Using an architect to help with your garage conversion can ensure your space is maximised and designed in a way that combines your design aspirations alongside the practicalities of actually living and using the new room. Converting your garage is a relatively inexpensive way to increase your usable living space, whether you want to create an additional room or extend an existing one.
One of the first things you might consider is what to do with all the ‘stuff’ that you have stored there already. Although in some ways, it’s a good motivator for having that clear out you’ve been talking about for ages! You could have enough loft space already, but if not you may consider a large shed in your garden to store all those bikes, tools and random items that don’t really go anywhere else.
Some houses are designed to have double garages and if you only own one car, then the other garage can be surely converted into something else without having a massive impact on your storage space.
A bigger kitchen, an office, or playroom are all popular choices for a garage conversion – the choice is up to you. If you’re tired of all the noise in the house and wish to get some privacy, you can convert the space into a games room filled with video games and pinball machines.
Before you dream of your garage being converted into a living space, you may be wise to ask for the help of an architect.
Choosing a good architect
The first step is to choose a good architect that specialises in converting empty spaces into something that you could actually live in. Ask to see their portfolio of work, testimonials and case studies from existing clients and ask to speak to clients they have already worked with. Any good architect would have no issue in you doing your due diligence.
Architects may be specialised in certain types of buildings and conversions, so make sure that you work with someone with experience in conversions and also one that has experience in dealing with local planning should it be required.
Pricing will depend on what you want to do with your garage space, before meeting your architect it’s worthwhile having a good idea of what you are looking for, maybe even rough sketch out how you see the space working. If you are having a kitchen fitted, show them the style that you are considering. They will be able to firstly tell you if your ideas are achievable within your budget and secondly may offer advice or alternatives that could work better for you.
Certain garages are designed only to be a garage, as the outer walls are not as thick as the interior walls so it’s important not to go in yourself and think you can complete the work as a DIY project. This could pose a serious health threat to you and to others and will pump up your energy bills if the room is not properly insulated.
Converting your garage into a living space is a great way of increasing space and is easier and more affordable than extending. It is usually within what’s called permitted development, so you shouldn’t face any planning issues. But again, consult with your architect as they can advise you on all the potential issues you may face.