Thinking about having a Garage Conversion?
Garage conversions are an excellent way of increasing your living space as well as adding value to your property. Elite LT garage conversion services are integrated as part of the house so that they can be seamlessly converted into a beautiful living space. With our professional conversion, your visitors will never realise that the space is not an original feature of the property.
All of our work is built to last with the highest standards in quality and craftsmanship, which is reflected in our comprehensive insurance and warranty. You will receive a free, dedicated project manager for a single and efficient point of communication because we are customer-focused and driven to provide exceptional service.
Let’s take a look at what’s involved in a new garage conversion
If your garage comes off the kitchen then you can totally reimagine your dining and entertaining spaces with a luxurious diner area. Since plumbing can usually hook up to the pipes and drains already in place you could have another bedroom and a bathroom there. Or a fantastic kids’ area with beds and a playroom. We’ve seen people convert their garages into personal internal gyms complete with treadmills, air-con, large screens and showers or office space from which to run a home business. The possibilities are endless – come and talk to us about your dreams and we’ll tell you how it can be done.
Doors and Windows
The biggest change when converting a garage comes in the doors and windows. Clearly, that garage door has to go and be replaced by an outside wall complete with the required insulation and an external door or at least windows. We can do this so that it fits perfectly with the period features of your home or we can work with our architects to create a spectacular new addition – picture windows or glass doors, for example, depending on your needs, taste and budget.
It’s worth paying attention to the flooring since garage floors are typically concrete with no heat insulation or give in them. Laying a floor here is more than a matter of simply putting down a covering layer because without care for the flooring the resulting conversion can be cold, especially in winter. We would typically recommend digging out old concrete and replacing it, particularly if it has become uneven or is soaked in oil. Instead, we lay a new slab as the building block for your flooring which can then be tile, wood, carpet, etc. If your garage space is going to be converted to a bathroom or include a bathroom then talk to us about underfloor heating options.
There’s more to a good conversion than just wiring up the plugs and making sure the water pipes reach that far. With a new space come all the promises of modern utilities including power showers and jacuzzis for bathrooms, LED or hidden lighting to bring warmth to the space, and modern plug systems with plenty of room for recharging stations and USB connectors. If you’re going to use the converted space as a home office or utility room we will help you plan the electrical and plumbing fittings that you need, where you need them best. Plus of course, we ensure that it complies with local and national regulations.
All our electric work and installations are carried out and in accordance with the
British Safety Standards 761, British Standards Institute (BSI)
Internal stud walls will need to be insulated if (EWI) external wall insulation is not being installed underneath a good render application. This is to ensure the new room will become more habitable and the area stays warm when the cold weather arrives. If internal stud walls are to be insulated we will always go for a quality brand as we feel this is very important and worth trying to save money on cheap inferior brands. This will include the main wall adjoining the property and the integral garage. Depending on the existing construction of the garage walls can have a direct impact on the decision of the thickness of insulation we install inside the internal walls. Most existing garages have been constructed with a brick or block single skinned solid wall, with zero insulation previously installed. To go about insulating a new garage conversion and using the existing walls, we could choose to insulate internally or externally.
EWI – External wall insulation
This method of adding insulation under the chosen rendering is in my view best suited to a detached garage set-up only. The reason for this is because of the added thickness and depth of both the insulation and render applications can look out of place on the outside of an integral garage conversion, unless of course, the whole property was to undergo the full treatment, so the whole project looks the same aesthetically. One good thing about this external insulation system is that you will gain some extra space internally.
IWI – Internal Wall Insulation
The most used and common method is to install the insulation internally by fitting insulated plasterboard. This would be our number one choice for most garage conversions with integral units.
What other work is involved?
A portion of the garage floor may need excavating. This will allow for foundations to be built which will support a new wall to replace the now redundant garage door
Most of the time the garage door will be lower than the house together with the floor, this will need raising. This must be addressed to protect your garage renovation from rising damp problems. Also to insulate and level the floor to the same as your house.
