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Garage conversions - is this an option for you?

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Garage conversions - is this an option for you?

If you need an extra room, then converting your garage is one way of achieving this. Renovating a garage is easier than adding an extension to the home from scratch, as the foundations, walls and roof are already in place. However it is still a substantial renovation, depending on to what extent you are going to change the existing structure and interior.

Why would you need an extra room for anyway? Maybe you need a parents' or kids' getaway, or somewhere for a grandparent to live. Perhaps your teenager needs their own space, or a child needs to vacate their own room for a newborn baby. Maybe a second lounge room or study is needed to give the family some extra space.

If you are going to renovate the garage, make sure that you have an alternative arrangement for the car, or the garden and outdoor equipment that is currently stored there. Parking your car on the street to make room for another room is not always ideal. A garaged car is more secure, will be protected from the weather, and will lower your car insurance payments. Most people use their garage to store all the items that are too dirty to go into the house. For example tools, bicycles, outdoor furniture, and garden equipment. An extra room may add value to your property, but the loss of a garage may decrease its value. Consider only converting part of the garage so there is still storage room. If you have a double garage, you can convert one half, and leave the other for your car. If you have room in the yard, a carport can provide protection for your car after it has lost its home in your garage.

Renovating a garage will generally require a development application submitted to your local council. This is even more necessary if you are planning to use it as a bedroom, and make major renovations, as opposed to simply using it to play table tennis. Consider whether you will be changing the interior, for example creating a ceiling, laying carpet, creating walls or partitions. This will require some construction, and become a major renovation. On the other hand, laying some rugs and painting the walls may be all that is required to convert your garage into a games room.

If you are renovating your garage to make it into a habitable room, there are considerations for making it as comfortable as your existing home. Water proofing may be required, including fixing roof leaks, or sealing around a door to prevent water from flooding underneath. Insulation will be necessary in the roof at least, and if possible in the walls. Garages are usually on a concrete slab, so some sort of floor covering should be laid on top, with insulation if possible. The garage will need cleaning, and fumigation. Consider how you will heat the converted garage during winter, and how you will keep it cool during summer. Ensure that it has adequate ventilation. If you are going to keep valuables in the new room then consider a security system. This may be linked to your existing house system, or separate.

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