When a lot of people think about garage conversions they think about turning the garage into an extra room such as a new dining room. However what about building on top of an existing garage? In this article, we will explain what needs to be considered.
The first thing that comes to mind when you think about the building is planning permission and the building regulations that go with it. If you were just going to change the existing garage by turning it into a proper room then it is doubtful you would need planning permission although there are some aspects that may. You will need planning permission for adding roof insulation or adding a wall and window where the door was.
There are also other areas that can fall under building regulations depending on the particular circumstances such as wall thickness, electrics, floor insulation, and structural work. It is always best to check if you are unsure before the work begins. Your builder should be able to advise you on building regulations.
If you are looking to add an extra floor to an existing garage then you will not be alone. It is becoming an increasingly popular trend as people realize how expensive it is to move home. It is easier to build more space than to buy it.
Now technically it is an extension rather than a conversion but can be called either. This type of project will definitely require planning permission and building regulation approval as major changes will be made. For a start, there is a good chance that the existing garage will need to be pulled down and new foundations put in as the original ones may only be able to hold a one-story building.
If you do need to remove your garage to add new stronger foundations then you could put it back as a different room rather than building it back as a garage. That would give you two rooms on two floors in replacement of the old garage. It should also be mentioned that all efforts should be made to do the building with bricks that match the color of the bricks used in the main house.
There is nothing worse than bricks that do not match resulting in a clear difference. It is also important to get the windows matching whether you are using uPVC double glazing or not. Match the bricks and windows and people will find it hard to know it is an extension.
In conclusion, if you are thinking of converting your garage or destroying it to replace it with an extension you should make sure it is planned properly with accurate costings, and if you are unsure you should assume it will need planning permission. Only then can you feel comfortable that you are doing it right. After that just remember to enjoy the experience and learn what you can as you never know when you will do it again.
Decorating your Basement
The most neglected room in home decorating is the basement. It is usually the room where everything that is not needed in the other rooms of the house is stored. The space can be used for so many other functional purposes.
In the past when homes were built, the basement was left unfinished. It was a dark, dreary room and not much thought was given to its use. Now, with homeowners needing more space for their various activities, the basement has become a room to decorate the home.
If your basement has no windows, it can be used as a media room. With a low ceiling and low light, it is a perfect room for surround sound and theater-style seating. The walls, floor, and ceiling should be a dark color. You can create the theater design of your choice with a big-screen television or the same kind of screen used in a movie theater. Add tables for beverages or you can outfit the room with chairs designed specifically for home movie theaters.
If you are a musician, the basement is the perfect place for a music studio. You can soundproof the room and install the lighting you need. Add bench seating around the walls and you can have jam sessions for friends and family.
Basements can be partitioned into rooms. Sometimes the basement is used as a laundry room. You can partition off other areas into a game room, craft room, or artist studio. If you do not have windows that give natural light, you will need to add the proper lighting. You can install shelves or rolling containers with drawers for art and craft supplies and toys. A futon can provide comfortable seating along with chairs or benches.
If you do not have space upstairs for a family room, you can create one in the basement. It can be a gathering place for watching TV, playing games, and doing homework. It can also be the home office with the computer set up to pay bills or for the kids to use for their homework.
If you decide to decorate the basement in your home, you should seek the help of a professional to create the lighting you need for the room. Another consideration is that basements can be damp and high in humidity. You should purchase a dehumidifier for the room and some type of moisture barrier.
Before you start decorating your basement, you should have it checked for mold and mildew. A mold problem can be potentially dangerous to your health and that of your family.
Decorating the basement can turn a storage room into a fully functional room the entire family can enjoy.
Saving Central Heating Costs
To those of us who grew up in homes that had no central heating the thrill of now being able to get the whole house warm just at the flick of a switch is beyond belief. The trouble is though that it is possible to get carried away and leave the system on for too long with the consequence of larger than necessary utility bills.
- So how do we save our money yet still manage to utilize the system so we keep warm and cozy? One of the mistakes we make is to persistently turn the system on and off at regular intervals. It has to be remembered that with many pipes and radiators to service the heat takes a fair while to work its way around the house more so if it is a big house of course. It is far more cost-effective to turn the system on for 12 hours, let it warm the house through, then turn it off. Simply turn it on for half an hour or so then turning it off will just cost money and the warmth whilst penetrating a couple of rooms downstairs will have no time to warm the remainder of the house and especially upstairs which you may need when going to bed that evening.
- With the heating so easy to obtain at the press of a button or flick of a switch we are sometimes guilty of using what is the entire system just to warm ourselves on a cold summer’s evening. What a waste of money. It is purely a habit gained from the easiness of doing it during the winter. You must be able to survive one chilly day even if it means resorting to a sweater just for one chilly evening. Also, the house should remain warmer in the summer so all will be well. Why warm the whole house up just for one evening’s chill.
- If you do not use your entire house, you can turn off the central heater and get a portable fireplace for rooms you use often. Electric fireplaces are energy efficient, makes nice home decor, and keep you warm.
- So there we have a few ideas about cost-saving but there are more. Remind everyone who lives in the house not to keep adjusting the thermostat otherwise they could keep turning it up every time they feel a little cold.
Other ideas might include the purchase of a new boiler and this can possibly cut your bills by up to 20%. Only do this however if the old boiler is running slow and warming the house up seems to be taking a long time. It will be a largish outlay but the money recouped after a certain period of time depending on usage.
Finally don’t be misled by thinking you need to keep the heating on before you head off to sleep. The body can sleep at much lower temperatures than you might believe so no need for the heating to be on during the night. An extra blanket will save pounds.