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Garage or annexe or what?

(6 Posts)
teacherwith2kids Mon 29-Jun-15 18:54:05

We live in a 20s / 30s house which we renovated from a wreck some years ago. It is large in terms of floor area, but not in terms of rooms - has 4 sizeable rooms downstairs and the same floorplan upstairs, so 4 bed.

The attached garage - like a little separate house, pitched roof, but again big in terms of floor area - is essentially falling down and needs fairly urgent work. It could be repaired, but frankly it would cost as much as rebuilding.

We have several options:
- Knock it down, and leave it. There is little point in this there is already a decent-sized garden, and that part is overshadowed by trees and not well-connected with the main garden.

- Knock it down and rebuild as a garage pure and simple.

- Knock it down and rebuild as a separate flat / granny annexe, with its own front door.

We absolutely don't need it as an extra downstairs room, nor are likely to. We have 2 parents still alive, but they live elsewhere with no immediate plans to move and are currently in good health. The garage faces onto the main driveway, though separate access could probably be negotiated if we really cared about it - but it is attached to our house in an area of mainly detached houses, so we don't think at this point that it would be sensible to build it as a wholly separate house and try to sell it separately, though this could be done in the future.

The basic question is - would not having a garage decrease the value of the house? Would having a granny annexe / flat increase or decrease the value?

At the moment, we are leaning towards rebuilding it as a garage-with-potential - so insulated walls, services linked in but no internal work done so anyone could upgrade it in the future. Is that worth the extra cost?

Long term, we have a LOT of equity in the house which it is our intention to release when the DCs leave home for university, in a 5-10 year timescale. If we rebuilt as a flat, we would let it out unless / until a granny needed it, so could recoup some of the outlay. But our main concern is long term value / saleabality coupled with short term enjoyment of ur home, rather than revenue stream per se.

OliviaBenson Mon 29-Jun-15 19:04:47

You would need planning permission to build a flat- it would be treated as a separate dwelling unless it had a reliance on the house (no kitchen) and separate council tax would apply.

I would knock it down and rebuild as a garage. If you were to convert it eventually you would need to comply with building regulations at that time. I wouldn't therefore insulate it now, as it's unlikely to comply in the future and you'd be paying twice.

teacherwith2kids Mon 29-Jun-15 19:12:30

Thanks for the heads up on planning permission - we knew that, and current advice is that it would be likely to go through (the knock-down-the-house-and-builld-6-4-bedroom homes on the site opposite, now that was contentious. Garage to flat with same floorspace, less so.)

Gozogozo Mon 29-Jun-15 19:28:23

Granny flat annexes are few & far between round here so given you know the stpp & council tax implications, I'd go for it. You don't need to put in any more than a 3 unit kitchen and a shower room can be elderly friendly, space effective & stylish with care. Keeping most of the newly insulated annexe open plan allows you to use it as an office or teen den without the kitchen & shower room encroaching. Equally it should be an attractive studio flat that can earn its keep.
Do think however, will it be worth your while converting if you plan to move in 5 or so years?

teacherwith2kids Mon 29-Jun-15 19:41:08

Gozogozo,

The point is that we have to do something - the building cannot be left as it is.

The question we are facing is:
Spend x, get a garage. Recoup nothing, as nothing has changed vs current.

Spend x+a bit, get a garage that could be converted. may recoup nothing, but could raise the value of the house a little.

Spend x+y, get a self-contained flat. May recoup nothing over and above rent, or may decrease value of the house - that is what I am exploring here. However, may recoup at least y when we sell IF it is a desirable option for buyers, which would outweigh the extra expenditure now IYSWIM.

Can one ring up estate agents and ask them this kind of thing? In an 'I am planning to sell my house over the next few years, wish to maximise value, what would you suggest' way? Or who else might give advice?

Gozogozo Mon 29-Jun-15 20:19:48

Depends on where you live as to which rebuild works best for you. I was faced with similar in the last few years & estate agents advice round here, bearing in mind access only from a service road, was build a flexible building for yourselves & it will definitely add value when you sell. However, there is a price point for every road & we wouldn't recoup money spent if we sold immediately as the costs incurred takes our house over max price point here.

We plan to stay min 5 years probably another 10-15 in practice before we downsize to release money for the DC. The increase in utility for us more than made up for the fact it cost c. 25k in pulling down garage & rebuilding & refitting.

I think that if you have off street parking I would rebuild as an insulated self contained room or flat, as you would be able to recoup some of your costs by letting out. Holiday rental? They can command 3x/4x normal weekly rental if you have the time & energy?

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