A garage that is not being used can be transformed to make it more valuable and free up space.
Give it some thought
Spend some time thinking about the purpose of this extra space. Joe Gervin, the Managing Director at LPS Real Estate Liverpool, says that garage conversions in glasgow are very popular because they add living space.
This could include converting the living space to open-plan living, adding an additional living room or expanding a kitchen. Sometimes, an additional bedroom might be more valuable than a single one. Bedrooms are key comparators for valuations.
Joe says that garages have been converted into offices, gyms and playrooms. A partial conversion could be an option to ensure that you have enough storage for lawnmowers, ladders, and extra fridge.
Another thing to remember, even though it may seem obvious, is to consider what you will do with your car if the garage is being used as a garage.
Steve Hill, branch manager at Andrews estate agents Redhill in Surrey says that “The loss or possible theft of the garage or parking space might be overlooked. It’s important to assess how important it is currently to you.”
Do your research
Joe Gervin suggests that you start by looking at the garages of neighbours. This can help you get ideas. Get advice and quotes from experts.
He says, “Once you have a clear idea of the product you are looking for, it is time to ask local tradesmen for advice and pricing.” You will be able to determine if you need specialists or architects based on your initial research.
OnTheMarket recommends that you seek professional advice. Depending on your circumstances, you might also require planning permission or building control. More on this later.
Andrews estate agents Steve Hill adds that he would recommend speaking with a builder first and that they can advise if a specialist company is necessary.
Joe Gervin advises against proceeding without getting three estimates, clarifying the situation with building control or without your contractor’s experience in similar conversions.
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is recommended by the Government’s Planning Portal. They have a strict code of conduct, are certified and inspected and may offer a warranty.
A quick internet search will reveal a number of companies offering garage conversion services, from general builders and architects to specialists.
Some companies handle the entire job, from building regulations and planning to decorating. Of course, you can do the work yourself.
Be mindful of the cost
Joe Gervin estimates that garage conversions will cost between PS5,000 and PS50,000 depending on the finish, specification, and planning. He adds that a garage conversion to a standard three-bedroom semi-detached house would run around PS10,000.
Find out if you are required to obtain planning permission
According to the Government’s Planning Portal garage conversions are exempt from the requirement for permission as long as the work is not internal.
You might need permission if your garage is to be converted into a separate dwelling, or if you live in a listed or conservation area, new housing development or flat.
A planning consultant is a good idea.
There will be a charge if you have to submit a planning application. In England and Wales, the fee is around PS200. There are many planning sites available for England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as Scotland.
You can also hire a consultant to assist you if things seem to be getting complicated. Planning Portal states that having an expert to help you plan will not only make the process go more smoothly but also give you reassurance.
It also states that they should be a member the Royal Town Planning Institute.
Remember to comply with building regulations
Garage conversions require approval from the building regulations. You will need to fill out a building regulations application informing the council about your plans. If the garage is a part of a single-family dwelling, it is sufficient to get a Building Notice.
However, Local Authority Building Control (LABC), says that a Full Plans Application will give you more certainty about the work required. LABC recommends that you consult an architect or a building contractor before starting the work. Remember to take into account the rules surrounding party walls.
You will need to adhere to a variety of regulations when converting. These are:
– Structural strength
– Windows and ventilation
Weatherproofing and insulation
As the work progresses, a building control surveyor will inspect it. Once the work is complete, they will inspect windows, fireproofing and doors, before giving you a certificate.
Please note that the information above is only applicable to England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own regulatory systems.
Know your value
When determining the value of a conversion, there are many factors you should consider. These include what you intend to do with the space and how much room is available. Steve Hill from Andrews states that converting a double garage will add more value than a single one.
LPS Real Estate thinks that a garage conversion could increase the value of a semi-detached three-bed unit by 10%. They add that the garage conversion would increase the value of a standard three-bed semi by 10 percent.
Steve says, however, that you need to keep in mind that parking conditions can affect the value. However, “in general, an average convert looks to add PS15,000 – PS20,000.”