With travel restrictions in place, leisure activities limited and working from home advised, our living spaces have had to take on new functions this year. But how many of us have the space in our homes to accommodate such significant changes to our lifestyles?
Aside from moving, building an extension often seems like the only solution to a cramped home but costs and gaining planning permission can be off-putting. A garage conversion is a plausible alternative and could add as much as £20k to the value of your home.
The location, size and accessibility of your garage should be considered before deciding on how it will be used. To avoid problems further down the line, you would also be wise to think about long term usage, for example, the whereabouts of plumbing and electrical facilities may make it difficult to repurpose.
So, if you’re thinking of converting your garage, here are a few design ideas to help you make the most of that additional living space…
Finding a Function
If you are working from home, you may require office space, which can easily be achieved with a small garage. A long and narrow garage may be converted into a utility room with storage. For a standard sized garage, an en-suite ground floor bedroom would certainly be an attractive feature for a future buyer. If it’s extra living space you’re after, a reception room would make perfect sense, and if you’re lucky enough to have a double garage, you could consider installing a cinema room or a home gym.
Of course, a two-storey conversion would provide twice the additional space and would add considerably more to the value of your home.
Repurpose or Remodel?
Your converted garage doesn’t have to remain a separate room. Depending on where your garage is located, a conversion could transform the layout of the entire floor. If your garage is adjacent to your kitchen, you could remove the separating wall and remodel an average sized kitchen into a large family kitchen with a dining area. You could even add a TV room or a small snug area. With most of us spending more time at home, these alterations would undoubtedly add useful functionality and value to any property.
Planning for Productivity
A garage conversion is the ideal space for a home study. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of family life, a secluded workspace is ideal for those who need to work from home. With many UK workers continuing to do so for the foreseeable future, a dedicated home study is also an attractive feature for potential buyers. Installing fitted furniture is an effective way of maximising space with sleek storage solutions. You could even integrate a fold-down bed so it can be used as a guest room when required.
An Indoor Retreat
For at least the next month, we are being instructed to avoid going out unless for very specific purposes. There’s no way of predicting whether or not this lockdown will be the last, and with the British weather unpredictable at the best of times, a garden room is the ideal way of getting closer to nature whilst remaining warm and dry. Such a transformation would be simple to achieve, yet a truly effective way to use a derelict or unused garage. Plus, as with all garage conversions, they are classed as permitted development, providing a height of up to 2.5m is not exceeded.
Grounds for Improvement
If you have an annexe or an outbuilding, it is likely to be larger than a standard garage. Such a building could potentially be converted into semi-independent living accommodation. With young adults finding it increasingly difficult to buy their first homes, it could be a short-term solution for adult children. In the longer term you will always have that space in which to accommodate elderly relatives too. For those who work with their hands or have creative hobbies, an annexe would also make an ideal workshop or studio.
Whatever plans you have for your garage, you’ll want to maximise your space throughout with clever storage provision. At Hartleys we are experts at designing furniture for all areas of the home from large open plan spaces to cosier rooms with awkward architectural features such as sloping ceilings or recesses. We’d love to help you with your project, so call us on tel 01756 700471 or request a design visit to your home.