By Philip Saich
If you’re looking to add space and value to your home then converting your garage is a cost-effective way to achieve both objectives. Converting a single garage will add around 150 square foot of space, while a double garage can deliver around 300 square foot of extra room, either of which will benefit your day-to-day life and achieve significant capital growth in the future as the value of your conversion will rise in line with the value of your property. If the garage is attached it’s unlikely that you’ll need planning permission, so the project can be relatively smooth, and it’s not uncommon for a garage conversion to add as much as 10% to your house’s asking price.
If you currently park your car on the drive or on the road, your once-neglected garage space can be put to far better use for a range of activities, any of which will be more productive than leaving it as a dumping ground for old exercise equipment, packaging cartons and general household clutter.
Converting your garage into a bedroom
One of the most popular uses for a garage conversion is as an additional bedroom. With care home fees continuing to rise, creating a space for an elderly parent enables you to deliver home care while allowing them to continue to live independently, and the costs of the conversion would soon be offset by the savings in care home fees. At the other end of the age scale, more and more young professionals are seeking to stay at home while they save for a deposit for their first property, and making your garage habitable is an excellent way of giving them a separate area with more privacy. And if you’re lacking a spare bedroom for visitors, a garage conversion can provide that with ease. With any of these uses, it’s prudent to factor in an ensuite bathroom or wetroom to make life easier for the occupants, even though that will eat into the available space to some degree. It’s worth noting, however, that adding independent access, such as a separate front door, to the conversion is likely to incur an additional Council Tax liability.
Converting your garage into a living area
Assuming you have enough bedrooms for your requirements, a garage conversion can be utilised to create extra living space in the form of an additional lounge or quiet area, possibly for homework, reading or yoga. With multimedia dominating everyone’s home life, there’s merit in developing a dedicated room where any of the family members can escape for some peace and tranquillity.
The costs of moving house can be prohibitive, so converting your garage into a playroom is a fantastic way for young families to make their home work harder and deliver more on all levels. As well as giving the children their own space, which can be designed and decorated accordingly, having a new playroom ensures that the rest of the house stays free from toys and games. A key consideration here is storage, so it’s helpful to take time to plan the flow of the room and explore creative solutions for keeping the floor free of obstacles.
Converting your garage into a home office
There’s no doubt that the digital era has seen a move towards flexible working patterns and with more and more professionals working from home on a regular basis a garage conversion can offer the opportunity to confine work to a single room. When working from home it’s tempting to do so at the kitchen table or in the lounge, but blurring the line between home and work can be detrimental to family life. Having a self-contained office environment is likely not only to increase productivity, but also to make it easier to close the door and ‘leave’ work once the working day is done. Many self-employed professionals also create a home office in their garage to enable them to conduct client meetings and video-conferences in a business-like environment rather than hunched around the kitchen table.
Cinemas, gymnasiums craft rooms and more...
On the more glamorous side, the size and shape of a single garage is ideal for a home cinema, although it’s advisable to investigate soundproofing to prevent the noise permeating into the remainder of the house. With boosted WiFi and clever concealment of wires and cables, however, there’s no reason not to recreate that cinema experience in your own home. Alternatively, if you struggle with motivation to go out to exercise, a home gymnasium can easily be accommodated within a garage conversion. In reality, there’s space for a workout area, a range of equipment and a shower room too.
If you’re looking for a haven for crafting, a garage conversion can fit the bill, especially if you replace the main garage door with a large window to allow natural light to flood in. Whether it’s painting, sewing or cardmaking you’re guaranteed to have space for working and storing your materials, all in a peaceful, inspiring environment.
If your requirements are a little more practical in nature, a garage can be converted for use as a utility room in order to free up space in the kitchen that can be taken up by a washing machine and tumble dryer. In addition, converting your garage to a clean, dry storage area can take the pressure off the rest of your home. And with so much clutter it’s easy to mislay important items, so having a clearly defined area for storage can help to reduce the likelihood of wasting hours and hours searching through disorganised piles of paperwork.
Newton Fraser of Nottingham builders, Refresh Renovations, believes that the relatively low outlay required for garage conversions makes them an ideal way of investing both in your family and in your property. ‘At Refresh we’re big fans of garage conversions,’ comments Newton. ‘In the main they’re straightforward and can be completed efficiently without the need for planning permission as garage conversions are usually classed as permitted development. They also, we believe, pay for themselves over a few years either in terms of the improvements they bring to family life or in the uplift they offer to the value of your property.
‘As with any building project there are technical considerations to be aware of, and that’s where we come in. We take time to understand your motivation for converting your garage and explore the design and specification that will be required to deliver a great end result. From the foundations and exterior walls to the damp proofing and insulation, it’s vital to cover every aspect of the conversion, and we do that with our concept and feasibility study before moving onto plans, drawings and budgets. Only when we’re confident that we’ve developed a full brief and shared the total budget with the client do we commence any work.’
Refresh Renovations are Nottingham builders offering design and build services for garage conversions and home renovations. To discuss your project, please get in touch today using the enquiry form listed alongside, or if you would like to submit a more comprehensive enquiry, you can do so on the Get In Touch page.
You can find out about the costs involved in How much does it cost to renovate a garage on a mid-range budget?