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What you need to know before having a garage conversion

Space is at a premium in the UK, so many homes are considering the benefits of a garage conversion. Transforming your disused garage into a livable room is an ideal way to increase the practicality of your home and increase its market value. Before you take the plunge on converting your garage with a trusted industry professional, make sure to read up on what you need to know and our top tips on preparing for a conversion below.

Planning Permission

It’s rare that a garage conversion will require planning permission if you are not planning on extending the structure and the elevations (roofs) and footprint is remaining the same. However, if you are changing the facade of the property in a significant way, it’s best to submit a plan so that potential objections can be raised before you begin converting. This does not apply to changing your garage door to a window as this falls within the ‘permitted development’. You can then commence conversion with peace of mind.

Building Regulations

Building regulations will need to be adhered to no matter what you plan for your conversion. These are in place to ensure your home is up to a modern standard of health and safety and structural quality. A skilled builder or conversion specialist will be able to guarantee your conversion meets the requirements regarding foundations, substructure, energy efficiency, sound insulation, ventilation and more.

Is the Structure Suitable?

If there is to be an additional layer of masonry added to the outer layer of the garage, your footings will need to be inspected to make sure they can bear the extra weight. If not, new ones will need to be installed. The best course of action is to have a professional come look at your garage footings. A builder, architect or other suitably qualified person should be able to help.

Plan the Heating and Utilities

To maximize the functionality of your conversion, a plan must be made for the utility services that will make it as practical as the rest of your home. As a result of thorough planning of the heating, electrics and water supply will make the project run far smoother. You could consider underfloor heating to free up wall space or extend your existing central heating system. When going for the latter, an engineer will need to calculate the capabilities of the existing boiler. Consider hot and cold water supply, too, if you plan on adding an en suite.

Energy Efficiency

Garages aren’t designed to be energy efficient and the first thing that makes the space feel part of the home is the exclusion of a draft. Holding heat better than a standard garage is all about insulation and plugging existing gaps in the finish of the garage walls, floors and doors. Specifying a highly-rated insulation brand and type will make a world of difference and take up very little wall space. Having this professionally installed will ensure no area goes untouched which means you avoid a ‘cold bridging’ effect which reduces the benefits of quality insulation.

NK Lofts is a specialist in garage conversions available to customers from Birmingham to Cambridge, Oxford to Peterborough and everywhere in between. We’re proud to offer premium garage conversions and loft conversions to help maximise your floor plan and add value to your home. As well as qualified and accredited engineers, you’ll benefit from a 10 year warranty on all our works, free site surveys and quotes, and full project management. To begin the journey to transforming your home, contact a member of our team today.

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