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Garage conversion help!

(13 Posts)
minimalist99 Fri 03-Nov-17 18:00:58

We have recently bought a property and are due to move in. It’s a semidetached house with an attached garage that has access into it through the house. The old owners have built an extension on top of the garage.

We have two young children and would like to convert the garage into a playroom, but there is a beam on the ceiling that looks really low in the garage. I am worried this will prevent us from building a playroom, obviously it won’t remain a playroom when they’re older.

I wanted to know if anyone had experience with something like this and what they did to overcome this issue.

Archipops Fri 03-Nov-17 22:50:52

Depending on the existing site situation, you might be able to lower the FFL floor finish level by a little (into the ground) so that there is enough height clearance for the beam/ceiling.

minimalist99 Sat 04-Nov-17 00:20:24

If the FFL is the same as the rest of the house then it will be relatively low ceiling for a playroom. Is there any other solution?

Archipops Sat 04-Nov-17 00:52:59

is this beam in a location that is quite central and no way of avoiding banging your head into if youre a grown up?

minimalist99 Sat 04-Nov-17 06:23:20

It’s located across the middle section of the garage so an adult taller than 6ft would struggle. My DH happens to be 6ft so he would really struggle

Archipops Sat 04-Nov-17 13:57:59

one or two step down at the beam then up again. so floor is sunked in just there by about 10 inches, But it’s hard to tell without any pictures of plans

Archipops Sat 04-Nov-17 13:58:46

*pictures or plans

Archipops Sat 04-Nov-17 16:23:49

so what I meant in first comment is sink the floor level in the garage for the whole garage floor area or in my 2nd comment; just locally under the beam. This is to give enough clearance to walk under the beam without hitting your head on the bottom on the beam/ceiling. hope u understand what I meant.

JoJoSM2 Sat 04-Nov-17 17:08:16

It sounds like that beam would really spoil the room. I’ll get a structural engineer to do some calculations on how to support things without spoiling the space and take it from there.

hlr1987 Sun 05-Nov-17 21:32:21

Sorry, long response- Was the beam put in to support the extension above, in lieu of digging foundations for the garage to support the higher walls? If so, it needs to stay, and I'd doubt you'd find anyone to lower the floor because that will get nearer the existing (inadequate) foundations. In general garage conversions, to comply with change of use regs, have the floor raised for damp proofing, flooring etc (concrete is cold!!) and unless the head height when the ceiling is fitted over the beam and the floor raised complies with the minimum after this, you won't be able to pass the change of regs to consider it a room if you want to sell down the line. Get a free quote from a conversation company (one's who say they're qualified to sort the regs) and quizz them while they're there. There are lots of YouTube vids of conversions as well so you can see the dimensions of the room shrink as the walls are built in and floors up.

Archipops Sun 05-Nov-17 21:55:13

Digging in lower will involved structural underpining and some excavation, then damproofing and insulation built into the floor accordingly. it won’t be cheap (I never said it would be) but if you had the budget and there is no other way to solve the problem and you really want an extra usable space, u could get a builder who specialises in building/creating basements from existing houses to have a look as it’s similar sort of thing. It’s quite common in London where space is premium price. Of course all the relevant specialist advice will hv to be sought.

Archipops Sun 05-Nov-17 22:16:44

.... but probably not worth the money and hassle, because your problem is just one low beam running across and not a low ceiling for the entire area of the garage. People normally do that if the structural soffit is low for the entire area. Presumably the height clearance is ok for the rest of your garage. so maybe looking at how u can solve it in plan/layout is better. if the beam is smack in the middle of the garage that would leave two spaces on either side of the beam of about 2.5 x 3m? can the garage be devided into two usable spaces with a partition wall in between and two seperate doors accessing them. Sorry if this is not much help.

minimalist99 Mon 06-Nov-17 06:48:52

Thank you all for your replies. I assume the bean was placed to support the extension above.

The beam is in the middle of the garage and there isn’t space to create two separate doors to gain access.

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