Garage Conversion, Converting the Garage

Garage Conversion, Converting the Garage

In London, Garage Conversions are very popular. Due to the standard size of most garages built for smaller cars, most garages are used as storage and Converting the Garage into a bedroom , living room , office or a GYM, it’s relatively cheaper than building an extension.

garage conversion into studio flat
Garage Conversion into a studio flat, with ensuite bathroom and kitchenette

Garage Conversion London
Typical Garage Conversion in London

Garage Door, Garage Floor, Heating , water supply ,drains, Wiring, Plumbing,Matching walls

Planning to build an extension in London

If you want a bigger house, there are few options available to you.
* building a house extension
* convert the garage
* having a loft conversion

House Extension in London

Building a House Extension is a very popular choice, especially if you can’t convert the garage and loft/roof space. Few important aspects when building an extension :

1. The design of the extension.
2. What can be built.
3. Planning Permission
4. Party Wall Agreements
5. Finding a good builder.
6. Never expect everything to go perfectly as you planned.

The design of the extension

Most popular types of extensions in London, are :

* Single storey extension ( one floor extension – ground floor extension )
* Two storey extension ( two floors house extension )
* Rear Kitchen extension
* Side house extension
* Rear and side house extension
* Side return extension

The shapes of a house extension can be very basic most of the time.
L-shaped extensions
I-shaped extensions

Planning Permission for extensions and conversions

You can have a loft conversion without planning permission, the maximum size allowed is 50 cubic metres. For house extensions, you can build a build a two-storey extension without planning permission, the maximum size is extending to maximum of 3 meters from the original house.

Any extensions or loft conversion over the Permitted Development will require Planning Permission.
Houses in Conservation areas, or Listed Buildings, will require Planning Permission.
All Building Works must comply with the Building Regulations.

World’s premier architects

How Much Does Your Building Weigh Mr Foster: The film traces the rise of one of the world’s premier architects, Norman Foster, and his unending quest to improve the quality of life through design.

http://youtu.be/EnqLIG3hukA

An interesting documentary about a man born from humble beginnings who (together with his associates) makes the urban world we live in more beautiful. Amazing shots showing building structures from great angles. I hadn’t realised his practice was responsible for the Millau Viaduct, a truly awesome structure. (I saw a programme about the building of it on Channel5 which was ace.) Norman Foster for those that aren’t familiar, is responsible for The Gherkin, in London. The documentary is a little long however, worth a watch. There is a fascinating segment at the end about the design and build of a sustainable city.

Brick walls or breeze blocks ?

When building a house extension, kitchen extension, sometimes using breeze blocks instead of bricks, is a cheaper and faster option.

brick wall bricks

In London, bricks are always the best choice of material, but if the original property is rendered, it might make more sense using breeze blocks and rendered the new walls to match existing property.

rendering house extension loft conversion

Possible conversions

If a Loft Conversion or House Extension is not an option, there are several possible conversions which may not be immediately apparent. A garage which is built into or onto a house would lend itself to being a laundry, providing there is sufficient space elsewhere to build a separate garage.

A very large kitchen may become safer, more efficient and better looking if part of it is divided off to make a laundry. Older buildings often have a network of single-storey outbuildings, including redundant fuel stores and sculleries. These are usually suitable for conversion into a laundry, or alternatively you could demolish them and build a new extension in their place.

When planning an extension, remember to leave adequate external access from the front to the back of the house. This should be at least 915mm (3ft) wide to leave enough room for refuse collection. Avoid placing windows which open outwards onto such narrow accesses, as these can cause serious accidents.

House Extensions, Kitchen Extensions, Loft Conversions, Garage Conversions in North and Northwest London

House Extensions, Kitchen Extensions, Loft Conversions, Garage Conversions builders in North, Central and Northwest London

builders

North London

N1, n2, n3, n4, n5, n6, n7, n8, n9, n10, n11, n12, n13, n14, n15, n16, n17, n18, n19, n20, n21, n22): East Barnet, Archway, Finsbury, Alexandra Palace, Fortis Green, Barnet, Kentish Town, Canonbury, Crouch End, East Finchley, Enfield Park, Cockfosters, Enfield, Finsbury Park, Friern Barnet, Epping Forest, Hampstead Garden Suburb, Finchley Central, Islington, Barnsbury, Highbury, Highgate, Hornsey, Lower Edmonton, Tufnell Park, Manor House, New Southgate, Holloway, North Finchley, Hendon, Palmers Green, Pinner Green, Pinner, Ponders End, Muswell Hill, Potters Bar, Woodside Park, Seven Sisters, Winchmore Hill, Southgate, Totteridge, Upper Edmonton, Whetstone, Tottenham, Woodford Green, New Barnet, Stoke Newington.

Northwest London

Nw1, nw2, nw3, nw4, nw5, nw6, nw7, nw8, nw9, nw10, nw11, nw12, nw13, nw14, nw15: Neasden, Plumbers Brent Cross, West Hampstead, Wembley, Camden Town, Northolt, Hampstead,Kilburn, Havering, Golders Green, Harrow, Temple Fortune, Cricklewood, Kingsbury, Plumbers St John’s Wood, Greenhill, Harlesden, Colindale, Maida Vale, Mill Hill, Regent’s Park, Hampstead Heath, Harrow on the hill, Willesden, Sudbury, Swiss Cottage.

