Expanding your garage is a great way to add extra space and value to your property. You may be doing so to add an extra vehicle, a home office or laundry area. Whatever the reason for expansion, there are a few issues to address before you start knocking down walls.
Complying with laws
Once you confirm that you have the space to expand it is important that you adhere to certain regulations. Depending on the size of the extension or whether the garage is attached to your property or not, you may need planning permission and it is recommended that you get expert advice on adhering to current regulations. You need to have Extension Insurance for carrying out expansion work, as most home insurance policies do not cover the building if you are changing its structure.
Tell your neighbours
Garage expansions are loud affairs and your street can get busy with work vans and equipment, so notifying your neighbours of your plans is recommended. Your extension should not block out your neighbour’s windows. This legal ‘right to light’ can override any planning permission you have. The Party Wall Act allows you to carry out work on, or up to, the boundary between yours and your neighbour’s property, even if this means working on their side of the boundary. Your neighbours can’t stop you from making changes to your property that are within the law, but they can affect how and when your works are carried out, so it is always best to let them know what work will be carried out.
If your garage is old and in need of repairs, it may work out cheaper to knock it down and build from new. A garage specialist can inspect your property and help you determine if expansion is a good option, or if a new garage may better suit your needs. Building a new garage gives you creative control over the whole aesthetic and functionality of the space.
Hire a professional
Unless you work in the field of garage expansion, you’ll likely have to hire builders to complete the extension work. When deciding which building firm to choose, always get written quotations. These itemise the work that needs to be done, the timescale of the project, a breakdown of the costs and whether VAT is included. We recommend you get at least three quotations, ideally from firms that have been recommended to you.
Think about plumbing and electrical
If you plan to add laundry equipment or a workstation then you will want to make sure your garage can handle the extra plumbing and electrical needs. Knowing where electrical goods will be placed will help you pinpoint where to install water and electrical outlets – a plumber and electrician can take care of the finer details. Remember to give yourself extra plug sockets for future electronic purchases you may make.
By taking the time to research building regulations and getting expert advice, you’ll be on the right road to completing that garage expansion and using the space to its full potential.
If you have any questions about your garage extension or are looking to install a new garage door, then please do not hesitate to contact our expert team who will be more than happy to help.