Common Poor Workmanship with a Garage Conversion

A well-executed garage conversion is the classic home improvement that can add more value to a home than its cost. The loss of protected parking and storage more than compensated by the added living space. The best ones integrate seamlessly with the original floor plan. 

But a shoddy conversion, like the one above, makes it painfully apparent at a glance that what was once a garage is now an awkward extra room. 

Here are two common issues arising from a garage conversion

Many garage conversions skip the expense of insulating the new living space, increasing the energy consumption of the new living area.

A garage floor is sloped slightly toward the garage door. When it becomes a room, unless a levelling pour is done, the room’s floor will be out-of-level.

Spotlight on Garage Door Material: Steel

Steel is one of the most common garage door materials. It is reasonably priced and benefits from many properties that lend it to outdoor use. These include its durability, low maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. Steel can also be manipulated to suit the style of your home, including mimicking a wood pattern with a special coating or being painted any colour you wish!

Compared with natural wood, steel is significantly lighter, stronger, more practical and easier to maintain. However, when compared with wood, a few things to consider are that steel garage doors require fitted insulation and are vulnerable to dents and corrosion. To maintain and extend the life of your steel garage door, we recommend cleaning it to remove any dirt and grime at least twice a year.

Advantages Of Steel

  • Low maintenance.
  • Extremely durable.
  • Available in various styling options and available in an array of colours, textures and finishes.
  • It is reasonably priced.

Disadvantages Of Steel

  • Prone to becoming dented.
  • It needs additional insulation to retain heat. 
  • It can become prone to rust and corrosion, primarily if scratches and scrapes aren’t dealt with quickly.

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Garage Conversion FAQs

Converting your garage into extra living space can be an excellent, cost-effective way to add to your home without the hassle of losing space somewhere else.

Four Common Questions

Is planning permissions required?
Planning permission is not usually required if all the work is internal and does not involve any extension.

How do I get started?
Once you know if planning permissions are required, consult a building surveyor, architect or structural engineer to help design your conversion plans.

Will a garage conversion add property value?
Typically, yes. Anything that improves your home and creates additional living space will add value. You need to ensure your project is managed and controlled so that the expenditure does not exceed the value-added.

How much will it cost?
The price varies greatly and depends on whether you employ a builder for the work or manage it yourself and use individual tradespeople or do some/all of the work yourself. Pricing could start at around £8,000.

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Which Garage Door Type is Best for Insulation?

If you have a garage conversion or garage that is attached to your home, one important thing that can greatly reduce energy bills, is having a garage door that is well insulated. If you are considering buying a new insulated garage door or insulating the garage door yourself, it will be good to know, which garage door types are the best for insulation.

When it comes to roller garage doors, due to their operation, it is nearly impossible to have one that will be able to provide good insulation as they are very limited in the thickness they can have. Up and over garage doors are also not one of the best for insulation, primarily because, with the way they open, the entire door panel needs to move through the sub frame to open, which means there will be a gap all around the perimeter.

Side-hinged doors, especially timber ones, can provide a nice tight fit that can provide some decent insulation. However, the best garage door type will typically be the sectional garage door. They also typically can seal quite well. If you have a sectional garage door that is not insulated. It is possible to even purchase an insulation kit and put them on yourself.

If you are looking for the best garage door type for insulation, your best bet, is a sectional garage door.

Steel vs. Wood Garage Door

Garage doors can come in many different styles, types and materials. When choosing the material of your next garage door it can be difficult to choose between two of the most common materials, wood or steel. They both have their pros and cons so here are a few things to consider. When it comes to insulation, a wooden door will be better than a uninsulated steel door, however, if the steel is insulated, it will be better than wood.

Wood doors tend to have greater aesthetic appeal and give a more classic beauty that can raise property value. However, wood doors will require more upkeep than a steel door, such as a refinishing every few years. Steel doors are often coated in a polyester finish that prevents rusting, for those that may feel this could be a concern. The quality of the steel is also a consideration, if you are wanting a reliable, long-lasting, low-maintenance garage door.

The choice mainly comes down to what is most important for the home owner, curb appeal or longevity.