You will most likely need to renew your windows as the original garage ones will probably be single glazed, they will need replacing with double glazed units, as will any new additional windows or doors. Always best to blend them in with the rest of your property and try to match with the originals near enough.
Depending on what you will be using the new garage conversion for, you might be able to span a single radiator from your existing heating system, that’s if your current boiler can manage an extra load. Otherwise, you might consider an underfloor heating installation. You could go down this route as long as your flooring has a depth of 150mm plus to take the pipes and appropriate screed.
Can I Convert my particular Garage?
Is my type of garage suitable for a conversion?
- Single Integral garage – This will add 150 square feet of floor space to your home
- Double Integral garage – This will add 300 square feet of extra floor space
- Tandem Integral garage – You could convert the front or rear portion, giving you the best of both worlds
- Standalone garage – Need to check first as maybe need to make an application if you are going to change what this garage will be converted into and used for. Basically, it will be changed from a garage to a living space.
Legal and Regulatory Requirements
Do I need planning permission for my garage conversion?
For an integral garage then most likely not. It is always wise to check and run this question by your own local authorities. The majority of the time integral garage conversions will come under the “permitted development rights” So planning permission will be automatically granted so no need to acquire this. Although this may not be the case with a standalone garage, you might need to, and it’s worth checking if an application for the change of usage needs to be applied for.
Will my garage conversion need building regulations approval
Any conversion of a garage or part conversion that will be converted into a habitable, liveable space will, under normal circumstances, need approval under the standard Government building regulation laws. A locally selected building control officer may need to check the conversion a few times throughout your conversion project. More information on the Governments own website can help, or we can offer advice and guidance throughout the building process.
Local Council Regulations
Rules can be different depending on your local council. Also, there can be occasions where permissions can be denied to convert your garage, here is a shortlist of reasons that may affect you and to watch out for –
- If you reside in a listed building or area, it will be most likely that the external appearance of your property must be retained exactly as it is.
- If your new garage conversion will affect any drainage issues. Anything that will place extra pressure on the existing drain system.
- Sometimes local councils will insist that you remove the existing concrete garage floor, insulate and then concrete. This will be like installing a new floor. It can increase your budget if you are unaware so check with your local authorities.
- In some areas where parking is at a premium, council authorities will refuse permission and not let you convert your garage if you are storing your car there.
This information and the regulations expected materials and actual building practices that need to comply, solutions, examples and other helpful information can be found at this link to the Government’s Planning Portal website. Here you can find examples of particular elements that need to be addressed and satisfied by the building regulations, such as
- External walls
- Internal Walls
- Window & Doors
Any garage conversion will be classed as “change of use” It will therefore require a building regulations approval.
For your garage conversion to comply it needs the following:
- Damp-proof course
- Needs to be structurally sound
- Energy efficient (wall, floor and loft insulation)
- Good ventilation (moisture proofed)
- All electrics must be checked and safety tested.
- The area needs to be fire-proofed
- Must have escape routes for safety reasons
What other issues should I look out for?
Before you go ahead with a garage conversion of any type you will need to check the property deeds for any sort of restrictive covenants that might apply to your house. It has been known for some development companies to place restrictions on potential building work that can affect any property’s external appearance on your house or houses in that area or estate. If some kind of clause does exist by all means contact the developer and request the removal, sometimes this may incur a fee. Another option available to you is to complete a conversion internally but keep the external appearance the same. This can be achieved by not renovating the front garage space and just converting the rear part. Obviously, this depends on your requirements as you will certainly lose some space at the front part, but you could always utilise it as a small storage area.
Will a garage conversion increase my council tax
Another advantage about proceeding with a garage conversion is that it won’t affect your council tax band, as opposed to moving into a 4 bedroom property from a 3 bedroom house as this may raise your council tax band. This will no doubt save you money over time and also other major savings like moving expenses, solicitor and estate agent fees, they all mount up.
