Make Yourself at Home in your Garage Conversion
Garages up and down the country contain a lot of weird and wonderful things, as well as boxes and boxes full of unwanted stuff we can’t seem to throw out. So often the dumping ground for old toys, furniture, gardening tools and all manner of objects still deemed to be of worth despite being untouched for years, our garages are rarely used to their full potential.
However, some garage owners have bucked the trend and have decided to transform their extension into an extra bedroom, bathroom or any other spare room that isn’t just a home for the family car. One or two have gone further still, converting their garage into a self-contained, fully operational home.
Michelle de la Vega is one such example. She transformed her 250 square yard garage into a functional, working home, creating a cosy and inviting space at the same time. With a small bunk bed raised in a pitched roof, full electrics and even a luxury roll top bath, most of the furniture in the ‘house’ is crafted from repurposed materials. As a visual artist, de la Vega worked on the conversion as a usable installation, and even raised the whole structure by 4 feet to incorporate every feature – including a slight extension to accommodate the bathroom.
De la Vega’s work was certainly impressive, even featuring in Terrence Conran’s book How to Live in Small Spaces, but it has stiff competition in the house conversion stakes. In Bridgwater, Somerset, a contender for Britain’s smallest house has recently gone on the market for £74,950. The garage conversion may only be 4 metres wide, but is fully kitted out with all appliances, has its own courtyard and even find room to fit in a second storey!
Included in the estate agent’s description of the property is a living/dining/kitchen room, a downstairs bathroom and an upstairs double bedroom. Attracting viewers from as far as 150 miles away, the house is completely double glazed and has electric heating, although some may have to duck under low ceilings!
Those wishing to convert a garage into an entire home will come up against obvious spatial issues, but in terms of legal barriers, the process is fairly painless. So long as all work is internal, and the garage is not being extended, planning permission is rarely needed (some properties are listed or have had all development rights removed for one reason or another – check with your local planning authority).
When considering a garage conversion into a proposed living space, there are certain building regulations that must be followed by your home conversion company. These apply to in-fill garage doors – where any alterations to the original door of the garage will have to accommodate new foundations – ensuring the floor is strong enough for habitation, checks of any walls below ground level, and making sure that sufficient ventilation is present – especially when bathrooms or kitchens are being installed.