West London

W1, w2, w3, w4, w5, w6, w7, w8, w9, w10, w11, w12, w13, w14: Isleworth, Acton, Eastcote, Bayswater, Charlton, Brook Green, Chiswick, Ealing, Uxbridge, Greenford, Hanger Lane, Hanwell, Hammersmith, Holland Park, Kensington, Elsham, Notting Hill, East Molesley, Ladbroke Grove, Marylebone, Mayfair, North Kensington, Warwick Avenue, Osterley, Paddington, Perivale, Shepherd’s Bush, Strand,Addlestone, West Brompton, Kensal Green, Queens Park, West Ealing

Central London
Wc1, wc2, ec1, ec2, ec3, ec4: Barbican, Belgravia, Monument, Clerkenwell, Shoreditch, Gray’s Inn, West End, Bloomsbury, Soho, Holborn, Moorgate, ower Hill, St Paul’s Cray, St. Paul’s, Covent Garden, St Mary’s Cray

Insulating the loft rafters

Insulating the loft rafters

You need to insulate the rafters only if you’re converting your loft into a habitable room. You can use most of the materials that you use on the loft floor but the easiest to use are the sheet materials, which the roofer can secure across the rafters and the blanket materials, which can be pushed between the rafters and held in place with timber
battens.

Insulate the loft at ceiling level or Insulate the loft at rafter level

Insulating pipework in the loft

If the pipes lie within your loose-fill or under your blanket insulation there’s no need to lag them separately, but if they’re positioned above you’ll need to wrap them with pieces of blanket insulation, ready-made mineral fibre rolls, or proprietary pre-formed pipe insulation. To prevent electric cables overheating you shouldn’t cover them with insulation. Attach them to the side of a joist or, if you’re using blanket material, lay them on top. If your wiring is the old rubber-insulated sort you’d be wise to replace it. Another point to watch now that the loft will be much colder is the greater risk of condensation in the loft space.

This can be a serious problem, which can rot the roof timbers and soak the insulation, making it useless. The way to avoid this is to ensure there’s sufficient ventilation in the loft space by leaving gaps at the eaves equivalent to 10mm all the way round. Don’t fill the gaps with insulation. At the same time, make sure that the gaps around pipes and the loft hatch are well sealed to keep moisture out.

Ventilation in the loft and new buildings

Ventilation in the loft and new buildings

Ventilation is the answer. This can be done by opening windows, installing extractor fans, venting exhaust air from clothes driers to the outside air and the use of balanced flue gas heaters. Water vapour moves about. It doesn’t only condense on cold surfaces in the room where it is produced; it can penetrate all parts of the home, and is likely to condense in any colder area it reaches. It also rises by convection to cooler bedrooms and the space under the roof. Warm, moist air gets into the roof space through ceiling cracks, holes used by pipes and electric wiring and gaps around the trap door.

It doesn’t matter how small the gap – it can still get through as it’s a gas. It also passes through porous plaster or plasterboard ceilings unless they incorporate a moisture barrier. Unless there is sufficient ventilation for it to escape to the outside air, it will condense on the roof covering and roof timbers. The severity of the condensation depends on the roof construction, how well the loft is insulated and ventilated, and how easily moist house air can get into it. However, it can very quickly build up in a poorly ventilated loft, saturating the insulation and making it quite useless. In the end it can soak through the ceiling too.

Loft insulation certainly makes a house warmer, but means that the roof structure will be colder. This exaggerated difference in temperature enables the water vapour to pass more easily from the house itself to the roof space. Tiles on loosely laid felt will ‘breathe’ and allow the moisture to disperse, but fully-lined roofs tend to trap moist air. Even worse are flat roofs having a lead, bituminous felt or asphalt covering; these cannot breathe at all.

Vapour inside the walls

The better draught-proofed, and more airtight a house, the more likely it is that moist air will force its way into the structure during the winter, possibly leading to condensation. While ‘superficial’ condensation is a nuisance and can spoil decoration, it is visible, and serves as a warning to the householder to provide better ventilation. But interstitial condensation can cause serious and lasting damage to a building and, unless it is so severe that damp shows through on a ceiling or outside wall, it can go unnoticed for many years.

In older draughty houses, risk of ‘interstitial’ condensation is slight, though superficial condensation will sometimes occur in unheated rooms. Risks increase when fireplaces are blocked up, windows double-glazed, external doors draught-proofed, and lofts and external walls better insulated. Builders of new, well insulated air-tight houses should guard against moist air getting into walls and the loft by using air barriers, called vapour checks, and by ensuring that any air leaking through is easily vented to the outside.

Loft insulation

Loft insulation is yet another way of retaining heat inside the main part of the house and also contains the risk of condensation, but it must be coupled with the provision of proper loft ventilation, or condensation may become a problem in the loft.

Loft ventilation

This is vital to protect the timbers in your roof from rot attack. The better the loft insulation the greater the temperature contrast between the loft and rooms below, and the greater the risk of condensation.

Central heating

Usually installed as the source of heat, central heating will also reduce the risk of condensation as the water vapour is not allowed to cool and the temperature differential between different parts of the house is reduced. But effective central heating is rather expensive to run for long periods these days.

Double glazing

This is a highly effective way of retaining heat as 20% is lost through windows which are single glazed. It also ensures that the inner pane of glass is not cold, which is usually the case with single glazing, and thus eliminates a major source of condensation.