Have you ever wished that you had an extra room or two in your home?  A dedicated space for a home office, a rumpus room for the kids, or a parent’s retreat that’s away from the main hum of family life?

We get it: many London homes aren’t blessed with extra space.  And trying to balance enough room for the kids, space to relax, and somewhere to entertain friends and family can be a real challenge.

If you’re scratching your head wondering how to add that extra few square meters to your home, take a good look at your garage: could a garage conversion be the ticket to creating that extra space and saving your sanity?

Let’s dive in and take a closer look…

What are the Benefits of a Garage Conversion?

Turning your garage into a functional living area has several big benefits:

Extra Space

A garage conversion provides the opportunity for that extra area you so desperately need: another bedroom or two, a larger kitchen and living zone, a play and craft room for the children, a gym or a home office.  Whatever it is that your family desperately needs, you can create it inside your garage and blend this new space into your existing home.

Cost Effectiveness

When compared with other types of extensions and home conversions, a garage conversion is relatively cost effective – the basic structure is already there, so it’s just a case of adapting what’s there to suit your needs.

Increased Home Value

We’re not going to sugar-coat it: quality home renovations, including garage conversions, don’t come cheap.  But if you’re like most London homeowners, your property is your single biggest investment, so adding to its value is always a good thing.

A garage conversion in London can add 10% – 20% to the value of your home, and is generally considered an excellent return on investment.

Minimal Disruption during the Renovating Process

Home renovations can be extremely disruptive to daily life, but one of the big advantages of a garage conversion is that a lot of the work can be completed without any interruption to the rest of the home or your busy schedule.

Opportunity for Extra Income

Looking for a way to bring in a few extra pounds per week?  Turning your garage into a self-contained unit could provide the opportunity you’ve been looking for!  A bedroom, ensuite and perhaps a small sitting area, and hey presto!  You have a space you can rent out!

Wondering where to start?

We get it: home renovations can be really daunting.  But we’re on your side, and today we’ve put together

5 Steps for a Successful Garage Conversion

Planning: What do you Want to Achieve?

You need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from your garage conversion: if you don’t know what you want, how will anyone else be able to figure it out?!

The planning stage is super exciting, but it’s also super important: a job well planned is a job half done (well nearly!).  Yes, we always say it but we’re going to say it again: don’t rush through the planning stage – time spent planning can save you thousands of pounds down the track, as well as a lot of stress and headaches once the project is underway.  Check out our article on project planning here.

Spend time researching and looking at other successful garage conversions.  The internet is a great source of inspiration, but nothing beats getting ideas and references from friends or family who have also undertaken and completed garage conversions.

Set Your Budget

Once you have a good understanding of what you’re getting yourself into, it’s time to set a budget.  Be realistic: there’s no point in kidding yourself about what the project will cost, and under allowing will probably mean that you end up with a half-finished job.

Coming up with a realistic cost estimation isn’t always easy, and that’s why we’ve developed this Building Cost Calculator: it’s a quick and easy way to come up with an accurate ball-park figure.

At Combit Construction, we like to allow a contingency amount for unexpected costs – renovating is a different scenario to a new build, and it’s always wise to add in that 10% – 20% buffer.

Choose a Reliable Builder

Your team of specialist renovators are the ones who are going to take your ideas and turn them into a reality.  It’s no exaggeration to say that your builder can literally ‘make or break’ your project, so take your time and do your research.

Ask for recommendations (word of mouth is an excellent guide).  Google different building companies and look at reviews.  Use builder’s accreditation websites to check out each company’s reputation.

Take a moment to check out our article How to Choose the Right Builder for your Project – we believe that you deserve to know everything about your building team before you sign on the dotted line!

Get quotes from several builders, and compare them, making sure you understand what’s included in each quote.  Spend time reading the fine print: it’s important to make sure you’re comparing ‘apples with apples’, so don’t let the quoted price be the deciding factor.

Meet with each building team on site and discuss your needs – a physical meeting is a great way to assess each builder’s approach and professionalism, and help you decide whether or not you feel ‘comfortable’ around them.

Approach your Council

Nearly every garage conversion in London that has been completed by Combit Constructions has not required local authority planning permission.  However, it’s important to approach your local authorities and check: there are isolated cases where permits are required, and it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Expect the Unexpected

Yes, you read this subtitle correctly: when you’re undertaking home renovations, you should always be prepared for the unexpected!

When demolition/renovation starts, there’s bound to be some surprises, so try to take them in your stride and roll with the punches.  Maintain open communication with your building team at all times.  As we discussed before, allowing a contingency amount for extra costs will help to ensure that any unforeseen expenses don’t put too much pressure on your cashflow.

Knowing that your project is in the hands of a qualified, highly skilled and professional team such as Combit Constructions, North London, is your ticket to enjoying the renovation journey.

So, sit back, relax and enjoy the magic (please don’t listen to the noise, or take any notice of the dust!)