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Anyone converted a garage into a living area?

(22 Posts)
swedishmum Wed 04-Jun-08 10:22:33

We want to do this with our double garage as we'd like another decent sized living area (for kids/ TV etc). Thinking of leaving the door in case future owners want to convert back - dry lining inside the door and raising the floor/ removing garage opening mechanism but keeping it in case. Adding a high window at the side (not overlooked but know we need permission).
Does it sound reasonable?
Has anyone done a similar thing? Are you happy with it and any tips?? Was it worth the cost? We have someone lined up to do it.

Many thanks.

edam Wed 04-Jun-08 10:26:34

I haven't done this but am considering it. Apparently unless you live in a conservation area or somewhere with similar restrictions you don't need planning to convert an integral garage (although the window might be an issue - check with your council).

Lucky you with a double, though. envy Could you convert one half and leave the other as a garage? Think that would work better in terms of giving future owners options rather than a half-hearted conversion. Has anyone else in your road converted their garage? Perhaps worth talking to a few local agents to see what they think buyers in your area prefer.

swedishmum Wed 04-Jun-08 10:42:47

The estate agent idea's a good one - I'm in town today so will ask a couple. The garage has a double door so would be hard to half convert so though best option would be to do a simply to unconvert job (if that makes sense). There are only 3 houses in our road. We have plenty of space upstairs but with 4 kids (3 getting older) the house could do with more living space. I'd also like to get rid of the motorbike belonging to dh that hasn't worked since at least 1995....We have empty nesters either side so they have plenty of space anyway.

lizziemun Wed 04-Jun-08 11:18:16

We did our (single) garage last year.

We left the door but sealed it on the outside, put in a false floor to bring it up level to the house. had the a force wall built so we still had a small storage space for freezer etc.

DH uses it as a study.

titchy Wed 04-Jun-08 11:21:16

I second the idea of keeping one half. You'd still have a pretty decent family/play room - presumably about 9 by 14? and it would be fairly easy and cheap to replace the double door with either one single door and brickwork, or two single doors with one dry lined.

Alternatively is there anywhere else that a garage could go? Then if you sell in the future you couldmaybe sell with planning permission for a new garage, rather than have the cost and hassle of doing it yourselves.

(We have a double garage conversion BTW - not done by us though, and have a large kitchen 16 x 14 and family/dining room, 9 x 16 and downstairs shower room)

titchy Wed 04-Jun-08 11:24:54

I second the idea of keeping one half. You'd still have a pretty decent family/play room - presumably about 9 by 14? and it would be fairly easy and cheap to replace the double door with either one single door and brickwork, or two single doors with one dry lined.

Alternatively is there anywhere else that a garage could go? Then if you sell in the future you couldmaybe sell with planning permission for a new garage, rather than have the cost and hassle of doing it yourselves.

(We have a double garage conversion BTW - not done by us though, and have a large kitchen 16 x 14 and family/dining room, 9 x 16 and downstairs shower room)

swedishmum Wed 04-Jun-08 12:42:00

I don't think it would be worth it for a small room given the ages/number of our children. I guess if we sold (and no plans to) we could always state that we could convert back.

jenniepanda Wed 04-Jun-08 21:39:27

We converted our single garage last year. Cost about £6k in total. Took out the door completely and put in a large window to match the rest of the house, fully insulated, 2 radiators. Got one room we use as a dining room and a small, but fantastic, utility room with washing machine, tumble dryer and sink. It has given us so much more living space and just put up a shed in the garden with all the garage stuff in. Best thing we ever did to the house!

Also, only needed building regs, not full planing permission.

PigeonPie Wed 04-Jun-08 21:47:04

We converted the back 2/3s of our single garage to a study last year. Cost approx 6k including a window. We can fit two desks, two Ikea Billy bookcases and some storage in as well as chairs and a filing cabinet so it's not a small space, just compact!

We decided that we still needed a bit of storage in the garage so it's just big enough for the up and over door to go up and there's enough room once we've got rid of some furniture (anyone want a large Welsh Dresser?!) for DH to have a new motorbike if he wanted.

I'd second converting just half of a double - garage doors are pretty cheap.

swedishmum Wed 04-Jun-08 22:31:23

Thanks - seems that those of you who've done it are pleased with the extra space. Now what to do with 10 years of accumulated offcuts of MDF and stuff .... Come back Linda Barker and House Invaders!

maxmissie Wed 04-Jun-08 22:58:28

Hi I work as a planning officer and just thought I'd try and clarify whether you need planning permission for what you want to do.

You only normally need planning permission to convert a garage and/or install a new window if there are conditions on the planning permission for the original dwelling preventing such works from taking place.

There will only be a planning permission for your house if it was built from 1948 onwards, so if it was built before then there shouldn't be any of these type of restrictions.

If your house is in a Conservation Area the Council may have served what's called an Article 4 Direction which may also take away some rights to do something you normally wouldn't need planning permission for. If your house is a listed building you will need listed building consent.

