Most people’s garages are filled with household junk, bicycles, paint tins and a hairy spider or two, so it is hardly surprising that most of us wouldn’t let our pets sleep in there let alone use it for ourselves. But could we be missing out on a vital way to save money and increase space?
Building firm Bespoke Garage Conversions certainly seems to think so. The company believes that homeowners are overlooking a simple way to increase space within their homes without spending thousands. With the difficult housing market, many people need to maximise their living space without moving home. However, many in this situation forget that they already have another room – their garage. If you’ve outgrown your house and need more space for your family or for that home office you’ve been dreaming about: wait. Before you start filling out a planning application form and hiring an architect to turn your three-bed semi into a suburban mansion, consider converting your garage space into that extra bedroom, office or living area you need. It could save you thousands.
Andy Wallbanks from Bespoke Garage Conversions says: “A recent survey by lender GE Money identified loft conversions and extensions as the most popular ways to create more space. Whilst both add value to your home, they also need significant investment.”
With loft conversions averaging between Â£21,000 and Â£25,000, garage conversions are easier on the pocket too, costing just a third of the price. As well as money-saving, they can be completed in as little as 10 working days, with minimal disruption to your normal family life. “An ideal way to create more space is to convert your garage from a storage shed into an attractive, usable room, perhaps creating an extra bedroom, office, playroom or even a dining room, says Wallbanks.” However while it can seem like the perfect solution, there are some pitfalls for homeowners to watch out for. Whether you decide you need more living space to enjoy yourself or to accommodate a growing teenager or an elderly relative, make sure that you choose a contractor who offers workmanship guarantees. The best in the industry also offer a 10 year insurance-backed warranty and will help you with the process of gaining planning permission and building regulations approval. As with all contract services it’s worth doing your research to make sure you get a qualified conversion company, advises Wallbanks. Before signing on the dotted line, also remember to check out their previous work to confirm that they’re an experienced firm, enquire whether they offer any guarantees, and ensure that you are given full details on how the conversion will progress and a comprehensive quote. If you’re worried that your garage conversion will look out of place, Wallbanks reassures homeowners that a conversion firm that knows what it is doing will leave your new bedroom, office or games room looking natural and seamlessly blended with your property.
“The sign of a successful garage conversion is that you can’t see that your house ever had a garage. And a good conversion will add value to your property,” says Wallbanks. So scrap that council planning application and cancel the draftsman and turn that garage into the bedroom or office you’ve always wanted. You could save yourself a bucket load of money and time in the process.