The cost of a garage conversion
All garage conversions will be different in cost due to the design and specifications required by a customer. Depending on how you would like to convert your garage can significantly alter the price range of your particular conversion project. One thing is for sure, whatever you choose, garage conversions will add value to your home, so it will always work out a good investment and outlay in the long term of things.
Depending on the type of garage that you have at your disposal, either an integral double, single or detached garage, they are all worth the effort to change into liveable new spaces that you can utilise to upgrade your living standards for the better, and if do decide to sell at some point in the near future, then you will certainly recover your initial investment and probably make a monetary gain.
If you work out the costs of a garage conversion as opposed to a loft, basement or new house extension, then a garage will always work out the most cost-effective solution project to move forward with.
The good thing about integral garages is that the structure and framework are already present. Depending on the age, build quality and other various factors, these existing garages will always need upgrading to satisfy building regulations.
Popular types of garage conversions
Converting a garage to a kitchen diner
This could be the ideal time to use your garage to extend your kitchen with an open planned kitchen diner living space. This type of integral garage conversion can make such a fantastic difference to your home and push up the value by a considerable amount upon completion. Single garages are better to integrate with the main house as they are usually long, narrow and not very suitable for a room on their own, except for a single office, gym or utility room. So the best option for a single type of conversion is to break through the walls and into the main property, creating and combining the two spaces into one, ideally for your new kitchen diner. If you are one of the lucky people that have a double garage attached to your property then more options are available to you. You could convert the whole garage into a new separate kitchen diner with access into your main residence or you could integrate and utilise half of the double garage and keep fifty per cent still like a garage and storage space. Whatever you have in mind please feel free to contact us for a free consultation and friendly advice to discuss your ideas. We can guide you, work with you, and turn this into a reality.
Office garage conversion
A good number of people work from home, either through their own choice or because of the recent pandemic and social distancing, which could be with us for a long time to come. Whatever the reason working from home can have some drawbacks and limitations like family noise, privacy issues and shortage of space in the existing residency. For the homeowners that have the luxury of a single or double garage at their disposal, which is 150 to 300 square foot respectively that could be utilised and converted relatively cheaply into a garage to office conversion. You could make this switch and be sitting in your own office environment, attending to your business and separating the two entities.
Depending on the design you could break through the existing walls and make your new garage to office conversion more open plan and an integral part of your house. Alternatively, you could keep it more private with a single door access knocked through to the main house, so the transgression from home life and into your work environment is separated. If your business has clients that will regularly visit your new office, you could have an external door at the side or rear of the office, this way you would not have to lead your customers through your main house, especially if you have noisy children, animals and feel the need to tidy up before their arrival.
Garage conversion to gym
The ever increasing popularity of a garage conversion to a gym concept has many benefits to offer.
- No more travelling to the gym
- No more waiting for gym equipment to be free
- Always open so workout in your own time
- Play your own music
- No excuses when it comes to working out
You could totally repurpose the garage to your advantage and save a good deal of money in the transition over time. In fact, this type of garage conversion can actually pay for itself over a period of time,
- No more expensive Gym fees
- Save on travelling expenses
We can turn your dusty uninviting cold garage into a beautiful space that is warm and inviting. So many people have single or double garages that waste space as all they do is store junk. Let us transform your garage into a gym that you will be proud of. With insulated walls and new flooring, it can be opened up into an inviting comfortable area that you don’t mind stepping in and completing your daily workout. Convenient, clean, no gym fees and no travelling. If you would like to make this transition give us a call and we can take a look, listen to your ideas. We offer a free consultation and quotation service together with professional friendly advice.