Most garage conversions don't need planning permission but I would advise ringing up your Council's Development Control section and asking them whether you need it or not - sometimes they can tell you over the phone or otherwise they might send you a form to fill in. It's also useful to have a letter from the Council confirming you didn't need planning permission in case you ever sell.

You will definitely need Buildings Regulations (which you can also get from the Council but which is separate from planning permission).

Sorry it's a bit long winded and that I've used the phrase 'planning permission' so many times! Hope this helps a bit though and I haven't been too confusing!

Tinker Thu 05-Jun-08 00:46:29

For those who have converted garages to rooms, does that mean you have no side access to rear of house? How do you get garden crap etc out, just through house? This is what is occupying my thoughts atm when trying to configure our extension plans...

lizziemun Thu 05-Jun-08 09:53:45

swedishmum

Yes i am pleased with the new office space as i have got a spare rrom back but more importantly DH has got rid of all those spare bits rubbish (2 car loads and 8 black sacks)of computers which may come in useful oneday hmm grin.

Tinker

We lucky in that we have a gate into the garden.

MrsBadger Thu 05-Jun-08 09:58:10

Like PigeonPie we're planning to do the back 2/3s of the garage (eventually hmm)
Our house is terraced so we never had side access anyway - there's a gate and path at the end of the garden.

MrsPuddleduck Thu 05-Jun-08 09:59:45

We converted our double garage last year.

It is L shaped and the 'indented' bit is a utility room at the other side.

We completely got rid of the door on the basis that no-one can fit a car in the most garages nowadays and bought a nice chalet style shed for the garden which has the bikes and mower in (we would leave this if we moved).

I don't know whether your garage is integral.. We live in a 1960's house so ours stuck out partially at the front. We took the front of the roof off and had a pitched roof put in with dormer windows. The room is now a real feature in our house and I think would be a selling point.

It cost 9K due to having the roof taken off and tiled etc plus we had 2 velux windows and 2 windows at the front rather than one which presumably made it a little more expensive.

cluelessnchaos Thu 05-Jun-08 10:01:29

we did this on our last house, cant remember how much it was but relatively cheap, we took out the door and putin a big window which we loved, we also plannned to put in a mezanine level which we ditched only because we found out we were moving and it wouldnt have added enough to the value of the house but we would have loved it.

swedishmum Thu 05-Jun-08 19:33:56

Thanks Maxmissie - we're in an area of significant natural beauty or something so we're triple checking we don't do anything untoward!
We have side access to the house via a gate/path at the side. Our garage is integral (door from opposite kitchen) so would be a good place for a chilling out room - or sleepover room as dds have already named it hmm.

nowwearefour Sat 07-Jun-08 19:45:47

yes we converted our single garage nearly 2 years ago now. we enjoy the space but we are now on the market and it has put a few people off buying it- but others say they like it. we needed a certificate stating that we didnt need planning permission from our council- forget what they called it now. we do have access from back to front via side gate- would not want to block that off i dont think. the building regs require such amazing insulation now that it is sooo warm in here! it is our study/ playroom. we would be lost without it now we have 2 kids.

webchick Sat 14-Jun-08 03:27:38

I have my integral single garage converted into 2/3 study plus washing machine, last 1/3 (still with garage door incase its needed 2 be put back to garage mode) storeage, filing cabinet. Space was ltd elsewhere in the house, its alleviated that problem. My oh did it himself, when expecting dd1.

I have full pp to make it a proper room with front window & council said I had to raise the drop down kerb.

Its got no natural light as it is & I would ideally like it as a proper room but havent got round to it.

stoppinattwo Sat 14-Jun-08 08:05:00

We are going to be doing ourss soon, converting it into a utility room and downstaris toilet/ wet room............cant wait. We just needed building regs

evenhope Sun 15-Jun-08 13:36:25

I'm surprised to hear you don't need planning permission because our neighbours did! We live in a townhouse with an intregral garage. We converted ours into a bedroom but left the door on and built a false wall behind it. It has proper floor etc.

We contacted the council and they said we would need permission for change of use if we wanted a window instead of the door, plus we would have to provide additional off-road parking to make up for losing the garage. But to leave the front as it is and have an internal room there was no permission required.

Next door did theirs and replaced the door with a window. They had to have permission and extend their driveway.

We can't put a window in elsewhere because it's a terrace. So DS2 has an internal room.

lategotobedder Thu 24-Jul-08 01:21:29

Help. Can we close in half the garage by putting a temporary but insulated wall jut this side of the automatic garage stuff and put a doorway in the wall to use to get to the "storage area. We want to make a bedroom for our little girl. Have 4 bedrooms, but have 5 boys and 1 girl. The 21yr old does not want to leave home and miss his much younger siblings grow up. Therefore we have four boys in 1 room and it's really getting crowded. My husband DOES NOT want to lose the storage space. It's alot of shoes, bikes, playing equipment etc. We can not park the 12 passenger van in the garage anyway. The garage leads right into the kitchen, and we generally just come in through that door. Don't have 2,4 or 6K to put into it.

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