the other side - it adjoins the garage iyswim).

If she is using our kitchen and bathroom then she is essentially living with us - she is a solitary independent type so I think she'd hate this.

I can't see a workable solution to this issue so am very grateful for all your suggestions.

MamaMed Thu 30-Oct-14 11:15:56

If you can make a bedroom them you could make a studio. You could have one of those beds that fold up into the wall or a sofa bed.

Good idea to attach your downstairs bathroom to hers.

I think it's do-able but you'd need to be very creative in the design.

worldgonecrazy Thu 30-Oct-14 11:23:45

We converted a single garage into a kitchen. After allowing for the correct thickness of insulation, the final space was 4.5m x 2.1m. You would probably get a tiny bedsit in there if you planned it extremely well, but I don't think you would be able to fit in bathroom facilities as well.

For sanity I think you need separate kitchen facilities and bathroom facilities. It might not cost that much more to extend the garage a little to give you more space, especially if you are able to change some of your house layout.

bouncinbean Thu 30-Oct-14 11:30:27

I don't think a single garage is a big enough space for independent living.

Depending on budget can you do an extension to your property that uses the footprint of the garage but you could also go above or to the side of it to give you more space?

The other option if you have a good budget and big garden is those fab log cabin type things that people set up. Need to check the regulations as I wonder if they would be allowed once you start hooking them up to water and sewerage...

photocop Thu 30-Oct-14 11:49:00

Thanks for all your replies.

There is no way to go up (it's under a bedroom already) or out (strongly suspect it would be refused permission because no one in the street has extended forwards and it would ruin the look of the street - and actually it would look odd).

If we converted our loft it might work although it would not be self-contained.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 30-Oct-14 12:00:53

You've got an internal garage then like mine if it's under a bedroom?

You will need less insulation then. You can't ever go out front usually anyway but if you can go out back into the garden you may only need 6 more feet?

photocop Thu 30-Oct-14 12:05:02

There is the living room behind the garage so in other words impossible to extend it in any direction. DH now thinks we should put her in the loft and turn the garage into a home office/spare room. We had planned to convert the loft at some point for a beautiful master with en-suite for ourselves sad

Pinkje Thu 30-Oct-14 12:13:53

Contact Shelter and see what her options would be as a potentially homeless person. You need to preserve your sanity.

ContentedSidewinder Thu 30-Oct-14 12:19:48

What is behind the garage? Could you extend into that area for her.

The issue with council tax is could it be sold as a stand alone property, in your case the answer is no (I used to work in council tax) you just have an elderly relative living within the house it would seem.

You need to work out what you want her to have, so is it
her own bedroom downstairs or upstairs (assuming single bed)
her own bathroom or just the toilet
her own kitchen
her own lounge

Is there anyway you could post a plan of your downstairs? or go on rightmove and find a similar property and we can look at their floorplan?

I converted a double garage into a playroom and it has the potential at a later date to become a granny annexe but that is using one garage as the bedroom and en-suite and the other as the lounge and the kitchenette.

MuscatBouschet Thu 30-Oct-14 12:19:53

She will be more independent in a converted garage than in a loft, even though it may be smaller. She may not manage the weight of a pull down bed so I would aim to use your garage and downstairs toilet to give her: a single bed that she can make look like a day sofa using cushions; an arm chair; a little table with two chairs; a sideboard with a kettle and microwave and fridge underneath; a shower, sink large enough to fit the kettle under and toilet; a wardrobe storage. It'll be snug but doable IMHO.

We are currently converting an integrated garage. It is pretty cheap to do.

neepsandtatties Thu 30-Oct-14 12:21:15

Could you allocate her the bedroom above the garage and put stairs in between the garage and the bedroom, so it's a duplex apartment. Bedroom-sitting upstairs, kitchenette-dining-sitting downstairs and access to the toilet knocked through?

ContentedSidewinder Thu 30-Oct-14 12:21:34

Sorry took ages posting above as was interrupted by children.

You have to consider if you converted the loft and then she can't manage the stairs what will you do then? (happened to my friend with her mother)

ContentedSidewinder Thu 30-Oct-14 12:23:42

Also to consider is how are you going to feel if she lives to be 90 and then any move you make has to consider her needs as well as your own. I don't want to sound harsh but you have to at least consider the possibility that she may well do that.

My Grandad was 88 when he died and still living independently.

LiveInABox Thu 30-Oct-14 12:25:47

We have done something similar, converted a single garage for my Dad. However we made us of the bedroom above and put in a spiral staircase for my Dad. So he has a bedroom/shower room upstairs and spiral staircase down to living/kitchenette area. It works great for him and us, although we have had to be clever with design!
Could you convert your loft for your master suite and then 'lose' the bedroom above the garage for your mum?

Artandco Thu 30-Oct-14 12:27:31

Can you section off part of the living room behind garage as an en suite bathroom for her?

I would say it's pretty small otherwise and will just be bed etc. Try and make it so a chair and fridge/ tea facilities in there also so slightly more private for you all at times

I don't think lift will work, won't she find the stairs difficult ? If not now in few years max

Pootles2010 Thu 30-Oct-14 12:29:05

How about - convert the loft, make it into a super duper living room. Then part or all of your current lounge, together with garage, makes a granny flat?

photocop Thu 30-Oct-14 13:08:54

I really appreciate all your ideas.

I will contact Shelter asap - why didn't I think of that? I'm a big supporter of that charity.

Our current living area is open plan and not all that large, so we can't section any off.

I see the issue with two flights of stairs as she gets older. Equally she could live another 20 years fully active (as 3/4 of my grandparents did!)

photocop Fri 31-Oct-14 07:21:38

Thank you so much.

It seems like she might be entitled to housing benefit and pension credit, in which case she can live independently for a while. We can help her financially a bit but not enough to pay all her rent!


JugglingChaotically Sat 01-Nov-14 09:02:19

A friend has done just this with a single garage for her mother.

Included very carefully designed shower room and kitchen corner.

Looks great.

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