Garage conversion advice needed please(2 Posts)
Hi, we are looking for some advice on a garage conversion we are planning please.
We have a single integrated garage which we want to convert to a dining room with an area at one end for washing machine/tumbler dryer. The work needed is fairly standard - new floor needed (currently there's a concrete base), walls need insulating, sockets need moving, lighting needs changing (there's tube lighting there at present), heating needs to be fitted. Pipes, vent etc for washer and dryer are already there - machines don't need to be moved. A stud wall needs building down one side to cover all the meters etc and quite few pipes which would be tricky to move. One ceiling pipe needs to be moved up into the ceiling. The garage door needs to be replaced with a 4 foot window and the lower part of the current opening needs to be bricked up. At present there is a door and a small window at the back; the window is to be widened to full width (approx 6 foot) and the gap where the bottom of the door was to be bricked up - this involves widening the lintel. We need some kind of heating.
We've had a few quotes and they vary wildly from approx £8500 (no VAT payable) to £16,500 plus VAT. The expensive builder is accredited with the Federation of Master Builders, Trustmark, ECB etc. The others don't seem to have any accreditations.
Can anyone please advise on any of our queries:
- How do we choose a builder? Should we choose someone who is FMB etc accredited?
- What sort of price have others paid for a similar project?
- What sort of floor would people recommend please? We would like Amtico inside and different builders have recommended a concrete screed, floating chipboard, or non-floating chipboard floor secured to timber beams (all of these would need a layer of ply on the top for Amtico to be fitted).
- Heating options. We have underfloor heating (water pipes) in the rest of our downstairs. Extending this is very impractical. So we are choosing between new gas radiator, new electric radiator, or electric underfloor heating. Any thoughts as to which we should choose? Again different builders advise different options.
Thanks for any thoughts/advice/information.
We had a garage conversion done about 18 months ago. It cost about the same as your cheaper quote but was opened up to the existing kitchen/diner to make a bigger space and kept a storage area at the front so no window to buy but did include the cost of the steel lintel to open into the main part of the house.
We chose our builder based on the fact that he had done work for someone up the road so I would definitely ask if they have previous clients you could talk to. With that said it wasn't a faultless process.
In terms of cost a lot might depend on the quality of the finish you want and the heating option you go with, could the quotes be assuming different things about the amount of work, whether they'd be providing the window etc?
We had Polyflor put in which is a cheaper Karndean and I really liked it. It was laid on a self leveling compound that went directly onto the concrete slab that was laid to level the floor between the existing room and the conversion.
We didn't extend our heating because it was made open plan to the existing kitchen diner which was amply heated so I can't help with that aspect expecially though we did look at adding an extra radiator run off our existing heating which we decided. I would always go with underfloor heating though if you have the option as you won't need to worry about where to put the radiator and what it will get in the way of.
On a final positive note it made a massive difference to the way we lived and was lovely when it was completed. Good luck.
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