If you were to ask most homeowners whether they would be interested in adding around £100,000 to the value of their property, you don’t have to be a genius to work out the general response. While the country is recovering from one of the worst economic crisis’ for many a year, the issue of adding any sort of value onto your home is certainly an enticing one. However, if certain experts are to be believed, this is exactly what could happen if you decide to build above your garage.
If you take a look at a lot of properties, particularly those that have been built in the last couple of decades, you’ll soon see that many have double garages attached. It’s in these cases where the big money can be made and if you can raise the initial capital, thought to be between £10,000 and £15,000 – you could be onto a real winner. The main reason why it is so cheap to create that extra living space is because there is no need to invest in the expensive task of excavating foundations, with the existing garage already having these underneath.
The above might sound a little bit too good to be true and in some cases, it probably is. Therefore, we’re now going to analyse several considerations that you look at if you are contemplating adding a habitable storey onto your garage.
As we mentioned above, in a lot of cases the existing foundations of a garage will be sufficient to cope with an additional storey. However, you should never take this for granted and by looking at the existing drawings or sourcing a professional to dig a trial pit and analyse the foundations directly, you should have a good idea on whether or not they are able to withstand an additional storey. If they aren’t, the conversion becomes much more expensive as you’ll probably have to underpin the foundations.
Another structural issue that could prove to be a stumbling block is the wall thickness. Most garages are made up of just the single leaf wall, with this insufficient when another storey is placed on top. However, this isn’t an overly expensive task to correct although it will again add more money to the overall cost.
From an access point of view, the options are endless. Those homeowners who are looking to convert the garage into habitable space may consider using contractors to help construct staircases. However, most will probably be looking to knock through from the existing home straight into the new room – with this being the cheapest option. Some do decide to erect an exterior staircase and make the space a guest house, but again this arrives at additional expense.
Unfortunately, the planners can sometimes be one of your biggest enemies – especially if you reside in a conservation area or a Listed Building. In fact, if you do fall into that category, it might be better to forget this project before you get too carried away as the chances of it being approved are slim to say the least. From a general planning perspective, it really can be a lottery and while some local authorities will be happy to encourage development, others will look to restrict you in whatever way possible. They may place a demand on the height of the new addition, or demand that it is constructed in a certain style. Suffice to say, it’s important to get a good idea of what they are looking for, as this can again influence the total cost greatly.