Garage conversion to extra lounge
Creating an extra lounge from your disused garage seems a popular home conversion of late. This is a good idea to implement for growing family’s as it gives them that private space they crave as they become older and more private, good for them to study, entertain friends and play their music if loudly you can consider acoustic insulation within the building phase to drown out the excessive noise. As children are living at home for longer periods of time due to high deposits on properties and way out of their price range. So it makes good sense, is cost-effective to convert and add these extra spaces, instead of the expense of moving to a new property. Don’t move, improve!.
Converting your detached garage
If you have a garage that is detached from your main property, it may be a much more complex job than if you were converting an integral garage. To start with you’ll need to apply for a “change of use” through your local planning authorities.
Other factors that you must take into consideration is the extra cost’s involved in a detached garage conversion project. Examples are, you will need to install utility services to this outbuilding, including, plumbing, electrics and maybe water. Also, the foundations will need upgrading as the existing base will most likely not be structurally sufficient for the buildings new usage.
Reverse Garage conversions
If you discover anytime now or in the future that you would simply like to complete a full reversal of a garage conversion that had previously been changed to another use, and revert that conversion so you can have a garage again, then please do get in touch with us, as we can help you achieve this transformation. People change back these previous conversions all the time to gain their garages back for lots of different reasons. It could be that you don’t need this extra room and a garage would better suit your present needs, or maybe you have recently purchased a new car and a garage would offer you peace of mind and better security for this expensive item. Whatever your purpose, you can count on us to reverse engineer your current conversion
The process of works
Our garage conversion construction projects normally follow a sequence of building processes. Here we will try to simplify and break down the actual elements into a series of events. As always it will depend on the actual type of conversion you will be having.
1) Gain architectural drawings approval from local authorities
2) Removal of any existing garage doors, either up and over or barn doors, if applicable
3) Create new structural flooring
4) Installation of damp proof membrane and concrete
5) Installation of floor insulation
7) Create opening through to the main property
8) Installation of plumbing and electrical work
9) Construction of stud work and plasterboard walls
10) Construction of brickwork to fill in the garage door opening, install new window if applicable, any external rendering if required
11) Complete internal plastering
12) Final fixes including plumbing heating, carpenter work and electrical work
13) Complete all final finishing touches
14) Clean and remove any excess debris and building materials
Do I need to inform my Insurance about my garage conversion?
If you plan to project manage your own garage conversion yourself, then we would say yes and suggest that you arrange for the appropriate conversion insurance. If you don’t go through with the insurance channels correctly and loss or damages occur during the building works, it’s more than likely than not that your current home insurance will not cover anything while your garage is going through the renovation and alteration process.
Also, you need to inform your insurance company that you are having this work completed as it could change your policy as well. This is because when your original policy was taken out it was based on the original structure as it stood then. Best to call them and let them know about any changes that you plan to make and if you need any extra insurance while the actual work is being carried out. Many homeowners fail to contact their insurers and will be horrified to learn that their insurance may be void. So please make sure you tell them everything you are doing and keep them up to date to be on the safe side.
Do I need an architect or structural engineer?
If you’re a customer who is confident of what you would like your conversion to be, and it falls into the category of “permitted development rights” we can certainly work together with you to build your garage conversion under the building regulations criteria rather than involve the expense of an architect an have plans drawn up by them, and this will save you money.
Alternatively, if you would like the guidance and help with a complex design and structure for your garage conversion project, then we have a professional group of experienced architects and structural engineers on hand that can offer their services beforehand.
FREE Project Management
We fully understand that when you are considering a major house extension, garage conversion or renovation work, that protecting this with a project management system is a vital part of the construction process.
This is why you will be pleased to know that every one of our extensions and conversions is controlled and project managed by us from the start to absolute completion, and the best part is, we do this for FREE
Our FREE project management consists of taking care of each phase of your construction so everything runs smoothly and efficiently. Any unexpected problems that may arise are taken care of and dealt with along the way.
Your project manager will ensure all the different professions, such as bricklayer, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and plasterers are directed to apply their specialist trades as and when needed.
This also means, you, our customer only needs to deal with one person, your dedicated project manager.