Garage Conversions – Cardea Peterborough
We recently received a call from a customer located in Cardea Peterborough, requesting a garage conversion. The house is built with two internal garages, the customer decided to convert one of these garages into an office and CV gymnasium. He also wanted a dividing wall built separating the two garages allowing the remaining garage to be used as a storage garage. The access also needed to be from inside the house with the garage door to be removed and a replacement windows inserted with brickwork below.
Throughout this blog we will explain how we converted this garage into an office / gymnasium. We will also illustrate any FAQ to help explain whether you require Building Regulations & Planning Permission to convert a garage.
Do I require Planning Permission to convert a Garage?
In near enough every case, a garage conversion will fall under the category of permitted development – especially if there are no alterations to the main building structure. In this case the garages are built underneath the property. However, if the garage would have been separated such as a stand-a-lone garage, as opposed to this integrated garage, then we would have contacted the local authority to see whether we required to apply for a change of use certificate.
If this building had of been a listed building or built in a Conversation area, then we would have certainly needed to obtain permission.
As this building was a new build, we checked all conditions from the deeds ensuring that this garage did not need to remain as a garage for parking use. As there were two garages with additional parking, the builders did not apply this garage condition, otherwise an application would have been required to remove this condition.
Do We Need to use an Architect?
Depending on what the garage conversion is going to be used for depends on whether we require an architect. As this garage conversion was quite straight forward we did not need additional plans drawn up by a professional designer. However, if we would have been knocking a supporting wall through, to open the room into an impressive kitchen, then we would have certainly used an architectural designer. Using an architect would have also increased the over charge for this garage conversion from an additional £1200 to £3000 depending on how complex the design needed to be, so all drawings were conducted in house to save money for the client.
Do I Require Building Regulations for a Garage Conversion?
Any garage or part of a garage that is being converted into a living space will require approval under Building Regulations. We therefore submitted an application for approval. The council are extremely quick on receipt of application. On application a general plan with full details of all materials, building work and building solutions are submitted on this application. This information provides a comprehensive and detailed guidance to the council, the council then ensures that everything applies to building regulations. Once this is complete a date of pre-inspection is provided by the council. The council building regulations officer will then re-inspect whilst the work is being carried out. When the work is completed a certificate is then awarded to the garage conversion.
We have listed the most common work that was carried out during this garage conversion. We will then go into detail on what regulation needed to be carried out.
- Internal walls / partition
- Doors and windows
- Electrics / lighting
- Composite front door
Garage Wall Partition
As it was a large double garage we needed to separate these rooms using a partition wall. Our joiner made a large wooden frame to separate these rooms. The partition was then divided into 300mm by 300mm segment. This provides an ideal platform for the plasterboard to be applied to. Plasterboard was then placed on one side of the garage partition. Insulation was then applied within this 300mm x 300mm areas. Once the partition was full covered in insulation, then the plasterboard was then applied to the remaining side of the garage partition. The garage is now separated into two.
A second partition wall was then made which would divide the gymnasium room and the study. This wall was then insulated and paste boarded.
Garage Internal Door
An internal door was needed to be fitted to provide access into the garage prior to the garage door being removed and a new window fitted. The carpenter using supporting beams to provision the inside of the ceiling whilst cutting a hole through the wall. As you can see in the images he uses a small cutter to cut through the existing plasterboard. Once this plasterboard was cut then using a chisel the plasterboard was removed. We then needed a large cutting device so that the carpenter could then cut straight through the wall. A lintel was then inserted to support the ceiling from collapsing when the support beams are removed.
A layer of damp-proof membrane was initially laid, this prevents any additional residue from entering the property after the front wall was built. The floor was also very low compared to the current house floor which would need to be built up. As this room was going to be used as a mini gymnasium, the floor needed to be re-enforced to support additional weight of gym equipment as well. Once the floor was raised then insulation was inserted to ensure that the floor would meet building regulations. Floorboards were then placed over the raised floor area.
Front Window and Brickwork
The bricklayer firstly drilled and chiselled out various bricks from either side of the garage door area, this would allow the wall to be moulded into the existing house wall. The bricklayer then built an external wall with bricks which matched the existing house bricks. An additional layer was then constructed on the inside of the garage with breezeblocks, with a cap which was then insulated afterwards.
Once the brickwork was complete a made-to-measure uPVC window was then inserted filling the rest of the garage doorway. The uPVC window was from a Liniar window manufacture, we used this brand as we knew that it also met Building Regulations.
Wall Plugs & Ceiling Lighting
We used our qualified electrician to place the electrical cable into the relevant areas prior to the insertion of plasterboard. The electrician then fixed ceiling lights, light switches and plug sockets into the pre-installed areas. All electrical equipment was then tested and a certificate was supplied.
We used two of our best plasterers to smoothly plaster all walls and ceiling areas. The walls are now perfect and smooth ready to be painted.
Internal Doors and Skirting boards
Our carpenter fixed two internal wooden doors, not forgetting skirting-boards and door trims. These rooms were then painted with a brilliant white paint which reflects the natural light into the room.
A natural high grade woollen carpet with low pile was then fitted. The owner opted for this low pile to allow the gym equipment to easily move if required, without leaving indents into the carpet from gym equipment.
Composite Front Door
The home owner wanted to change the overall appearance of this new build property by changing the entrance front door to a stylish grey composite door. The door was one from our stunning new collection of grey doors with 4 squares. The owner also requested a large bowing steel bar which really set this door off from the rest of the neighbourhood. They also decided to go for the slam shut composite door locking mechanism, this would prevent small children leaving their home unintended, whilst preventing unwanted quests from entering their property. The remaining garage door was then painted using the correct RAL to match the new composite door.
Once the garage conversion was complete this house looked completely different than the properties in the same street. This garage conversion was completed to great detail to prevent this house from looking like it had a garage conversion. The brickwork was embedded by our bricklayer so it followed the natural layer of bricks which was previous built within the home. Many companies do not embed the bricks as it takes a lot longer, they then leave two prominent lines either side if the brickwork, which we did not. We also matched the UPVC window to the windows that the builders had previously used. The homeowner also chose to change the front door to fashionable composite door. These slight changes made this home look different that the rest of the street making it look like it was purposely built different than the remaining properties.
This garage conversion also increased the downstairs area by 265 sq. feet, and a property valuation of an increase of over£20,000. This increase in valuation and size has also made this property a lot easier to sell in the near future, as it has an extra two downstairs rooms.