This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes provides advice on converting a garage into a living space.

Q. I would like your opinion on how best to go about converting my garage into a living space. It’s a single-block build with a slanting, corrugated roof (I think there is asbestos in the roof). Our home is a three-bed semi-d, with side access to the rear via a passage down the other side of the garage which I would like to retain.

A. Thank you for your question here. I guess as life changes, either as children grow older or as we begin to work from home more often, our needs in terms of usable space at home change.

I am assuming that as you feel you potentially have asbestos in your roof that your house was built some time ago, likely even before the 1970s.

This would certainly be consistent with the type of brickwork you are indicating. So, as space is clearly at a premium, let’s see what would be involved to make your garage habitable.

The first thing you need to be aware of here is that you will need planning permission. Changing the use of this space (from garage/storage to den/office) does require planning permission and you are likely removing a garage door and replacing it with a window, which alters the front elevation of your home. I wouldn’t be overly concerned with this as it is likely a formality but I would advise getting it checked out all the same by contacting your council local planning office.

The next consideration of course is the layout of your new space.

I feel that as you need a small laundry room and a shower room, I would be more inclined to put these to the rear as I am imagining that placing windows to the rear might be more difficult for locations of patios, boilers, external storage etc.

What I am seeing at this point is a window to the front which would serve your den/office area and we may need to consider a door to the side or rear if you use a clothesline to make outdoor access easier. We would ideally need to consider some built-in storage to house the ‘stuff’ that you feel needs to remain in this area.

View full article in The Examiner here.




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