Working from home is the dream for many of us. Sadly, it’s not practical to do everything from our beds, so often a spare small room is converted into a home office. However, if you’ve got a growing family or require more space then another good option can be to turn the garage into an office. Especially if you don’t regularly store a car there or use it for another purpose, these tips can help ensure a smooth conversion.
Planning permission for your garage conversion is only required if you:
- Intend to alter the structure of the building
- Live in a listed building or conservation area
- Have a new build home with a condition that the garage remains a parking space
Otherwise, you should be fine to proceed. It’s advisable to take out conversion insurance so that any issues with the new works or structure are covered. Plus, you will still need to comply with building regulations so that escape routes, fireproofing and more are adhered to.
Clear out the Garage
Before you begin any work you’ll need to clear pretty much everything out of the garage. Depending on what you have in there, this could be a big job and require the use of heavy lifting machinery if you’ve got a broken down car for example. When using a loader crane or similar for removal, ensure it’s working to its full potential by replacing any Hiab parts with new ones to get the job done quickly.
Insulation and Damp Proofing
Insulation and damp proofing form part of most building regulations anyway but they are also necessary, so you can create a comfortable working environment. First check if the garage is already damp proof, as some are built over a damp-proof membrane and the walls may have a damp-proof course. Use insulated plasterboard for the internal walls as an easy and effective method, while for the roof it will depend if it’s pitched or a flat roof. If there’s a room above the garage, then roof insulation won’t be a concern.
Flooring, Windows and Doors
A hard-concrete floor isn’t ideal for a home office, so once it’s insulated think about laying down some carpet or at least a few rugs. At least one window is required to allow in some natural light and ventilation, with it advisable to install one with a trickle vent for this purpose. To meet fire regulations a door beside the main garage one will be required too, so plan where to put this in and ensure it doesn’t let too much of a draft into your new workspace.
Other areas such as plumbing and wiring will need to be organised, though it may be best to enlist an expert’s help here. Finally, you’ll need to source or move in your office furniture and put up any decorations that will keep you motivated throughout the day.
Not only will you have a new space to get on with some hard grafting but in many instances, a garage conversion can add up to 10% on to the value of any home if you’re looking to sell in the future. For now, though, enjoy your homely working environment.