101 for Garage Conversions
Garage conversions are often undertaken by property owners without substantial research or planning. Local Builder London have the extensive know-how of all the fundamentals condensed into important information snippets for you to read to ensure you are ready to go ahead with your garage conversion and make it a development success.
- Design and Planning – get a good sense of how you currently use your garage and after conversion what it would be used for to bring back value to your property and life. If you have ample space and opportunity outside of your property to park a car, a full conversion makes sense; partial conversions are great for large sized garages or garages which already have effective storage already built into it. Usually garages are long in shape and can be split into two spaces by using a stud or block wall – great for storage and a utility room for example.
- Permissions and Building Regulations – in most cases, garage conversions are classified as permitted development! This means you do not have to worry about planning applications and can focus your energy on the finer details. If your property is a Listed building or within a Conservation area however, then even minor modifications would require planning permission. When converting into a habitable room, building regulations will apply – to ventilation, moisture and fireproofing, insulation, escape routes, and structural fidelity. Therefore your design decisions must consider this so the work conducted meets regulation and the building inspector can award you a completion certificate.
- Insulation and Damp Proofing – the assessment value of insulation is the U value which indicates the rate of heat escape in watts from a square metre of material in one hour. The insulation U value requirements are as follows:
- Walls – 0.35W/m²/K
- Floors – 0.25W/m²K
- Windows – 0.18 W/m²K
- Roofs – 0.16W/m²/K
Damp proofing is necessary for floors and walls and usually applied with a damp proof membrane layer. Floors are damp proofed at the same time the floor is remade and for walls, the damp proof layer is laid between two layers of bricks. Damp proofing is vial in protecting and preventing water damage and rot – make sure your garage has a damp proof layer already in place.
- Plumbing and Wiring – survey your garage and identify any outflows and inflows of water and electrical points. From wall to ceiling, checks need to be made so you know what you can alter and no damage is made to any current systems ensuring a smooth conversion. It may be the case that rewiring, new amp circuits, connections or plumbing reconfiguration is required depending on what your garage is being converted into.
- Walls, Windows and Doors
Any interior stud walls which you are considering to build must meet fireproofing building regulations. This would be one or two layers of fireproof plasterboard on the stud walls. Any doors attached to these interior walls will also need a 30 minute fireproofing duration resistance rating.
Once these main factors have been accounted for you should have a good grasps of what work can and needs to be undertaken, leaving you plenty of time to decide and carry out your garage conversion development.