DIY Tips

Sometimes, you need numbers to back up the words. So how about this; the size of an average single garage is around 150sq ft. This is not big enough to comfortably fit most family cars, yet more than big enough to make a significant difference to the living space of your home.

Sunday, 16th February 2014, 4:00 pm
A Generic Photo of an untidy garage. See PA Feature HOMES Homes Column. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature HOMES Homes Column.

Because while a garage can be useful if it’s actually storing a vehicle, if it’s simply being used as a dumping ground for everything from toys to power tools, it might be time to give it a new lease of life as an officially converted ‘room’.

A garage conversion is usually cheaper and quickerthan moving home or building a new extension. And, unlike a loft conversion, you’ll have a new room on the ground floor rather than at the top of the house, which could well be more useful to families, and add more value if you are planning to sell.

Another plus point is that planning permission often isn’t required to convert a garage, providing the work falls under your home’s permitted development rights.

Some companies specialise in converting garages and they should be able to deal with all aspects of this planning as well as the actual work. You may also employ an independent architect and builder instead - or if they’re happy to work without architect’s plans, just a builder - as a garage conversion should be straightforward.

Whoever does the work though, it must comply with building regulations. A good garage-conversion company or builder will know what’s involved, but ask the local council’s building control department if in doubt.