Builder in Stafford Adviceline – Key Points to Consider When Planning a Garage Conversion

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1 – First Of All – Why Choose a Garage Conversion?

If you’re looking to add more living space to your home you have lots of options – but most of them do involve significant sums. If you’re on more of a budget, then a garage conversion is a great option.

What makes it so cost effective is that the main structure is already all there. The whole project is much simpler. For a start, you already have the foundations in place. Building new foundations for a full new extension is both time consuming and expensive. Plus you already have the walls, the roof and even the floor in place. You probably also have electrics installed – and if your garage is attached to your house then you even have the entry point readymade.

2 – Let’s Get Started – Your Overall Plan

To start off you need to assess your garage. You need to check it out and see if there are any problems with the existing structure, so these can be dealt with as part of the conversion. You don’t want to find some major hidden flaw, just when it’s all done and you’re about to move all your furniture in. Hopefully you’ll have a good sound structure to start with, but if not, make sure you know up front what needs sorting out, so you can have it fixed as part of the project.

Then you can create a really great plan. Check the overall layout and how it works with your existing rooms. What will your new room be used for? What are the nearest existing rooms used for? Do you go through one to access the garage?

If it’s not already fully attached, you may need to create a connecting building.

A good plan means your new room will blend with the house. It will feel as if it has always been part of it, right from when it was originally built.

3 – First … The Garage Door

Now the garage door is usually the first question on people’s minds. You’ll have to remove the door, obviously – but then what? You’ll have an empty hole. Do you want a window, or even doors?

The space needs to match the rest of the house from the outside too. Take into account things like how much light is already coming into the garage, will you be putting another door in, or windows, at the other end, or at the side. Do you want more light or would you prefer to fill the entire space in? Is the new room going to be very overlooked by your neighbours or can people look in from the street?

Windows and light are really important factors to consider when designing your new room. Again what you decide will depend partly on what you want to use the room for and partly on your own general preferences. Here at Builder in Stafford we find everyone has their own ideas, there’s no such thing as standard.

4 – Then, What About The Floor?

You’ve already got a floor in your garage – but the odds are it isn’t the prettiest you’ve ever seen. It might also be a few inches below the ground level of the house.

So you need to decide if you want the floor levelled, or do you prefer to leave the level as is? Do you want to cover it with wood or tiles? This will affect the levels, as well as the finish.

Also check out the drainage slope – usually you will find that the floor is sloped down towards the door. You may need to level it up.

5 – On To Heating and Insulation

For heating (and cooling), you can get your existing central heating systems from the house extended to the garage, if it is attached. If not, you’ll need to look at getting an independent system.

Plus you’ll need to add full insulation to the floors, roof and ceiling.

You’ll also want to start planning where you want to put your radiators.

You might even want to consider installing solar power panels, depending on whether the roof faces the right way.

6 – Next, It’s Electrics

Usually your garage already has electricity connected. As you are adding capacity onto your house, it’s best to get at least one new 20-amp circuit installed. This should be fine for most uses, but if you are planning say to move your kitchen into the new space, you might need another.

You’ll want to start thinking about where you want to put lights – on the walls, on the ceiling etc – and what kind. Do you want a central ceiling light or a series of recessed halogen lights perhaps? Plus think about how many power sockets you will want – and where.

7 – And Finally… Plumbing

Plumbing is the biggest and most difficult part of the conversion. Getting water to the garage is not that hard but the drainage arrangements can be tough.

You’ll need to get a professional plumber to check your existing plumbing and see what your options are.

Of course, this comes back to what you are going to use the new room for. If you don’t need to install plumbing in the new extension, it will help keep your overall costs down.

As you can see, there are lots of points to consider, when planning your garage extension – so I hope this is useful!

And if you’re planning an extension, whether it’s a garage conversion or a full new build, please just visit my official website to contact me: – just click on the link below -

Richard Weals – the UK’s Leading renovation and restoration expert

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