Best Ways to Keep Your Garage Secure

Your garage can be a very versatile space that that can be used as extra living area or simply used to store lesser used items. Either way, they can contain highly valuable items that require considerable protection. This is especially true if the garage provides entry into your home. So as to keep your valuables or family as safe as possible, here are a few ways to improve garage security.

Home Security systems are a great deterrent for theft, especially when advertised on the exterior of your home. Many systems do not include the garage but this should not be excluded. Motion detectors and also exterior motion-operated lights are an additional way to keep your property safe and less appealing to thieves. You can even have these items connected to your phone to allow notifications of any disturbance.

Windows are another potential weak point into your garage, so you need to ensure they stay closed and locked. You can have these covered so that light still gets through but people will not be able to see inside. You can also invest in window bars for extra protection.

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Garage Floor Upgrade Options

Is your garage floor unsightly? Two ways to upgrade the flooring of your garage from the standard concrete slab, to a more functional and attractive option, are using coatings or coverings. Coating options include paint or epoxy and covering options are usually tiles or mats.

Paint and Epoxy will adhere to the concrete slab and typically used when there is no cracks or repair work needed on the concrete. The main difference between the two are from a chemical and performance standpoint.

-True epoxy (not to be confused as epoxy paint) gives a more durable and long-lasting finish.

-Concrete floor paint can give your garage floor new life and is designed to be durable and resistant to damage from solvents, salts and other caustic materials.

Tiles and mats (specifically designed for garages) are materials that are set on top of the garage floor, can be used when the concrete is cracked/hard to repair and can be moved or removed when necessary.

-The type of floor tiles typically used in garages are interlocking rigid or semi-rigid plastic, rubber or wood composite. These tend to be more durable than vinyl floor tiles that are more commonly used in other living spaces.

-The easier method for covering a garage floor is the roll out mats, typically made from rubber or polyvinyl plastic. There is a variety of these and they are typically easy to clean and resilient.

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How can you warm your garage up?

Garages tend to be much colder in winter than the rest of your home due to insufficient heating and if you use your garage as a workshop this can mean you only make use of your garage in warmer weather conditions but you should consider adding a heating source to your garage if there is not already one. Ideally, if you can extend your home’s main heating source to your garage then this will be a great way to keep your garage warm all year round.

if you cannot supply your garage with the main heating source then there are other things you can do to warm your garage up.

1. Insulate walls and door – this is the most cost-effective way to warm your garage up.

2. Electric heating – the easiest way to warm your garage up is to use electric heating. A convector heater will heat everything in close proximity whilst an oil-filled radiator will maintain a lower but more widespread heat. Electric heating generally is quite expensive so you will need to factor this in and only use it when required.

3. Weatherstrips – even just a slight drought can make your garage feel considerably cooler, so either replace or add new weatherstrips.

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Garage conversion ideas

Garages absolutely do not need to be used just for there original purpose of storing cars and in recent years we are seeing more and more garage conversion ideas. Whether you want to convert your garage in to another room as part of your home or you want a new garage built for the sole purpose of having an extra room.

We have come up with a list of great ideas for your garage conversion.

1. Integrate your garage so that its part of your homes main living space. You can use it as a living space or even a kitchen extension.

2. Home office – you can easily turn a garage into a large home office space with lots of storage

3. Gym – you could convert your garage into an indoor gym

4. Think about adding levels to your garage – you could raise the height and add a new floor giving you optimal extra space

5. Can’t go up? Go out. Think about converting to a double extension to maximise space and value to your home.

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What does your garage door colour say about you?

The colour of your garage door can really change the aesthetic of your home so it can be a difficult decision to make. Whether you have chosen to go for a vibrant red or a slick black garage door colour the choice you have picked can say a lot about your personality. We have compiled a shortlist of the more popular colour choices and what each colour could represent your personality.

Grey – grey is a colour that can easily blend into the background. Its also associated with having a strong business minded personality.

White – white Is one of the most popular colour choices for garage doors and can signify that you are a clean and tidy character who likes the simple things in life.

Black – black garage doors are modern and elegant just like their owners. Black garage doors are easier to keep clean so could signify that you are forward-thinking.

Red – a red garage door tends to mean you are outgoing, impulsive and confident.

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