Are you running out of space in your London home? Then increase the size of your property for less by converting your garage.
Converting the garage of your London home is a cheaper way of extending your property. The new space can be seamlessly joined with the rest of your house and better still, garage conversions can be finished in a matter of weeks.
Should I convert my London garage?
Before you take any bold steps towards this, it’s a good idea to talk to a local estate agent to see whether a garage conversion in London would be of benefit to your home. For example, if you live in an older house, chances are your garage is probably too small for today’s modern cars and would be better used as living space.
However, if that is the case you can bet your bottom dollar that the garage is full of clutter that will need to be cleared out before you can convert it. However, if you live in a particularly affluent area of London which is riddled with expensive cars, the potential buyer of your house will probably want somewhere safe to lock up their Ferrari!
How will I use the garage space?
It is worth considering the proportions of a garage – which are usually long and narrow – because with a bit of clever planning you could make a much better sized room. A good idea is to use one end of the garage to create a cloak room or a downstairs toilet. This will take around 1m off the length and leave you with much better proportions. You could then use the garage to create a spare room with an en suite, which is perfect for guests or for a dependant relative living at home.
Should you decide to go with the idea of a small bathroom; you will need to consider drainage. You may have a conventional gravity drainage system which is ideal. If not there are other options, such as a pumped macerator. You can use an extractor fan to remove any odour and condensation.
It sounds pedantic, but where you decide to place the door is quite a big issue. It will probably be coming off the hallway, which will more than likely have a staircase. Don’t be scared to move the existing door to make a more practical living space, it will be worth it in the long run.
What work will I need to consider?
- Foundations: part of the garage floor may need to be excavated to allow for new foundations to support the new wall which will take the place of the garage door.
- Floor: more than likely, your garage door will be lower than that in the house and this will have to be raised. This needs to be done to protect your garage from rising damp as well as to insulate it and make the floor level with your house in London.
- Walls: unless you have a fully integral garage the changes are that most of the external walls will be made of singles bricks, which will not satisfy building regulations. This will need to be addressed by weatherproofing the walls and insulating them.
- Windows: you will probably need to have new windows installed. These won’t usually need planning permission, though due to new regulations they will need to be double glazed. If you want to blend the conversion with the rest of your house it would be best to match the new windows with existing ones.
- Heating: how you keep your garage conversion warm will largely depend on your current heating system and how deep the garage floor is. If the floor is 150mm+ thick then you could opt for an underfloor heating system. Otherwise you could install a radiator (check with an engineer that your boiler can manage this).
Do I need planning permission for my garage conversion in London?
If you live in a listed building in London, or if the work planned will make the building bigger (and is therefore considered an extension) you will need planning permission, but otherwise you shouldn’t. It is always worth checking with your local planning authority in London to be on the safe side though.
How much does a garage conversion cost?
It depends on how complicated the work is going to be and who you decide to hire to help you. But on average a garage conversion in London will cost between £9,000 and £10,000, which includes new windows and doors, plumbing, electrics and decorating.